Survey Shows Strong Public Support for Recycled Content in Plastic Bottles and Legislation to Mandate Recycled Content

Published in Packaging Europe News  |  March 31, 2015

The Resource Association, the trade association for the reprocessing and recycling industries and their supply chain, has released the results of a survey of public opinion conducted by respected pollsters YouGov, showing clear public support for the use of recycled content in plastic bottles and legislation to require manufacturers to use recycled content.

In an online survey of 2,006 people across Great Britain, 68% of adults supported an increase in the price of a two pint plastic milk bottle by 0.1p in order to ensure that bottles were made from at least 30% recycled material and also recycled after use (38% strongly support, 30% tend to support). Only 10% of adults were opposed.

In the same survey, 71% of adults would support the Government introducing legislation to require manufacturers/producers using a minimum amount of recycled content in products with plastic packaging (37% strongly support, 34% tend to support). Only 6% of adults were opposed.

Ray Georgeson, Chief Executive of the Resource Association said:  “The great British public ‘gets’ recycling, and is sending a clear signal to industry and retailers alike – they support the UK plastics recycling industry and would support the fractional additional cost of 0.1p on a two pint plastic milk bottle that it will take to sustain reprocessing of recycled plastic milk bottles in the UK. Interestingly, the public also support the idea of legislating to ensure that recycled content is used in plastic packaging.”

“The decision-makers in the supply chain must take note, wake up and act to support UK reprocessing through the storm of low oil prices and the turbulence this is causing to the sustainability of the UK plastic milk bottle processing infrastructure.”

“The public agrees with many in the industry that 0.1p a bottle is clearly a small price to pay for a sustainable recycling sector. It requires nothing more than those who made this important voluntary commitment – a commitment upon which our reprocessing infrastructure has been built – to fulfil their pledges under the Dairy Roadmap and Courtauld Commitment. They could do it this working day, and stem the growing uncertainty.”

For more information, visit www.resourceassociation.com

UK Plastics Recycler Opens New Processing Line

Originally posted in Recycling Today on April 29, 2014

International Recycling News, Plastics
Closed Loop Recycling expects to increase the capacity at its facility to 55,000 metric tons per year.

RTGE Staff

CLOSED-LOOPCABLelowres

Vice Cable (left) and Chris Dow examine the new plastics recycling line at Closed Loop’s Dagenham facility

United Kingdom-based plastics recycling firm Closed Loop Recycling has officially opened a new plastic milk jug processing line at its Dagenham, England, facility. The company, which claims it is the first in the world to recycle both PET and HDPE bottles into food-grade material for food and drink packaging, has invested £12 million that will increase capacity at the plant to 55,000 metric tons per year. Closed Loop Recycling says the additional line will help create “the most advanced plastics purification facility in the U.K.”

Taking part in the commissioning of the plant was the U.K.’s Business Secretary Vice Cable. “This new recycling line will create jobs and growth in a growing green industry,” Cable commented at the ceremony. “The significant investment in the Dagenham plant will also mean less of our plastic bottles being sent to landfill or exported for recycling. It is precisely the sort of project which can support the U.K.’s transition to a green economy.”

Chris Dow, Closed Loop Recycling’s CEO, says, “Recycled milk and water bottles are a massive win for the circular economy. We discussed with the Secretary of State and his team how we can provide economic drivers to reprocess these valuable resources in the U.K., rather than being exported abroad for recycling. We can then work to influence recycling behavior across the supply chain, from consumers to brands, in order to increase collection rates.”

Dow also said the company has established a joint green initiative with TEG, a food recycler located at the East London Sustainable Industries Park. “We will be using waste heat from the TEG facility to heat our wash lines for our recycled plastic, making significant carbon and financial savings.”

Closed Loop Recycling’s Dagenham plant has been operating since December 2008.

http://www.recyclingtoday.com/Article.aspx?article_id=164594

Aptar Unveils New Recycling Friendly Valve and Liner Systems

Orlando, FL

Last week at the Association of Post-consumer Plastics Recyclers (APR) Technical Committee meeting, we had a major breakthrough for recycling.  For years the PET bottle recycling stream, and often the HDPE stream, has been contaminated by silicone used in valves and liners of dispensing closure systems.

