As a cornerstone of the bio-based economy, our industry contributes to sustainable development that meets the requirements of modern packaging, conserves natural resources and protects the environment. By choosing paper sacks as packaging solutions for their dry bulk goods, producers and fillers are choosing the environmentally friendly option.
Natural, renewable and recyclable
The fibres used to produce sack kraft paper are 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable:
- Paper sacks contain up to 100% natural fibres.
- Due to research into bio-barriers, the proportion of renewable materials in paper sacks will increase. This supports our approach towards a circular economy as well as the goals of the COP21 agreement (United Nations Climate Change Conference, December 2015, Paris), which focuses on minimising the use of all kinds of fossil fuels.
- Sack kraft paper is an excellent source of fibre for the recycling industry. Its long, strong fibres can be recycled several times. They are commonly used as secondary raw materials in the paper industry.
Sustainable management of forest areas is a central element of the value chain for paper sacks:
- The fibres are extracted from tree thinning and from process waste from the timber industry and originate from sustainably managed forests in Europe.
- Managing forests sustainably means maintaining their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity and vitality while leaving all interconnected ecosystems intact.
- Sustainably managed forests fulfil relevant ecological, economic and social functions: they provide habitats for wildlife and recreational areas for people, as well as jobs and economic prosperity.
Role in climate change mitigation
Forests play a key role in the mitigation of carbon emissions:
- Forests act as a carbon sink, which also benefits the carbon footprint of our industry: 1 m3 of wood captures 1 t of carbon dioxide while emitting 0.7 t of oxygen.
- Thanks to the continuous replanting of trees, state-owned forest in Europe is growing by 200 million m3 per year, according to EUSTAFOR.
- According to a study by ETH Zurich, worldwide afforestation is the most effective measure against climate change.
Low carbon footprint of paper sacks
For more than 15 years, the kraft paper and paper sack industry has run studies to measure its environmental impact, providing the basis for continuous improvement.
- The fossil carbon footprint for one average European paper sack is 85 gCO2e.
- Between 2015 and 2018, the carbon intensity of a single paper sack was reduced by 8%. Between 2007 and 2018, the improvement reached 28%.
- When extending the analysis to include biogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals, paper sacks are a climate-positive packaging solution.
- According to a study by RISE, the carbon footprint of paper cement sacks is 2.5 times smaller than that of PE FFS cement sacks.
The production of sack kraft paper and paper sacks uses a high degree of renewable energy sources and is mostly energy self-sufficient:
- 77% of all energy needs (heat and electricity) are generated on-site.
- The production uses a high degree of renewable energy sources. 89% of the fuels used to generate heat and steam are renewable fuels. Most of them, that is 81%, are produced as side streams of the pulp and papermaking process.
- Infographic: “The paper sack – a low carbon packaging“
- Infographic: “Paper sacks – your better choice for the climate”
- Video: “Good choices come naturally”
- Video: “The most sustainable choice for dry-bulk materials: the paper sack“