UPM Timber and Lassila & Tikanoja have started a collaboration to recycle sawn timber wrappings

Press Release 12.9.2022 14:00 EEST

UPM Timber and Lassila & Tikanoja have established a new recycling concept, in which used plastic wrapping is picked up from the customers and recycled into new wrappings. The customers also receive a compensation for the recycling collaboration.

The new recycling concept was introduced during the summer of 2022, and it has been warmly welcomed by customers. One of the companies piloting the recycling is the Finnish log house manufacturer Honkarakenne.

UPM Timber's goal is to be a forerunner in sustainability in the timber industry. The company has ambitious goals to reduce its emissions and improve its environmental responsibility, and ultimately stop using fossil raw materials altogether. UPM also wants to actively foster the sustainability of its partners and customers, one example being the recycling of sawn timber wrappers.

"Thanks to the new recycling concept, sawn timber wrappers are transformed from waste into raw material. Plastic wrappings that were previously diverted to energy waste are now collected separately, picked up and refunded. Used wrappings are then taken for further processing at L&T's recycling plant. The material can circulate in a closed loop over and over again into new sawn timber wrappings," says Marko Turunen, L&T's Sales Manager.

Circular economy to improve sustainability

"Cooperation with L&T has got off to an excellent start, and further actions have already been agreed with several of our customer companies that buy sawn timber," says Antti Koulumies, Head of UPM Timber.

One of the first companies to join the recycling project was log house manufacturer Honkarakenne.

"The plastic recycling concept with UPM and L&T works very smoothly and also contributes to our sustainability goals. We want to reduce the environmental impact of our own operations and promote the recyclability of materials. It is great that the sawn timber wrappers can be reused," says Marko Saarelainen, CEO of Honkarakenne.

All conventional plastic sawn timber wrappers are suitable for recycling, after they are packed into cargo-ready bales on the customer's own plot and delivered via L&T's regional terminal to the Merikarvia plastic recycling plant. At the plant, the material is washed and renewed into recycled granulate, which is then used for the re-manufacturing of new sawn timber wrappers.

Aiming for a fossil-free future

The recycling concept will initially operate in Finland, but there are plans to possibly expand it to also serve foreign export customers. The recycling of plastic wrappings brings significant benefits to the entire supply chain.

"The amount of waste that would have otherwise been burned will decrease, and the recycling rate will increase. In practice, waste treatment is transformed into monetary benefits through recycling. At the same time, we support Finnish industry and improve the responsibility of everyone involved in the operations," says Antti Koulumies.

Earlier this year, UPM Timber switched to sawn timber wrapping containing recycled plastic. The long-term goal is to stop using fossil plastic altogether.

"Finding alternative materials is a big challenge, but we are doing everything we can to be a forerunner in sustainability and to continuously develop our own operations. In the future, sawn timber wrappers could even be made from wood raw material, other bioplastics or a combination of these. Step by step, we are moving towards our goal," Koulumies sums up.

For further information please contact:
Antti Koulumies, Head of UPM Timber, antti.koulumies@upm.com, tel. +358 45 675 1986
Marko Turunen, Lassila & Tikanoja, Sales Manager, marko.turunen@lassila-tikanoja.fi, tel. +358 50 385 0727

UPM, Media Relations
Mon-Fri 9:00-16:00 EEST
tel. +358 40 588 3284

UPM Timber produces redwood and whitewood sawn timber for the joinery, packaging, distribution, and construction industries. Our sawmills are powered entirely by renewable energy. We use 100% certified Finnish raw material and the latest sawmilling techniques to produce high-quality sawn timber that fulfills our customers’ requirements. UPM Timber has four sawmills in Finland with a total annual capacity of 1.4 M cubic metres and its own sales network in Europe and Asia. UPM Timber employs around 410 people and has its headquarter in Tampere. www.upmtimber.com

We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Fibres, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility, we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 17,000 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 9.8 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond fossils. www.upm.com

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