Posts Tagged ‘plastic’

Look for Postconsumer

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

earth friendly post consumerPackaging is one of the biggest contributors to waste- up to one third of the nonindustrial waste in developed countries, according to the United States EPA. That is why packaging is a huge concern for consumers in retail. For the people that are interested in environmentally-friendly options here’s the issue: packaging is practically impossible to avoid altogether, so the goal of these consumers will always be to purchase products with packaging that does the least amount of damage. Not only is this good for our environment, but it is an added incentive for companies to strive for sustainable business practices. What we at Sunrise like to offer, and what the EPA recommends is to buy packaged products wrapped in material with a high percentage of recycled content. By doing this, consumers motivate companies to continue the cycle. SO- instead of simply grabbing for the product that makes general Eco-claims and call themselves green, search the labels for “recycled content” or “postconsumer content” and your sustainable efforts are a guarantee.

Blog Source: National Geographic

APR Opposes Degradable Additives

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

recyclable plasticsThe trade association of companies that recycle plastic, also known as The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, opposes the use of degradable additives in currently recyclable bottles, containers, and films. There are serious implications of using said additives on the recyclability of packaging. While it may seem understandable to use an additive that will help the plastic degrade, the concern is the impact of this additive when used in successive applications. Most secondary uses of recycled plastics are intended for long term uses such as carpeting, plastic lumber, and pipe. Such items have an expected life span of 30 years or more, however if the plastics being recycled to make the product have this degradable additive, the polymer molecules will start to break down, vastly decreasing the product’s life span that consumers depend on. The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) is in support of legislation that would require containers with degradable additives to be labeled with the instruction “do not recycle”. The APR have looked for instances and proof of no harm done from the providers of this additive, and do not have the evidence to change their opposition.

Read more at Packworld

Fishing Plastic Waste from the Seas

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

In seas around theUK, fisherman are being sent to collect waste plastic for recycling. The innovative project is supported by Ecover and Closed Loop Recycling. The waste being salvaged will go towards trials of a new type of plastic that uses rHDPE, plantastic, and the waste marine plastic that is collected. Both organizations involved are supporting the Waste Free Oceans initiative by sending an important anti-litter message to consumers to help in the efforts of reducing floating marine debris and highlighting the importance of recycling and the value of used plastic as a resource. Along with supporting these efforts, Ecover has launched it ‘Message in our Bottle’ campaign, along with the use of an entirely new form of fully sustainable and recyclable plastic made from 100% sugarcane and plastic fished from the sea- the use of this plastic will start in 2014.

Source: Packaging Digest

Increasing Demand for Post-Consumer Recycled Plastics

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

According to a new study from the Freedonia Group, “Recycled Plastics”, theU.S.demand for post-consumer recycled plastic is forecast to rise 6.5% per year, meaning in 2016 it is projected to be up to 3.5 billion pounds. This demand is driven by a number of factors, one being a growing emphasis on sustainability among packaging and consumer product manufacturers. The advancements in processing and sorting technologies make it more attainable by allowing a wider variety of plastic to be recycled into high quality resins. Along with these factors supporting the movement are the federal, state, and local governments providing a significant boost to recycled plastic collection, processing, and demand. Other study results showed that PET and high-density polyethylene were the two leading resins used in recycled plastic products in 2011 which accounted for over 70% of demand, fueled by rising recycled content in beverage bottles and thermoformed containers. The most rapid growth is forecast for recycled low-density polyethylene. Also on the horizon is the increase in recycled polypropylene collection volumes and improved processing techniques which improve the quality of the resin.

A Great Way to Reuse!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

It seems as if printed/developed pictures are becoming a thing of the past. However, there will always be a demand for nicely printed and framed pictures in our homes and workplaces. A young couple from Virginia posted in their blog/website a unique way to have nicely framed pictures by using their used jewel CD cases. They express that ever since they started using the increasingly popular photography tool, Instagram, they have wanted to find a fun way to showcase their family photos. They realized after ordering the printouts of their photos, with a small trim these photos fit snugly into the front of a jewel case. Not only does this solution protect photos as they hang, but should a problem arise these easy-to-come-by picture frames cost less than a dollar to replace. Not only is this an economically friendly craft to spruce up your home, but it is a great way to re-use a product that would inevitably sit in a landfill otherwise.

 

Read more about Young House Love

Method Unveils Packaging Made From Upcycled Ocean Plastic

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Method has unveiled its latest innovation in sustainable packaging- a bottle that is made out of plastic collected from the North Pacific Gyre, also referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The bottle contains 100% post-consumer polyethylene, 25% of which is plastic collected from the Gyre. Method has partnered with Envision Plastics who is one of the largest recyclers in the US making it possible to make this Ocean PCR that is the same quality as virgin HDPE plastic.

