Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, has brought together industry leaders in an expert round table to discuss how to improve the circularity of used paper bags in the construction industry.
The event, which was held on 16 November 2023 in Madrid, looked at how to build systems that will prevent the disposal of used paper bags, working towards implementing a process of efficient collection, sorting, and recycling that can be managed on an industrial scale.
The partners attending were representatives from different parts of the value chain, namely Mondi, Envalora, Neinor Homes, OHLA, Arpada, Macotran, RCD Asociacion, S. Solís, Uder, Alier, Saint-Gobain and CoCircular. These like-minded industry leaders share a vision of boosting the circularity of paper bags used in the construction industry and see collaboration and stakeholder dialogue as a critical activity to achieve this.
The event follows a successful pilot project driven by Mondi, which set up a collection and recycling system for used paper bags in Spain. The project was initiated because paper bags used in the construction industry are currently not recycled at scale, resulting in valuable fibres being lost. In this pilot, different construction companies and specialised collectors for construction and demolition waste teamed up to manage the collection of used paper bags at construction sites, transportation, and the reprocessing of the used paper bags. This pilot provides a proof of concept to increase the circularity of used paper bags.
Improving the circularity of used paper bags in this industry is vital and our successful Spanish pilot project shows that it can become reality - but Mondi cannot do it alone. We need committed partners at every stage of the value chain to collaborate closely and create a successful model that can close the loop.
This initiative - the first of its kind in Spain - is clear illustration of our commitment to working with industry partners across the value chain to increase recycling rates for used paper bags – and helps us set up an approach that can be scaled throughout Europe and across other industries.
Carlos Martinez Ezquerra, Circular Economy Manager Flexible Packaging at Mondi