New study helps answer the question ‘Is this package recyclable?’

Everyone wants recyclable packaging, but the designation of “recyclable” can be complicated, subjective and often confusing. A new study released by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) helps take the confusion out.

The 2015-16 Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling study, which was the collective effort of 13 packaging trade associations and recycling-focused non-profit groups, examined more than 2,000 American recycling programs and determined the acceptance of 49 types of packaging. For a package to deserve the “recyclable” designation, the SPC agrees with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s philosophy: To avoid greenwashing, there must be a strong likelihood the package will be recycled. This information on acceptance in the recycling bin is the important first step in understanding that likelihood.

The FTC’s Guide for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims helps industry assess what level of acceptance in recycling programs is sufficient. The guide recommends a threshold of 60%, which means that if less than 60% of the population has an available program that accepts the item, then that lack of acceptance in collection programs should be considered a barrier to the practical recyclability of the item. However, if more than 60% of the population’s recycling programs accept the item, we can feel confident that collection is not a barrier.

The study found good news for a large number of major packaging types. With the exception of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS), all plastic bottles, cups and rigid containers were found to be accepted in recycling programs available to more than 60% of the population. Aluminum beverage cans and glass bottles were found to be well over the 60% threshold. Aerosol containers (both steel and aluminum) also came in over 60%. Unsurprisingly, steel food cans also topped this list.

A number of packaging types were found to be accepted in the range of 20% to 60% range in our recycling programs. The acceptance of rigid polystyrene containers, polypropylene and polyethylene lids, aluminum foil food containers, bulky plastics and others must be improved before claims of recyclability can be made without an accompanying qualification regarding the lack of widespread acceptance in recycling programs. Aseptic and gable top cartons are a good example, with the study findings reinforcing the Carton Council’s imperative to push carton acceptance above 60% in the near future.

Other types of packaging need to see much more work done before the barrier of infrequent acceptance in recycling programs can be eliminated. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging was found to be accepted in less than 20% of our population’s recycling programs, as were other harder-to-recycle items like paper ice cream tubs, plastic cutlery, paper cups, squeezable polyethylene tubes and paper containers for foodservice applications.

The standings of some types of packaging types with less than 60% acceptance might be improved with pursuits of community education. Some items may be perfectly acceptable in a recycling stream but not included in the list of acceptable items given to consumers. This must be addressed, so items that are otherwise compatible with the recycling process aren’t held up by their exclusion from collection programs.

For other items though, their underwhelming acceptance in recycling programs is reflective of real challenges in recycling processes. For their standings to improve, a combination of improvements to package design, recycling infrastructure and reprocessing technologies must be pursued, accompanied by an open and constructive dialogue with the recycling community. Once real change is brought about to improve the practical likelihood that the item will get recycled, acceptance in collection programs will follow.

For those packaging types that do enjoy an acceptance rate above 60%, it is important to remember that collection is only the first phase in the sequential process that is recycling. Put simply, acceptance in collection programs is the first step on the path towards a new life, but it is not the destination. The destination lies at the reprocessor, be that a steel mill, plastics reclaimer, glass plant, paper mill or aluminum mill.

What’s in between collection and the reprocessor? The material recovery facility (MRF), where an economically strained system does its best to sort out the most valuable materials. To assess the practical recyclability of an item and avoid greenwashing, there must also be confidence that the package will be correctly sorted, sold to a reprocessor, and ultimately deconstructed and reconstructed to become a new raw material with a new life.

Our study findings on acceptance in recycling programs are an important part of assessing recyclability. We would love to see equally rigorous and comprehensive studies conducted to understand success rates in MRFs and compatibility with reprocessing operations.

It is important to stress that the Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling research was not undertaken solely by the SPC, but instead represented a collective action taken by 13 of the leading organizations in packaging and recycling. This collaboration gives a loud statement that recyclability should be assessed on science and research, that the packaging industry ought to assess recyclability by the same metrics and that we should work together to improve our understanding of recycling.

We hope our study will find wide use in the packaging industry, and we hope it will spur several more collaborative efforts to research and improve the recyclability of packaging. Download the report for free here.

 

Author Adam Gendell is associate director of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition and is responsible for orchestrating its fall conference, SPC Advance. For more information about the SPC, visit www.sustainablepackaging.org.

 

**************************************************************************

Looking for inspiration for your next sustainable packaging design project? Visit MinnPack 2016 (Sept 21-22; Minneapolis) for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation and more.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/new-study-helps-answer-the-question-is-this-package-recyclable-2016-07-27

Healthcare packaging waste issues discussed at MD&M East thanks to Bella the Bride

Brides are always the center of attention, and Bella the Bride at MD&M East 2016 was no exception. The special display by DuPont and Beacon Converters featured a wedding gown made of discarded Tyvek and succeeded in stimulating attendee discussions on the topic of managing healthcare packaging waste. 

Made by environmental educator and artist Nancy Judd (known for the Recycle Runway Collection), Bella the Bride visited MD&M East June 14-15, having visited AORN’s Surgical Conference & Expo and CleanMed 2016 events earlier in the year. “Bella’s presence throughout her tour and at her unveiling has been an incredible conversation starter!” Terri Shank, Beacon’s sustainability officer/director of IT & marketing projects, tells PMP News. “Her entity helps acknowledge that healthcare packaging waste is an issue and Tyvek is a commonly used recyclable material — HDPE #2. Bella is the personification of a message that promotes the reduction of healthcare packaging waste to landfill.”

