Calysta Energy and NatureWorks collaborate to transform methane into the lactic acid building block for bioplastics






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Multi-year research and development project is aimed at feedstock diversification, innovatively utilizing methane, a potent greenhouse gas.


Edited by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 6/25/2013 4:52:11 PM





Calysta Energy and NatureWorks have entered into an exclusive, multi-year collaboration to research and develop a practical, world-scale production process for fermenting methane-a potent greenhouse gas-to lactic acid, the building block for Ingeo, lactide intermediates and polymers made from renewable materials. If the collaboration results in the successful commercialization of this first-of-its-kind technology, the cost to produce Ingeo would be structurally lowered, and the wide range of Ingeo based consumer and industrial products could be produced from an even broader set of carbon-based feedstocks, complementary to what is already in use by NatureWorks.

 

A greenhouse gas 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, methane is generated by the natural decomposition of plant materials and is a component of natural gas. Methane is also generated from society’s organic wastes and is produced from such activities as waste-water treatment, decomposition within landfills and anaerobic digestion. If successful, the technology could directly access carbon from any of these sources. Determining the feasibility of methane as a commercially viable feedstock for lactic acid may take up to five years, according to NatureWorks.

 

Calysta EnergyFeedstock diversification for Ingeo

“If proven through this R&D collaboration, the new technology could be revolutionary because it will provide alternatives to the current reliance on agricultural feedstocks, and with the direct conversion of methane, it will greatly simplify the number of steps and operations needed to convert carbon into performance consumer products,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO of NatureWorks. “This could structurally lower the cost of producing Ingeo.”

 

Currently, Ingeo relies on carbon from CO2 feedstock that has been fixed or sequestered through photosynthesis into simple plant sugars, known as “first generation materials.” NatureWorks’ flagship facility in Blair, Neb., uses industrially sourced corn starch, while its second facility currently in planning for a location in Southeast Asia will use cane sugar. In parallel with the collaboration, NatureWorks is continuing its broad technology assessment of “second generation” cellulosic sources of carbon. In the case of Southeast Asia, opportunities exist for harvesting cellulosic sugars from bagasse, an abundant lignocellulosic byproduct of sugarcane processing.

 

The research and development collaboration with Calysta Energy relates to NatureWorks strategic interests in feedstock diversification and a structurally simplified, lower cost Ingeo production platform. Calysta Energy is developing its BioGTCT (biological gas-to-chemicals) platform for biological conversion of methane to high value chemicals. For NatureWorks, methane could be an additional feedstock several generations removed from simple plant sugars. The project will wrap up with an evaluation of potential sources of a methane feedstock for commercial scale production of lactic acid.

 

The evaluation will include criteria such as purity, availability, price, location to customers, GHG sequestration potential and environmental and energy impacts. Feedstock diversification supports the organization’s goal of utilizing the most abundant, available and appropriate sources of carbon to produce Ingeo for the local geographic region served by a NatureWorks’ production facility.

 

We are pleased to be partnering with NatureWorks, an industry leader in renewable technology and biopolymer business development,” said Alan Shaw, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Calysta Energy. “Calysta’s proprietary technology enables a novel route from a significant greenhouse gas to high-value industrial chemicals such as lactic acid. This approach demonstrates the power of biology compared to chemical transformation. Specific products, such as lactic acid, would be extremely difficult to make economically from methane using traditional catalysts.

 

“Calysta technology offers NatureWorks a competitive advantage through excellent product performance at a lower cost, and we look forward to a productive collaboration. This exclusive project validates our value proposition of converting existing, proven biological pathways to advantaged feedstocks.”
The companies will share commercialization rights for select products developed under the agreement.

