In a highly resource-constrained world, where export demand is dwindling, and domestic markets are getting saturated, there’s little room for waste or wasted opportunity! For all us in the plastics manufacturing world making, using, selling plastic products, getting creative and innovative with the way we obtain, use, and dispose of plastic materials and how we buy and use sustainable raw materials will be KEY for a long term healthy and sustainable plastics industry.
We all should understand that unless we change what we do and how we do it, we cannot expect different results. If not now… WHEN?
Businesses, organizations, and governments are making the shift to “go circular,” implementing smarter processes for sustainable inputs, improved product design, more efficient delivery methods, and close loop – open loop initiatives for materials in manufacturing and after end use. For us in the plastics world… this is the basis of our circular economy and it’s one of the biggest growth opportunities for plastics businesses and brands!
The circular economy is a $4.5 trillion opportunity according to Accenture. Who in our plastics industry wouldn’t want to get circular? For companies making, using, distributing, and selling plastic products, it’s important to understand the distinction between your linear supply chain versus a circular supply chain and how that can improve your businesses and brand.
Here are two steps you can take towards getting circular
1st establish an initial sustainability plan that outlines your goals and time lines to grow circularly. Share your plan internally and get your internal team rowing in the same direction. Plans need to include how you make, package, deliver, sell plastic products more sustainably and how you communicate and educate your sustainability and end-of-use recycling options to your customers and consumers.
2nd begin connecting your sustainability goals with your supply chain partners to form solutions together. Connecting the dots and building connected transparent teamwork within your supply chain is absolutely imperative. Connecting a circular supply chain will ultimately lead you to increased innovation and efficiency. Initiatives should connect multiple areas of your the supply chain including plastic resin, packaging, mold and tooling, recycling, solid waste management, sustainability and market insight and brand communications.
Many companies seeking to connect in circular economy supply chains utilize the services of Circular Supply Chain Advisory firms to assist in connecting the dots. To learn how you can connect in the circular economy, contact email@example.com or visit www.gearedforgreen.com
Big Brands and Big Retailers can do more to lead their Circular Supply Chains and enhance Circular Economies by Leveraging “Buying Power” to Purchase Large Blocks of sustainable recycled plastic raw materials. We call it “Block Sustainable Raw Material Purchasing”.
What is Block Sustainable Purchasing?
Creating a strong circular economy generally starts top down. That’s because the Top represents Demand. Big Brands and Big Retail already consume billions of pounds of virgin plastic resins, in the form of plastic products and packaging they make and sell, much of which is polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and polyester grades.
Today the purchasing of these billions of pounds of virgin plastic resin is widely fragmented across many different manufacturers, most of whom aren’t buying in big enough blocks to leverage-down pricing or gain efficiencies. However, in a connected circular eco supply chain we change that dynamic! Remember… reducing cost and gaining efficiencies and value creation is precisely what circular sustainability is all about.
As many of us are aware, the circular economy entails many levels of the supply chain, from product and packaging design, sustainable raw material selection, recycling and waste management, technology, equipment, operational modification, brand communication and education, commitment to social purpose, and most importantly & essentially- strong consumer demand for the products we make.
For everyone involved in circular economy sustainability, we recognize it’s as much about doing good for people and planet 🌏 as it is about connecting processes, resources, technology, and information to help reduce cost, improve top line revenue, and grow stronger more “valuable” brands.
Big Brands like Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Nike, etc. and Big Retail like Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, etc. recognize that circular supply chain & circular economies equally impact economic and environmental performance .. and those Big companies gain competitive market & economic advantages as result. It’s why BB & BR are spending “B” Billions on sustainability.
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Big Brands and Big Retail at the Top of the supply chain have deep wells of financial and people resources to invest heavily in circular supply chain sustainability. Our GearedforGreen team is actively involved helping support many of these BB – BR circular economy initiatives in multiple areas throughout their supply chains, so we see this GREAT DIVIDE with first hand knowledge. Big Brands and Big Retail have Big Advantages.