To learn more about Bella the Bride’s story, please read “Say I do to material recovery” and “MD&M East welcomes Bella the Bride to showcase sustainability.”

DuPont’s Marc A. Bandman, PhD., who serves as Americas Market Manager, was on hand at DuPont’s booth and spoke with many of the attendees who had just seen Bella. “Many folks I spoke with were first impressed by the beauty and quality of the dress sculpture. When they learned more about what it was made from, they further commented on the creativity of bringing the reuse/recycling message to life and that they had no idea Tyvek could be made into the shapes and configurations displayed in the body of the dress and the flowers on the train.”

Adds Shank: “It was great to have people seek [Bella] out at the show and have a chance to see the dress on display and touch the material on DuPont’s touch stands [displayed along with the dress.] In general, people were really surprised that she was made out of Tyvek (and not paper!)”

Bandman was particularly struck by the excitement of a nurse in attendance, Joan Nevius, BSN, RN, CNOR, who had first heard about Bella at AORN and decided to come to MD&M East to see her progression. “She was so inspired by the Bella project and spoke about how she then engaged her hospital, including doctors, to think about the plastic waste they generate and how they can begin recycling,” says Bandman. “I shared information on HPRC and hospitals near her that are already far down the path and happy to help others. There’s never any hesitancy when a hospital is asked to share their recycling success story.” (For more details on HPRC, read our article, “Examining the value of healthcare plastics recycling.”

“One thing I’ve learned through my HPRC experiences is that there are many healthcare workers who are passionate about protecting the environment and associate it with their mission of improving their communities’ health,” continues Bandman. “They only need help in finding solutions, whether it’s providing recycling friendly packaging on the front end or ways of collecting it on the backend. Medical device designers and their suppliers can definitely help out the front end and sometimes even the backend.”

Shank says that Bella the Bride gave attendees the chance to speak about these very challenges. “It is difficult to recycle healthcare plastics and there are barriers that need to be overcome. After Bella’s debut, on June 22nd HPRC published an article, “HPRC and the Circular Economy,” which discusses these issues in more detail. These are the same challenges we heard while on tour with Bella earlier this year,” she explains. “For the most part, Bella followers understand that there are not definitive solutions on how to deal with the challenges of recycling healthcare plastics, but commonly there is hope for the unfolding of an infrastructure that supports recovery and secondary life of single use plastics reclaimed from healthcare.”  

Adds Bandman: “Bella inspired many at your show, at CleanMed, and at the AORN conference. We all need to continue finding ways to keep the message fresh and alive to maintain focus on addressing the environmental waste issue. While it’s not the immediate, ‘in-your-face’ driver like some other pressures (i.e., regulatory, cost) faced by medical device companies, it does need sustained attention and innovation throughout the value chain.”

Bella’s next scheduled appearance will be at the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) annual meeting in September. 

 

*********************************

Looking for inspiration for your next medical packaging project? Visit MD&M Minneapolis September 21-22 for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation, and more!

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/pmp-healthcare-packaging-waste-issues-discussed-at-mdm-east-thanks-to-bella-the-bride-160726

New study helps answer the question ‘Is this package recyclable?’

Everyone wants recyclable packaging, but the designation of “recyclable” can be complicated, subjective and often confusing. A new study released by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) helps take the confusion out.

The 2015-16 Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling study, which was the collective effort of 13 packaging trade associations and recycling-focused non-profit groups, examined more than 2,000 American recycling programs and determined the acceptance of 49 types of packaging. For a package to deserve the “recyclable” designation, the SPC agrees with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s philosophy: To avoid greenwashing, there must be a strong likelihood the package will be recycled. This information on acceptance in the recycling bin is the important first step in understanding that likelihood.

The FTC’s Guide for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims helps industry assess what level of acceptance in recycling programs is sufficient. The guide recommends a threshold of 60%, which means that if less than 60% of the population has an available program that accepts the item, then that lack of acceptance in collection programs should be considered a barrier to the practical recyclability of the item. However, if more than 60% of the population’s recycling programs accept the item, we can feel confident that collection is not a barrier.

The study found good news for a large number of major packaging types. With the exception of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS), all plastic bottles, cups and rigid containers were found to be accepted in recycling programs available to more than 60% of the population. Aluminum beverage cans and glass bottles were found to be well over the 60% threshold. Aerosol containers (both steel and aluminum) also came in over 60%. Unsurprisingly, steel food cans also topped this list.

A number of packaging types were found to be accepted in the range of 20% to 60% range in our recycling programs. The acceptance of rigid polystyrene containers, polypropylene and polyethylene lids, aluminum foil food containers, bulky plastics and others must be improved before claims of recyclability can be made without an accompanying qualification regarding the lack of widespread acceptance in recycling programs. Aseptic and gable top cartons are a good example, with the study findings reinforcing the Carton Council’s imperative to push carton acceptance above 60% in the near future.

Other types of packaging need to see much more work done before the barrier of infrequent acceptance in recycling programs can be eliminated. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging was found to be accepted in less than 20% of our population’s recycling programs, as were other harder-to-recycle items like paper ice cream tubs, plastic cutlery, paper cups, squeezable polyethylene tubes and paper containers for foodservice applications.

