Made from renewable resources
The main raw material for waxed paper is wood, a harvested crop. Thanks to the implementation of responsible forest management policies we will not run out of this valuable resource. Plastic's main raw material (oil) is subject to significant fluctuations in availability and long-term is a dying resource.
Only 12% of all harvested wood grown is used for paper and board production mainly forest thinning and woodchips from sawmills. Over 90% of the fibre needed for European paper and board Industry is European grown. No rain forests are used (source 'Pro Carton').
Forests in Europe have been continuously growing for the last 100 years., Timber volume in Sweden , for example, has doubled over the past 100 years and usage continues to be far lower than re-plantation . In Finland , forest growth has been running at 4% per year over the past 12 years and the timber volume is at its highest for the past 100 years. (Swedish Forest Industries Federation and Finnish statistical yearbook of Forestry). Vegetable waxes are actually hardened fats' and are based on fully renewable sources.
Biodegradable and Compostable
- paper and wax decompose at the same as leaves in a forest2).
- A recent study commissioned by EuroWaxPack shows that a wide range of wax coated papers (covering the majority of waxed paper applications) are industrially-compostable. The material fulfills the 90% relative biodegradability requirement of EN 13432 (2000)3).
- The French converter organisation Micropap® received, in 2012, OK Compost certification from Vinçotte4) for paper-based meat and cheese wrappers coated with either vegetable or mineral wax.
1) Drs. A.O. Hanstveit, TNO, The Netherlands, 'Inherent biodegradability of waxes', commissioned by European Wax Federation, Brussels, 1991
2) Drs. A.O. Hanstveit, TNO, The Netherlands, 'Fate of waxed paper materials in a woodland litter layer', commissioned by European Wax Federation, Brussels, 1991
3) B. De Wilde, OWS Organic Waste Systems, Belgium, 'Compostability testing program on wax coated paper', commissioned by EuroWaxPack, The Hague, The Netherlands, 2012
4) AIB Vinçotte, 'Certificat d'octroi et d'usage de la marque de conformité 'OK Compost' Nº O 12-789-A and 12-790-A', Brussels, Belgium, 2012
*There are many different waxed paper specifications suitable for use across a wide range of applications. To ascertain whether the statements on biodegradability, compostability and recyclability are applicable for you, please contact EuroWaxPack (www.eurowaxpack.org).