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

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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.

2013 Paper Recycling Conference: Diversified End Markets Are Key in Plastics Recycling

The 2013 Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show kicked off Oct. 16 with a number of workshops that looked beyond the conference’s namesake material, including “Plastics Recycling: What You Need to Know to Succeed.” In this session speakers Tamsin Ettefagh, vice president of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) recycler Envision Plastics, Reidsville, N.C., and Patty Moore, president and CEO of Moore Recycling Associates, Sonoma, Calif., addressed the importance of diversified end markets as well as other factors to ensure success in the field of plastics recycling. Moore and Ettefagh also looked at a number of issues related to plastics recycling, including bale specifications, China’s Operation Green Fence and optimal collection methods, offering their insights into these areas.

Regarding China’s Operation Green Fence, which was initially implemented in February of this year, Moore said Chinese government officials initially said the program, which was designed to enforce a number of the country’s existing laws regarding the importation of scrap material, was to conclude at the end of November. However, after a recent visit to China during which Moore spoke with government officials and recycling industry representatives, she concluded that Operation Green Fence would remain in place indefinitely, adding that things would not be going back to the way they were before this measure was implemented.

“For the first time, buyers are able to impose bale specs on suppliers,” Moore said of the current situation regarding recovered plastics being shipped to China. She added that this also meant suppliers were able to get a premium price for quality material they shipped to Chinese consumers.

Markets for low-grade materials have not completely disappeared as a result of Operation Green Fence, Moore added, noting that outlets are still available, though pricing for such material has declined substantially.

Ettefagh said she saw an opportunity for traditional paper stock packers to expand into plastics recycling by establishing PRFs (paper and plastics recovery facilities). These operations would differ from MRFs (material recovery facilities) in that they would narrow their focus to paper and plastics packaging. She advised operators to limit their focus to plastics that offered critical mass, such as film and rigid containers, particularly the stream of polyolefin plastics generated by grocery stores.

Ettefagh stressed the need for plastics recyclers to have diversified end markets, noting that many markets, such as HDPE pipes used in construction, may be seasonal in nature.

Moore said recyclers needed to know exactly what they were buying when purchasing material for processing, adding that some additives make plastics nearly impossible to recycle.

She also offered her thoughts on the best collection methods for various types of plastics, suggesting that retail drop-off was the best method to collect plastic film, curbside recycling was best for rigid containers and perhaps EPS (expanded polystyrene), special collections were best for bulky rigids and commercial collection was best for commercially generated rigids, foam and film.

The Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show is taking place Oct. 16-18 at the Marriott Downtown Chicago Magnificent Mile. The 2014 event also will be held in Chicago Oct. 8-10. More information is available at www.PaperRecyclingConference.com

Weighing the next 40 years of recycling

Editor’s Note: This story appears in Waste & Recycling News’ commemorative issue, “40 Years of Curbside Recycling.”

Recycling at high-rise apartments offers a great opportunity to collect a large amount of materials from one location, but containers that tenants empty their household bins into can fill fast, especially on weekends.

Instead of toting the potential commodities back to their unit, some residents trash them.

Overcoming the hurdles to convenient recycling at multiple-family housing needs to be addressed, said Steven Thompson, executive director of Curbside Value Partnership, a non-profit group that works with cities and states to increase participation.

“You have to have architects designing multiple chutes on the 30th floor instead of just one for trash,” Thompson said. “That’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of time.”

He hopes it is one of the changes that come about in the next 40 years for curbside recycling.

“There are conundrums the industry doesn’t have its head around, like rural areas,” Thompson said. “It’s very hard to cost-effectively recycle when you have three miles between mailboxes.”

The 40th anniversary of curbside recycling begs the question: What will it be like in the next four decades? What quandaries will be cleared up? What new ones will pop up?

Waste & Recycling News asked some of the leaders in the industry to look into their crystal balls and offer a glimpse of what may be in 2053.

The predictions, aspirations and cautions ranged from boosting the recycling rate beyond 34% to finding profitable solutions to problems and to this warning: Without more attention to quality control during processing, the pendulum could take an ugly swing backward to manufacturers using virgin material.

Steve Miller, CEO of Bulk Handling Systems, sees several trends moving forward, such as more mixing of materials, better technology to extract materials, and higher quality of extracted materials for reprocessing today’s common recyclables.

There will be less left to waste if advances in refuse-derived fuel take some big steps forward in the next four decades, he added. All eyes and many minds are on the organic fraction of the waste stream and anaerobic digestion.

Miller expects the industry to next go after materials like used paper plates, tissues and towels, and plastic films.

“[They’re] not in sufficient quantity to have a commodity value to them but when thought of as an energy source they have a high-caloric value to them and could be utilized that way,” Miller said. “When you go forward I think there will be much more work in that area.”