The standings of some types of packaging types with less than 60% acceptance might be improved with pursuits of community education. Some items may be perfectly acceptable in a recycling stream but not included in the list of acceptable items given to consumers. This must be addressed, so items that are otherwise compatible with the recycling process aren’t held up by their exclusion from collection programs.

For other items though, their underwhelming acceptance in recycling programs is reflective of real challenges in recycling processes. For their standings to improve, a combination of improvements to package design, recycling infrastructure and reprocessing technologies must be pursued, accompanied by an open and constructive dialogue with the recycling community. Once real change is brought about to improve the practical likelihood that the item will get recycled, acceptance in collection programs will follow.

For those packaging types that do enjoy an acceptance rate above 60%, it is important to remember that collection is only the first phase in the sequential process that is recycling. Put simply, acceptance in collection programs is the first step on the path towards a new life, but it is not the destination. The destination lies at the reprocessor, be that a steel mill, plastics reclaimer, glass plant, paper mill or aluminum mill.

What’s in between collection and the reprocessor? The material recovery facility (MRF), where an economically strained system does its best to sort out the most valuable materials. To assess the practical recyclability of an item and avoid greenwashing, there must also be confidence that the package will be correctly sorted, sold to a reprocessor, and ultimately deconstructed and reconstructed to become a new raw material with a new life.

Our study findings on acceptance in recycling programs are an important part of assessing recyclability. We would love to see equally rigorous and comprehensive studies conducted to understand success rates in MRFs and compatibility with reprocessing operations.

It is important to stress that the Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling research was not undertaken solely by the SPC, but instead represented a collective action taken by 13 of the leading organizations in packaging and recycling. This collaboration gives a loud statement that recyclability should be assessed on science and research, that the packaging industry ought to assess recyclability by the same metrics and that we should work together to improve our understanding of recycling.

We hope our study will find wide use in the packaging industry, and we hope it will spur several more collaborative efforts to research and improve the recyclability of packaging. Download the report for free here.

 

Author Adam Gendell is associate director of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition and is responsible for orchestrating its fall conference, SPC Advance. For more information about the SPC, visit www.sustainablepackaging.org.

 

**************************************************************************

Looking for inspiration for your next sustainable packaging design project? Visit MinnPack 2016 (Sept 21-22; Minneapolis) for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation and more.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/new-study-helps-answer-the-question-is-this-package-recyclable-2016-07-27

Healthcare packaging waste issues discussed at MD&M East thanks to Bella the Bride

Brides are always the center of attention, and Bella the Bride at MD&M East 2016 was no exception. The special display by DuPont and Beacon Converters featured a wedding gown made of discarded Tyvek and succeeded in stimulating attendee discussions on the topic of managing healthcare packaging waste. 

Made by environmental educator and artist Nancy Judd (known for the Recycle Runway Collection), Bella the Bride visited MD&M East June 14-15, having visited AORN’s Surgical Conference & Expo and CleanMed 2016 events earlier in the year. “Bella’s presence throughout her tour and at her unveiling has been an incredible conversation starter!” Terri Shank, Beacon’s sustainability officer/director of IT & marketing projects, tells PMP News. “Her entity helps acknowledge that healthcare packaging waste is an issue and Tyvek is a commonly used recyclable material — HDPE #2. Bella is the personification of a message that promotes the reduction of healthcare packaging waste to landfill.”

To learn more about Bella the Bride’s story, please read “Say I do to material recovery” and “MD&M East welcomes Bella the Bride to showcase sustainability.”

DuPont’s Marc A. Bandman, PhD., who serves as Americas Market Manager, was on hand at DuPont’s booth and spoke with many of the attendees who had just seen Bella. “Many folks I spoke with were first impressed by the beauty and quality of the dress sculpture. When they learned more about what it was made from, they further commented on the creativity of bringing the reuse/recycling message to life and that they had no idea Tyvek could be made into the shapes and configurations displayed in the body of the dress and the flowers on the train.”

Adds Shank: “It was great to have people seek [Bella] out at the show and have a chance to see the dress on display and touch the material on DuPont’s touch stands [displayed along with the dress.] In general, people were really surprised that she was made out of Tyvek (and not paper!)”

Bandman was particularly struck by the excitement of a nurse in attendance, Joan Nevius, BSN, RN, CNOR, who had first heard about Bella at AORN and decided to come to MD&M East to see her progression. “She was so inspired by the Bella project and spoke about how she then engaged her hospital, including doctors, to think about the plastic waste they generate and how they can begin recycling,” says Bandman. “I shared information on HPRC and hospitals near her that are already far down the path and happy to help others. There’s never any hesitancy when a hospital is asked to share their recycling success story.” (For more details on HPRC, read our article, “Examining the value of healthcare plastics recycling.”

“One thing I’ve learned through my HPRC experiences is that there are many healthcare workers who are passionate about protecting the environment and associate it with their mission of improving their communities’ health,” continues Bandman. “They only need help in finding solutions, whether it’s providing recycling friendly packaging on the front end or ways of collecting it on the backend. Medical device designers and their suppliers can definitely help out the front end and sometimes even the backend.”

