European paper packaging company Smurfit Kappa has expanded its recycling network with the opening of a plant in Tuscany, Italy.

Smurfit Kappa’s plant will strengthen the company’s recovered paper service in the Italian region. The district where the new plant is situated is known for the manufacture of 60% of Italian containerboard and 90% of tissue paper.

The facility is expected to process approximately 15,000t of recovered paper per annum. It is also expected to reach a 25,000t processing capacity next year.

Smurfit Kappa general manager Luca Mannori said: “We are delighted to have this new plant up and running, which is further evidence of our ongoing commitment to sustainable development and an important addition to the region.

“Paper-based packaging is 100% recyclable. All corrugated, solid board and folding carton can be put through a process to make it into another box in less than 14 days, demonstrating a truly closed loop approach.”

Additionally, the depot will be responsible for the collection of used paper and board. It will collaborate with the local council, supermarkets and businesses.

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The collected items will be transported to the Smurfit Kappa Ania Paper Mill in Lucca, Tuscany. The company will use these materials to produce containerboard at the facility.

Smurfit Kappa Recovered Paper vice-president Henri Vermeulen said: “Paper recovery is a key part of the circular economy. As part of our Better Planet Packaging initiative we are using our long-term experience in recycling to develop even more sustainable packaging concepts.

“The new Marlia plant will play a significant part in ensuring the permanent availability of enough good quality recovered paper to guarantee the demands of all our customers in the chain.”

In April, Smurfit Kappa announced that it will carry out a series of upgrades to its flagship kraftliner mill in Piteå, Sweden.