Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, commissioned a life cycle assessment (LCA) comparing its new paper pallet wrapping innovation, Advantage StretchWrap, with conventional plastic stretch film wrapping. The full study was conducted by an external consultancy, is ISO-compliant, and includes an external critical review. Based on the assumption that both materials are recycled at the end-of-life, the findings showed that the paper-based pallet wrapping by Mondi has a lower climate impact as one of the LCA indicators.
The basis of comparison is the potential environmental impacts arising from wrapping one pallet. The LCA examined 16 indicators to understand potential trade-offs between the two materials. It covers all relevant life cycle stages, from raw material extraction, production, up to the application on a pallet at the customer. In addition, the impact of the end-of-life stage is assessed.
The LCA found that Advantage StretchWrap has 62% lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when compared to virgin plastic stretch film and 49% lower GHG emissions when compared to plastic stretch film made with 50% recycled content. Advantage StretchWrap has a lower environmental impact than plastic in a number of categories including climate change and fossil resource use. The plastic stretch film did perform better in some indicators, such as land use and freshwater eutrophication.
“Given the complexities of material choice, we see independent critical reviews as essential to ensuring LCAs that deliver objective and reliable results focusing on the environmental benefits of each material,” said Karoline Angerer, product sustainability manager kraft paper & paper bags, Mondi. “At Mondi, we use these results as part of our decision-making process in line with our MAP2030 sustainability commitments. Our customers value our attention to detail and how we partner using our EcoSolutions approach to develop solutions that are sustainable by design.”
Advantage StretchWrap is a new, responsibly sourced and fully recyclable paper product Mondi has developed to stretch and resist punctures. Initially used to wrap around mattresses’ inner springs, Mondi’s extensive R&D has increased the paper’s strength and stretchability and reduced the grammage so that it can wrap around pallets. Advantage StretchWrap is created at Mondi’s energy-efficient paper mills and has the potential to replace more than 10,000 tons of plastic for every 1% of EU pallets that transition from plastic to this paper-based wrapping solution.