Shank says that Bella the Bride gave attendees the chance to speak about these very challenges. “It is difficult to recycle healthcare plastics and there are barriers that need to be overcome. After Bella’s debut, on June 22nd HPRC published an article, “HPRC and the Circular Economy,” which discusses these issues in more detail. These are the same challenges we heard while on tour with Bella earlier this year,” she explains. “For the most part, Bella followers understand that there are not definitive solutions on how to deal with the challenges of recycling healthcare plastics, but commonly there is hope for the unfolding of an infrastructure that supports recovery and secondary life of single use plastics reclaimed from healthcare.”  

Adds Bandman: “Bella inspired many at your show, at CleanMed, and at the AORN conference. We all need to continue finding ways to keep the message fresh and alive to maintain focus on addressing the environmental waste issue. While it’s not the immediate, ‘in-your-face’ driver like some other pressures (i.e., regulatory, cost) faced by medical device companies, it does need sustained attention and innovation throughout the value chain.”

Bella’s next scheduled appearance will be at the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) annual meeting in September. 

 

*********************************

Looking for inspiration for your next medical packaging project? Visit MD&M Minneapolis September 21-22 for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation, and more!

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/pmp-healthcare-packaging-waste-issues-discussed-at-mdm-east-thanks-to-bella-the-bride-160726

New study helps answer the question ‘Is this package recyclable?’

Everyone wants recyclable packaging, but the designation of “recyclable” can be complicated, subjective and often confusing. A new study released by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) helps take the confusion out.

The 2015-16 Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling study, which was the collective effort of 13 packaging trade associations and recycling-focused non-profit groups, examined more than 2,000 American recycling programs and determined the acceptance of 49 types of packaging. For a package to deserve the “recyclable” designation, the SPC agrees with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s philosophy: To avoid greenwashing, there must be a strong likelihood the package will be recycled. This information on acceptance in the recycling bin is the important first step in understanding that likelihood.

The FTC’s Guide for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims helps industry assess what level of acceptance in recycling programs is sufficient. The guide recommends a threshold of 60%, which means that if less than 60% of the population has an available program that accepts the item, then that lack of acceptance in collection programs should be considered a barrier to the practical recyclability of the item. However, if more than 60% of the population’s recycling programs accept the item, we can feel confident that collection is not a barrier.

The study found good news for a large number of major packaging types. With the exception of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS), all plastic bottles, cups and rigid containers were found to be accepted in recycling programs available to more than 60% of the population. Aluminum beverage cans and glass bottles were found to be well over the 60% threshold. Aerosol containers (both steel and aluminum) also came in over 60%. Unsurprisingly, steel food cans also topped this list.

A number of packaging types were found to be accepted in the range of 20% to 60% range in our recycling programs. The acceptance of rigid polystyrene containers, polypropylene and polyethylene lids, aluminum foil food containers, bulky plastics and others must be improved before claims of recyclability can be made without an accompanying qualification regarding the lack of widespread acceptance in recycling programs. Aseptic and gable top cartons are a good example, with the study findings reinforcing the Carton Council’s imperative to push carton acceptance above 60% in the near future.

Other types of packaging need to see much more work done before the barrier of infrequent acceptance in recycling programs can be eliminated. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging was found to be accepted in less than 20% of our population’s recycling programs, as were other harder-to-recycle items like paper ice cream tubs, plastic cutlery, paper cups, squeezable polyethylene tubes and paper containers for foodservice applications.

The standings of some types of packaging types with less than 60% acceptance might be improved with pursuits of community education. Some items may be perfectly acceptable in a recycling stream but not included in the list of acceptable items given to consumers. This must be addressed, so items that are otherwise compatible with the recycling process aren’t held up by their exclusion from collection programs.

For other items though, their underwhelming acceptance in recycling programs is reflective of real challenges in recycling processes. For their standings to improve, a combination of improvements to package design, recycling infrastructure and reprocessing technologies must be pursued, accompanied by an open and constructive dialogue with the recycling community. Once real change is brought about to improve the practical likelihood that the item will get recycled, acceptance in collection programs will follow.

For those packaging types that do enjoy an acceptance rate above 60%, it is important to remember that collection is only the first phase in the sequential process that is recycling. Put simply, acceptance in collection programs is the first step on the path towards a new life, but it is not the destination. The destination lies at the reprocessor, be that a steel mill, plastics reclaimer, glass plant, paper mill or aluminum mill.

What’s in between collection and the reprocessor? The material recovery facility (MRF), where an economically strained system does its best to sort out the most valuable materials. To assess the practical recyclability of an item and avoid greenwashing, there must also be confidence that the package will be correctly sorted, sold to a reprocessor, and ultimately deconstructed and reconstructed to become a new raw material with a new life.

Our study findings on acceptance in recycling programs are an important part of assessing recyclability. We would love to see equally rigorous and comprehensive studies conducted to understand success rates in MRFs and compatibility with reprocessing operations.

It is important to stress that the Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling research was not undertaken solely by the SPC, but instead represented a collective action taken by 13 of the leading organizations in packaging and recycling. This collaboration gives a loud statement that recyclability should be assessed on science and research, that the packaging industry ought to assess recyclability by the same metrics and that we should work together to improve our understanding of recycling.

We hope our study will find wide use in the packaging industry, and we hope it will spur several more collaborative efforts to research and improve the recyclability of packaging. Download the report for free here.

 

Author Adam Gendell is associate director of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition and is responsible for orchestrating its fall conference, SPC Advance. For more information about the SPC, visit www.sustainablepackaging.org.

