As we prepare to close out 2023, we recognize that each new year brings its own set of challenges and opportunities — and 2024 will be no different. We’re excited to continue to serve our clients and communities in the new year as we bring new innovations to the packaging industry.
Looking ahead, we’re confident that 2024 will be a year where industry leaders like Plastipak continue to make strides toward sustainability goals, helping to create a better world for us all. In this blog, we uncover five ways that we expect our sustainability goals to take a major step forward in 2024.
Setting Science-Based Targets
Plastipak is committed to evaluating and ultimately implementing science-based emissions reduction targets as defined by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We have validated our emissions and have completed our feasibility study to set our targets for the future.
First and foremost, we’re relying on the ingenuity of our talented associates who work hard each day to make these goals possible. Without the Plastipak team, all of our accomplishments in 2023 would never have happened, and we’re counting on them as we move into 2024.
But we’re also turning to several tried and true strategies to cut down on our emissions and embrace renewable energy. Pursuing innovative technology like carbon capture, biogas and solar electricity will allow us to meet our science-based targets.
Leading in Carbon Capture
In 2023, Plastipak created PPKNatura, the world’s first PET resin made from captured carbon emissions, in partnership with LanzaTech. By leveraging LanzaTech’s innovative carbon capture technology, we were able to create quality recyclable packaging that meets customers’ demands and reduces greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.
Heading into 2024, we expect more orders to incorporate PPKNatura, giving carbon capture a greater place in the packaging industry. As more clients turn to sustainable solutions like PPKNatura, we’ll continue to reduce our emissions and push toward our science-based goals.
Embracing Solar Energy
Electricity created by fossil fuels continues to be one of the largest contributors to global emissions. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, electricity generation, in the United States alone, produced over 1.65 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2022. By embracing more renewable energy sources in 2024, we can continue to cut down on our emissions.
In November 2022, we paved the way for renewable energy in recycling by opening a plant in Toledo, Spain powered by 1,800 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, which cut down on CO2 emissions at the plant by more than 400 metric tons. As we look ahead to 2024, we’re searching for more ways to incorporate solar energy across our operations and educating our employees on the importance of conserving energy.
Innovating with Biogas Energy
Meanwhile, our CleanTech UK recycling plant has embraced a different approach to renewable energy. Through a partnership with neighboring anaerobic digestion facility operator BioteCH4, we’ve been able to create green energy from organic waste.
BioteCH4 converts the organic food and agricultural waste processed at its facility to biogas, which in turn is used to produce electricity with a combined heat and power (CHP) process. Each year, BioteCH4 processes over 90,000 metric tons, preventing the waste from piling up in landfills and powering our plant. As a result, over 80% of the electricity required to power our recycling facility was provided by biogas energy, slashing our CO2 usage by 2.8 million metric tons.
In 2024, we’ll continue to innovate as we look for new ways to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels.
Expanding the Use of PCR
In 2022, 22.98% of the resin we converted was post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) and that number has only grown into 2023. In the year ahead, we expect the number of consumer goods companies using higher percentages of PCR to increase — helping reduce the overall emissions of their packaging.
At Plastipak, we’re prepared to meet this demand. By sourcing PCR content from our Clean Tech operations, we can fulfill customer requests for packaging with higher percentages of PCR materials so they can maintain product functionality and brand integrity.
Reducing the Industry’s Carbon Footprint
Our efforts to embrace sustainable technology are paying off. In 2022, 100% of the energy consumed at our European and Brazilian plants originated from renewable sources, and seven of our North American plants were certified as emissions-free — leading to a 45.8% reduction to our Scope 1 and 2 emissions compared to the 2019 baseline.
By embracing renewable energy, recycling and reusing PET and conserving energy, we’ve made a serious dent in our annual emissions — but there’s still more work to do. The new year will bring new possibilities, and Plastipak will continue to take strides forward in sustainability. In 2024, We will keep working to reduce our industry’s carbon footprint through innovation and careful stewardship of our planet, creating a better future for all of us.
About Plastipak Packaging, Inc.
Plastipak Packaging, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Plastipak Holdings, Inc., is a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality, rigid plastic containers for the food, beverage, and consumer products industries. Plastipak is also a leading recycler of rigid plastic packaging, producing food-grade post-consumer recycled resin for inclusion in new packaging. Plastipak operates more than 40 sites in the United States, South America and Europe, with a total of over 6,500 employees. Its customers include some of the world’s most respected and recognized consumer brands. Plastipak is also a leading innovator in the packaging industry, holding more than 420 United States patents for its state-of-the-art package designs and manufacturing processes. In addition, Plastipak licenses various packaging technologies around the world. Plastipak was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan. Additional information about Plastipak can be found at www.plastipak.com.
Statements in this press release concerning Plastipak’s intentions, expectations or predictions about future results or events are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements reflect management’s current expectations or beliefs, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to vary from stated expectations, which variations could be material and adverse. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the time made, and the Company assumes no obligation to publicly update any such statements.