With our core focus on sustainability, Plastipak is committed to taking decisive steps to continue to reduce our environmental impact. We’re proud to better the communities we serve by cutting down on waste, embracing renewable energy and conserving our precious natural resources. We’ve continued to make strides forward in four key areas over the past year.
Plastipak Opens New Solar-Powered Global Recycling Center in Spain
In November 2022, Plastipak celebrated the opening of our newest recycling center at our manufacturing site in Toledo, Spain. The facility converts PET flake into food-grade recycled PET (rPET) pellets suitable for direct use in new preforms, bottles and containers.
The recycling plant produces 20,000 metric tons of food-grade recycled pellet per year and eliminates recycled resin transport-related emissions because it is co-located with Plastipak’s current preform manufacturing site. The opening of the Toledo facility – our fifth global recycling center – supports Plastipak’s commitments to invest in the circular economy, help our customers meet their sustainable packaging goals and reduce their Scope 3 carbon emissions.
The state-of-the-art facility incorporates advanced energy-saving technologies and equipment, including the rooftop installation of over 1,800 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. The PV panels are expected to generate more than 1,339 MWh of electricity per year consumed entirely on-site, saving more than 443 metric tons of CO2 per year that would be associated with electricity from the national energy grid. This emissions reduction is in addition to the CO2 savings resulting from the 20,000 metric tons of recycled resin produced annually, which takes the place of virgin resins that would require more grid energy to produce.
Plastipak continues to evaluate and adopt a variety of renewable energy projects. This includes pursuing a combination of on-site and off-site power purchase agreements as well as the use of certificates of guarantee of origin.
In 2022, 100% of the energy consumed at our European and Brazilian plants came from renewable sources, and the electricity consumed at seven of our North American plants was certified as emissions-free.
The use of renewable energy for electricity contributed to our 45.8% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions compared with our 2019 baseline.
Converting Organic Waste to Green Energy for Clean Tech UK
Clean Tech UK, Plastipak’s bottle-to-bottle PET recycling plant based in Hemswell, U.K., signed a long-term partnership in June 2021 with neighboring anaerobic digestion facility operator BioteCH4. Through the partnership, BioteCH4 converts organic food and agricultural waste processed at its facility to biogas, which in turn is converted into electricity using a combined heat and power (CHP) process. We then use the green energy to power our Clean Tech UK facility.
BioteCH4 processes more than 90,000 metric tons each year – waste that would otherwise find its way to a landfill. In 2022, BioteCH4 delivered over 80% of the electricity required to power Clean Tech UK, cutting our CO2 usage by 2.8 million metric tons.
Approximately 84% of our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions (using the location-based method) arise from the electricity used for production. As a result, we continually assess our plants for opportunities to lower our energy usage.
Our Energy Reduction team focuses on developing and implementing energy use best practices, which are then rolled out to specific locations as applicable. We have identified these operations as the most significant areas of opportunity:
Plastipak’s automated, proprietary energy management system provides energy usage information at the production line level, so we have specific, real-time data to inform important decisions. This information enables us to benchmark manufacturing line performance within sites and across the company to help identify areas where further improvements may be possible.
As we continue to adapt our process and move toward a greener future, Plastipak is always looking for ways to serve our community better. From reducing CO2 usage to conserving energy, we’ve made some great progress in 2022 and 2023, and we’re already looking ahead to 2024 to identify more opportunities to protect our planet and create a better tomorrow for us all.
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 its website www.plastipak.com