The process starts will collecting and cleaning the plastic removing unwanted contaminants where it is then blended and remanufactured into high quality plastic. The beauty is that the upcycled ocean plastic can be recycled again and again. Method’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness that the real solution to plastic pollution lies in reusing and recycling the plastic that’s already on the planet. Method also aims to prove that green business can grow the US economy and create jobs.

Method made its first bottle entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic in 2006. Since then they’ve been known as a leading innovator in premium eco-friendly household and personal care products by developing plastic packaging that is completely free from virgin plastics. Method products can be found in over 35,000 retail locations.

AT&T Announces Plant-based Plastic Packaging

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Just two days ago, we wrote about Coca-Cola switching to plant-based packaging for their 500ml plastic bottles. The change was part of their green initiative to recover the equivalent of 100% of their packaging by 2020.

Now, AT&T has announced that they will be using plant-based packaging for their accessories. The new packaging will contain 30% plant-based materials sourced from sugarcane ethanol. This will make AT&T the first U.S.telecom to use sugarcane-based plastic for packaging. This integration will not completely eliminate plastic but will cut their fossil fuel use by a third compared to the old accessory packaging.

Already, AT&T has been making strides to reduce their environmental impact. In March of 2010, they slimmed down their accessory packaging which cut the use of 500+ tons of paper and plastic from packaging in 2010 and 2011. AT&T also uses soy and vegetable inks in packaging. The new plant-based accessory packaging will be available by October 2, 2011.

After Centuries, Bananas Finally Get Packaging

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

The history of the banana goes back centuries but the fruit has never had its own packaging. Maybe it’s because a banana doesn’t need packaging? The banana skin itself is strong and biodegradable but has now, after all these years, been deemed insufficient.

Del Monte has come up with their individual plastic wrappers as packaging for bananas. Many people think it’s completely unnecessary because bananas don’t need packaging and adding the plastic wrapper is wasteful. Del Monte however, says the plastic banana package features “Controlled ripening technology” which extends the shelf life of the fruit. Further, this technology could actually reduce the carbon footprint by cutting back the frequency of deliveries. Plus, it’s recyclable.

It’s a very interesting argument. Tell us what you think. Is this banana wrapper necessary or completely preposterous?

Stonyfield Yogurt Now Packaged in PLA

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Stonyfield Farm has announced its switch from petroleum-based plastic to plant-based (PLA) plastic in their packaging. The PLA plastic packaging is derived from corn and is the first plant-based container in the yogurt industry. After researching the life cycle of their packaging, Stonyfield Farm concluded that PLA is a better option than petroleum-based plastic in terms of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable packaging has been a huge push in the last few years with Wal-Mart leading the charge. By downsizing packaging, Wal-Mart hopes to cut down on consumer waste and reduce its global packaging 5% by 2013.

Stonyfield yogurt packs are not compostable or recyclable yet because there is only one facility in the US that recycles PLA. Stonyfield hopes to help change that by having other companies follow their transition into plant-based PLA plastics.

PLA packaging has also been in the news lately as Sun Chips changed their snack bags to PLA before changing them back due to consumer complaints of the bags being too noisy. You can read more on that here.

Stonyfield Farm has posted a video that explains more about their switch to PLA plastic packaging.

Algae-based Plastics Could Be Just Around the Corner

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Cereplast, Inc. designs and manufactures proprietary starch-based, renewable plastics created from breakthrough technology. They have recently announced that by the end of the year, they will be making plastic from algae. The algae-based resins carry the potential of replacing 50% or more of petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins. Developing alternative feedstock unrelated to fossil fuels and to the food chains is the next ‘frontier’ for bioplastics and Cereplast is aggressively staying on the forefront.

Cereplast CEO says the algae is close enough to the starches that the company already turns into plastics such as corn, wheat, and tapioca. The problem is not the science, it’s the demand. Getting enough of the green stuff to produce mass quantities is the challenge that the Cereplast team is facing. Difficulties with growing and processing algae cheaply has kept it just out of reach for making it a pliable bio-plastic alternative. The process includes finding and cultivating a precise strain of algae from thousands, harvesting and drying, and then extracting the oils from the plant in a cost-effective manner.

What could this mean? In the not-so-distant future, the algae plastics could be and integral part of a trillion dollar plastics industry. Bill Francis, President of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which documents the effects of stray plastic on the world’s oceans, is optimistic on algae’s future in the plastics marketplace. “I do believe there will be a time when we look back and say, ‘Oh yeah, that was the plastic age”.

Algae-based plastics could be a huge breakthrough for the green packaging industry depending on how the product performs when used in different plastic manufacturing processes. Up to this point, there has been a lot of limitations with bioplastics.