The How2Recycle Label: Coming to a package near you

With the help of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, GreenBlue has finally created a recycling label that the average consumer will be able to understand. The How2Recycle Label is a straightforward approach to responsible recycling and one that is poised to become a fixture in the plastics packaging world. The program employed a soft launch with brands such as Seventh Generation and Target but also decided to conduct a webinar in order to familiarize consumers with basic features and the program’s importance.

Anne Bedarf, senior manager at GreenBlue, explained that the labels are based on the On-Pack Recycling system, the same program used in the United Kingdom. Companies have the ability to customize each component of their packages using the four available options: Widely Recycled, Limited Recycling/Check Locally, Not Yet Recycled or Store Drop-off. Bedarf added that the How2Recycle Label program does not aim to replace the existing RIC (Resin Identification Code) system but rather, be compatible with it.

GreenBlue has estimated that the How2Recycle Label has been used on more than 100 million packages and is expected to take on several new clients within the near future.

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Source: Plastics Today

Global Demand for Bio-based Resins to Rise 19% per year through 2017

A new study has predicted that the global demand for biodegradable plastics will increase 19% per year, equating to 960,000 metric tons in 2017. This demand is driven by a number of factors including a consumer and manufacturer preference for sustainable products and the development of new products that will expand the possibilities for bio-based plastics. However, “the success of the bioplastics industry will ultimately depend on price and performance considerations, and large scale conversion to bioplastics will not occur until price parity with conventional plastic resins is achieved” noted analyst Kent Furst. The demand will be truly global. In 2012, Western Europe was the largest consumer of bioplastics followed by North America and China. These trends, along with prominently starch-based resins and polylactic acid products, are expected to continue into the future.

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Source: Greener Package

Canadian retailers address PET thermoform recycling

In a demand by grocery members of the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) in conjunction with the Association of Postconsumer Recyclers and the National Association for PET Container Resources to increase the availability of recycled packaging in their stores, a new protocol has been introduced to determine the environmental impact of labels and adhesives on PET thermoform packaging recycling capabilities.

The dilemma at hand is the glue used to attach labels to the container is often to strong and thus prevent the label from being removed and recycled properly. The protocol being developed will help identify and adhesive that both satisfies the need for the label adhere to the packaging and the need for proper removal and recycling. Also taking part in crafting new guidelines for adhesive labeling is The Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC).

According to Allen Langdon, vice president of sustainability for RCC, “This protocol will play a pivotal role in allowing PET thermoformed packaging to be recycled in the most efficient way possible.”

One of the fastest growing types of packaging in the market is PET thermoformed packaging, according to RCC; its use is extensive by grocers ranging from the in-house packaging of food products such as produce, nuts, dried fruit, and baked goods. With support from Waste Diversion Ontario, Stewardship Ontario, and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, RCC grocery members have been working with NAPCOR and APR to remove the obstacles preventing the recycling of PET thermoformed packaging.

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Source: Packaging World

Bio plastics global demand expected to quadruple

According to The Global Outlook for Biodegradable Packaging, due to rising oil prices and the depletion of fossil fuels there will be an increased interest in the use of plant-based polymers. These drivers are expected to push global demand for biodegradable or plant based plastics, causing the market for these products to quadruple by 2013.

Researchers have noted that currently, bio plastics account for less than ten percent of global plastics use, and the sector faces increasing regulation and competition as large corporation move in on the industry. Furthermore, the study also noted that sector growth is around seventeen to twenty percent since 2006.

The report provided an overview of the biodegradable packaging market in Europe, the United States and Asia-Pacific, and provides in-depth analysis of the leading players and cutting-edge technology that will propel the industry forward. Additionally, the article provides a comprehensive outline of the regulatory and legislative framework in Europe, the United States and Asia-Pacific, and lastly outlines the key cost factors inhibiting development of biodegradable packaging, explores the future of the biodegradable packaging market, and the types of product are best placed to benefit from expansion.

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