On the other side of the Great Divide resides the bottom-up Supply Chain, where the rubber meets the green road! That’s where the bulk of the manufacturers live. That’s where all the great innovative mom and pop supply chain and services providers live. And that’s where tough decisions are made everyday, decisions between (1) staffing up or paying up to add sustainability expertise or playing it more conservative ensuring you make payroll, (2) investing in sustainable technology or preserving cash for tomorrow, (3) investing in resources to measure consumer trends and carbon footprints 👣 or keeping status quo and not rocking the boat, or (4) paying more $$$ for sustainable recycle ♻️ grade raw materials versus paying less for prime grade virgin plastic resins.
Here’s Why Block Sustainable Purchasing Benefits “Everyone” in the supply chain
Unlike the Big Guys, the bottom up Supply Chain juggles these many challenges that impact Investment, Risk, Credit, Leverage, etc., all of which must be managed incredibly skillfully to survive.
More challenges + more risk = less sustainability.
By participating in Block Sustainable Raw Material Purchases, BB & BR help smooth out the sustainable raw material landscape from bottom up, making it easier and more cost effective to widely access sustainable raw materials. That access to leveraged pricing and supply efficiency has widely positive effects on the entire supply chain, creating advantages up & down.
Here’s (3) Key Benefits to everyone in the supply chain as a result of
Block Raw Material Sustainable Purchasing
- Leveraging purchasing power shares cost savings top to bottom
- De-Risking raw material suppliers makes it easier for them to invest in improvements
- Connecting the supply chain top to bottom creates even more block buying, collaboration & innovation which strengthens the entire supply chain.
> We can show you many additional circular supply chain benefits to Block Sustainable Purchasing – learn about them by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s (3) Key Strategies to make Block Sustainable Raw Material
Big Brands and Big Retail are the biggest consumers and distributors of plastic products and plastic packaging. BB & BR Drive Demand. Strategic raw material purchasing not only benefits manufacturing, BB & BR, it also benefits raw material suppliers too.
- Locking in large volume annual commitments via block purchases can be accomplished without locking in price or even paying for materials until deliveries are complete
- Buying large volume annual blocks of sustainable raw material can be done without establishing specific grades or material specifications.
- Implementing Block Supply Finance Arrangements between BB/BR, participating Supply Chain Manufacturers, and Raw Material Suppliers enables the entire supply chain to share savings.
To learn more about Block Sustainable Raw Material Purchasing and how you can get involved – as a Buyer or Supplier – contact GearedforGreen – Daniel Schrager, President, GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 email@example.com, www.gearedforgreen.com
We hear this year’s Sustainable Brands Conference was super successful. There’s no doubt lots of great progress being made by corporate America!by gearedforgreen June 17, 2018 cardboard box reuse circular supply chain decoating technology Dow eco apparel eco brand marketing eco supply chain gearedforgreen plastic raw materials plastic recycling social partnerships sustainability sustainable packaging sustainableshopping
According to industry leading brands.. here are (3) takeaways you should consider if you want to build a more sustainable business and brand
1. Start adding social purpose to your brand sustainability initiatives
Kirti Singh, VP of Analytics and Insights at P&G spoke passionately about this. We’ve all pondered about what our brands “do for people” and how they “make people feel”. The notion of how our brands make society better is an increasingly important conversation in consumer product industries.
We highly encourage all of our brand clients to integrate “social sustainable purposeful practices” as integral components of their business models, considering a brand’s physical, personal and societal benefit.
Social sustainability surrounds your brand with passion and purpose, creates your story, creates conversations around the table, and creates stronger connections with consumers and your employees.
As part of our inside-out sustainability approach, we help clients develop and implement their socially sustainable partnerships including using ocean 🌊 collected plastics back into products, developing sustainable collaborations around shared causes like “Lives Per Pound” using plastic waste to make products like water filtration systems that to save lives in developing countries.
When social purpose connects with functionality and consumer value, that’s the real grand slam! As example, Cold Water Tide uses less electricity (which results in lower carbon impact with every load of laundry), and actually goes easier on clothes ensuring they last longer. This multi benefits us consumers, our clothes get clean, they last longer and we lower our impact on the planet. Functional + Societal + Emotional benefits. Yeah! Let’s buy Tide!
2. Sustainable brands advocate with other brands
David Grayson, Chris Coulter and Mark Lee have created a framework and a book called All In: The Future of Business Leadership. The framework is this: Purpose, Plan, Culture, Collaboration, Advocacy. It’s a fantastic read.
