Eco-Friendly Bottle Market Grows
Volume 11, Issue 5
In This Issue:
Eco-Friendly Bottle Market Grows
The global eco-friendly bottles market is forecast to reach more than US$2.5 billion by the end of 2017 and is likely to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1%...
Energybag Captures The Unrecyclable
The Hefty® EnergyBag™ program collects previously non-recycled plastics and converts the waste into energy resources.
Also Featured In This Issue:
Eco-Friendly Bottle Market Grows
The global eco-friendly bottles market is forecast to reach more than US$2.5 billion by the end of 2017 and is likely to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1% to more than US$3.7 billion by 2022, according to a report by Transparency Market Research, Albany, NY.
The report, Eco Friendly Bottles Market (Material - Polylactic Acid, Cellulose, Starch, Water Soluble Polymers, Aliphatic/Aromatic Co-polyesters, Moulded Fiber, Polyhydroxyalkanoates, Bio-derived Polyethylene; Application - Mineral Water, Non-alcoholic Beverages, Household Products) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2017 - 2022, notes the key driver for the market is the growing support of governments and consumers for environmental solutions that help conserve natural resources. The steady inflow of funding enabled by the solid government support is vital because the technology behind eco-friendly bottles is complicated and still relatively expensive. Rising usage also is linked to the rapid growth of the food and beverage industry, particularly for water and health drinks.
Developed regions dominate due to widespread awareness about the importance of ecological conservation. The North American market is expected to exhibit a robust 12.7% CAGR from 2017 to 2022, rising from a valuation of US$617.2 million to US$1,123.4 million, the latter representing close to 30% of the global eco-friendly bottle market. However, Europe dominates, with the region expected to account for more than 32% of the global market by the end of 2017. Nevertheless developing countries in regions such as Southeast Asia could become major players due to rising consumption of bottles for mineral water and beverages, as well as household cleaning liquids.
Energybag Captures The Unrecyclable
The Hefty® EnergyBag™ program collects previously non-recycled plastics and converts the waste into energy resources. In its first 11 months in the Omaha, NE, area, the program collected more than 17,000 bags from 8,500 homes and diverted 8.9 tons of non-recycled plastics from landfills.
EnergyBag™ items include standup pouches, salad bags, squeezable pouches, laundry pouches, toothpaste tubes, foam cups and to-go containers, pudding cups, wrappers, plastic deli meat packaging, plastic meat trays, juice pouches, microwaveable pouches, packaging peanuts, coffee pods, frozen fruit/vegetable/potato bags, plastic petfood bags, plastic cheese bags, disposable razors (without blades), packing peanuts, plastic liners from powdered mixes, straws, stir sticks, chip bags, condiment packets, plastic cups, plates and bowls and other non-recycled plastic bags.
Attendees at the recently concluded PACK EXPO Las Vegas (Sept. 25-27, 2017) experienced the program firsthand. Hefty® EnergyBag™ bins, sponsored by Dow Chemical (now DowDuPont), Midland, MI, were located throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center. After the show, the plastics were converted into new energy resources at an energy conversion facility.
Dow also is partnering with Keep America Beautiful (KAB), Stamford, CT, to award $50,000 grants to two organizations to establish Hefty® EnergyBag™ programs in their communities.
The grant program builds on Dow’s long-standing relationship with KAB and will be funded through the company’s Global Citizenship Impact Fund. The fund provides financial resources for business-aligned global citizenship initiatives focused on three key impact areas: access to clean drinking water, packaging to prevent food waste and post-consumer waste management.
“The Hefty® EnergyBag™ program is a true proof point for our efforts to redefine the role of business in society,” says Diego Donoso, business president for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “By sharing expertise and resources with communities, we are enabling them to develop sustainable Hefty® EnergyBag™ programs in their backyards – a crucial step as we look to scale the initiative across the country.”
