Europe rewards Lucart: the Natural project ranks second at the European Paper Recycling Awards for the R&D category
At the 6th edition of this event, the company was awarded for its outstanding commitment to improve paper recycling technology.
The Natural project has enabled Lucart to receive an important European award. For the innovative nature of its project and for the challenges faced by the Group in implementing it, the company was chosen as the winner by a committee of excellence: Lisa Kretschmann, Managing Director of the European Federation of Envelope Manufacturers, Simona Bonafè, Italian Member of the European Parliament, Inés Ayala Sender, Spanish Member of the European Parliament, Ferran Rosa, Policy Officer at Zero Waste Europe, and Rudi Bressa, environmental journalist.
The project that Lucart has been developing in partnership with Tetra Pak® since 2010 has introduced a complete circular economy model for paper, thanks to an innovative technology that separates the cellulose fibres in beverage cartons from polyethylene and aluminium parts, without the use of substances that are harmful to humans or the environment. In this way, two new high-quality raw materials are produced.
Fiberpack®, the paper used for the hygiene products in Lucart’s Natural lines, is obtained from cellulose fibres. The company has also obtained a material called AL.PE.® from polyethylene and aluminium. This raw material is used to produce innovative systems for the dispensing of tissue products but also for pallets, mooring poles in Venice and floating platforms for wheelchair access and other commonly used items, which are all recycled and recyclable when they reach the end of their life cycle.
Lucart has invested approximately 10 million euros in resources and in the development of two of the Group’s plants – in Diecimo, in the province of Lucca, and in Laval sur Vologne, France – to develop industrial systems that are suitable for the treatment of Tetra Pak® beverage cartons while maintaining an ongoing dialogue with all relevant stakeholders.
“It was truly a great pleasure for us to have received this award at the European Parliament,” Tommaso De Luca, Lucart’s Communications Manager, commented. “The Fiberpack® project best represents the two core values of our company: sustainability and innovation. In the last few years, we have worked extremely hard and we will continue to do so in view of the increasingly stringent European environmental requirements, in order to offer solutions and projects that are respectful of the environment and of people’s well-being,” De Luca concluded. “Our circular business model involves citizens as product users, but also as promoters of good practices through separate waste collection. Hopefully, this award will be a good omen for the important decisions that must be taken at European level to facilitate the transition to a Circular Economy.”
Any future projects? Lucart will continue to promote a transparent, practical and viable circular economy model in Europe. Thanks to the Fiberpack® project, Lucart can now offer consumers a recycled paper product, which is carried on a recycled pallet and used through a recycled plastic dispenser, obtained by recycling the various components of beverage cartons. This product development model is in line with circular economy principles, starting with waste management through proper disposal. Waste is then sent for treatment to be re-processed into secondary raw materials, ready to be reused and placed on the market.
Lucart’s commitment, which resulted in this prestigious award, is quantifiable and measurable in terms of environmental performance.
From 2013 to 2016, Lucart has contributed to achieving great results:
more than 2.8 billion 1-litre beverage cartons have been recycled, which, if lined up one after the other, would cover a distance equal to the circumvention of the Earth 16 times over;
more than 1.2 million trees have been saved thanks to this initiative, equal to a surface area of more than 4,200 football fields;
more than 73,000 tonnes of CO2 have been avoided, equal to the emissions produced by more than 578,000 Rome-Milan trips by car.