Mondi Collaborates with Partners to Replace Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS)

Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) microplastics are widely recognized as a significant contributor to marine plastic pollution, making up over 40% of plastic debris on Asian beaches.1 Bans on EPS packaging have gained tremendous momentum recently, particularly in the European Union and the wider Caribbean region.2,3 Legislation banning the use of EPS packaging has also been introduced in several U.S. states and local governments, Fiji and the Philippines, just to name a few.4,5,6

With the ongoing development of the United Nations Treaty on Plastic Pollution, governments from over 170 nations are working toward policy measures to combat the negative environmental impacts of hard-to-recycle plastics. The introduction of bans, levies, and increased disposal fees for EPS packaging materials will continue to be on trend for the foreseeable future, especially in regions lacking recycling infrastructure.

Corrugated Packaging: A sustainable alternative

Corrugated packaging solutions are 100% recyclable and 100% compostable, making them the ideal packaging material. What’s more, Mondi’s corrugated packaging solutions includes a wide portfolio of corrugated boxes made of recycled fibres. Paper-based packaging boasts an impressive 82.5% recycling rate in Europe, outperforming the combined recycling rates of all other packaging materials.7 The recycling value of corrugated packaging has enormous potential worldwide. Paper fibre can be recycled with good quality many times, keeping fibres in circulation.8,9

As a partner for sustainable growth, Mondi material and design experts are developing high-performance, corrugated solutions to enable a shift toward circular packaging for white goods and electronic equipment. Industries have long relied on crumble-prone EPS material to protect valuable goods. Until now, replacing EPS materials with paper-based solutions was prohibitive from a cost perspective, but extended producer responsibility mandates like those under the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) have transformed economic factors.10

Snug & Strong: Recyclable, efficient, and sustainable

There is no silver bullet when it comes to white goods and electronic packaging – EPS can chip or break during transport, resulting in costly product damage and returns. When designing Snug&Strong corrugated solutions, Mondi gathers an entire team of experts to collaborate with customers to understand their production line and packaging requirements. Whether developing a recyclable, multi-material packaging concept or creating a plan to gradually replace EPS components over an extended period – through collaboration it is possible to find sustainable and viable solutions.

By setting out to replace EPS materials in packaging, manufacturers have a unique opportunity when partnering with materials manufacturersi to create fully recyclable packaging solutions while also optimizing and automating their packaging processes. Fit-for-purpose recyclable packaging satisfies consumer demands for sustainability, and fulfills upcoming legislative requirements.

Balancing protection, cost, and sustainability

Mondi’s Snug&Strong corrugated solution can do more: it can ease supply chain complexity, improve packaging processes, and help brands be more environmentally friendly. The custom-fit, 100% paper-based industrial packaging offers excellent protection for white goods and electronic equipment. Additionally, Snug&Strong is delivered flat and requires less space than traditional EPS packaging, making the component solution easier to handle and less expensive to store and transport.

It is not always easy to strike a good balance between protection, cost, and sustainability when it comes to packaging. Mondi’s Snug&Strong corrugated solution, however, is a cost-efficient and viable alternative to EPS when considering the total cost of ownership.

Join the Movement

Together, let’s lead the change with corrugated solutions to replace expanded polystyrene in packaging. To learn more, visit www.mondigroup.com/products-and-solutions/replacing-expanded-polystyrene-in-white-goods-packaging/.

 

References

1 Hamsun H.S. Chan, Christelle Not. (2023) Variations in the spatial distribution of expanded polystyrene marine debris: Are Asian coastlines more affected? Retrieved from: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666765723000029.
2 Directive (EU) 2019/904. The reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. European Parliament, Council of the European Union. Retrieved from: www.eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2019/904/oj.
3 UNEP. Report on the Status of Styrofoam and Plastic Bag Bans in the Wider Caribbean. Retrieved from: www.unep.org/cep/resources/report/report-status-styrofoam-and-plastic-bag-bans-wider-caribbean.
4 Chaudhary, Felix. (2021) Ban on polystyrene to start next month. Retrieved from: www.fijitimes.com/ban-on-polystyrene-to-start-next-month/.
5 Parkinson, Lindey. (2021) Philippines House passes Single-use Plastic Products Regulation Act. Retrieved from: www.foodpackagingforum.org/news/philippines-house-passes-single-use-plastic-products-regulation-act.
6 McCarthy, Joe. (2017) States declare war on Styrofoam. Retrieved from: www.cbsnews.com/news/styrofoam-ban-states-declare-war-people-think-it-breaks-down/.
7 Eurostat 2023. Retrieved from: www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/cei_wm020/default/table?lang=en.
8 CEPI (2022) Cepi position paper on the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. Retrieved from: www.cepi.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/PPCG-MG-22-030_Cepi-position-paper.pdf.
9 European Paper Recycling Council. Monitoring Report 2022. Retrieved from: www.cepi.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/EPRC-Monitoring-Report-2022_Final.pdf.
10 Directive 94/62/EC. Packaging and packaging waste. European Parliament, Council of the European Union. Retrieved from: www.eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:01994L0062-20150526.

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