We’ve been preaching for a long time that brands with a strong social and sustainable purpose are the ones that will thrive in the future. There’s plenty of research to substantiate this, which is why leading Brands including Proctor and Gamble and Nestle have been changing their culture as socially sustainable companies that care about our environment and us consumers.
3. Sustainability and consumer communities have embraced the false narrative that “plastic is bad” when in fact “plastic is vital”
We have been deeply-passionately involved in plastics, recycling, sustainable raw material, packaging optimization, sustainable technology, and circular eco supply chain collaboration for 20+ years..
We are proud to have helped many clients and supply chain partners to achieve significant sustainability enhancements including zero plastic waste.
For all us involved in the supply chain of Plastics and Sustainability.. it’s more vital than ever that we get active, get diligent, get involved in circular sustainability, collaborate, and change the conversation from “plastic is bad” to “plastic waste is bad.”
Plastic is vital! As example, transportation industries from trains, planes, and automobiles (great movie 😀) use plastic to get lighter and more fuel efficient. Food lasts longer with less waste in distribution, on retail shelves, and at home using plastics. There are literally thousands of applications where plastics make sustainability possible. Even single use plastics play a vital role in our lives and towards sustainability.
That said … we MUST all work together to solve the plastic disposal and ocean debris crisis!!! It’s real. Plastic and micro plastic waste is a catastrophic problem we as a plastics, recycling, and sustainability community must help STOP.
Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, as the “ocean plastics” issue gets talked about – and its talked about often.. attitudes perpetuate the notion that all plastics are bad. WE as sustainability service providers and sustainability brand marketers MUST CHANGE THE NARRATIVE from Plastic = Bad to Plastic Waste = Bad.
To learn more about strategies and steps you can take over time to become a sustainable company and brand, contact GearedforGreen – Daniel Schrager, President, GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gearedforgreen.com
Solutions? Bio Plastics, Plastic Recycling, Circular Supply Chains, Using Less … great article by #LaurieParkerby gearedforgreen June 10, 2018 cardboard boxes circular supply chain decoating technology eco apparel eco brand marketing eco supply chain Exxon gearedforgreen packaging plastic plastic raw materials plastic recycling plastic resins Proctor & Gamble recycling social partnerships sustainable packaging sustainableshopping
IN A WORLD THAT CAN SEEM overwhelmed by potentially eternal plastic waste, are biodegradables the ultimate solution? Probably not. But it’s complicated. The industry is still debating what “biodegradable” actually means. And some plastics made of fossil fuels will biodegrade, while some plant-based “bioplastics” won’t.
Biodegradable plastics have been around since the late 1980s. They initially were marketed with the implied promise that they’d somehow disappear once they were disposed of, just as leaves on the forest floor are decomposed by fungi and soil microbes. It hasn’t quite worked out that way.
Biodegradables don’t live up to their promise, for example, in the dark, oxygen-free environment of a commercial landfill or in the cool waters of the ocean, if they should end up there. You can’t throw them in your backyard compost either. To break down, they require the 130-degree heat of an industrial composter. Many industrial composters accept only plastics that meet certain standards, ensuring they will leave no fragments behind that can harm the environment or human health. And if you throw some biodegradables in with recyclables, you might ruin the latter, creating a mix that can no longer be relied on to make durable new plastic. In 2015 the United Nations Environment Program wrote off biodegradables as an unrealistic solution that will neither reduce the amount of plastic flowing into the oceans nor prevent potential chemical or physical harm to marine life. It concluded that the label “biodegradable” may actually encourage littering.
Some engineers are looking for ways around these obstacles. Jenna Jambeck and her colleagues at the University of Georgia’s New Materials Institute are using polymers synthesized by microbes to make packaging they hope will compost readily and biodegrade in the ocean. Corn chip bags are their first target.
It’s a tall order. Even the best biodegradable product won’t magically disappear. A plastic container robust enough to carry a gallon of milk can’t decompose like paper. A flowerpot, one of Polymateria’s experimental products, could take up to two years to dissolve if tossed in a ditch, Dunne concedes. Biodegradables, some critics say, don’t address the fundamental problem: our throwaway culture.
“What is it that we are promoting?” asks Ramani Narayan, a Michigan State University chemical engineering professor. “Throw it away, and eventually it will go away?” The more responsible approach, he says, is a “circular economy” model, in which everything is reused or recycled and “any ‘leakage’ into the environment, whether biodegradable or not, is not acceptable.”