Recently Aptar, a major global closure manufacturer, learned of this issue.  Since the silicone contamination is often caused by the closure valves and liners in items such as ketchup and mustard containers and swivel caps used in some sports drinks; Aptar searched for alternative materials that would not threaten the recycling stream but work equally as well in all applications.   They are promoting a polyolefin based thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) replacement for silicone which will solve the problem.

We, at Envision, have experienced silicone contamination at least six times in our recycled resin production resulting in a $20,000 plus loss in revenue per event.  We are extremely grateful for a solution.  Even though silicone is primarily used in PET bottle applications as an ingredient in closures, many HDPE bales are speckled with PET bottles that have the silicone closures with them.  So, if we miss sorting out the PET bottles prior to our grinding and washing; (although the PET we will sink out), the closure will float along with the silicon valve and liners.

Silicone is a thermoset resin.  It will soften in our extrusion process, go through the screen pack and then reform into the original ground shape.  Often at the HDPE bottle blow molder this ground silicone will go through their extruder, soften in the heat, go through their screen pack, resolidify, and create a hole where the piece of silicone contaminates the wall of the bottle, creating a hole.  Just one ground valve or liner can cause 100’s of blow outs and create major production issues for our customers, causing them to shut down their system, purge out the recycled resin, and reject the silicone contaminated resin.  We will never be able to remove the pieces of silicone once they are our HDPE recycled pellets, making them worthless to our customers.

Having a major closure manufacturer, such as Aptar, come up with an alternative that is no longer a contaminant, but can act as a compatabilizer, (such as TPE is known to be), is music to our ears.  The PET recyclers must be even happier because they often see the silicone contamination in the floatable polyolefin’s that they try to sell.  Let’s hope the Consumer Product Companies; which rely primarily on cost savings when evaluating component material changes, will yet embrace this new technology as a method to improve sustainability.  Kudos to Aptar for creating this fix and bringing it to APR Technical Committee’s attention.

Wal-Mart Wants to Boost Recycled Packaging Content by 3 Billion Pounds

Image

Rob Kaplan – Walmart’s Director of Product Sustainability

From:  Plastics News – March 12, 2014  http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20140312/NEWS/140319946/wal-mart-wants-to-boost-recycled-packaging-content-by-3-billion#

ORLANDO, FLA. – America’s largest retailer wants to drive increased use of post-consumer recycled plastic in packaging.

And Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is using a pretty aggressive goal to help move the needle.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant wants to increase post-consumer recycled content in plastic packaging by 3 billion pounds by 2020.

That’s a three followed by a whole lot of zeros.

Putting the 3,000,000,000-pound goal in play, said Wal-Mart Director of Product Sustainability Rob Kaplan, is certainly meant to grab people’s attention and help steer them toward the use of post-consumer plastic content in packaging.

Wal-Mart is studying its current post-consumer recycled content in packaging to determine what it now uses, but that lack of a number is not stopping the firm from establishing a goal, which might have to be tweaked up or down once more firm data about the current benchmark is established.

“This is a way to improve the sustainability of all of the products,” Kaplan said at the Plastics Recycling Conference in Orlando. “So it’s sort of a rising tide lifts all boats-type approach. And those are things that really drive our attention.”

The cost and volatility of commodity packaging materials also is a driver for the company to seek more recycled content, he said.

“So our goal is to increase [recycled content]. And right now we’re estimating what we think the impact would be if we have a concerted effort to increase. We’re slowly trying to refine those numbers. We think the 3 billion pounds is an aggressive way to talk about it,” Kaplan said.

The large goal also serves, he said, “to signal to the industry that we’re serious about it and focused on it.

“As we go through benchmarking process, we may have to change those estimates because of information we get. They may go bigger or may go smaller,” Kaplan said.

While Wal-Mart sells plenty of products sold in plastic packaging, the retailer does not actually make any of those products or the packaging they use.

But the retailer can create demand for post-consumer recycled content simply by stating its preference and creating demand at the retail level. The company can use its buying power, across different lines of products, to seek recycled-content packaging from a variety of manufacturers of similar products.

“I would say the big value we bring to it is collective action,” Kaplan said, from different suppliers.

While Wal-Mart is keen on increasing post-consumer plastic content in packaging, the company is not viewing the idea as a charity case. “If it doesn’t pay, it’s not sustainable,” Kaplan said.

“Sustainability, for us, is not a philanthropic endeavor. It is about driving our business and creating value in our supply chain for our suppliers, our partners and our customers,” he said.

