In January 2021, Cepi published version 1 of its recyclability laboratory test method. It defined a laboratory procedure emulating the most relevant phases (pulping, screening, sheet formation) of a typical paper mill dedicated to the recycling of the most common grades of paper and board without deinking technology or other special features.
This method and the values it generates was used by 4evergreen workstream 1 as a basis for the development of a protocol to evaluate the recyclability of fibre-based packaging in standard recycling mills*. During this development work, a lot of tests based on this method were carried out. The test institutes gathered valuable information and experience enabling the method to be further developed. Cepi’s recyclability laboratory test method version 2 was finalised in July 2022.
Further to the development of the recyclability evaluation protocol within 4evergreen workstream 1, the revised method tackles the following main elements:
- Details of aging and differentiating between materials that contain wet strength agents (WSA) and
materials that do not contain WSA (chapter 7).
- Wording and criteria for the selection of a second pulping step (20 min) (chapter 8.1).
- Changed procedure for the assessment of dissolved and colloidal substances by the
determination of the evaporation residue and, as an option, the chemical oxygen demand
- A detailed description of the usage of the Somerville device, with a special focus on the sample
amount, timing and handling of the fine screening accept (chapters 8.3 and 8.6).
- The decision to make the macrostickies assessment according to ISO 15360-2 optional for now.
- Assessment of visual impurities (Annex C).
- Adding a detailed description of the method (Annex H).
In order to evaluate the recyclability of paper-based packaging in standard recycling mills, the method
can be used in combination with the 4evergreen recyclability evaluation protocol. This will be be released in the coming weeks to collect further inputs.
Additional information and experiences from tests based on this method will enable:
• Further analysis of the determination of macrostickies
• Further advancing on the filtrate analysis, with a special focus on the evaporation residue
[*] Standard and specialised mills as described in paper-based packaging recyclability guidelines by Cepi, ACE, Citpa, FEFCO: https://www.cepi.org/paper-based-packaging-recyclability-guidelines / For deinkability assessments: European Paper Recycling Council: www.paperforrecycling.eu