That’s exactly why we’ve decided to dive into a three-part series on the topic, where we’ll investigate why recycling is still so important, who’s most responsible at each point in the process, and how we can all work together to improve the system as a whole.
With so many mixed messages out there about recycling, we hope to inspire and encourage you to block out the noise and continue on the recycling journey—just as we are.
We’re kicking off the series by discussing inception: the phase where we, a global packaging company, are responsible for the heavy lifting. Inception involves helping our partners analyze, compare, and choose sustainable and recyclable materials that fit their use case. We use Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to inform these decisions, so we can create bespoke packaging that helps our partners meet their goals while reducing their impact on the planet. When we think and operate this way, it allows us to set you (our partners and their end-consumers) up for success when the time comes to recycle.
It’s important to note that sustainable initiatives such as recycling have the potential to generate a ripple effect.
This majority belief puts pressure on businesses to increase the recyclability of their packaging—which is where we come in. We help our clients increase their packaging recyclability while also encouraging our raw material manufacturers to prioritize these mindful materials.
As you can see, increasing recyclability at inception is essential if we want to create a well-oiled recycling machine and generate that positive ripple effect, which is exactly what we want to do.
If we all recycled according to the textbook, and our facilities could actually handle the volume of materials and process them accurately and efficiently—our landfills would be less overwhelmed, recycling centers would be a bustling hub for cities around the world (providing jobs and boosting the local economy), and we would all be contributing to a circular economy.
Sounds pretty ideal, right?
Well, it’s no secret that we don’t all recycle according to the textbook, and recycling facilities around the world have historically not been able to handle the sheer volume of materials that come their way.
And when we hear that our individual and collective efforts to recycle are going to waste (quite literally), it’s tempting to stop trying altogether.
But we’re here to urge you to do the opposite. When our recycling systems are struggling as they are, it’s more important than ever to own our individual recycling responsibilities and come together to improve the system however we can.
For a bit of inspiration, let’s review the many benefits of recycling. When done right, it has the power to prevent air, water, and land pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and natural resources, and free up more forested land and open space. To put this into perspective:
On the other hand, if we give up on recycling, we’ll use significantly more energy and raw materials, we’ll release millions of extra tons of greenhouse gasses, our soil and groundwater will become more and more toxic, and our landfills will fill up faster—overflowing into fresh land and natural habitats.
When we say, “It’s more important than ever to own our individual recycling responsibilities and come together to improve the system however we can,” it’s important to identify who’s most responsible at each point in the process.
Healthy systems require a healthy foundation.
Our partners turn to us to point them toward the best, most efficient types of sustainable and recyclable packaging. This is a great honor, but it’s also a great responsibility. We’ve maintained this responsibility for decades, considering sustainability and recyclability in our earliest days as a packaging company—and we hope to inspire other key players in our industry to do the same.
That’s exactly why we keep a circular economy (+ our partners’ and the planet’s best interests) at the forefront of our minds from the beginning—from reducing the overall weight and volume of the packaging to increasing its overall recyclability with environmentally friendly materials that can be continuously reused, remade, or returned to the earth.
One of our main goals as a sustainable packaging company is to provide innovative, recyclable packaging options that make sense for the planet, its people, and our partners’ operations. Over the years, we’ve discovered and implemented various solutions that inspire us to believe there’s a bright future for recycling. Some of these solutions include:
Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, and we’re always discovering and developing new packaging materials to increase the recyclability and overall sustainability of our offerings.
To increase end user recyclability, it’s important to pair those awesome, sustainable materials with innovative packaging methods. What do we mean by that? There are various ways to optimize the functionality of our packaging, so that end users are more inclined to (1) reuse the packaging and (2) recycle it properly. Some of these methods include:
No matter what, we always take a very tailored, bespoke approach to every single piece of packaging we create. Working with clients across so many different sectors requires great flexibility and adaptability—there’s no denying that. But we pride ourselves on finding the perfect balance between our partners’ needs and the well-being of the planet.
Increasing recyclability at the point of inception plays a key role in achieving this balance, and we’re honored to uphold this responsibility.