The following contains a collection of the most pressing articles surrounding the recycling industry today.
We would like to extend our congratulations to Pak-Sher on the launch of their newest green innovation, Envirosheets™. Made 100% from post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR), the revolutionary bakery/deli interfolded, FDA approved sheets provide the same benefits as a virgin poly sheet with the added benefit of sustainability. We admire Pak-Sher’s commitment to developing sustainable products and are proud to take part in the process.
KILGORE, Texas, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Pak-Sher announced today the launch of Envirosheets™, a revolutionary new bakery/deli interfolded sheet that is produced using 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled plastic), meets FDA guidelines for direct food contact, and is manufactured and packaged at the Pak-Sher plant in Kilgore, TX. The only product of its kind in the world, Envirosheets are 100% made from recycled milk jugs. Pak-Sher credits their unique film manufacturing process for their ability to create a reliable and inexpensive 100% PCR product. In fact, this product is less expensive than the wax or paper sheets that are prevalent in the current market.
“This product will be a game changer”, said Paul Gage, President and CEO of Pak-Sher. “Finally, supermarkets, delis, bakeries, and convenience stores have a truly green product that will help them achieve their sustainability goals AND can improve their bottom line. Until now, that was a fantasy in the packaging world, but we’ve turned fantasy into reality!”
Envirosheets provide the same benefits as virgin poly sheets: moisture barrier, microwavable, easy-grab interfolded packaging, and more cost effective than paper or wax, with the added benefit of sustainability. Every case of Envirosheets is made from 8 to 19 (depending on sheet size) recycled milk jugs that may have otherwise ended up in our landfills. Envirosheets are just the first in a line of maximized PCR content products Pak-Sher plans to offer. They plan to continue to bring more sustainable AND economical products to market in the coming year.
For More Information about Pak-Sher visit: www.paksher.com
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Researchers at the University of Alicante have developed a new procedure that removes printed ink on plastic films used in flexible packaging getting a product free from ink and suitable for recycling.
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A NORTH-EAST (UK) plastics firm, which makes the UK’s lightest milk bottle, has achieved another first.
Nampak Plastics, in Consett, County Durham, has trialled the world’s first four pint milk bottle made up of about 30 per cent recycled high density polyethylene plastic (HDPE).
The move comes after the firm, which is working with Closed Loop Recycling, created its 32g Infini bottle that is the lightest and strongest bottle of its type in the UK dairy market, and is being sold in Marks and Spencer, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.
Nampak bosses say that bottle, which won an industry award for sustainability, will save the dairy business about 25,000 tonnes of material every year.
Eric Collins, Nampak managing director, said: “We wanted to increase the amount of recycled HDPE in our bottles to up to 30 per cent by 2015, but have proved this can be reached well ahead of schedule.
“All of our bottles, including the Infini range, currently contain up to 15 per cent, but moving to 30 per cent is a major step forward for the British milk industry.”
Reprinted from the Northern Echo, May 31, 2013
“Nampak, in Consett, County Durham, works on first four pint bottle made of increased recycled material” by Steven Hugill
Envision Blog on Packaging
This blog is in response to an online article posted by Wired.com that first appeared on 2.14.2013. We publish blog responses to various stories we find interesting. Any inquiries can be sent by using the Contact page found on this website.
Last month, an interesting article on Wired magazine’s website caught our attention. The article, titled “Designing the Packaging-Free Future” by Tim Maly, looks at the problem of excess landfill waste and how some packaging designers are attempting to solve the problem by creating packages free of solid waste, such as plastic.
The article follows Pratt University master’s student Aaron Mickelson and his packaging line, The Disappearing Package, outlining his goal of ultimately eliminating packaging waste. As a company whose whole purpose is to recycle plastics, Envision Plastics admires the intent behind Mickelson’s mission of reducing the amount of packaging that finds its way into landfills and worse—our eco-system.
While we appreciate the sustainable reasoning behind the minimalist packaging movement, we don’t agree that the answer is to get rid of packaging entirely. Structural packaging, especially high density plastics, has a ton of uses that cannot be replaced by dissolving packages. Many different objects require a heavy-grade package that is water-proof and able to meet certain safety specifications. There are multiple uses for plastic containers that cannot simply be replaced by dissolving packages, either for pragmatic or aesthetic reasons. Simply put, plastic is here to stay.
Here at Envision Plastics, we are able to recycle 100% curb-collected plastic back into its original state and help achieve a healthy material life cycle for many CPG packages. Moreover, we have developed unique processes, such as our PRISMA color-sorting technology, that save companies money. Our HDPE resins are a sustainable material that can be recycled and used for new purposes in the same form. Yes, too many plastic s find their way into landfills, but we are confident that as consumers become more educated about recycling and sustainability that HDPE resin can be a long-term solution in packaging.
We salute Mr. Mickelson’s goals of expanding the conversation on sustainable packaging, but want to make sure that HDPE resin is included in the discussion.
Packaging Strategies Newsletter published an article written by Envision Plastics on the truths and myths of bioresins, biodegradables and oxodegradables… To read this article please click on the link below
The Truths and Myths of Degradables-Packaging Strategies
To read entire publication click here
Package optimization, corporate policy and cost factors weigh in on efforts to minimize environmental impact while protecting and delivering the product.
