Mondi hosts roundtable to improve the construction industry’s paper bag recycling system in Spain
17 Jan 2024 — Mondi hosted an expert roundtable to discuss how the circularity of used paper bags in the construction industry can be improved. The project aims at finding solutions for how to scale up the collection, sorting and recycling of used paper bags and reduce waste.
The event, held on November 16 in Madrid, Spain, looked at how to build systems that will prevent the disposal of used paper bags, working toward implementing a process of efficient collection, sorting and recycling that can be managed on an industrial scale.
Carlos Martinez Ezquerra, circular economy manager for Flexible Packaging at Mondi, says: “Improving the circularity of used paper bags in this industry is vital, and our successful Spanish pilot project shows that it can become a 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.”
The companies attending the roundtable worked on establishing a model for a circular construction bag economy. The partners attending were representatives from different parts of the value chain, namely, Envalora, Neinor Homes, OHLA, Arpada, Macotran, RCD Asociacion, S. Solís, Uder, Alier, Saint-Gobain and CoCircular. Mondi says that the businesses share a vision of boosting the circularity of paper bags used in the construction industry and see collaboration and stakeholder dialogue as critical to achieve this.
Setting up a recycling system
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 lost valuable fibers.
In the pilot, different construction companies and specialized 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. Mondi asserts that the pilot provides a proof of concept to increase the circularity of used paper bags.
“This initiative — the first of its kind in Spain — is a 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,” says Ezquerra.
Edited by Natalie Schwertheim
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