China is providing motivation. For nearly three decades it has bought about half the world’s recyclable plastic. But this year it called a halt to most scrap imports. Recyclables are now piling up in the countries that generated them. “We hope it will push towards more circular management.”
To learn more about this National Geographic article by #LaurieParker and GearedforGreen sustainability, recycling, raw material, circular supply chain services, please contact us at:
IN A LABORATORY AT Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, New York, Debra Lee Magadini positions a slide under a microscope and flicks on an ultraviolet light. Scrutinizing the liquefied digestive tract of a shrimp she bought at a fish market, she makes a tsk-ing sound. After examining every millimeter of the slide, she blurts, “This shrimp is fiber city!” Inside its gut, seven squiggles of plastic, dyed with Nile red stain, fluoresce.
All over the world, researchers like Magadini are staring through microscopes at tiny pieces of plastic—fibers, fragments, or microbeads—that have made their way into marine and freshwater species, both wild caught and farmed. Scientists have found microplastics in 114 aquatic species, and more than half of those end up on our dinner plates. Now they are trying to determine what that means for human health.
So far science lacks evidence that microplastics—pieces smaller than one-fifth of an inch—are affecting fish at the population level. Our food supply doesn’t seem to be under threat—at least as far as we know. But enough research has been done now to show that the fish and shellfish we enjoy are suffering from the omnipresence of this plastic. Every year five million to 14 million tons flow into our oceans from coastal areas. Sunlight, wind, waves, and heat break down that material into smaller bits that look—to plankton, bivalves, fish, and even whales—a lot like food.
Experiments show that microplastics damage aquatic creatures, as well as turtles and birds: They block digestive tracts, diminish the urge to eat, and alter feeding behavior, all of which reduce growth and reproductive output. Their stomachs stuffed with plastic, some species starve and die.
In addition to mechanical effects, microplastics have chemical impacts, because free-floating pollutants that wash off the land and into our seas—such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heavy metals—tend to adhere to their surfaces.
Chelsea Rochman, a professor of ecology at the University of Toronto, soaked ground-up polyethylene, which is used to make some types of plastic bags, in San Diego Bay for three months. She then offered this contaminated plastic, along with a laboratory diet, to Japanese medakas, small fish commonly used for research, for two months. The fish that had ingested the treated plastic suffered more liver damage than those that had consumed virgin plastic. (Fish with compromised livers are less able to metabolize drugs, pesticides, and other pollutants.) Another experiment demonstrated that oysters exposed to tiny pieces of polystyrene—the stuff of take-out food containers—produce fewer eggs and less motile sperm.
The list of freshwater and marine organisms that are harmed by plastics stretches to hundreds of species.
IT’S DIFFICULT TO PARSE whether microplastics affect us as individual consumers of seafood, because we’re steeped in this material—from the air we breathe to both the tap and bottled water we drink, the food we eat, and the clothing we wear. Moreover, plastic isn’t one thing. It comes in many forms and contains a wide range of additives—pigments, ultraviolet stabilizers, water repellents, flame retardants, stiffeners such as bisphenol A (BPA), and softeners called phthalates—that can leach into their surroundings.
Some of these chemicals are considered endocrine disruptors—chemicals that interfere with normal hormone function, even contributing to weight gain. Flame retardants may interfere with brain development in fetuses and children; other compounds that cling to plastics can cause cancer or birth defects. A basic tenet of toxicology holds that the dose makes the poison, but many of these chemicals—BPA and its close relatives, for example—appear to impair lab animals at levels some governments consider safe for humans.
Studying the impacts of marine microplastics on human health is challenging because people can’t be asked to eat plastics for experiments, because plastics and their additives act differently depending on physical and chemical contexts, and because their characteristics may change as creatures along the food chain consume, metabolize, or excrete them. We know virtually nothing about how food processing or cooking affects the toxicity of plastics in aquatic organisms or what level of contamination might hurt us.
The good news is that most microplastics studied by scientists seem to remain in the guts of fish and do not move into muscle tissue, which is what we eat. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, in a thick report on this subject, concludes that people likely consume only negligible amounts of microplastics—even those who eat a lot of mussels and oysters, which are eaten whole. The agency reminds us, also, that eating fish is good for us: It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and fish contain high levels of nutrients uncommon in other foods.
