China: Tetra Pak helps Fulun transform from paper mill to circular economy pioneer

Fuyang Fulun Paper Factory, once a small paper mill in the Fuyang district of Hangzhou, is part of a rich history of over 1,900 years of paper making in the city. With the recent introduction of environmental protection regulations and industry modernisation, most paper mills in Fuyang had to shut down. But not Fulun.

Background and initiative – cooperating and adapting for the future

Amid this industry transformation, Fulun emerged as a remarkable exception. With Tetra Pak's support, the company transitioned from a traditional paper mill to a dynamic enterprise geared towards contributing to a circular economy1.

PolyAl equipment line in recycling facility

Image: Fulun’s new recycling plant in Fuyang district, Hangzhou

Tetra Pak recognised the potential in Fulun and extended its support to help the company's transformation. In 2018, Tetra Pak collaborated with Fulun to establish a new recycling plant. This state-of-the-art facility boasts an integrated capacity for fibre and polyAl2 recycling. The plant utilises advanced equipment, such as a drum pulper for fibre recycling and upgraded machinery for polymer and aluminium separation. Tetra Pak's expertise and assistance enabled Fulun to become the sole company in Hangzhou City capable of effectively treating paper-based composite packaging materials for use in recycling.

The results – fuelling a circular economy with technology and education

The collaboration with Tetra Pak marked a turning point for Fulun, positioning the company as a trailblazer in the circular economy. With support and resources from Tetra Pak, Fulun's new recycling plant has significantly increased its capacity for fibre and polyAl recycling. This aligns with the city's focus on circular economy development and supports the implementation of a compulsory garbage sorting policy.

Fulun's commitment to sustainability is further evident in its establishment of a circular economy education centre within the new plant. The centre actively engages with schools, food manufacturers and other stakeholders, facilitating more than 200 educational sessions and visits in 2019 alone.

Looking ahead – inspire and expand

Fulun's transformation from a paper mill to a circular economy enterprise is just the beginning of its sustainability journey. The company's second plant for raw material sorting is already under construction, indicating its commitment to expanding its collection capabilities and contributing to the circular economy upstream.

With Tetra Pak's continued support and Fulun's determination, the company is poised to thrive as a circular economy pioneer in Hangzhou City. By promoting sustainable practices and circular economy principles, Fulun sets an inspiring example for other industries and businesses, advancing its vision of a more environmentally responsible future.

Manual post separation sorting of material

Image: Contributing to a circular economy

1The circular economy refers to a system in which materials never become waste and are kept in circulation through processes including recycling, reuse and composting. It tackles environmental challenges by decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. Source:, What is a circular economy?

2The non-fibre component of carton packages is known as polyAl, which designates the layers of polyolefins and aluminium being used as barrier against oxygen and humidity to protect the food content in aseptic carton packages.



Tetra Pak contacts
Yang Andy
Long ChaoYang