It takes innovation to find solutions that are truly earth-friendly
As we’ve said before, the words in the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” are in that order for a reason. Recycling is a noble goal, but the truth is that the process isn’t easy—and we’re learning more every day about issues in the recycling chain that make it hard to do properly. The wrong kind of plastic (or even greasy or dirty plastic) can contaminate a whole batch of recycling, and the rules for what can be recycled into food-grade packaging are getting more and more stringent, for good reason.
The whole process of recycling can be prohibitively expensive, as well. So, while redirecting as many items as is feasibly possible from the landfill into the recycling system is one sustainability objective, focusing on those first two words, Reduce and Reuse, can provide an additional positive impact for the planet.
At AMGRAPH, we are always looking for new and advanced ways of reducing the amount of material in our packaging without sacrificing quality—and we’ve come up with some pretty incredible solutions. For instance, by examining and testing the kinds of resins we use in our barriers, we’ve found a way to cut the amount of barrier resin by 25 percent. We’ve also reduced the amount of adhesive we use in our packages without losing any durability. Small changes like these add up to a lot less material going into the product and, thus, less material eventually being discarded.
There are some amazing examples of people reusing materials in groundbreaking new ways, too. For instance, in this article on ConstructionDive.com, Kraft Heinz talks about their effort to use their non-recyclable plastic packaging to make roofing material that they have actually installed on their facilities in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and Holland, Michigan. While the term they use in the article is “recycle,” a better term might be “repurpose” because the material they are using to make the roofing boards is not suitable for traditional recycling—and it would have been destined for the landfill without this innovation.
All the way in Kenya, an engineer and entrepreneur has developed a method of reusing plastic waste by turning it into sustainable, strong bricks. Nzambi Matee says her process creates bricks that can withstand twice the weight threshold of concrete. Her factory has already diverted more than 20 tons of plastic from landfills in Africa, and it’s created 120 jobs, too.
AMGRAPH is committed to staying on the forefront of technology and innovation when it comes to sustainability. We will always find ways to use less product up front without sacrificing any of the quality our customers expect and deserve. Are you ready to improve your green footprint? Contact us, and together we’ll find the best ways for you to do it.