Sustainability at a Glance
Global Initiatives Overview
Fulfilling our Sustainability Goals Through Clean Tech
Plastipak is committed to sustainable packaging from design and development to recycling. Our sustainability initiatives are guided by a bottle to bottle approach to recycling which is accomplished through our recycling affiliate, Clean Tech.
Plastipak holds itself accountable to stakeholders to run operations in an environmentally-friendly manner for current and future generations. We have made that goal an inseparable part of our business plan.
Plastipak categorizes its sustainability improvements into three distinct groups:
Global Recycling Centers
Plastipak’s global recycling centers utilize the most advanced recycling technologies globally in converting collected and recycled plastic containers into high-quality post-consumer recycled PET resin (PET PCR or rPET) and HDPE resin (HDPE PCR or rHDPE). Post-consumer recycled resin is converted back into containers for food, laundry detergent, household cleaners and other common products.
In North America, Clean Tech is one of the top five plastic recyclers in the U.S.
In Europe, Plastipak is the largest producer of food-grade rPET, with capacity to produce over 300 million pounds (136 tonnes) of food-grade rPET (PET PCR) material annually.
In recognition of operations of a high-performance green building, Plastipak’s manufacturing site in Victorville, California earned Gold LEED certification under the New Construction and Major Renovation Rating System.
Direct Object Printing
Plastipak’s award-winning printing solution uses environmentally-friendly ink while eliminating the need for label substrates and reducing transportation and post-consumer waste. Direct Object Printing earned two DuPont Awards: A Gold Award for Technological Advancement and Responsible Packaging and a Silver Award for Packaging Innovation.
Waste and Scrap Reductions
Plastipak continually implements ways to reduce waste and scrap. Wipe Out Waste (WOW) teams work diligently toward Plastipak’s zero landfill goal, with multiple sites already having achieved that goal. Environmental improvement teams establish action plans to reduce waste in addition to waste reduction training for associates.
Substantial reductions to our scrap rate have been achieved in an effort to improve the sustainability of our operations. This reduction minimizes the consumption of energy and other resources.
Hybrid Gaylord ContainersPlastipak’s hybrid gaylord containers are made with reduced cardboard content for a longer-lasting, more efficient storage item. About 90% of the gaylord containers used are hybrids. The thickness of liners on gaylord bins have been reduced significantly.
Achieving Sustainability in Product ImprovementsPlastipak achieves sustainability goals through innovative technologies to produce products with reduced container weight, carbon footprint savings, lower energy costs, and recyclability.
Packaging options produced with post‑consumer recycled PET resin (PET PCR or rPET) and HDPE resin (HDPE PCR or rHDPE) allow for the sustainability that customers seek to lower the carbon footprint in packaging.
Protecting the Environment
Plastipak is committed to continually fulfilling our responsibilities to protect the environment for future generations, acting as a responsible global citizen for a shared community. The company is committed to social responsibility for environmental guardianship and its leadership in sustainability. Plastipak is meeting the goals set by the company's formal conservation plan.
Plastipak employs Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) to assess and maximize each stage of our products’ life cycle stages. By applying Life Cycle Thinking, billions of bottles are repurposed annually.
Global Recycling Centers Anchor Recycling Efforts
The HDPE and PET recycled by Plastipak’s recycling affiliate, Clean Tech, finish the recycling process as post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin pellets (rPET in European markets). The PCR resin (rPET) pellets are then used to produce more plastic containers as part of our bottle to bottle approach to recycling.
Eco-Conscious Transport Operations
Plastipak’s transport affiliate, Whiteline Express, actively seeks way to reduce its carbon footprint and protect natural resources. As an EPA SmartWay partner, Whiteline Express installed anti-idling devices, aerodynamic fairing, and higher efficiency tractors.
Plastipak UK partners with Eco-Schools, a global, pupil-led recycling initiative that uses hands-on learning to achieve school-wide participation in exciting environmental projects. Plastipak UK helped create the Eco-Schools Waste and Recycling module. The Eco-Schools program gives children a unique opportunity to empower change within their communities. It encourages students of all ages to work together to increase their knowledge about recycling. Plastipak contributes its expertise in recycling and recyclable packaging to the project.
Promoting Recycling with Recycling Counts™
Recycling Counts™ is an online global community that educates, promotes, and supports multiple initiatives from Plastipak and its partners for recycling and sustainability in our communities. This ongoing commitment to sustainability is guided by a bottle to bottle approach to recycling. We are dedicated to sharing with others how recycling can help preserve our planet for generations to come and strive to demonstrate how Recycling Counts™ can truly make a difference across the globe.
The mission of Recycling Counts™ is to globally encourage, promote, support and educate businesses and the end-consumer about recycling PET and HDPE plastics, and to continue our commitment to sustainability with a bottle to bottle recycling approach.
Recycling Counts™ Articles
We invite you to read our articles about worldwide recycling efforts. These articles discuss recycling tips for your community, how Plastipak and its partners design sustainable plastic packaging, and much more. Find out how you can get involved. See firsthand how our efforts to recycle often start with simple actions, but have a global impact when we all work together. By simply placing your used plastic bottles into the bin, you are joining the Recycling Counts™ movement.
Bottle to Bottle Recycling View PDF View Video
With recycling, used plastic bottles are turned into resin to make new bottles. This bottle to bottle recycling approach creates a sustainable life cycle for plastic packaging. View this chart to learn more about this process and discover how you can take part in Recycling Worth Repeating!™
Achieving Sustainability Goals in Packaging
Sustainability is a priority in Plastipak’s processes to deliver top-quality, highly-functional packaging.
Daily operations are geared toward supporting Plastipak’s sustainability initiative. The company consistently reinvents methods, technologies and materials to create sustainable packaging solutions.
Plastipak’s sustainable packaging earns recognition across the globe.
Plastipak earned double awards at the Plastics Industry Awards, including Best Environmental or Energy Efficiency Initiative of the Year and Best Business Initiative of the Year.
Plastipak’s Clean Tech site in Hemswell, UK was named the Recycling Facility of the Year at Materials Recycling World’s National Recycling Awards.
Jussara recognized Plastipak Brazil with a Sustainability Merit of Honor for its contributions to Project ReCiclo (Project Recycling).
ThermaLite™ jars earned a Bronze Greenstar Sustainable Award from Starpack, recognizing the 85% lighter weight compared to glass alternatives.
Plastipak’s Simply Orange bottle, produced with EPET technology, won the Best of Show Award in the PAC Gold Sustainable category.
Plastipak received an Honorable Mention as a Detroit Free Press Michigan Green Leader for employing Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) to achieve strategic sustainability.
DuPont has recognized Plastipak with multiple Packaging Innovation Awards over the years, including a Gold Award for Technological Advancement and Responsible Packaging for Direct Object Printing. The use of environmentally-friendly ink and the elimination of label substrates also earned DuPont’s Gold Award for Technological Advancement and Responsible Packaging.
DuPont also awarded Plastipak for a package redesign that significantly reduced a Kraft salad dressing container’s weight, saving 2 million pounds of plastic each year.
Procter & Gamble awarded Plastipak with Business Partner Excellence Awards multiple times over the years, recognizing Plastipak as a high-performing global supplier and a sustainability partner.
The DuPont Environmental Award was earned by Plastipak for the first PET container made of 100% post-consumer recycled PET resin (PET PCR or rPET).