BillerudKorsnäs invests in recycling

Strategies against single use plastic

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BillerudKorsnäs invested in recycling with the acquistion of a minority holding in the innovative company, Recycl3R. The company has developed a digital solution to increase recycling rates of single use packaging. The investment is made by BillerudKorsnäs’ wholly owned subsidiary BillerudKorsnäs Venture AB, which invests in young and innovative companies with solutions that will influence the future for packaging.

Waste production is one of the largest environmental problems that society faces today, and solving it is a big challenge. In Europe alone, 240 million tons of waste is produced but only 44% of it is recycled. Ivan Gonzalez, environmental lawyer and co-founder of Recycl3R said, “BillerudKorsnäs shares our vision of solving this global challenge and is an excellent partner and investor for Recycl3R.”

Recycl3R builds a database with information about the packaging material used for different consumer products. The company also understands the different recycling regulations and requirements around the world. This knowledge is used to guide consumers to the nearest recycling station and help them recycle correctly. The solution also makes it possible for producers and distributors to give consumers incentive to recycle more with gamification and by connecting value such as deposits or loyalty points to the different packaging materials.

The Recycl3R team has a background in environmental consulting, and the system was developed partly within the European ‘TagitSmart’ project. It has caught the interest of international retailers and brands with a mission to get more material back into recycling streams. Carrefour Spain has implemented the solution.

Martin Neselius, Venture manager at BillerudKorsnäs Venture says, “Packaging recycling is an area that we believe will be increasingly important in order to solve the environmental challenges ahead. Sustainability and digitalization connected to packaging are strategic focus-areas for BillerudKorsnäs Venture, and Recyc3R presents a very interesting opportunity based on their combined expertise in both areas.

“There are already steps taken towards legislation and restrictions regarding single use products, and we believe this development will continue. There is still a lot of work to do in order to ensure that more packaging enters the recycling stream and is recycled into new products. Recycl3R’s product supports increased and cleaner recycling streams for this purpose.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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