HARTSVILLE, S.C. (News release) -- Sonoco, one of the leading global sustainable packaging companies, announced favorable results from a recent study by trial with Sustana in collaboration with Kellogg's, providing new opportunities to recycle paper containers.
"Part of creating packaging that's a sustainability success involves making sure its materials are made and sourced responsibly. Sonoco's paper containers are made with 100% recycled fiber paperboard, of which 85% is post-consumer recycled content," said Michael Pratt, Senior Sustainability Specialist at Sonoco.
Through three third-party sortation trials, Sonoco confirmed that paper containers with steel bottoms can be recycled in the steel stream. The next step was to further increase the recyclability of paper containers in the paper stream. There was already proven success in producing 100% recycled paperboard with up to 85% post-consumer fiber from bales of mixed paper at all Sonoco U.S. paper mills, but it was still unknown if paper containers could be recycled further.
By partnering with Sustana, the leading manufacture of sustainably produced premium recycled fiber and paper, Sonoco validated the idea that paper containers could be processed in the paper stream and made into reusable materials.
This Sustana trial confirmed that through the pulping process, the fiber components separate from non-fiber components. The remaining fiber can be made into usable paperboard for new products, thus creating a circular economy journey.
''By partnering with sustainability-conscious companies like Sonoco and shifting to a circular economy, brands can provide consumers with sustainable recycled paper products that meet their growing preference for environmentally friendly packaging," said Renée Yardley, Sustana's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Not only does this finding enable Sonoco to accept its paper products back for recycling, it provides the opportunity to close the loop within the sustainability economy, especially through the food packaging industry.
"It's no easy task, but we believe closing the loop is always worth our time, talent, and resources," said Scott Byrne, Associate Director of Global Sustainability for Sonoco. "By validating that paper containers can be processed in the paper stream, there's hope to see an increase in recycled fiber. Ultimately, through strategic collaboration, it's more possible than ever to reduce the impact of hard to recycle items.