That said, scientists remain concerned about the human-health impacts of marine plastics because, again, they are ubiquitous and they eventually will degrade and fragment into nanoplastics, which measure less than 100 billionths of a meter—in other words, they are invisible. Alarmingly these tiny plastics can penetrate cells and move into tissues and organs. But because researchers lack analytical methods to identify nanoplastics in food, they don’t have any data on their occurrence or absorption by humans.
And so the work continues. “We know that there are effects from plastics on animals at nearly all levels of biological organization,” Rochman says. “We know enough to act to reduce plastic pollution from entering the oceans, lakes, and rivers.” Nations can enact bans on certain types of plastic, focusing on those that are the most abundant and problematic. Chemical engineers can formulate polymers that biodegrade. Consumers can eschew single-use plastics. And industry and government can invest in infrastructure to capture and recycle these materials before they reach the water.
IN A DUSTY BASEMENT a short distance from the lab where Magadini works, metal shelves hold jars containing roughly 10,000 preserved mummichogs and banded killifish, trapped over seven years in nearby marshes. Examining each fish for the presence of microplastics is a daunting task, but Magadini and her colleagues are keen to see how levels of exposure have changed over time. Others will painstakingly untangle how microbeads, fibers, and fragments affect these forage fish, the larger fish that consume them, and—ultimately—us.
“I think we’ll know the answers in five to 10 years’ time,” Magadini says.
By then at least another 25 million tons of plastic will have flowed into our seas.
To learn more about this National Geographic article and related plastics sustainability issues, or to get involved in LIVES PER POUND and Ocean/Beach Clean Ups – please contact us at: GearedforGreen – Daniel Schrager, President, GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 email@example.com, www.gearedforgreen.com
In today’s world 🌎 … Brand Protection is more important than ever! So GearedforGreen provides a number of Certified Destruction, Recycling, Reuse services, based on your specific materials, security level, and sustainability needs.
Our Services include:
• 100% Chain-of-Custody Secure Certified Destruction
• Plastic Packaging-Products Destruction-Recycling-Reuse
• Apparel Destruction-Recycle-Reuse
• End-of-Use Consumer Product Destruction-Recycling
FOR YOUR MOST SENSITIVE MATERIALS, WE PROVIDE END TO END CHAIN-OF-CUSTODY CERTIFIED DESTRUCTION SERVICES
We understand how valuable your brand is. Whether it’s branded product, printed packaging, or sensitive data, in many cases 100% Certified Destruction is imperative.
GearedforGreen provides a comprehensive “iron clad” approach to brand protection, sustainability and certified destruction.
Our COC leg-by-leg process ensures 100% complete security, customizable to each client’s particular needs.
HOW CHAIN OF CUSTODY WORKS
• Each of our eco supply chain certified destruction facilities is governed by strict, industry-leading chain-of-custody procedures.
• Every item we handle for destruction is assigned a unique identifier and tracked at all times during transport and within our facilities.
• Your items are transported in sealed equipment direct from your facility to ours.
• Our certified destruction facilities are equipped to provide maximum security for your items, including in-out scan.
• Certified destruction includes on site shredding or incineration.
• A variety of customizable recycling and eco supply chain options are available for your items after certified destruction.
The end result is total peace of mind security and sustainability!
PLASTIC PACKAGING-PRODUCTS REQUIRING
DESTRUCTION, RECYCLING, REUSE
DRR is a specialized GearedforGreen sustainability service specially created for printed plastic packaging and branded plastic products that require (slightly less) security in terms of COC destruction, and that can be recycled into new sustainable raw materials for reuse back into new products.
In many cases after certified destruction, Printed Plastic Packaging and Branded Plastic Products can be destroyed, cleaned, de-contaminated, remelted and recycled, for use back as sustainable raw materials to make new products again.
Plastic Packaging scrap is among the most challenging to recycle ♻️ mostly because of their coatings, multi layers, and heavy inks and colors. As a result, plastic packaging represents the single largest plastic waste item landfilled today!
GearedforGreen utilizes advanced patented proprietary plastics recycling technologies to help clients reduce or eliminate landfill disposal and instead recycle these plastics in more sustainable circular sustainability initiative.
