Sustainability

Plastics play an important role in our daily lives and are present in everything from lifesaving medical devices to lighter weight automobiles to the electronics we used to connect our world.
As a maker of flexible packaging products, we recognize the need for greater awareness and involvement in creating a healthier planet – from the point of manufacture to the point of disposal.

Our commitment to sustainability includes:

What We’re Doing - Providing environmentally responsible packaging products, while also reducing our own impact on the world in which we live

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For over a decade, Automated Packaging Systems has been producing environmentally responsible products for our customers. In 2008, we introduced EarthAware®, a line of biodegradable1 and pre-consumer recycled films that forever changed the inflatable protective packaging industry. In Europe, GeoTech® soon followed with its oxodegradable and reprocessed films. We have also introduced innovative, lighter gauge films that reduce the amount of material required without compromising packaging performance.

In addition, our machinery technology continues to evolve with new, state-of-the-art components and engineering designed to reduce energy consumption and improve customer productivity and efficiency.

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All of our facilities worldwide adhere to their local and regional environmental laws and standards. For example, in the US, regenerative thermal oxidizers are used to capture and destroy nearly 100% of VOCs. This exceeds the requirements of the EPA’s Clean Air Act.

Additionally, our Lean Manufacturing Processes and Quality Management Systems minimize waste and resource consumption in production.

Green Recycling arrows in a triangle

A key focus of our manufacturing facilities is to reduce the amount of leftover film (also known as scrap) that commonly results from creating pre-formed flexible packaging. Scrap that does remain is re-used for our recycled film. This means we’re not only producing less waste, but also offering our customers a cost-effective and environmentally responsible alternative to virgin films.

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Our ‘dry mixed recycling’ efforts have resulted in more than a 50% reduction of everyday waste. By installing recycling bins throughout our facilities, office papers, cans and bottles, and corrugated products are being sent directly to recycling facilities instead of going to landfills.

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Energy efficient lighting, fixed water filtration systems, low flow washrooms and motion detectors are just a few of the ways we conserve our natural resources every day. We regularly monitor our consumption and seek new and innovative technologies to reduce our impact on the environment.

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Equally as important are the employees and associates who strive to protect and preserve our planet for current and future generations. As Employee Owners, we have a vested interest in sustainability as both providers and recipients of our environmental responsibility efforts.

 

What Businesses Can Do - Helping our customers understand how they, too, can promote sustainability

With its durability, light weight, and infinite recyclability2, plastic will likely remain at the forefront of the packaging industry for a long time. While doing their part to protect the environment, brand owners must also consider all of their other packaging needs, including providing sufficient product protection, eliminating the transfer of contaminants, and preventing spoilage.

For some food manufacturers, stand-up pouches are replacing cans because they weigh less, require less shelf space, and yet still keep the product inside fresh. E-commerce retailers are right-sizing their corrugated packaging and using less void-fill inside the box, while others have switched entirely to plastic mailbags as a means to reduce redundant packaging. Products that were once available only in brightly colored boxes are now switching to bags with high-end graphic printing, because less energy and natural resources are required to produce and transport plastic bags than corrugated boxes.

Finally, using recycled or biodegradable packaging whenever possible helps not only to keep packaging out of the waste stream, but in the case of recycled Autobag bags and AirPouch® protective packaging, reduces costs, as well.

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  • Use as little packaging as possible
  • Our in-house Applications Team reviews each customer product and recommends the most suitable packaging solution, ensuring bag size and thickness are optimized
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  • Add relevant recycling logos to printed packaging
  • Our experienced Graphics Team can help you design a bag that shows the recyclability of your packaging
Green icon of a recycling trash can

 

  • Include recycling instructions
  • Provide consumers with details on how to recycle your packaging, such as “Curbside”, “Check Locally” or “Store Drop-off”
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  • Choose environmentally responsible material options.
  • Our EarthAware line of materials includes biodegradable and pre-consumer recycled films

What Consumers Can Do - Providing end-user consumers with information on proper use and disposal of flexible packaging products

Packaging labels with recycling symbols and instructions are becoming more prevalent. This is very useful for the average consumer, because we often dispose of product packaging without giving it much thought.

Even with labels that remind us to recycle, not all communities offer curbside recycling. This can lead to confusion and frustration for the consumer who wants to do his/her part for the environment, but has no idea how to get recyclables to the proper facilities for processing. 

The American Chemistry Council hosts WRAP (Wrap Recycling Action Program), a national public awareness program that works with local and state governments and material recovery facilities to educate consumers on which types of films are recyclable and how and where to recycle it. 

To find your nearest recycling facility, and to learn more, visit WRAP at:
https://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/recycling-bags-and-wraps/ 

 

1EarthAware biodegradable film: 49.28% biodegradation in 900 days under non-typical conditions. No evidence of further biodegradation. California currently prohibits labeling any plastic product as biodegradable.

2Not all plastics are currently recyclable. Check your local recycling centers for additional information.