At the 4evergreen alliance, more than 350 experts from across the fibre-based packaging value chain collaborate to develop science-based guidelines and recommendations for fibre-based packaging that is compatible with a low-carbon, climate-neutral society.

Each technical workstream has already made significant progress in achieving their goals. Here you can find the reports, protocols, and guidelines released. Each is the culmination of science-led research and discussions.

As a starting point, the alliance aimed  focused on  ‘standard’ mill capabilities, thus tackling the largest chunk of fibre-based packaging.

Members are already working intensely on updated versions of these documents, which will include recommendations for fibre-based packaging that require reprocessing in specialised recycling or deinking facilities. These living documents will be updated as industry knowledge progresses.

Recyclability Evaluation Protocol

European Harmonised Laboratory Test Method (October 2022)

4evergreen experts worked on three technical annexes for Cepi’s Harmonised European Laboratory Test Method (Version 2). Using this method, results from lab tests can provide data to be inserted on the Recyclability Evaluation Protocol’s scorecard, which will then calculate a recyclability score for the material tested.

The annexes include a Detailed Work Description for the testing method, a Lab Report Template and a ‘Decision Tree’ to assess visual impurities.

You can find here a List of laboratories that can test paper products according to Cepi recyclability laboratory test method.

Recyclability Evaluation Protocol: part one for standard mills (December 2022)

The Recyclability Evaluation Protocol beta release is ready to be used to evaluate individual fibre-based packaging products and score their suitability for recycling in standard mills.

The whole sector is encouraged to test the evaluation protocol and send their feedback to optimise this beta release into a first completed version.

Download the protocol descriptionDownload the scorecardRecyclability: Towards 2030 and Beyond

Upcoming publications

  • Recyclability Evaluation Protocol: part two deinking mills (expected Q4 2024)
  • Recyclability Evaluation Protocol: part three specialised mills (expected Q4 2024)

'Circularity by design' guidelines

Circularity by Design Guideline for Fibre-Based Packaging Version 2 (June 2023)

The new version builds upon the first release in March 2022, which focused on standard recycling mills. The second version increases the scope of the document as it incorporates packaging design recommendations for compatibility with specialised recycling processes; particularly, for the recycling of used beverage cartons (UBC) and packaging of similar composition.

Download the guideline

Circularity by Design Guideline for Fibre-Based Packaging (March 2022)

This document was the first in a three-part series, intended for designers and manufacturers to evaluate the compatibility of materials and components with standard mill processes. It is applicable to fibre-based packaging design that is likely to be recycled in standard recycling mills, provided that product-specific regulations of the packaging are observed.

Download the guideline

Upcoming publications 

Recommendations on the suitability of flotation-deinking and additional specialised recycling processes – expected 2024

Guidance on Improved Collection and Sorting

Guidance on the Improved Collection and Sorting of Fibre-based Packaging for Recycling (December 2023)

Built upon the 2022 edition and subject to external consultation, this version of the Guidance incorporates the latest industry findings reinforcing the recommendations for optimal fibre-based packaging recycling.

The guidance has been made easier to use as a reference point for effective collection and sorting practices across Europe, and its content is now in line with 4evergreen’s other tools, adding to the alliance’s efforts to create a comprehensive toolbox with a consistent terminology and understanding that works at all stages of the packaging value chain.

Download the file

Guidance on the Improved Collection and Sorting of Fibre-based Packaging for Recycling (September 2022)

This guidance is based on a review of the institutional frameworks and different collection and sorting systems in European countries.

It offers an overview of existing systems and practical recommendations for enhancing collection and sorting of different types of fibre-based packaging. Understanding these processes is a prerequisite for recycling and treating fibres in a way that does not compromise their quality.

Download the file

Upcoming publications 

A further revision of the document including key topics such as HORECA (hotel /restaurant/catering)/on-the-go packaging and sorting deep-dive, will be published in 2024.


Upcoming publications 

Innovation is at the heart of the 4evergreen alliance and innovation workstream members are conducting several tests to leverage a range of new technologies to raise fibre-based packaging’s overall recycling rate. The group has initiated three main projects, namely:

  • Sortability of Fibre-barrier Packaging
  • Novel Recycling Technologies
  • Comparative Recyclability Impacts