 

**************************************************************************

Looking for inspiration for your next sustainable packaging design project? Visit MinnPack 2016 (Sept 21-22; Minneapolis) for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation and more.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/new-study-helps-answer-the-question-is-this-package-recyclable-2016-07-27

Healthcare packaging waste issues discussed at MD&M East thanks to Bella the Bride

Brides are always the center of attention, and Bella the Bride at MD&M East 2016 was no exception. The special display by DuPont and Beacon Converters featured a wedding gown made of discarded Tyvek and succeeded in stimulating attendee discussions on the topic of managing healthcare packaging waste. 

Made by environmental educator and artist Nancy Judd (known for the Recycle Runway Collection), Bella the Bride visited MD&M East June 14-15, having visited AORN’s Surgical Conference & Expo and CleanMed 2016 events earlier in the year. “Bella’s presence throughout her tour and at her unveiling has been an incredible conversation starter!” Terri Shank, Beacon’s sustainability officer/director of IT & marketing projects, tells PMP News. “Her entity helps acknowledge that healthcare packaging waste is an issue and Tyvek is a commonly used recyclable material — HDPE #2. Bella is the personification of a message that promotes the reduction of healthcare packaging waste to landfill.”

To learn more about Bella the Bride’s story, please read “Say I do to material recovery” and “MD&M East welcomes Bella the Bride to showcase sustainability.”

DuPont’s Marc A. Bandman, PhD., who serves as Americas Market Manager, was on hand at DuPont’s booth and spoke with many of the attendees who had just seen Bella. “Many folks I spoke with were first impressed by the beauty and quality of the dress sculpture. When they learned more about what it was made from, they further commented on the creativity of bringing the reuse/recycling message to life and that they had no idea Tyvek could be made into the shapes and configurations displayed in the body of the dress and the flowers on the train.”

Adds Shank: “It was great to have people seek [Bella] out at the show and have a chance to see the dress on display and touch the material on DuPont’s touch stands [displayed along with the dress.] In general, people were really surprised that she was made out of Tyvek (and not paper!)”

Bandman was particularly struck by the excitement of a nurse in attendance, Joan Nevius, BSN, RN, CNOR, who had first heard about Bella at AORN and decided to come to MD&M East to see her progression. “She was so inspired by the Bella project and spoke about how she then engaged her hospital, including doctors, to think about the plastic waste they generate and how they can begin recycling,” says Bandman. “I shared information on HPRC and hospitals near her that are already far down the path and happy to help others. There’s never any hesitancy when a hospital is asked to share their recycling success story.” (For more details on HPRC, read our article, “Examining the value of healthcare plastics recycling.”

“One thing I’ve learned through my HPRC experiences is that there are many healthcare workers who are passionate about protecting the environment and associate it with their mission of improving their communities’ health,” continues Bandman. “They only need help in finding solutions, whether it’s providing recycling friendly packaging on the front end or ways of collecting it on the backend. Medical device designers and their suppliers can definitely help out the front end and sometimes even the backend.”

Shank says that Bella the Bride gave attendees the chance to speak about these very challenges. “It is difficult to recycle healthcare plastics and there are barriers that need to be overcome. After Bella’s debut, on June 22nd HPRC published an article, “HPRC and the Circular Economy,” which discusses these issues in more detail. These are the same challenges we heard while on tour with Bella earlier this year,” she explains. “For the most part, Bella followers understand that there are not definitive solutions on how to deal with the challenges of recycling healthcare plastics, but commonly there is hope for the unfolding of an infrastructure that supports recovery and secondary life of single use plastics reclaimed from healthcare.”  

Adds Bandman: “Bella inspired many at your show, at CleanMed, and at the AORN conference. We all need to continue finding ways to keep the message fresh and alive to maintain focus on addressing the environmental waste issue. While it’s not the immediate, ‘in-your-face’ driver like some other pressures (i.e., regulatory, cost) faced by medical device companies, it does need sustained attention and innovation throughout the value chain.”

Bella’s next scheduled appearance will be at the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) annual meeting in September. 

 

*********************************

Looking for inspiration for your next medical packaging project? Visit MD&M Minneapolis September 21-22 for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation, and more!

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/pmp-healthcare-packaging-waste-issues-discussed-at-mdm-east-thanks-to-bella-the-bride-160726

New study helps answer the question ‘Is this package recyclable?’

Everyone wants recyclable packaging, but the designation of “recyclable” can be complicated, subjective and often confusing. A new study released by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) helps take the confusion out.

The 2015-16 Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling study, which was the collective effort of 13 packaging trade associations and recycling-focused non-profit groups, examined more than 2,000 American recycling programs and determined the acceptance of 49 types of packaging. For a package to deserve the “recyclable” designation, the SPC agrees with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s philosophy: To avoid greenwashing, there must be a strong likelihood the package will be recycled. This information on acceptance in the recycling bin is the important first step in understanding that likelihood.

The FTC’s Guide for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims helps industry assess what level of acceptance in recycling programs is sufficient. The guide recommends a threshold of 60%, which means that if less than 60% of the population has an available program that accepts the item, then that lack of acceptance in collection programs should be considered a barrier to the practical recyclability of the item. However, if more than 60% of the population’s recycling programs accept the item, we can feel confident that collection is not a barrier.

