4evergreen is a cross-industry alliance with the goal of optimizing fibre-based packaging circularity and climate performance

According to McKinsey, in 2019, fibre-based packaging represented 38% of all packaging brought to market in Europe. As the industry value chain, we want to contribute to a climate-neutral society by perfecting the circularity of our products.

The variety of fibre-based packaging on the market is growing. Therefore, we will pay particular attention to packaging with a lower circularity performance today, namely the types used for household, out-of-home and on-the-go consumption. Innovation stands at the heart of our alliance. We are accelerating the development of novel technologies to address targeted sorting or recycling challenges, specifically for barrier paper and board.

Our aim is to raise the overall recycling rate of fibre-based packaging to 90% by 2030. To reach this goal, 4evergreen has identified four intermediary targets to be met by 2025:

Industry recognises 4evergreen’s recyclability evaluation protocol and its circularity by design guidelines for fibre-based packaging

Separate collection streams are available for all fibre-based packaging types, including for those used in household, out-of-home and on-the-go consumption

All Paper for Recycling (PfR) is sorted according to the different paper and board categories specified in the EN643 standard

All collected fibre-based packaging, specifically from household, out-of-home and on-the-go consumption, is recycled

How we operate

4evergreen is driven by the insights and initiatives of its members via four technical workstreams (WS) that focus on different aspects of fibre-based packaging, as well as an information workstream and a Steering Group.

WS-1: recyclability evaluation protocol

Building on the new Recyclability Test Method developed by Cepi with partners, WS-1 will develop a standardised, publicly available, Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for fibre-based packaging. It will specify which fibre-based materials can be recycled using which type of mill technology.

The new assessment tool will deepen industry insights into each step of the life cycle of fibre-based packaging – from design to recycling. The new protocol will then feed into the development of specific circularity by design guidelines for fibre-based packaging, as well as for improved collection and sorting practices.

WS-2: "circularity by design" guidelines

Building on various international guidelines and the recyclability evaluation protocol (WS-1), WS-2 will compile “circularity by design” guidelines to ensure that more fibre-based packaging is recycled from the start.

They will provide detailed guidance on packaging and material design with a focus on the easiness of collection, sorting, and recycling. While paying attention to future possibilities, the predominant focus is to make sure the materials are suitable for the current recycling systems.

WS-3: guidelines for collection and sorting

Building on a review of collection and sorting systems across Europe and the recyclability evaluation protocol (WS-1), WS-3 will identify the best practices that can support the goals of 4evergreen.

To ensure the effective collection and efficient recycling of all these packaging types, WS-3 will compile new guidelines for improved collection and sorting of all fibre-based packaging, including the multi-material type.

WS-4: innovation

WS-4 will accelerate the development of technologies and new processes that can raise the circularity of fibre-based packaging. Out of the first batch of proposals received, WS-4 has already initiated three projects focusing on the sorting and recycling challenges of barrier paper and board.

The aim of WS-4 is to spur innovation across the fibre-based packaging value chain and leverage a range of novel technologies to raise the overall recycling rate of fibre-based packaging.

Members come together in the Sponsors’ Council, which functions as the Alliance’s General Assembly.

Representatives of civil society and think tanks may be invited to participate in the Advisory Group. Leaders of relevant European industry associations and leaders of relevant other initiatives may be invited to join the Industry Association Coordination Group.

4evergreen activities are coordinated by a dedicated team, responsible for the seamless management and administration of the alliance.

4evergreen is hosted at the Cepi Secretariat and managed by the 4evergreen Program Director. The Secretariat team is responsible for coordinating all internal communication, quality control for external communication, daily management and operations.

This includes managing and communicating information between members of 4evergreen and its workstreams.

4evergreen’s Steering Group

The membership of the Steering Group represents all the business segments of 4evergreen’s unique 360° alliance. 4evergreen’s Steering Group provides strategic direction to the Alliance and oversight of its activities. More specifically, it approves the creation of workstreams and monitors their progress. The Steering Group ensures the coalition makes progress towards defined targets and accomplishments.