For a company the size of Wal-Mart, going large into post-consumer recycled plastic packaging is just a part of everyday life.

“For us, scale is really, really a key element for everything we do from the business side and the sustainability side,” Kaplan said.

Wal-Mart’s size also means the company needs to stay away from any potential unintended negative consequences that a push for higher post-consumer recycled content might bring. Those problems could include stripping supply, growing too fast, and pitting suppliers against one another, the product sustainability director said. “Those things we are really cautious about.”

Using more recycled content plastic packaging also will help the company reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gases, Kaplan said.

Recycling Of HDPE Bottles Tops 1 Billion Pounds In 2012

 

Baled plastic bottles waiting to be recycled

Baled plastic bottles waiting to be recycled

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2013 — Rate Climbs to Nearly 32 Percent

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Plastic bottle recycling by consumers increased 161 million pounds in 2012, edging up 6.2 percent, to reach nearly 2.8 billion pounds for the year, according to figures released jointly today by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The recycling rate for all plastic bottles rose 1.6 percent to 30.5 percent for the year.

The 23rd annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report marks the twenty-third consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles returned for recycling. The number of pounds of used bottles collected in the United States has grown each year since the industry survey began in 1990.

During 2012, the collection of high-density polyethylene (HDPE, #2) bottles – a category that includes milk jugs and bottles for household cleaners and detergents – rose 45.3 million pounds to top 1 billion pounds for the first time, helping to boost the recycling rate for HDPE bottles from 29.9 to 31.6 percent.

“We are very encouraged by the steady growth in plastic bottle recycling,” said Steve Alexander, executive director of APR.  “Used plastics are valuable materials, and recyclers rely on all of us to make sure these resources make it into a recycling bin.”

“Thanks to increased consumer access to recycling programs and growth in single-stream collection – whereby consumers place all recycled materials into a single bin – plastics recycling is one of the easiest things we can do to benefit the planet,” added Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council.

“In the United States, we have the capacity to recycle more used plastics than we are currently collecting, and innovative manufacturers are using these materials in new and exciting ways.  Each of us can help by doing our part to get more used plastics into a recycling bin,” Russell said.

Alexander and Russell offered three simple tips to help consumers recycle more of their plastic bottles:

  • Bring it back. If you empty a plastic bottle on-the-go, bring it back to a bin.
  • Recycle all plastic bottles.  Today, recyclers collect all types of plastic bottles, regardless of the number, or resin identification code, printed on the bottom.
  • Don’t forget about caps! Recyclers want both caps and bottles, so please remember to twist caps back on bottles after use.

 

This year’s survey of plastic bottle recycling also found that the collection of polypropylene (PP, #5) bottles rose to nearly 47 million pounds, an annual increase of 7.2 percent, with 73 percent of that material processed domestically as PP, rather than mixed with other resins.  Domestic processing of postconsumer PP bottles increased 14 percent to reach 43.5 million pounds.  Although PP caps and non-bottle containers are widely collected for recycling in the United States, these data are released in a separate report on recycling non-bottle rigid plastics, which will be released in the coming weeks.

Together, polyethylene terephthalate (PET, #1) and HDPE bottles continue to make up over 96 percent of the U.S. market for plastic bottles with polypropylene bottles comprising half of the remaining 4 percent.

Exports of HDPE bottles rose 30 million pounds to 201 million pounds in 2012, while imports of postconsumer HDPE decreased by 35 percent to 33.1 million pounds, which, combined with increased collection and exports, resulted in slightly lower purchases for U.S. reclamation plants.

The full 2012 report National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report is available on the “Reports and Publications” section of ACC’s website and on APR’s (www.plasticsrecycling.org) website.

Data on PET recycling referenced in the report were separately funded and published by APR and the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR).  A separate report, entitled 2012 Report on Post-Consumer PET Container Recycling Activity, is available on APR’s website.

The survey of reclaimers in the study was conducted by Moore Recycling Associates, Inc.

Resources for municipal recyclers are available at www.allplasticbottles.org and www.recycleyourplastics.org.