PLASTIC PACKAGING & PRODUCT
DESTRUCTION, RECYCLING, REUSE PROCESS
• Our eco supply chain destruction-recycling facilities utilize proprietary plastic recycling technologies.
• Our process starts with shredding destruction to ensure brand protection. Clients may inspect destruction and are provided a certificate of destruction.
• Once destruction is complete, shredded plastics are conveyed within our facilities to various recycling processes which may include; size reduction grind, wash, float sink or hydro cyclone separation, De-coat, metal separation, elutriation, blend, extrusion, compound, and final repelletization. Processes are customizable based on material type for each client.
• Recycled pellets are used as new sustainable raw materials in GearedforGreen Closed Loop or Open Loop Circular Supply Chain programs to make a variety of new plastic products.
The end result is total destruction and sustainable raw material reuse.
Branded Apparel Destruction is another specialized GearedforGreen sustainability service specially created for the fashion and textile industries to help manage sensitive destruction and/or reuse or disposal of branded textile products.
Services include COC Chain-of-Custody Certified Destruction, label and tag removal/destruction, shredding, and textile recycling for fabric reuse.
• Each of our eco supply chain certified destruction facilities is governed by strict, industry-leading chain-of-custody procedures.
• Every item we handle is assigned a unique identifier by location and tracked at all times during transport and within our facilities.
• Your items are transported in sealed equipment direct from your facility to ours.
• Our certified destruction facilities are equipped to provide maximum security for your items, including in-out scan requirements.
• Certified destruction includes shredding or incineration.
• A variety of textile recycling and eco supply chain options are available for your items after certified destruction, customizable for each client.
• We provide certified label & tag removal.
• We Recycle shredded textile scrap for reuse into products such as rags, towels, automotive textiles, and more.
END-OF-USE CONSUMER PRODUCT
EOU Consumer Plastic Products Recycling is a specialized GearedforGreen sustainability service created specifically to help plastic manufacturers take responsibility for products they make after consumer use in the market.
Utilizing our eco supply chain national network of private and municipal recycling & collection facilities and other recollection resources, we help design & implement reverse logistics to collect & consolidate your plastics for destruction/recycling.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GEAREDFORGREEN CERTIFIED DESTRUCTION SUPPLY CHAIN SERVICES; CONTACT US @ GearedforGreen – Daniel Schrager, President, GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gearedforgreen.com
WE DON’T DO GREAT THINGS. When it comes to plastic recycling, sustainability, and circular eco supply chains… We Help You Do Them!by gearedforgreen May 9, 2018
Increase your plastic recycling rates. Find solutions to recycle your most Challenging plastic waste materials. Connect into Circular eco supply chains. Increase the amount of Recycled plastic resins in your products and packaging. Reuse packaging waste. Optimize and use Less material to make your packaging. Implement Close Loop, Toll Reuse, End-of-Use Recycling programs. Use more Sustainable plastic products in your operations. Wear 100% eco apparel and corporate branded uniforms. Get involved in Social Sustainable Partnerships. Save Lives participating in Lives Per Pound. Utilize eco brand marketing to Connect stronger with customers. Create stronger sustainable partnerships connecting in circular eco supply chains.
Today our plastics and recycling industry has so many more Solutions to help you be as sustainable as you want to be! LETS MAKE PLASTICS SUSTAINABLE TOGETHER.
Contact Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 email@example.com, www.gearedforgreen.com
We may be Green, but when it comes to your Sustainable Plastic Resins… We’ll help you achieve whatever color you want! Learn about our ONE HUNDRED % RECYCLED resin programs, strategies to increase recycled plastic resin usage and WHY, our on-site technical support and 24/7 plastics lab services, “designing out” plastic usage to make your products using less material, closing your plastics loop through circular sustainability, implementing toll reuse for plastic waste generated in your manufacturing operations, end of use plastics recycling for your products used in the market, and more.
1. Your Plastics Sustainability Plan suddenly went out the window the 1st time you got Walloped! De-risking is important if you’re building a long term sustainable plastic supply chain…by gearedforgreen April 29, 2018 cardboard box reuse circular supply chain decoating technology eco apparel eco brand marketing eco supply chain gearedforgreen plastic raw materials plastic recycling plastic resins recycling social partnerships sustainable packaging sustainableshopping
When it comes to sustainable plastics initiatives, there are many risks to deal with, from long term repeatable supply of sustainable plastic raw materials – to – consistent long term recycling markets for your own plastic scrap. Starting-stopping-pivoting is challenging. A connected, collaborative and transparent eco supply chain will help mitigate risk so you don’t have to.