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Plastics Recycling: Profitable and Versatile Recycling Rates of 35% are Realistic

From the 1960s to the 1980s, the plastics industry gave little thought to sensible ways of disposing of or recovering waste plastics but the issue became relevant by 1991 when the German Packaging Ordinance came into effect. Taking the lead at the time, Germany was the first country to set up rules for the recovery of plastics waste and to establish them on the market. In the meantime, many countries in Europe have addressed the issue and developed highly successful strategies for collection and recovery. According to surveys by PlasticsEurope, about 47 million tons of plastics were consumed in the 27 countries of the EU plus Switzerland and Norway in 2011, 40% for non-durable and 60% for durable applications. In the same year, some 25 million tons of waste plastics were collected, 40% going to landfills and 60% being recovered.

The waste from collection systems for used packages accounted for over 60% of this, followed by products from the construction, automotive and electronics sectors. Exemplary collections systems are in place in nine European countries: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Luxemburg (listed in descending order) with collection rates ranging from 99% to 92%. At the same time, six of these countries have the highest recycling rates in Europe. Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria with rates of 35% to 26% head the field by a clear margin. The remaining collected wastes are recovered to generate energy by incineration.

PET bottles are also amenable to single-grade sorted-waste collection and processing. The spectrum of products made from them range from fibers and films to new bottles. A large variety of suppliers like the Austrian companies Starlinger & Co. GmbH in Vienna, NGR GmbH in Feldkirchen and Erema GmbH in Ansfelden have developed special recycling lines for PET. Gneuss Kunststofftechnik GmbH in Bad Oeynhausen is successful in the marketplace with its MRS extruder, for which an FDA approval has even been obtained. In addition, machinery manufacturers are contributing various drying systems (like the infrared rotating drum from Kreyenborg Plant Technology GmbH in Senden), special filtrations systems for the processing of PET and also crystallization processes (like Crystall-Cut from Automatik Plastics Machinery in Grossostheim). Closed-circuit systems like PETcycle have become established for actually turning old bottles into new ones. In short, PET recycling, achieving a market volume of 1 million tons per year in Europe, does indeed work.

Problems facing recycling
Plastics items of different materials that cannot be sensibly separated constitute a further obstacle to recycling – as do products whose residues are difficult to remove entirely. Problems are also created by post-consumer film wastes, as they manifest a very poor ratio of surface area to contamination and therefore require laborious treatment. According to Michael Scriba, managing director of plastics processor mtm plastics in Niedergebra, there are indeed successful recovery specialists, but as of yet no established sales markets with a Europe-wide reach. Further challenges are posed by non-beverage bottles made of PET in a huge variety of types, which also have limited recoverability. The same applies to plastics from car and electronics residuals.

For such challenges, processors and machinery manufacturers are called upon to come up with appropriate solutions. For example, one solution for post-consumer film wastes from DSD collections has been recently supplied by Herbold Meckesheim GmbH in Meckesheim to the waste disposal company WRZ-Hörger GmbH & Co. KG in Sontheim. The turnkey plant, consisting of a separation device for removing extraneous substances, a wet shredding step and a Plastcompactor, converts 7,000 tons of wastes per year into free-flowing agglomerates with a high bulk density that can be used for the production of injection moldings. Especially for mixed fractions, Erema has teamed up with Coperion GmbH & Co. KG in Stuttgart to develop their Corema, a combined recycling and compounding line. Characteristic of this unit is its suitability for a wide range of materials. According to Erema managing director Manfred Hackl, this is an ideal machine for processing mixtures of materials obtainable at low cost and for converting PP nonwoven wastes into a compound with 20% talcum and for processing PET/PE mixtures with additives.

Another special solution is the MRS extrusion system supplied by Gneuss to K2 Polymers in the UK for the processing of polyamide 11 regrind. The feedstock comes from deep-sea oil pipes recovered from a depleted oilfield and brought ashore. After decades of service, these pipes are highly contaminated with oil. The Multi Rotation System (MRS) extruder manages to decontaminate and reprocess the high-grade plastics waste in a single step and without chemical washing.