The study found good news for a large number of major packaging types. With the exception of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS), all plastic bottles, cups and rigid containers were found to be accepted in recycling programs available to more than 60% of the population. Aluminum beverage cans and glass bottles were found to be well over the 60% threshold. Aerosol containers (both steel and aluminum) also came in over 60%. Unsurprisingly, steel food cans also topped this list.

A number of packaging types were found to be accepted in the range of 20% to 60% range in our recycling programs. The acceptance of rigid polystyrene containers, polypropylene and polyethylene lids, aluminum foil food containers, bulky plastics and others must be improved before claims of recyclability can be made without an accompanying qualification regarding the lack of widespread acceptance in recycling programs. Aseptic and gable top cartons are a good example, with the study findings reinforcing the Carton Council’s imperative to push carton acceptance above 60% in the near future.

Other types of packaging need to see much more work done before the barrier of infrequent acceptance in recycling programs can be eliminated. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging was found to be accepted in less than 20% of our population’s recycling programs, as were other harder-to-recycle items like paper ice cream tubs, plastic cutlery, paper cups, squeezable polyethylene tubes and paper containers for foodservice applications.

The standings of some types of packaging types with less than 60% acceptance might be improved with pursuits of community education. Some items may be perfectly acceptable in a recycling stream but not included in the list of acceptable items given to consumers. This must be addressed, so items that are otherwise compatible with the recycling process aren’t held up by their exclusion from collection programs.

For other items though, their underwhelming acceptance in recycling programs is reflective of real challenges in recycling processes. For their standings to improve, a combination of improvements to package design, recycling infrastructure and reprocessing technologies must be pursued, accompanied by an open and constructive dialogue with the recycling community. Once real change is brought about to improve the practical likelihood that the item will get recycled, acceptance in collection programs will follow.

For those packaging types that do enjoy an acceptance rate above 60%, it is important to remember that collection is only the first phase in the sequential process that is recycling. Put simply, acceptance in collection programs is the first step on the path towards a new life, but it is not the destination. The destination lies at the reprocessor, be that a steel mill, plastics reclaimer, glass plant, paper mill or aluminum mill.

What’s in between collection and the reprocessor? The material recovery facility (MRF), where an economically strained system does its best to sort out the most valuable materials. To assess the practical recyclability of an item and avoid greenwashing, there must also be confidence that the package will be correctly sorted, sold to a reprocessor, and ultimately deconstructed and reconstructed to become a new raw material with a new life.

Our study findings on acceptance in recycling programs are an important part of assessing recyclability. We would love to see equally rigorous and comprehensive studies conducted to understand success rates in MRFs and compatibility with reprocessing operations.

It is important to stress that the Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling research was not undertaken solely by the SPC, but instead represented a collective action taken by 13 of the leading organizations in packaging and recycling. This collaboration gives a loud statement that recyclability should be assessed on science and research, that the packaging industry ought to assess recyclability by the same metrics and that we should work together to improve our understanding of recycling.

We hope our study will find wide use in the packaging industry, and we hope it will spur several more collaborative efforts to research and improve the recyclability of packaging. Download the report for free here.

 

Author Adam Gendell is associate director of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition and is responsible for orchestrating its fall conference, SPC Advance. For more information about the SPC, visit www.sustainablepackaging.org.

 

**************************************************************************

Looking for inspiration for your next sustainable packaging design project? Visit MinnPack 2016 (Sept 21-22; Minneapolis) for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation and more.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/new-study-helps-answer-the-question-is-this-package-recyclable-2016-07-27

Healthcare packaging waste issues discussed at MD&M East thanks to Bella the Bride

Brides are always the center of attention, and Bella the Bride at MD&M East 2016 was no exception. The special display by DuPont and Beacon Converters featured a wedding gown made of discarded Tyvek and succeeded in stimulating attendee discussions on the topic of managing healthcare packaging waste. 

Made by environmental educator and artist Nancy Judd (known for the Recycle Runway Collection), Bella the Bride visited MD&M East June 14-15, having visited AORN’s Surgical Conference & Expo and CleanMed 2016 events earlier in the year. “Bella’s presence throughout her tour and at her unveiling has been an incredible conversation starter!” Terri Shank, Beacon’s sustainability officer/director of IT & marketing projects, tells PMP News. “Her entity helps acknowledge that healthcare packaging waste is an issue and Tyvek is a commonly used recyclable material — HDPE #2. Bella is the personification of a message that promotes the reduction of healthcare packaging waste to landfill.”

To learn more about Bella the Bride’s story, please read “Say I do to material recovery” and “MD&M East welcomes Bella the Bride to showcase sustainability.”

DuPont’s Marc A. Bandman, PhD., who serves as Americas Market Manager, was on hand at DuPont’s booth and spoke with many of the attendees who had just seen Bella. “Many folks I spoke with were first impressed by the beauty and quality of the dress sculpture. When they learned more about what it was made from, they further commented on the creativity of bringing the reuse/recycling message to life and that they had no idea Tyvek could be made into the shapes and configurations displayed in the body of the dress and the flowers on the train.”

Adds Shank: “It was great to have people seek [Bella] out at the show and have a chance to see the dress on display and touch the material on DuPont’s touch stands [displayed along with the dress.] In general, people were really surprised that she was made out of Tyvek (and not paper!)”

