The initiative is in partnership with SABIC, which will produce the circular polymer low quality, mixed post-consumer plastic waste – otherwise destined for incineration or landfill – into finished certified circular polymers. The chemical structure is equivalent to a virgin polymer.
The Walki Group will begin serving the packaging industry and brand owners this year, using the material for consumer packages.
Leif Frilund, CEO, Walki, said today more than 80% of its products are made out of renewable or recyclable materials and its goal is to reach 100% by 2030.
“We will begin using circular polymers that have precisely the same qualities as raw material that is used for the very first time,” he said.
“In the beginning, the quantities are small, but our intention is to grow the usage of circular polymers as the production capacity of this new, sustainable and recycled raw material increases.
“The circular polymers will definitely take us one step closer to our ambition - a zero-waste future.”
He added the partnership is proof to its partners that its company mission and core values are linked to responsible operations, sustainability and circular economy efforts.
Last year Walki Group opened a web-based Circular Classroom educational platform for schools to learn about the circular economy as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
The content has been produced by Leyla Acaroglu, who holds a PhD in sociology and has been recognised by the UN as an expert on sustainable development. It includes an introduction to various aspects of the circular economy designed for young people, background videos and support materials for teachers.
The online platform is designed to be permanent and it will be developed in close cooperation with educational professionals over the coming years, available in three languages: Finnish, Swedish and English.
“We believe our company’s success depends on the future professionals," said Frilund.
"At Walki, we want to play a part in ensuring all young people know the basic concepts of the circular economy and understand the social significance of the phenomenon. We selected the circular economy and the educational material on it, since our interviews with teachers and educational influencers showed there was a lack of quality and uniform material on the subject.
“The circular economy is a topic of discussions, but no practical tools were available to teachers for teaching the topic. We believe the circular economy will help us solve the major challenges of today and tomorrow. The better the understanding young people have of the circular economy as they enter working life, the better they will be equipped to find sustainable answers."
Walki Group is a manufacturer of technical laminates and protective packaging materials specialising in fibre based, intelligent multi-laminate products for markets such as barrier packaging applications.
It has production facilities in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, Russia and China, employing around 950 people.