Although many processes have already become established, recycling still has plenty of potential for improvement. A first step could be the recyclable design of plastics items that should be examined closely with a view to later recovery. Suitable recycling processes and machinery solutions for the processing of problematical wastes offer numerous possibilities for further development.

Editor’s Note: This post was shared by a member of the Package Design community. Do you have news to share with our readers or a package design project that you are especially proud of? Click here to learn how you can become a contributing member of the Package Design online community.

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EPA and USDA join forces over food waste






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 6/5/2013 5:21:11 PM





 

 

EPA-USDAEnvironmental Protection Agency acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (shown) on June 4 to announce the launch of a challenge that asks farmers, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities and government agencies to reduce wasted food. The U.S. Food Waste Challenge builds upon the success of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge to help more Americans do their part to reduce food waste.

 

“Food waste is the single largest type of waste entering our landfills — Americans throw away up to 40 percent of their food. Addressing this issue helps to combat hunger and save money, while also combating climate change. Food waste in landfills decomposes to create potent greenhouse gases and by reducing this waste we can in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Perciasepe. “I’m proud that EPA is joining with USDA today to announce the U.S. Food Waste Challenge. With the help of partners across the country, we can ensure that our nation’s food goes to our families and those in need – not the landfill.”

 

“The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant food supply on earth, but too much of this food goes to waste,” says Tom Vilsack. “Not only could this food be going to folks who need it – we also have an opportunity to reduce the amount of food that ends up in America’s landfills. By joining together with EPA and businesses from around the country, we have an opportunity to better educate folks about the problem of food waste and begin to address this problem across the nation.”

 

More food waste than paper and plastic

 

Americans send more food to landfills and incinerators than any other single municipal solid waste (MSW) – 35 million tons- even more than paper and plastic. When wasted food is sent to landfills, it decomposes and becomes a source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In addition, the production and transportation of food has a number of environmental impacts; by reducing wasted food our society helps conserve energy and reduces environmental impacts.

 

In 2010, EPA began challenging organizations along the food lifecycle to adopt more sustainable practices through its National Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) program’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC). EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge provides direct technical assistance, a tracking system, and recognition to help support and motivate organizations to reduce their food waste. Through the simple act of measuring food that is wasted, organizations can immediately identify simple changes that lead to big reductions More than 200 organizations are now participating in the Food Recovery Challenge.

 

More on the U.S. Food Waste Challenge: www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/index.htm

 

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The road to recovery?






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Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor — Packaging Digest, 4/1/2013 5:25:00 PM





Victor BellVictor BellDemand for recycled-content packaging materials continues to grow in the U.S. But the market and infrastructure for collecting used materials suffers somewhat from various limitations, whether they be financial, logistical or emotional. 

Recently, there’s been an uptick in conversations around extended producer responsibility programs (voluntary) and/or regulations (mandatory) to help boost recycling rates—which would also help improve the supply of recycled materials.

Victor Bell, president of Environmental Packaging Intl. (EPI)—a consultancy specializing in global environmental packaging and product stewardship requirements—talks to Packaging Digest about the current and possible future state of EPR in the U.S.

 

Q: Who is initiating the EPR conversation today in the U.S. and why?


A: The conversation is being led by a number of different interests: 

1. Organizations focused on sustainability and balancing corporate economics with the social, health and environmental impacts of consumer products and packaging, like Future 500 and the Product Stewardship Institute;

 

2. Private industry, like Nestle Waters, whose funding helped establish the non-profit initiative Recycling Reinvented that is committed to increasing recycling rates in the U.S. through EPR; 

3. Environmental organizations who view EPR as a way to divert more waste from landfills and waterways as marine debris; and 

4. Local cities and towns that are financially strapped and need money to maintain or expanding their recycling systems.

 

Q: How much of it relates to packaging instead product stewardship? 