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The following contains a collection of the most pressing articles surrounding the recycling industry today.
CNN Earth Day Report features Method and Envision Plastics. See the new video here…
From Plastics Today
By Heather Caliendo Published: April 19th, 2013
Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in the Earth Day. From Beijing to Cairo, Melbourne to London, Rio to Johannesburg, New Delhi to New York, communities everywhere will voice their concerns for the planet, and take action to protect it, according to Earth Day network.
I’ll admit it; I’ve always loved Earth Day. I remember back in elementary school, I would proudly wear my t-shirt with a picture of the earth as my fellow classmates and I would participate in a collection of activities from helping to pick up litter around campus, planting flowers and making crafts with recycled materials.
I felt I was exposed to the importance of recycling and reusing materials fairly early on, so it’s pretty disappointing that overall recycling rates for plastics remain at about 8%. Although, there has been some encouraging news on the plastic recycling front as now at almost 39%, the recycling rate for single-serve PET plastic bottled water containers has more than doubled in the last seven years.
Obviously, the goal is a 100% recycling rate for all materials, which isn’t an impossible dream. After all, American Chemistry Council (ACC) says more than 80% of Americans have easy access to plastics recycling opportunities, whether you participate in a municipal curbside program or live near a drop-off site.
Recycling isn’t just a feel-good endeavor – there’s a whole market for it.
U.S. demand for post-consumer recycled plastic is forecast to rise 6.5% per year to 3.5 billion lb in 2016, according to the Freedonia Group. Packaging will continue to be the leading market for recycled plastic in 2016. Bottles will remain the leading source of plastic for recycling, accounting for over half of all plastic collected in 2016. PET and HDPE were the two leading resins used in recycled plastic products in 2011, accounting for more than 70% of demand.
Brands such as Starbucks would love to be able to use recycled material in its packaging. Earlier this year when the Seattle-based coffee giant unveiled its $1 reusable plastic cup, Starbucks Jim Hanna, director of environmental impact for Starbucks, told me that the launch was one way to reduce the company’s environmental footprint. The reusable cups are thermoformed with 100% virgin PP, which includes the lid.
He said the company wants to be able to eventually use post-consumer resin in this cup.
“We are focusing on what we can do to reduce our footprint and one of the key aspects around sustainability and packaging is using low impact and post-consumer material,” Hanna said. “Frankly, there’s not a lot of access to post-consumer plastics in food grade applications.”
He cited a past example when the company took the initiative to start using post-consumer fiber in its paper cups. It wasn’t an easy endeavor to achieve by any means; for instance, it took a significant amount of time to get FDA approval. Still, the company is willing to go the extra mile in order to offer a complete sustainable solution.
“Sustainability needs to involve all players in the system, and we really want to challenge the plastics industry as one of its missions to offer this,” he said. “We know significant infrastructure improvements need to happen to close the loop on recycling, but we would love nothing more than to use post-consumer resin in this product.”
Arrowhead, the West Coast brand of Nestlé Waters, recently unveiled its .5-liter ReBorn bottle, made with 50% recycled PET (rPET).
“In a way, it’s a two-fold launch,” Gigi Leporati, brand manager for Arrowhead, told me. “This is not only about reducing the amount of virgin plastic, but it’s also about driving awareness of recycling and encouraging recycling. We need consumers to cooperate with us and recycle more and more in order for us to be able to use the recycled material in our bottles.”
Nestlé Waters’ newest bottled water, Resource spring water, packaged with 50% recycled PET, is now available to retailers across the U.S. The bottle is offered in 700mL and 1L single-serve bottles and six-packs.
The company conducted a trial launch of this product in 2012 in Southern California. Joe Wiggetman, general manager for Resource, said the bottles performed well to-date and delivered the margins that retailers were looking for in the bottled water category. The decision to use rPET material was made over two years ago by the company.
“The reusing of plastic, where we give them another life, is an important goal of ours,” Wiggetman said. “Recycled plastic is very symbolic of an environmental and sustainable message.”
The eventual goal is to use 100% rPET in the bottle.
“But that will certainly be based on improvements in the recycling rate as well as obtaining true quality PET,” he said. “We will take any steps further that are needed to get to that goal of 100% sometime in the future.”
Earth Day challenge & beyond
Since 1990, the plastics industry, as individual companies and through organizations such as ACC’s plastics division, has invested more than $2 billion to support increased recycling and educate communities in the U.S., according to the ACC.
But we can all do more.
Here’s the thing to keep in mind. Until recycling rates go up, consumers will continue to blame the industry for waste issues. That’s a fact.
So on this upcoming Earth Day, I ask material suppliers, device designers, plastic processors, wherever you are on the supply chain – take a closer look at your recycling initiatives. If you’re tired of bans and restrictions in packaging, do your part in adopting recycling as a cultural value.
If you don’t know where to start, visit the Earth911 Recycling Directory, which provides a variety of resources and information about recycling.
Editor’s Note: Thanks Heather for promoting plastics recycling, but don’t forget recycled HDPE. Kellogg’s Kashi brand cereal will be using our EcoPrime food grade recycled HDPE in their packaging. Kellogg’s recognizes the need to use recycled content in their packaging, not just using materials that are recyclable.