Re|focus event looks to drive demand for recycled materials

June 10, 2015,  Washington, D.C.

by William R. Carteaux & Kim Holmes

SPI plans new event for April 2016 in Orlando

As professionals in plastics manufacturing, it is incumbent upon us to lead the industry in developing strategies that drive innovation, particularly when faced with an issue like recycling that affects the entire supply chain. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency figures suggest that only 9 percent of plastic was recycled from the municipal solid waste stream in 2012 (latest figures available). SPI thinks it’s time to create strategies that will help drive demand for recycled materials, thus we’ve launched the Re|focus Recycling Summit & Expo.

The potential to grow the use of recycled plastics in manufacturing is enormous. The U.S. plastics industry is the 3rd largest manufacturing industry in the U.S., producing nearly $400 billion in products. Frankly, it is impossible to look at those numbers and fail to see the potential to drive demand and create new opportunities for the recycling industry. Reducing supply chain obstacles and eliminating manufacturing barriers so we can make that happen in a meaningful way is the goal of Re|focus, slated for April 2016 in Orlando, Fla.

We’ve discussed this topic with many of you, and we think we agree that Re|focus fulfills an unmet niche in the recycling conference market. SPI plans to join brand owners and processors, as well as others who have never engaged in the recycling conversation for discussions that emphasize solutions. The event will challenge attendees to “refocus” on product design and manufacturing with an eye toward recycled content, design for recycling and driving sustainability in manufacturing. Creating a stronger market pull for recycled content will directly benefit recyclers and municipal collection efforts.

Industry leaders who look closely at what we have planned will see that SPI has conceived a fresh, new approach to addressing sustainability issues. With the recycling rate having been essentially stagnant for the past 10 years, doing more of the same will only produce the same results. It’s time for a new approach, new conversations and new tools for the industry. It’s time for Re|focus. We will no longer wait for the plastics industry to join the recycling industry’s conversation; instead we will take the conversation to them.  It is also important to note that all funds generated from the Re|focus Summit & Expo will be reinvested into the industry’s recovery and sustainability efforts.

If you have questions about this event, contact us. Re|focus is an exciting, innovative approach to one our industry’s most critical issues. To learn more, please visit http://www.refocussummit.org.

William R. Carteaux

SPI President and CEO

Kim Holmes

SPI Senior Director of Recycling and Diversions

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Nampak issues recycled HDPE rallying cry in the UK

Friday, April 17 2015 Paul Hill – Plastics in Packaging

Infini-iPad-version1

Packaging manufacturer Nampak has called for the dairy industry to maintain its support towards the recycled plastics markets amid a period of uncertainty. The African company has insisted that its support for recycled material and the ensuing environmental benefits have not wavered.

Recycled high density polyethylene (rHDPE) is a widely-used material in the production of milk bottles. However, falling oil prices have led to reports of financial issues at the UK’s largest rHDPE supplier Closed Loop Recycling, with stories circulating that certain dairy companies have switched back to virgin HDPE.

“At Nampak we feel very passionately about upholding the recycled plastics industry in the UK, and we want others to join us in supporting this initiative,” said Eric Collins, managing director of Nampak Plastics. “We have worked hard to make the industry greener and more sustainable through continuously pushing levels of rHDPE in our bottles, and levels are currently at an all time high.

“This issue has been at the very heart of the Nampak business right from the very beginning when we worked with recycling suppliers to introduce rHDPE into milk bottles as a world-first. We will continue to support the industry despite the uncertain economic future and pledge to maintain levels of rHDPE in our bottles.”

Nampak claimed the Green Product of the Year award at the British Engineering Excellence Awards in 2013.

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

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.

Green packaging shifts up the priority list for brand owners and consumers

By Chris BARKER , 29-Nov-2013

100% recycled packaging logo

Increasing environmental awareness means that sustainable packaging is becoming a higher priority for both consumers and brand owners, as evidenced by the number of cosmetics firms opting for a greener option.

Elizabeth Arden this week chose the Airopack dispensing system, and this adds to the long list of brands opting for environmentally friendly packaging in order to appeal to customers.

The Elizabeth Arden Ceramide products are being produced through the Airopack Full Service Operation, which will see the dispensers produced, filled, sleeved and packed to meet the brand’s specifications.

Increasing awareness

“Brand owners become more aware of their responsibility in today’s society. As environmental awareness shifts higher up the priority list at both consumers and brand owners, sustainable products become increasingly important to express a brand message,” Airopack marketing manager Caren Kuijs tells to CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com

“Over the last 10 years we have identified an enormous growth in cosmetic formulations holding natural ingredients and with this Airopack is able to enhance the total sustaining message on shelf for the consumer.”

This technology has also been adopted by other major companies in the recent past; including Procter & Gamble and Danish brand Nordictan.

As technology advances, lightweight packaging and aerosols with a low carbon footprint and CO2 impact are becoming more practical and are being adopted by larger numbers of companies.

Industry examples

Estee Lauder subsidiary Aveda recently brought a new dimension to packaging by introducing 100% recycled packaging for eye colouring in their ‘Essence of Nature Single Eye Color Refil’ line, launched earlier this year.

The company also adopted the tactic of selling refills of its most popular colors, to allow consumers to re-use the same packaging multiple times.

Copyright – Unless otherwise stated all contents of this web site are © 2013 – William Reed Business Media SAS – All Rights Reserved

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

The UK Continues to Outpace the US in Use of Recycled Plastics in Milk Jugs

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