If everyone in the United States participated in the program, 4 million tons of plastic could be diverted from landfills and converted into valuable energy.* This is equivalent to more than 1 billion gallons of synthetic fuel oil or 11 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. Hefty® is a brand of Reynolds Consumer Products LLC, Lake Forest, IL.
Plastic Scrap Turns Into Trash Bags
Trash bags made from post-industrial plastic scrap were used to clean up beaches on Sept. 16, 2017, around the United States during International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, Washington, DC. The recycled-content bags result from a collaboration among Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, Midland, MI, a business unit of DowDuPont Materials Science, the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance®, flexible packaging manufacturer Bemis Co., Inc., Neenah, WI, and Canada-based converter Polykar Inc., Saint-Laurent, Québec, Canada.
“As the largest provider of plastics in the packaging industry, Dow is a global advocate for resource recovery technologies,” reports Jeff Wooster, global sustainability director for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. He adds, “We’ve taken on the challenge with Bemis and Polykar, alongside the Trash Free Seas Alliance, to increase post-industrial recycling and extend sustainable industrial practices to address a worldwide problem. We know that if we work together, we can find a way to recover plastic waste and use it to make an even a bigger impact on reducing marine debris.”
The recycled-content bags open doors for difficult-to-recycle packaging formats to enter the recycling stream. To create the trash bags, Bemis collected post-industrial plastic scrap and sent it to Polykar where it was combined with Dow’s Retain™ technology and used to manufacture bags.
In 2016, the most recent International Coastal Cleanup results available, more than 500,000 volunteers collected 18.4 million pounds of trash from beaches, coasts and waterways in 112 countries.
Dow is a founding member of The Trash Free Seas Alliance, a global initiative led by the Ocean Conservancy, which unites industry, science and conservation leaders committed to identifying the causes and developing land-based solutions to prevent waste from entering the ocean. The coalition issued a report identifying the major pathways of plastic leakage into the ocean and solutions to properly concentrate and treat the plastic waste before it makes its way into the ocean.
“It’s an exciting step forward to be able to use recycled materials to collect and properly dispose of marine debris,” says Emily Woglom, executive vice president at the Ocean Conservancy. “This work is just one example of the type of concrete solutions that we have identified and worked toward with our partners in the Trash Free Seas Alliance. Stopping waste before it ever reaches the ocean through proper waste management practices is key to solving this global problem,” she concludes.
Ocean Plastic Fights Poverty
The Plastic Bank, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, works on a double win/win premise: Prevent plastic waste (currently flowing into the oceans at a rate of 8 million tons/year); alleviate poverty in developing nations, which generate 80% of ocean waste due to lack of recycling infrastructure; make plastic too valuable to throw away; and increase the supply of Social Plastic® (recycled natural or color high-density polyethylene or recycled clear polyethylene terephthalate).
Launched in Haiti in 2015, the program has spread to The Philippines and will soon be in Indonesia. The Plastic Bank creates an infrastructure where collectors gather plastic waste and exchange it for cash, digital tokens or goods at a network of convenience stores that accept plastic waste as currency. The Plastic Bank then works with local industry to process and transport the collected plastic and generate a verifiable and authentic supply of Social Plastic®.
The environmental and social impact is substantial. The plastic collected is kept out of the ocean and recycled. Every 4.5 million kilograms of Social Plastic® conserves 81,000 barrels of oil, 150,000 cubic yards of landfill space and 80% of the energy required to produce virgin plastic. That same 4.5 million kilograms also increases the income of 12,500 of the world’s poorest people, improves the lives of 62,500 and prevents 1,600 deaths.
The program depends on an award-winning app, designed in partnership with IBM and based on the Blockchain software platform for digital assets. The app:
- Gamifies collection incentives
- Guarantees ethical transactions
- Provides bank accounts for the poor
- Reports authentic impact back to customers
- Provides a digital ledger for the center operator
- Facilitates exchange for non-monetary items
- Creates transaction transparency oversight
- Channels donations into the right hands.