Bandman was particularly struck by the excitement of a nurse in attendance, Joan Nevius, BSN, RN, CNOR, who had first heard about Bella at AORN and decided to come to MD&M East to see her progression. “She was so inspired by the Bella project and spoke about how she then engaged her hospital, including doctors, to think about the plastic waste they generate and how they can begin recycling,” says Bandman. “I shared information on HPRC and hospitals near her that are already far down the path and happy to help others. There’s never any hesitancy when a hospital is asked to share their recycling success story.” (For more details on HPRC, read our article, “Examining the value of healthcare plastics recycling.”

“One thing I’ve learned through my HPRC experiences is that there are many healthcare workers who are passionate about protecting the environment and associate it with their mission of improving their communities’ health,” continues Bandman. “They only need help in finding solutions, whether it’s providing recycling friendly packaging on the front end or ways of collecting it on the backend. Medical device designers and their suppliers can definitely help out the front end and sometimes even the backend.”

Shank says that Bella the Bride gave attendees the chance to speak about these very challenges. “It is difficult to recycle healthcare plastics and there are barriers that need to be overcome. After Bella’s debut, on June 22nd HPRC published an article, “HPRC and the Circular Economy,” which discusses these issues in more detail. These are the same challenges we heard while on tour with Bella earlier this year,” she explains. “For the most part, Bella followers understand that there are not definitive solutions on how to deal with the challenges of recycling healthcare plastics, but commonly there is hope for the unfolding of an infrastructure that supports recovery and secondary life of single use plastics reclaimed from healthcare.”  

Adds Bandman: “Bella inspired many at your show, at CleanMed, and at the AORN conference. We all need to continue finding ways to keep the message fresh and alive to maintain focus on addressing the environmental waste issue. While it’s not the immediate, ‘in-your-face’ driver like some other pressures (i.e., regulatory, cost) faced by medical device companies, it does need sustained attention and innovation throughout the value chain.”

Bella’s next scheduled appearance will be at the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) annual meeting in September. 

 

*********************************

Looking for inspiration for your next medical packaging project? Visit MD&M Minneapolis September 21-22 for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation, and more!

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/pmp-healthcare-packaging-waste-issues-discussed-at-mdm-east-thanks-to-bella-the-bride-160726

New study helps answer the question ‘Is this package recyclable?’

Everyone wants recyclable packaging, but the designation of “recyclable” can be complicated, subjective and often confusing. A new study released by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) helps take the confusion out.

The 2015-16 Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling study, which was the collective effort of 13 packaging trade associations and recycling-focused non-profit groups, examined more than 2,000 American recycling programs and determined the acceptance of 49 types of packaging. For a package to deserve the “recyclable” designation, the SPC agrees with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s philosophy: To avoid greenwashing, there must be a strong likelihood the package will be recycled. This information on acceptance in the recycling bin is the important first step in understanding that likelihood.

The FTC’s Guide for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims helps industry assess what level of acceptance in recycling programs is sufficient. The guide recommends a threshold of 60%, which means that if less than 60% of the population has an available program that accepts the item, then that lack of acceptance in collection programs should be considered a barrier to the practical recyclability of the item. However, if more than 60% of the population’s recycling programs accept the item, we can feel confident that collection is not a barrier.

The study found good news for a large number of major packaging types. With the exception of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS), all plastic bottles, cups and rigid containers were found to be accepted in recycling programs available to more than 60% of the population. Aluminum beverage cans and glass bottles were found to be well over the 60% threshold. Aerosol containers (both steel and aluminum) also came in over 60%. Unsurprisingly, steel food cans also topped this list.

A number of packaging types were found to be accepted in the range of 20% to 60% range in our recycling programs. The acceptance of rigid polystyrene containers, polypropylene and polyethylene lids, aluminum foil food containers, bulky plastics and others must be improved before claims of recyclability can be made without an accompanying qualification regarding the lack of widespread acceptance in recycling programs. Aseptic and gable top cartons are a good example, with the study findings reinforcing the Carton Council’s imperative to push carton acceptance above 60% in the near future.

Other types of packaging need to see much more work done before the barrier of infrequent acceptance in recycling programs can be eliminated. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging was found to be accepted in less than 20% of our population’s recycling programs, as were other harder-to-recycle items like paper ice cream tubs, plastic cutlery, paper cups, squeezable polyethylene tubes and paper containers for foodservice applications.

The standings of some types of packaging types with less than 60% acceptance might be improved with pursuits of community education. Some items may be perfectly acceptable in a recycling stream but not included in the list of acceptable items given to consumers. This must be addressed, so items that are otherwise compatible with the recycling process aren’t held up by their exclusion from collection programs.

For other items though, their underwhelming acceptance in recycling programs is reflective of real challenges in recycling processes. For their standings to improve, a combination of improvements to package design, recycling infrastructure and reprocessing technologies must be pursued, accompanied by an open and constructive dialogue with the recycling community. Once real change is brought about to improve the practical likelihood that the item will get recycled, acceptance in collection programs will follow.

For those packaging types that do enjoy an acceptance rate above 60%, it is important to remember that collection is only the first phase in the sequential process that is recycling. Put simply, acceptance in collection programs is the first step on the path towards a new life, but it is not the destination. The destination lies at the reprocessor, be that a steel mill, plastics reclaimer, glass plant, paper mill or aluminum mill.