A:
I’m only talking about EPR as it relates to packaging and printed paper. In terms of product stewardship, that dialogue is being driven by cities, towns and state governments, who are pushing to get materials like tires, electronics, paint, fluorescent bulbs and mattresses out of the waste stream. EPR for these products is already well-established throughout the U.S. and, for many of them, there’s been good cooperation between industry and government, with some model legislation developed by industry.

 

Q: How do the programs being proposed in the U.S. differ from other countries and why? 


A:
In the U.S., almost all of the EPR programs being proposed include both printed paper and packaging. While that same approach holds true in Canada, in Europe, most programs don’t cover non-packaging printed paper. Other than that difference, the intent of the bills on the table here is the same as the intent of the laws in place globally: to transfer the cost of recycling from cities and towns to private industry which puts the products on the market. What remains to be seen is how costs will be shared. Worldwide, the funding by industry can range from 50 to 100 percent, and this is a big topic of discussion in the U.S.

 

Q: The goal of many/most EPR programs is to boost recycling rates but not all packaging materials are recycled or even have a recycling infrastructure. What then? 


A:
Under global EPR programs, all packaging is subject to fees based on how difficult the materials are to recycle and how valuable the materials are at the end of life. But there aren’t always recycling programs available for all those materials. That’s because, sometimes, there’s not economic justification for recycling them since the collection costs are high and there’s no market for the materials. While the fees for these non-recovered materials are normally higher, as the technology to handle them improves and they can be added to the system, their value could increase relative to processing costs-and fees may be reduced.


Q: With demand for recycled-content materials high, is EPR the best way to ensure a consistent, quality supply at an affordable cost? Why or why not? 


A:
EPR may not dictate whether a community should have a single stream or multi stream, but it does allow for investment in better education and technology—such as optical sorting, better collection facilities and other infrastructure enhancements that increase the volume and value of the recycled-content materials. Right now, cities and towns don’t have the money to fund these investments; that’s where the private sector could help.

 

Q: What’s the chance that the U.S. will see EPR legislation on a national scale? 


A:
I think it’s unlikely. A number of states are looking at model legislation with similar definitions and other components. But just like in Canada, where there are distinct programs in place in the various provinces, the U.S. Congress has no appetite to pass legislation on a national level. What’s happening right now is on a state-by-state basis. If those programs are enacted, then there could be a move to harmonize them throughout the country at some future date, but at this time, I don’t foresee that happening.

 

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Campaign takes a bite out of food packaging waste






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Posted by Jenni Spinner, Senior Editor — Packaging Digest, 3/29/2013 9:04:00 AM





Platos Table food containerPlatos Table announces a grassroots community campaign to eliminate single-use food containers in restaurants in St. Petersburg, FL, targeting polystyrene, brand name Styrofoam. Over 20 local restaurants and food markets have joined this unique campaign by posting a decal in their storefront windows designating them as Reuser sites that will support diners using their own containers for take-out. In return for saving the restaurant the cost of the container and helping the restaurant go green, the diner will receive some incentive, like a reduced meal cost or free drink. The restaurants are listed and updated on the website created especially for this campaign, http://www.reusers.com. Diners are encouraged to check out the list for Reuser sites and incentives, prior to dining.

 

Platos Table LLC, a women-owned small business in St. Petersburg, FL, the originator of this local campaign, is making inroads in eliminating take-out food container waste, especially polystyrene foam, sometimes sold under the brand name Styrofoam. “The appeal of single-use containers is convenience and low cost; the drawbacks are huge,” says Sheree Graves, one of the partners in Platos Table. “In the U.S., consumers are renowned single-users. The fact is that packaging makes up 30% of the trash in our landfills; that 30% is comprised of polystyrene foam, plastic and paper.” The EPA on its website “encourages practices that reduce the amount of waste needing to be disposed of, especially single-use packaging. The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place.”