Support of The Plastic Bank takes three forms: Replace virgin plastic with Social Plastic feedstocks; pledge monetary support; and/or partner with in-kind support. Supporters may choose from a variety of Impact Packages, which include a license to become part of the Social Plastic story and use of the Social Plastic impact mark on products.
Participation improves the ocean and the lives of thousands of people and animals. It also provides access to a consistent supply of recycled material and the opportunity to differentiate brands and deliver a positive environmental message to consumers, particularly millennials, who seek eco-friendly products. Other benefits include progress toward social and environmental impact goals and an inspired workforce.
Fully Recycled Carton Stock Debuts
MasterWorks Ultra 100 Kraftback™ carton stock from PaperWorks, Bala Cynwyd, PA, combine 100% recycled content with higher topside brightness and a wider caliper range than competing virgin kraftback options.
The three coated recycled board options, Kraftback (general folding carton use), Kraftback Beverage (treated to provide tear strength for beverage applications) and Kraftback Freeze (moisture resistance for refrigerator or freezer applications), support environmental initiatives without sacrificing performance or appearance.
Brandon Clairmont, senior vice president, Packaging Sales and Marketing at PaperWorks, says, “We wanted give brand owners and private label companies many of the attributes they have come to enjoy from virgin grades, but do so with 100% recycled content fibers. With the addition of these three new Kraftback grades, along with the recently launched Whiteback, we can now offer multiple coated recycled board alternatives to virgin. These options will help product marketers support their environmental initiatives, while still getting the performance and visual attributes that are critical in brand positioning.” The MasterWorks Ultra 100 line is Food and Drug Administration compliant for direct food contact and meets the licensing requirements established for the 100% Recycled Paperboard symbol developed by the Recycled Paperboard Alliance, Fairfax, VA. It also is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, Minneapolis, MN. With calipers from 0.012 to 0.030, the Kraftback line offers substrates that are thinner and thicker than virgin fiber kraftback. Applications include food, personal-care, household product and healthcare products.
Resources Help Fight Food Waste
As interest in reducing food waste grows, so does the number of resources to support the waste reduction effort.
PAC Food Waste, an initiative of PAC, Packaging Consortium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has published the second edition of its Who’s Who of Food Waste Reduction Initiatives. The free, 35-page report updates information in the 2014 edition and is organized in a more user-friendly format. “As momentum to reach new food waste reduction targets continues to build, we hope this document will be a helpful resource to our members and throughout the packaging and food value chain to facilitate networking and collaboration to address this global issue,” says Rachel Morier, director of Sustainability at PAC.
ReFED, Berkeley, CA, offers a similar guide, The Food Waste Innovator Database. Organized in a Prevention, Recycling and Recovery hierarchy consisting of 13 categories, the constantly updated database highlights more than 400 innovators, who are building new industries to reduce wasted food.
ReFED also supplies the Food Waste Policy Finder. It too is organized according to the Prevention, Recycling and Recovery hierarchy and identifies state policies that enable or block food waste reduction.
The Date Labeling Tool, developed by ReFED, helps food companies adopt voluntary date labeling standards drafted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Washington, DC, and Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, VA. With stakeholder reviews in hand, the tool currently is being prepared for formal release.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hallie Forcinio has covered packaging-related environmental topics for more than 25 years, first as an editor on Food & Drug Packaging magazine (now Packaging Strategies) and more recently as a freelance packaging journalist and principal of Forcinio Communications, an editorial services firm. “My interest in the environment dates back to a high school government class,” she notes. “I was collecting glass, newspapers and aluminum cans for recycling long before my community had a curbside recycling program.” In addition to preparing the TricorBraun Sustainability Times, she contributes articles to numerous trade publications including Pharmaceutical Technology, Dairy Foods and National Provisioner. She also serves as editorial director of the PACK EXPO Show Daily.