What’s in between collection and the reprocessor? The material recovery facility (MRF), where an economically strained system does its best to sort out the most valuable materials. To assess the practical recyclability of an item and avoid greenwashing, there must also be confidence that the package will be correctly sorted, sold to a reprocessor, and ultimately deconstructed and reconstructed to become a new raw material with a new life.

Our study findings on acceptance in recycling programs are an important part of assessing recyclability. We would love to see equally rigorous and comprehensive studies conducted to understand success rates in MRFs and compatibility with reprocessing operations.

It is important to stress that the Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling research was not undertaken solely by the SPC, but instead represented a collective action taken by 13 of the leading organizations in packaging and recycling. This collaboration gives a loud statement that recyclability should be assessed on science and research, that the packaging industry ought to assess recyclability by the same metrics and that we should work together to improve our understanding of recycling.

We hope our study will find wide use in the packaging industry, and we hope it will spur several more collaborative efforts to research and improve the recyclability of packaging. Download the report for free here.

 

Author Adam Gendell is associate director of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition and is responsible for orchestrating its fall conference, SPC Advance. For more information about the SPC, visit www.sustainablepackaging.org.

 

**************************************************************************

Looking for inspiration for your next sustainable packaging design project? Visit MinnPack 2016 (Sept 21-22; Minneapolis) for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation and more.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/new-study-helps-answer-the-question-is-this-package-recyclable-2016-07-27

Healthcare packaging waste issues discussed at MD&M East thanks to Bella the Bride

Brides are always the center of attention, and Bella the Bride at MD&M East 2016 was no exception. The special display by DuPont and Beacon Converters featured a wedding gown made of discarded Tyvek and succeeded in stimulating attendee discussions on the topic of managing healthcare packaging waste. 

Made by environmental educator and artist Nancy Judd (known for the Recycle Runway Collection), Bella the Bride visited MD&M East June 14-15, having visited AORN’s Surgical Conference & Expo and CleanMed 2016 events earlier in the year. “Bella’s presence throughout her tour and at her unveiling has been an incredible conversation starter!” Terri Shank, Beacon’s sustainability officer/director of IT & marketing projects, tells PMP News. “Her entity helps acknowledge that healthcare packaging waste is an issue and Tyvek is a commonly used recyclable material — HDPE #2. Bella is the personification of a message that promotes the reduction of healthcare packaging waste to landfill.”

To learn more about Bella the Bride’s story, please read “Say I do to material recovery” and “MD&M East welcomes Bella the Bride to showcase sustainability.”

DuPont’s Marc A. Bandman, PhD., who serves as Americas Market Manager, was on hand at DuPont’s booth and spoke with many of the attendees who had just seen Bella. “Many folks I spoke with were first impressed by the beauty and quality of the dress sculpture. When they learned more about what it was made from, they further commented on the creativity of bringing the reuse/recycling message to life and that they had no idea Tyvek could be made into the shapes and configurations displayed in the body of the dress and the flowers on the train.”

Adds Shank: “It was great to have people seek [Bella] out at the show and have a chance to see the dress on display and touch the material on DuPont’s touch stands [displayed along with the dress.] In general, people were really surprised that she was made out of Tyvek (and not paper!)”

Bandman was particularly struck by the excitement of a nurse in attendance, Joan Nevius, BSN, RN, CNOR, who had first heard about Bella at AORN and decided to come to MD&M East to see her progression. “She was so inspired by the Bella project and spoke about how she then engaged her hospital, including doctors, to think about the plastic waste they generate and how they can begin recycling,” says Bandman. “I shared information on HPRC and hospitals near her that are already far down the path and happy to help others. There’s never any hesitancy when a hospital is asked to share their recycling success story.” (For more details on HPRC, read our article, “Examining the value of healthcare plastics recycling.”

“One thing I’ve learned through my HPRC experiences is that there are many healthcare workers who are passionate about protecting the environment and associate it with their mission of improving their communities’ health,” continues Bandman. “They only need help in finding solutions, whether it’s providing recycling friendly packaging on the front end or ways of collecting it on the backend. Medical device designers and their suppliers can definitely help out the front end and sometimes even the backend.”

Shank says that Bella the Bride gave attendees the chance to speak about these very challenges. “It is difficult to recycle healthcare plastics and there are barriers that need to be overcome. After Bella’s debut, on June 22nd HPRC published an article, “HPRC and the Circular Economy,” which discusses these issues in more detail. These are the same challenges we heard while on tour with Bella earlier this year,” she explains. “For the most part, Bella followers understand that there are not definitive solutions on how to deal with the challenges of recycling healthcare plastics, but commonly there is hope for the unfolding of an infrastructure that supports recovery and secondary life of single use plastics reclaimed from healthcare.”  

Adds Bandman: “Bella inspired many at your show, at CleanMed, and at the AORN conference. We all need to continue finding ways to keep the message fresh and alive to maintain focus on addressing the environmental waste issue. While it’s not the immediate, ‘in-your-face’ driver like some other pressures (i.e., regulatory, cost) faced by medical device companies, it does need sustained attention and innovation throughout the value chain.”

Bella’s next scheduled appearance will be at the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) annual meeting in September. 

 

*********************************

Looking for inspiration for your next medical packaging project? Visit MD&M Minneapolis September 21-22 for the latest in packaging materials, equipment, automation, and more!

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/pmp-healthcare-packaging-waste-issues-discussed-at-mdm-east-thanks-to-bella-the-bride-160726