 

Graves and her business partner, Lela Garnett, decided in 2011, to invent a convenient container that could be used over and over. After looking at many materials, their choice was BPA-free polypropylene food grade plastic. Garnett says, “The unique design folds flat for storage and pops together; it is important that using the container (called Platos) is convenient, because it is replacing convenient single-use containers. This is a behavior change for the diner and a process change for the restaurant; neither is easy or cost-free.”

 

Over 100 cities and counties have banned polystyrene containers. This year in February, NY Mayor Bloomberg announced in his weekly city address that he was going to push to ban Styrofoam food packaging. Some of the oldest polystyrene bans in restaurants include Portland, OR, Berkley, CA and Carmel, CA, all dating the late eighties. Philadelphia and Boston are considering ordinances banning the foam products and Chicago has a non-profit effort called “No Foam Chicago.”

 

The effort in St. Petersburg does not involve an ordinance or a complete ban. It is a volunteer effort that involves individuals and businesses cooperating. The St. Petersburg, FL campaign will kick off with an event on April 3, at which the initial list of local restaurant and market participants will be unveiled.

 

Source: Platos Table
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SC Johnson debuts concentrated, packaging-saving Smart Twist Cleaning System






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 3/27/2013 3:19:34 PM





SCJ Smart TwistSC Johnson, Racine, WI, announces the innovative Smart Twist Cleaning System, which uses less packaging and helps reduce waste with three concentrated cleaners in one space-saving, handy sprayer. This breakthrough cleaning product offers a fast and easy solution and provides another everyday green option for busy families. The Smart Twist Cleaning System is available exclusively online.

 

“As a fundamental goal of our sustainability efforts, we strive to deliver innovative, effective home cleaning products that make it easier for families to make everyday green choices,” says Kelly M. Semrau, senior vice president, corporate sustainability Officer at SC Johnson. “The Smart Twist Cleaning System is an example of our continued efforts to test, learn and improve in the concentrated cleaning space in order to drive real, positive environmental changes.”

 

American consumers buy 320 million cleaning products in trigger bottles each year, and millions end up in landfills. By comparison, concentrates use less packaging and can help reduce waste compared to buying a new trigger bottle. In fact, if just 20 percent of those 320 million bottles were refilled rather than discarded, it could save seven million pounds of plastic.

 

Along with being an innovative, smart, time-saving solution, the Smart Twist Cleaning System is a good choice for reducing waste, too. Each concentrated cleaner cartridge:

  • Requires 63 percent less plastic than a new standard spray bottle;
  • Avoids transporting up to 22oz of water, depending on the formula;
  • Is recyclable in most community programs.

 

The Smart Twist Cleaning System can be customized by adding a choice of three concentrated cleaner cartridges into the sprayer unit so there is no more carrying multiple cleaners around the house. Fill the water tank with tap water and screw the cap on tightly. Snap the concentrated cleaner into the carousel; twist the carousel to switch instantly between cleaners as you move from room-to-room and surface-to-surface throughout your home.

 

Smart Twist brings added convenience by automatically adding the right amount of water for you-just spray and wipe surface to clean. With three cleaners in one sprayer, the Smart Twist Cleaning System makes cleaning every room in the house faster and easier.

 

Each Smart Twist concentrated cleaner cartridge is available in the following five trusted cleaners for a powerful cleaning performance:

  • Windex Glass: Perfect for glass, mirrors, and chrome-use it for a streak-free shine;
  • fantastik Kitchen Fights tough grease and grime in the kitchen on countertops, stovetops, and stainless steel;
  • Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom: Works to clean tough soap scum on all bathroom surfaces like tubs, showers, tile, counters, and sinks
  • Pledge Furniture: Cleans and dusts all hard surfaces in one easy step and is safe to use on wood
  • Shout Carpet: Ideal for spots and stains on the carpet

 

The Smart Twist Cleaning System is available for purchase exclusively online at SCJGreenChoices.com and SmartTwist.com in a variety of options, allowing customization for every home’s cleaning needs. Smart Twist Cleaning System Starter Kits include a sprayer and a set of three concentrated cleaner cartridges and are available in several options for $24.99 each, including: Kitchen/Bath Starter Kit containing a Windex Glass, Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom and fantastik Kitchen concentrated cleaner cartridges; Living Spaces Starter Kit containing Windex Glass, Pledge Furniture and Shout Carpet concentrated cleaner cartridges. Smart Twist concentrated cleaner cartridges are sold in mix-and-match twin packs for $7.99.

