16 July 2015 //
What is our shared responsibility for plastics recycling and packaging reduction? Watch this video to gain perspective on why plastics recycling is important and the cost, handling and environmental benefits low-density polyethylene film offers.
As an industry we all should be doing more to further the cause of recycling and the public’s knowledge of what actually does go on as far as recycling of plastics.
When we first came here in 1985 we had a machine that bundled 12 plastic bottles together and in Europe that 12-pack went straight on a pallet and they were stacked on pallets, there wasn’t any corrugated at all. They were just, you know, 2 or 3 cents of film holding that package together and they went straight on the pallet. In this country we still haven’t gotten away from there. We’re still over-packaging. I know there’s different reasons for it now. The three-pack that goes directly to the store from the distribution center so there might be four of those in a case and they get broken up in the DC, but that’s adding cost and material that has to be recycled. I think we could do away with some secondary packaging or reduce it if we put a little bit more into the primary package.
Our equipment uses low-density polyethylene. It’s 100 percent recyclable. It’s made from natural gas. We as a company recycle all the test material that we use. We bail it. We ship it back to a local recycler. Instead of paying for it to go into a landfill they pay us to use it, so it’s a great thing.
The other day we were wrapping up product that came out of corrugated boxes and went into, well, we were using low-density polyethylene to wrap them, to contain them. And there were a number of advantages. One, we had to ship four truckloads of product to four different distribution centers for testing. They actually had to give us 5 truckloads of product because we got 25 percent more product in each truck by using polyethylene rather than corrugated boxes.
The people at the distribution centers liked it better because they could grab hold of the package a lot easier. Corrugated tends to be quite difficult to handle because you have either have to get under it or you have to clamp it really tightly and that’s really difficult for manual labor to do.
By volume the plastic is an awful lot less than a corrugated box. It’s very important to us that our business continues. It’s not going to continue if we don’t check that the material that our machines use is truly environmentally friendly, is truly going to be there for, you know, the next 50 or 100 years, is truly going to do the job that we know it does now.