, a nutrient recycling programme from the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, has granted funding for a joint project established by UPM together with the fertiliser and crop nutrition expert Yara Suomi Oy to develop nutrient recycling. Funding has been granted for the years 2017-2018. "The project by UPM and Yara Suomi is a concrete initiative to develop and test fertilisers with clear-cut targets", says Senior Officer Anni Karhunen from the Ministry of the Environment. "I am particularly happy that, for the first time, someone is really looking into the possibilities of reusing nutrients in the side streams of the forest industry. The projects that were chosen for the Raki funding once again include many different companies, so I am confident it will also lead to new business development", she continues. "The joint project by UPM and Yara concentrates on the possibilities for the agricultural reuse of nutrients retrieved from the sludge originating from the pulp and paper mill's effluent treatment plants and the ash from the incineration process", says Esa Laurinsilta, Director of Strategic Partnerships at UPM. click Read More below for additional detail
The path toward a circular economy is more of an angled one than a straight line and more nuanced than the “all or nothing” language that is often employed in sustainability conversations.
When I joined WestRock as the company’s new chief sustainability officer in December, I came with the philosophy of working toward a more circular future, one step at a time, leveraging pivotal collaborations, and celebrating incremental successes. As a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, we at WestRock are in an important position, not only to embody sustainable change, but innovate for it in a way that encourages our customers to adapt to a more sustainable packaging model. Here’s how we’re leading the way down the winding path to circularity.
Defining the circular economy
Every step of the way on the path to circularity we are thinking about how we can generate less waste and more opportunities to extend the usefulness of materials. The relationship packaging companies and landowners have with forests truly is symbiotic. We all want to keep forests healthy, so we can continue making the best use of this remarkable and renewable resource. So, at WestRock, we start with the trees. How can the company ensure forests are growing sustainably? How can the company ensure that the 10,000 private landowners WestRock engages with annually, and their stakeholders, are adequately educated on the importance of sustainable land management? Virgin fiber is an important part of the circular economy, and responsible oversight of this sustainable forest resource is critically important to WestRock.
WestRock’s innovative fiber-based solutions for various companies
The very nature of WestRock’s business model is circular — from producing fiber-based packaging to recycling the fibers from packages consumers use in the production of new packages.
The key to effectively working toward a more circular economy is so much about knowing the right people to partner with and having the patience to see that incremental progress can have a long-lasting sustainability impact.
As an Ellen MacArthur Foundation member, WestRock is connected with some of the greatest minds collaborating to work toward a more circular economy. With partners including the American Forest Foundation and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, we are thinking about the circular economy at large, and at every stage of a product’s lifecycle — that means the company is resourcing, designing, reusing and recycling with circular economy principles at the center of its strategy.
With its automated packaging solutions, fiber-based alternatives to plastics and a portfolio of fiber-based packaging that is rightsized — and, in many cases, reusable, recyclable or compostable — WestRock is providing brands in the CPG space, and more, with insights on how they can incorporate fiber-based solutions into their products. WestRock’s customers are coming to us for a vision and plan to develop tailored sustainability solutions that support their sustainability goals. I remember growing up as a child, cutting the plastic six-pack rings before we threw them away for fear of the impact they would have on wildlife, so it gives me great joy to see WestRock innovate a fiber-based alternative, CanCollar, that gives soda’s plastic six-pack ring a more sustainable makeover.
We have to be good listeners. What is the market telling us? We’re listening to consumers, customers and beyond, including the investment community too. Right now, investors are telling us sustainability is a priority. On that note, I’m really excited that in 2020, WestRock was named to the DJSI World and DJSI North America Indices.
Consumers and sustainability: Navigating competing priorities amid the pandemic
Consumers are actively looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment moving forward.
I was intrigued and encouraged by the results of a WestRock Pulse Packaging survey to gauge consumer attitudes where we found 82 percent agreed it is important for brands to balance safety and concern for the environment when designing product packaging; there were notable increases in the demand for packaging that is easily reused, easily identifiable as environmentally friendly, and easily recycled. While the great debate at the grocery checkout has been “paper or plastic,” that conversation is heading into the aisles where consumers are holding products to a higher sustainability standard.
WestRock is proactively coming up with solutions that help usher brands further away from the tradition of single-use plastics — challenging traditional notions of what should be plastic and innovating for fiber-based alternatives that perform as well, if not better, with less impact on the planet.
I mentioned the Coca-Cola CanCollar earlier. That’s just one example of WestRock’s fiber-based plastic replacement innovations. Solving for tear resistance and theft deterrence, WestRock produced a fiber-based package for First Alert that replaced a fully enclosed PET blister clamshell with a NatraLock blister card, a sturdy, flexible, more sustainable alternative to traditional blister seal and clamshell applications. In the health and beauty sector, EcoPush is an all-paperboard package that directly houses oil-based solids such as balm, solid perfume, deodorant and other oil-based solids. Not only is the exterior fiber-based, but by lining the interior with an oil-resistant paper barrier, WestRock was able to extend the fiber-based benefits throughout the packaging. Also in the health and beauty sector, the WestRock Paper Palette replaces all plastic elements used in ordinary makeup palettes with fiber.
Innovating for fiber-based solutions that operate like plastic is just one element of working toward a more circular economy. Companies need to get active and get clear with consumer when talking about recycled content. There are so many myths and misconceptions.
Here’s the thing, 100 percent recycled content is not a sustainable option at scale. Fibers can be recycled only five to seven times before they simply drop out of the papermaking process. We need to incorporate virgin fibers to increase the longevity of fiber cycles in packaging. Our minds love the tidiness of 100 percent, and our hearts connect with the passion of an all-or-nothing promise. But the truth is, virgin fibers play a pivotal role in promoting greater sustainability and performance, which is why WestRock prioritizes sustainable forestry as an invaluable aspect of recycled content.
more at source: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/path-circular-economy-theres-no-straight-line