 

Source: SCJohnson

 

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Visionary: Method sees an ocean of opportunities






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A maker of naturally derived, biodegradable cleaning products, Method makes RESPONSIBLE PACKAGING LOOK GOOD.


Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor — Packaging Digest, 2/1/2013 11:00:00 AM





Rudi BeckerRudi Becker, “the resinator” (aka director of packaging) at Method Products Inc., comes clean about recycled-content packaging and breaking through paradigms. Why settle when you can soar?

 

Q: What consumer trend(s) will have the most impact on how products are packaged in the future and why?
A:
Consumers are becoming more informed about packaging materials and, more frequently, they are asking for recycled content in packaging. However, I believe there are still huge opportunities for the packaging industry to drive more environmentally responsible solutions for consumers.

 

I have always been a big proponent of the Cradle to Cradle philosophy. At Method, bottles are made from bottles. The use of 100-percent post-consumer recycled plastic in Method’s bottles results in less energy consumed to make resin and fewer bottles ending up in landfills.

 

As packaging professionals, we need to be advocates for using the resources that already exist and drive solutions that address many of the challenges accompanying the use of post-consumer content. With greater-than-before demand from the consumer, and an industry that embraces sustainable solutions, there’s no reason why the future of packaging should not be dominated by the use of recycled content.

 

Q: What are some of the most exciting packaging projects you’ve been involved with?
A:
I recently helped develop a bottle made from recovered ocean plastic. It was one of the most exciting and rewarding projects I’ve worked on. People thought we were crazy at the onset of this idea: Let’s take plastic that has been in the ocean, perhaps for years, and give it a new lease on life as a soap bottle. Through strong relationships with recyclers and suppliers, we were able to work through the logistics and technical issues associated with the project, making something that seemed impossible a reality.

By participating in several beach clean-ups, it gave me the opportunity to truly appreciate the scale of the problem first hand. It’s estimated that several million tons of plastic makes its way into our oceans every year, polluting the environment and damaging marine life. I know that the Method Ocean Plastic project is not going to clean up the world’s oceans, but a packaging project like this can raise awareness about an important issue and demonstrates a smart way of using plastic that is already on the planet.

Watch a two-minute video overview of the problem of ocean plastic and what we’re doing at www.packagingdigest.com/MethodOcean.

 

Q: What advice do you have for the next generation of packaging professionals?
A:
Don’t be content with existing paradigms and don’t settle for “No, we can’t do that.” I really do believe that you are only limited by your imagination. I can’t tell you how many times I have been involved in a project and the initial reaction to an idea was overwhelmingly focused on how something can’t be done. Innovation is not easy, and it takes commitment and drive to realize your vision. Take on risk, challenge your colleagues, push your supplier base out of their comfort zone and strive to do something that is truly original.

 

Packaging innovation spurs rapid growth

Ocean PlasticMethod took the high-design road from the start. Beautiful, artsy packages not only look good, but often do good for the environment.

 

2000—Method is born, the brainchild of co-founders Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan.


2001—The company’s first eco-friendly cleaning sprays and dish soaps—made with non-toxic ingredients packaged in stylish containers (so cleaning products don’t have to hide under the sink)—are test marketed in 90 Target stores. In seven short months, Target begins selling Method products nationwide.

 

2003—Method debuts its first hand wash in the brand’s iconic teardrop-shaped bottle, which becomes one of the company’s most popular products.

 

2004—The company launches the first triple-concentrated (3x) laundry detergent in the U.S. mass market.