Contaminated paper products, which can’t be recovered as a fiber source, and other components of the light and high-energy fraction could become a refuse-derived fuel that helps utilities power plants now using coal or natural gas.

Thompson also sees more waste-to-energy facilities on the horizon and his fingers are crossed the option doesn’t deter recycling.

“Waste-to-energy needs to be thought through so it doesn’t become a reason not to recycle,” he said. “People might say, ‘Oh we don’t need to do that. We’ll just burn it.’ There are ways they can co-exist nicely and have a high functionality but it needs to be carefully designed and implemented.”

For now, the industry is stumped as to how to remove the so-called “frozen fuel” of plastic film — grocery bags, dry cleaners bags, and the clear packaging for men’s dress shirts — that gets intertwined with recyclables.

“That material is substantially more than what people think,” said Nathiel Egosi, owner and founder of RRT Design & Construction. “It’s problematic to process because it’s difficult to remove in an automatic fashion.”

Egosi expects those pesky flexible plastic packages to be sorted in some systematic way in upcoming years.

“It’s not a desirable material in bales of plastic and other types of commodities,” he said. “The whole industry is working to develop a technique to get that plastic film out.”

MRFs will evolve to process more materials and do so more economically in the next 40 years, said Bill Moore, president of the consulting firm Moore & Associates. In the 1990s, a big MRF cost $1 million to build and handled 100 tons of material a day; today, $20 million MRFs process 1,000 tons daily, he said.

“I suspect we’ll grow that with more regional facilities,” Moore said. “MRFs will continue to look like sophisticated manufacturing operations. They bring in raw materials and process it. That’s the mindset. They are manufacturers creating value out of product.”

Mick Barry, a board member of the National Recycling Coalition, is rooting for dual-stream recycling to win out over single-stream. He’s concerned about commingled recyclables causing impurity problems with the finished product and turning off buyers.

Barry, who also is a materials broker, points to China’s “Green Fence.” The crackdown on imported waste is more than a short-term awareness campaign about sub-standard scrap, Barry said. He sees it as a long-term, quality-control initiative that affects one of America’s top exports.

There is no longer a ready market in China for impure bales of plastic, paper and other recyclables from the U.S. and Europe.

“We’ve got to clean up our act,” Barry said. “The [United Kingdom] sent too much junk in with plastic and they finally cut the U.K. off. They sent a message to the world: Hey, enough is enough. Don’t dump on us and blame us for being the garbage guys of the world.”

It’s critical that all U.S. recyclers remember their bottom line is creating a raw material from a used material and not simply recovering things from the waste stream, Barry said. His message: Have some pride of ownership.

“If we don’t go back to that, we will lose our position as the primary source of materials for manufacturing product back to the virgin base,” Barry said.

Kate Krebs, a former director of the NRC, envisions a future with no waste at all.

“Waste to me is a design flaw,” she said. “If you design a product correctly, you factor in not only the form and function but end of life. That thinking is permeating through our global manufacturing side. That helps us shift. If we really got the consumer marketing going and we continue to spread end-of-life strategies to the makers of product, looking ahead 40 years we should have a much more efficient, simple system.”

EndInMind Design Launches Unique Way to Encourage Recycling

RecyclerSackOur friend Jay Edwards and his partner Sheila Arora have come up with a cool new way to encourage recycling. They have launched the new EndInMind Design website, endinminddesign.com, and their first new product, RecyclerSack(TM). RecyclerSack is geared toward collecting recyclables, away from home, in places where participation in recycling is low, such as hotels. They have blended the functionality of a plastic bag for segregating recyclables from trash, with fine art, so your recyclables have a beautiful and fashionable place to be stored while waiting for collection.

This is their first product of what is likely to be many, fine art inspired, sustainable solutions. We wish them best of luck and look forward to seeing RecyclerSacks on our next road trip.

Think Green Thursday: Know Your Plastic Facts!

Courtesy of CBS Radio, Houston, Texas

CICELY MITCHELL, CBS Houston
July 18, 2013 12:00 AM

You are always told to recycle your plastic but do you know why it truly benefits our earth to do so?

Check out some of these facts about plastic and the importance of recycling plastic below inside of this installment of “Think Green Thursday”!

1. Did you know that Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour with most of them being thrown away!?

2. Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning that same plastic in an incinerator.

3. If you choose to throw your plastic bag into the ocean consider this: plastic bags that are thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures a year. There is a such thing as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” that is twice the size of Texas and floats in our world’s water somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii.

4. If you choose to recycle your plastic, then you are saving three to give times the energy generated by waste-to-energy plants.

5. According to experts, recycling one ton of plastic saves the equivalent of 1,000–2,000 gallons of gasoline!

6. As plastic water bottles are shielded from sunlight in landfills, they will stay there and not decompose for thousands of years!

So think about these facts the next time you are faced with the decision to recycle your plastic or not! Do you recycle your plastic?

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