Here are some suggestions to help you De-risk.
WHEN IT COMES TO DE-RISKING YOUR RECYCLED PLASTIC RAW MATERIAL SUPPLY CHAIN, WE RECOMMEND DIGGING A LITTLE DEEPER FOCUSING ON THESE (3) STRATEGIES
1. Go Direct to De-risk Raw Material Resin Quality & Repeatability
Some resin suppliers are actual resin producers themselves, others are agencies / distributors, each providing unique expertise and resources. Since recycled plastic resins have more challenging quality nuances versus prime resins, it’s important to keep a close watch on repeatable quality. Raw material quality can impact the integrity of your product and more so, the value of your brand. So when it comes to De-risking your Sustainable plastic raw material quality, we highly recommend working direct with your resin producers. It’s more than price per pound! A direct relationship enables you to form close “technical relationships” between resin producer-resin user with mutual site visits and continual improvement processes. You should visit every facility making your recycled plastic resins to see their operations, on site lab, quality control testing regiment, inventory capability, and to meet the floor team first hand. And you should require your resin supplier to also visit your manufacturing operations too, to better understand your products, equipment, internal logistics, and team. Remember.. when using recycled plastic resins, technical relationships really matter! The more your resin producer knows about your specific product, your equipment, your process, your floor personnel.. the better you can both formulate solutions that help lower your total cost of manufacturing and maximize performance.
2. Dig Deeper to trace your Ingredients. That’ll further De-risk Raw Material Quality & Availability
When it comes to using sustainable recycled plastic resins, it’s important to not only know the ingredients used to make your recycled resins, you should also know the entire supply chain used to make your recycled plastic resins. A transparent connected eco supply chain will help De-risk your sustainable raw material supply. Important Questions you should ask your resin supplier… Does the plastic scrap come from consumer or industrial sources? Have you seen the actual plastic scrap prior to recycling, that’s used to make your resins? What contaminates are found in the scrap supply? Is the raw material certified and trackable through the supply chain? Has the carbon footprint been measured to confirm how sustainable the resin actually is? Does it come from one source that may not be reliable long term, from constantly changing sources, or from many sources that are diversified? What if that one source dries up? Is the raw material source dependable long term? What is the relationship between your resin supplier and their sources of plastic scrap? These are among the important questions you need to answer about your resin supplier and their plastic scrap supply chain in order to De-risk your raw material sourcing initiatives.
3. Implement Indexed Pricing to De-risk Price Volatility and Lock-in Relationships
Maintaining long term consistent raw material plastic resin supply is important to both manufacturers and suppliers. However, that gets challenging as market prices fluctuate over time. Establishing a Price Index model that sets prices up and down over market fluctuations can be a great tool to De-risk price volatility. Plastic Resin Manufacturers that buy resins can establish pricing based on indexes such as CMAI. This approach De-risks price fluctuation in case your raw material supplier disproportionately increases pricing? When the supply chain Indexes Together, including the actual sources of plastic scrap… even better!
WHEN IT COMES TO DE-RISKING YOUR PLASTIC RECYCLING INITIATIVES, YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE LONG TERM SECURE MARKETS FOR THE PLASTIC SCRAP THAT MEET YOUR UNIQUE REQUIREMENTS. WE RECOMMEND YOU FOCUS ON THESE (3) STRATEGIES TO DE-RISK YOUR PLASTIC RECYCLING EFFORTS
1. Diversify & Deepen your customer base to De-risk against long term Market bubbles
For those investing money in the stock market, it’s generally a good practice to diversify your portfolio. Same holds true when developing markets for your plastic scrap. By design, it’s a very good idea to have multiple customers supplying into multiple industry sectors, thus diversifying and De-risking your markets. Anyone who’s been involved in plastic recycling for long periods of time knows… plastic scrap markets change, shift, even dry up entirely. Look what recently happened to the China market! Starting a large scale plastic recycling program is hard enough. The last thing you want to worry about is not having available markets to sell the plastic scrap you collect. De-risking against market reliability can be achieved in a couple of ways.