2008—
Method begins using bottles from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.

 

Its liquid hand soap spouted refill pouches use 83 percent less plastic than a similar PET bottle and take less energy to produce.

 

2010—Method 8x concentrated laundry detergent debuts in a handheld pump bottle that eliminates the need for (and the mess of) dosage cups. The new closure allows for easy, accurate dispensing of detergent directly into the washing machine.

 

Method laundry detergent2011—Method partners with upcycling/recycling pioneer TerraCycle to create the Method Refill Brigade. Consumers send their used soap refill pouches to TerraCycle. For each package received, TerraCycle and Method pay two cents to a charity of the collector’s choice. The collected packaging is reused to make trash cans, coolers, plastic bags and other home goods.

Method collaborates with Disney Consumer Products to make hand-washing fun. A bold new bottle is modeled after the silhouette of two of Disney’s most iconic characters: Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

 

Standout merchandising display and smooth pouring action give Method’s new detergent refill pouches—which feature a rigid spine along one side—strong appeal with U.S. retailers and consumers.

 

2012—Method is acquired by Ecover and together become the world’s largest green cleaning company.

 

Method unveils the world’s first line of packaging made from recovered ocean plastic. Method’s bottle is 100 percent post-consumer polyethylene, made from a blend of plastic recovered from the ocean and PCR. Method employees and volunteers hand-collected more than one ton of plastic from the beaches of Hawaii for the first run of this innovative material.

 

Method launches first dryer-activated fabric softener spray. The concentrated product is sprayed directly into the dryer onto wet clothes and uses the clothes as a vehicle to disperse the product while the dryer spins, eliminating the need for the traditional dryer sheet. Dryer sheets are often made out of polyethylene or polyester, and can’t be composted or recycled after use. Method’s fabric spray bottle is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled PET and can be recycled.

 

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New Belgium Brewing joins ranks of EPR supporters






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 3/4/2013 5:06:35 PM





New Belgium logoProving that the concept of business-driven extended producer responsibility (EPR) is gaining favor amongst environmentally conscious brands, Recycling Reinvented announced it has received a pledge of support from New Belgium Brewing Co., a Fort Collins, CO-based brewer of more than 25 varieties of craft beer. 

Amongst the company’s core values is “honoring nature at every turn of the business” through environmental stewardship.

 

“I believe that if the producers were held accountable for the end of life of their packages, more efficient and effective systems would be created to promote landfill diversion,” says Jennifer Vervier, director of sustainability for New Belgium. “Recycling Reinvented’s vision of a uniquely American style of EPR lays the groundwork for the development of those types of efficiencies.”

 

Through EPR, brand owners and manufacturers will help communities to increase access to curbside recycling and recycling away from home- not just for bottles, but for all product packaging. The efficiencies created by EPR will improve recycling rates and increase the availability of recycled stock materials for remanufacturing.

 

“We are pleased that New Belgium has joined us in supporting the development of a uniquely
American, business-driven solution for diverting valuable materials from our waste stream and landfills,” says Paul Gardner, executive director of Recycling Reinvented. “We commend New Belgium for its long-standing commitment to environmentally safe business practices and we look forward to working together in the development of EPR.”

 

About Recycling Reinvented

 

Recycling Reinvented promotes increasing recycling rates of waste packaging and printed material in the United States through an extended producer responsibility (EPR) model. With a diverse group of board members from the nonprofit and private sector, Recycling Reinvented builds a coalition of supporters from the public, private and nonprofit sectors in order to make EPR for packaging and printed materials a preferred method of managing valuable waste. Recycling-Reinvented.org hopes to be a place where industry, government, and nonprofit organizations can come to find out how EPR works, how it can increase recycling rates, and what will be required to make it work.

