VIENNA, AUSTRIA — On Nov. 4, Mondi released findings from a life cycle assessment (LCA) study comparing conventional plastic pallet wrapping film with its new Advantage StretchWrap paper pallet wrapping solution.

The LCA study was conducted by an external consultant, was ISO-compliant and included an external critical review, according to Mondi. It included a virgin plastic stretch film, a plastic stretch film with 30% recycled content, a plastic stretch film with 50% recycled content, and Mondi’s Advantage StretchWrap paper-based solution.

The company’s Advantage StretchWrap is a patent-pending solution using lightweight paper grade with the ability to stretch and resist being punctured during transportation and handling. Top-level findings from the LCA indicated the paper-based solution performed better in several environmental categories, compared to conventional plastic pallet wrapping films.

The study measured 16 environmental indicators across the value chain, from raw material extraction all the way up to the materials’ end of life.

According to the LCA, Advantage StretchWrap results in 62% lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to virgin plastic films, and 49% lower GHG emissions compared to plastic stretch films made with 50% recycled content. Advantage StretchWrap also had a lower climate change and fossil fuel use rate than its plastic counterparts.

The carbon footprint of Advantage StretchWrap was also lower than virgin plastics or plastic films with either 30% or 50% recycled content. Plastic stretch films did perform better in terms of land use and freshwater eutrophication, according to the study.

End-of-life impact for plastic and paper-based pallet wrapping materials

When all four options are recycled or incinerated, Mondi’s Advantage StretchWrap had the lowest climate change impact compared to the three other plastic options. However, when the paper-based pallet wrapping film ends up in a landfill, it has a higher environmental impact than the other films that were evaluated.

“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. At Mondi, we use these results as part of our decision-making process in line with our MAP2030 sustainability commitments,” said Karoline Angerer, product sustainability manager for Mondi’s Kraft Paper and Paper Bags business. “Our customers value our attention to detail and how we partner using our EcoSolutions approach to develop solutions that are sustainable by design.”

The full report can be downloaded on Mondi’s website. Additionally, the company will host a webinar detailing the LCA on Nov. 9 during the Sustainable Packaging Summit 2021.

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