Oliver Kuhn, Head of the Circular Packaging Hub at Stora Enso, remarked on the significance of these projects: “The work is creating a toolbox for efficient recycling of fiber and polymer-coated barrier material. ReMatCh can enable us to achieve improved material cascading and make better decisions about commercial application.” Kuhn added, “Ultimately, ReMatCh allows to make efficient use of recycled materials in the value chain while simultaneously increasing the share of renewable and sustainable material in our products.”
The latest in a series of joint efforts toward circularity progressStora Enso is no stranger to circularity partnerships. Over several years, we have developed greater competence in setting up industrial scale recycling programs of polymer barrier-coated board materials through several collaborations. For example, with Huhtamaki through The Cup Collective program, and the new post-consumer beverage carton recycling line established with Tetra Pak at our Ostroleka, Poland site, which also includes a solution to recycle the polymer barrier into new products. We are also active in industry alliances such as 4evergreen.
With ReMatCh, the primary objectives are to:
• Develop the separation of polymer from the fiber in polymer barrier-coated materials, and to optimize both streams for effective material recovery and recycling
• Research feeding separated polymers into mechanical and chemical recycling processes for reuse by Stora Enso in food packaging materials
• Research new promising alternatives for classified recycled fibers in the most valuable end-uses, e.g., textiles and other future applications
Connecting to the greater partnership ecosystem
As a component of a greater ecosystem, ReMatCh forms a direct link with its partners along the value chain and is supported by Business Finland. ReMatCh supports, and is supported by, research companies, institutes, and universities.
During the latter part of the project, we will use and test recycled polymers in an extrusion coating process of paper board, and through further 3D packaging converting.
The future of ReMatCh
The project began in early 2023 and will continue through the end of 2025. A budget of 5 million EUR has been allocated for the ReMatCh project with greater than 40% directed toward external research and development, e.g., universities and research institutes.