 

Source: Recycling Reinvented

 

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PBS launching new series on Sustainable Packaging






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 2/25/2013 10:09:01 AM





 

MartinSheenLogoThe producers of the In Focus educational TV program starring Martin Sheen have announced that they will spotlight a new trend taking hold across America’s consumption-driven economy, sustainable packaging, in an upcoming series. This In Focus Martin Sheen series will look at various ways that companies save money and help the environment by reducing the amount of packaging on the goods and items they produce and sell.

 

All along the supply chain, from factories to store shelves, companies have started to reduce the impact that their products and the components they make have on the environment. Companies that produce components for use in electronics, automobiles, appliances and other applications can use smaller boxes and less packaging to send these components up the supply chain, where other companies then use these components in their finished products.

 

Smaller packaging costs companies less money, and lead to less waste. Smaller boxes, less [expanded polystyrene] foam packaging and less plastic all lead to less garbage winding up in landfills.

 

The In Focus with Martin Sheen show, which is carried on public television outlets across the United States, including some stations affiliated with PBS, will profile different companies across the economy that have reduced their ecological footprint and their expenses by embracing sustainable packaging. The TV program will highlight examples of this “green” trend in many industries throughout the nation, and inform the public about how this trend makes sense in multiple ways. The Martin Sheen PBS program’s producers will speak with company executives at firms across the country to learn how using less packaging helps companies save.

 

Source: PBS

 

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Arrowhead video celebrates beauty of bottled water recycling






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Posted by Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor — Packaging Digest, 2/20/2013 1:23:15 PM





Arrowhead logoArrowhead Brand 100% Mountain Spring Water—the brand that introduced its new 0.5L ReBorn bottle made with 50 percent recycled plastic (rPET) and launched its “Recycling is a Beautiful Thing” campaign in November 2012—is taking another step toward educating consumers about the value of recycling with the unveiling of an innovative, new stop-motion video. The video supports the brand’s commitment to getting consumers excited about recycling and increasing recycling rates by featuring visuals that were created out of recycled materials. 

Produced by Bent Image Lab based in Portland, Ore., the one-minute video tells the story of the endless possibilities that can come from recycling. The video informs consumers that most recyclable plastic bottles actually end up in the trash—in California alone, more than 2.8 billion plastic bottles ended up in landfills in 2011[1]—but stresses that the more we recycle today, the more materials that can be reused tomorrow. The animatic eventually portrays a picture of a 3-D landscape, nature’s masterpiece, followed by an Arrowhead label from which the 0.5L ReBorn bottle emerges. 

The video was created to emphasize the message behind the brand’s “Recycling is a Beautiful Thing” campaign, which was launched in November 2012. “We’re excited to demonstrate that recycled materials have significant second life utility,” says Gigi Leporati, brand manager, Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water. “If you look closely at the imagery in the video, you’ll see it translates some recyclable materials found in landfills into an artistic and environmentally thoughtful statement. Through this video, we hope to motivate consumers to recycle more and think about recycling in a new way.”

 

The interactive campaign is hosted on a dedicated tab on the Arrowhead brand Facebook page. In addition to the video, the page also highlights informative statistics about recycling and showcases still life and found object art pieces crafted from recycled materials. 

The 0.5L ReBorn bottle launch was celebrated in the San Francisco area with a volunteer recycling and beautification event in partnership with Keep California Beautiful (KCB) on America Recycles Day. To further assist local recycling efforts in San Francisco, Arrowhead unveiled four innovative solar-powered BigBelly waste and recycling stations at the event, which the brand is sponsoring for one year. 

To learn more about the Arrowhead ReBorn bottle and experience the beauty of recycling, please visit the brand on Facebook where you can also watch the new video and share it with your friends. To read more about NestleWaters North America’s commitment to sustainability, please visit www.nestle-watersna.com.

[1] CalRecycle. Calendar Year 2011 Report of Beverage Container Sales, Returns, Redemption and Recycling Rates. www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Publications/Documents/BevContainer%5C2012013.pdf.

 

Source: Nestle Waters North America

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