The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) is the national trade association representing companies that acquire, reprocess and sell the output of more than 90 percent of the post-consumer plastic processing capacity in North America. Founded in 1992, its membership includes independent recycling companies of all sizes, processing numerous resins.  APR strongly advocates the recycling of all post-consumer plastic packaging.

http://www.plasticsrecycling.org.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people’s lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $770 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation’s economy. It is one of the nation’s largest exporters, accounting for twelve percent of all U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Cereal launches in a reusable zippered pouch

Kellogg uses a pouch instead of a traditional bag-in-box format.

By Liz Cuneo, Editor-in-Chief – Food & Beverage Packaging Magazine
July 9, 2013
For the first time, Kellogg is using post-consumer resin in a retail pouch; Kellogg is implementing a reusable pouch for its Kashi cereal from Envision Plastics. The EcoPrime™ pouch is the only FDA-approved, food-grade, recycled high-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE) resin on the market in North America. The pouch is reusable, uses less material than the traditional bag-in-box and is a first-of-its-kind packaging that contains at least 15% recycled material including the first food-safe, post consumer HDPE plastic available. An added consumer perk is that after the cereal is gone, the pouch can be used as a freezer bag for leftovers or to store dry goods because the pouch has a zipper.

Kellogg’s reusable Kashi cereal pouch contains 15% EcoPrime food grade recycled HDPE Resin.

Kellogg’s reusable Kashi cereal pouch contains 15% EcoPrime food grade recycled HDPE Resin.

The main benefit for Kellogg in using EcoPrime™ is the reduction in the use of virgin HDPE. In addition, it ultimately reduces the amount of energy required to obtain virgin petroleum material from the earth. The pouch uses material that was reclaimed from the waste stream, while also providing the barrier needed to protect the food. Kellogg is currently using EcoPrime™ on a variety of Kashi cereals and is evaluating opportunities to expand their use of post-consumer HDPE. Food and Beverage Packaging asked Kellogg for more information about the new pouch and the motivation behind the decision.
Food and Beverage Packaging:  Has Kellogg/Kashi used post-consumer recycled material in the production of pouches before?
Kellogg: No, the new bag for GOLEAN Crisp!™ Cinnamon Crumble and Toasted Berry Crumble cereals is the first of its kind for Kashi as it’s made with post-consumer HDPE—a plastic made with materials reclaimed from the waste stream—rather than traditional HDPE.
FBP: Why did Kellogg/Kashi want to use post-consumer recycled plastic in their pouches?
Kellogg: More than one third of shoppers claim they want environmental packaging, and Kashi has cared about making foods with the health of people and planet in mind for more than 25 years. This new cereal bag offers an environmental benefit and allows us to deliver our foods safely to the consumer. Kashi retailers and consumers recognize and appreciate that commitment.
FBP: How did you start working with Envision Plastics?
Kellogg: Kashi is always seeking ways to improve the health of people and the planet. Through our supplier, we identified the opportunity to use post-consumer HDPE that’s safe for use in a flexible food bag.
FBP: Which Kellogg’s brands will be using the pouches?
Kellogg: We used post-consumer HDPE for a limited run of Kashi® GOLEAN Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble and Toasted Berry Crumble cereals in conjunction with Earth Day.
FBP: Why only a limited run?
Kellogg: We’re evaluating opportunities to use the new bags for other Kashi foods, as well as for our other brands, based on the feedback of our customers and retailers.

Republished from Food & Beverage Packaging Magazine, July 2013
Read the original article here:  http://tinyurl.com/keoru6n

EcoPrime™ Food Grade Recycled HDPE Arrives in Southern California

A crane lowers the EcoPrime vessel through the roof of Envision's Chino California plant

A crane lowers the EcoPrime vessel through the roof of Envision’s Chino California plant

Chino, California – Thursday, June 27, 2013

The final stages of equipment installation are underway at Envision Plastics’ Chino, California operation as a large crane lowered the EcoPrime™ vessel through the roof of the building and into its framework.  The EcoPrime™ vessel is the final component required to allow Envision to produce EcoPrime™, FDA approved food grade recycled HDPE resin on the West coast.

EcoPrime™ is approved for direct food contact in many food and beverage applications under demanding conditions of use.  EcoPrime™ is currently used in packaging for liquid yogurt drinks, cereals, deli foods, nutritional products, food take out containers, personal care products, toys and other products.  It can be used in blow molding, thermoforming, compression molding, film extrusion and some injection molding applications.

Debugging of the equipment and pre-production trials will take place in July.  Production of EcoPrime™ should commence in August.  Stay tuned for more developments.