You can develop multiple diversified customers in different markets to buy your scrap, however juggling like that can have its own challenges.
Or you can connect in circular eco supply chains that are transparent and connected by design. Circular eco supply chains are generally Open Loop. In an open loop eco supply chain you sell or supply your plastic scrap to processors within the eco supply chain, the processor converts your plastic scrap into sustainable recycled plastic resin made to each of their customer’s specifications, and the processor sells-supplies their recycled plastic resins to multiple end use manufacturers all within the eco supply chain network. This approach enables companies on both sides to diversify, collaborate on technologies and innovations, gain efficiencies together, and even share reporting through the supply chain. This approach connects sustainability from waste-to-recycle-to-reuse. Participating in an open loop circular supply chain helps diversify markets for your plastic scrap, deepens resources and knowledge, and De-risks everyone involved.
2. Certified Destruction road mapping should be implemented to De-risk against Brand Protection
Regardless of your sustainability goals, for many brands.. ensuring absolute 100% certified destruction, prior to disposal or congruent with recycling, is and should be absolutely essential! Whether it’s your logo on plastic packaging, plastic films and bags, or on overstock or defect merchandise, if your brand and logo is printed on it, the last thing you can afford is to have it front & center in a landfill, or strewn on a street, or washed up on a beach. In a day when your brand is one social media click away from a fire storm, ensuring certified destruction should be a necessary component of your sustainability plan. In order to effectively De-risk against brand protection issues related to waste and recycling, a proper certified destruction program should require a written documented road map diagramming the exact locations and destruction process, transportation, handling and processing of your products, including photo/video back up, a confidentiality agreement, and certified destruction documents signed by all vendors involved in your destruction supply chain. Everyone involved needs to value the importance of protecting your brand, with everyone rowing in the same direction.
3. Toll Reuse Closed Loop Recycling Programs help maintain the value of your plastic scrap & De-risk against Market Volatility
While many plastics manufacturers internally reuse much of their own plastic waste back into their own products, due to contamination issues, many others can’t. That’s partially why 90% of all plastics today wind up in landfills or worse! In many cases plastic products and packaging are printed or coated or multi layered, making internal Closed Loop recycling nearly impossible and making Open Loop markets extremely challenging to0. Knowing how costly it was buying your prime virgin plastic resins at the start, having to landfill these kinds of plastic waste materials isn’t just environmentally costly… its economically costly too. At 3%-8% manufacturing waste + disposal cost, whether it’s PET, PP, PS, PE, or other plastic materials, that adds up big time! To De-risk against costly landfilling of challenging plastic waste materials, we recommend connecting in more “specialized eco supply chains” that utilize specialized custom developed niche equipment, recycling technologies, and that offer back up alternative Open Loop markets in case Close Loop isn’t a sole option. We develop these programs for clients all the time. Using specialized technologies to remove challenging contamination enables you to more effectively reuse your own plastic waste back into your own products, preserving value and ensuring maximum sustainability. As example, if your generating PET or PP printed coated packaging scrap and can’t reuse your own scrap, you can utilize specialty processors that can remove the print and coatings off your PET & PP and return back these materials in clear near virgin quality, ready to be reused Closed Loop.
FOR FURTHER GUIDANCE & RESOURCES TO DE-RISK YOUR PLASTICS SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT: GearedforGreen – Daniel Schrager, President, GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gearedforgreen.com
At GearedforGreen, we truly believe “less is more”. Less is core to our culture. Less plastic waste.. less virgin plastic to make products.. less energy, less carbon footprint, less packaging, less.. less.. less.
“Less” says a lot about our own modus operandi. Less about how many clients.. more about how we help each client maximize their plastics sustainability.
That’s why when it comes to our clients, we don’t go wide… WE GO DEEP.
When it comes to your plastic recycling we don’t just focus on price per pound… we go even deeper implementing initiatives that add increased economic and environmental “value”. We don’t just focus on recycling the standard grades of thermoplastics you generate as waste… We focus on recycling your hardest most challenging plastics too… the plastics that are contaminated and coated and multi layered.. or mixed commingled and assorted.. to help you get to absolute ZERO plastic waste. We create circular eco supply chains, including close loop and open loop partnerships. We recycle industrial plastics generated at your facilities and consumer plastics generated after use. We don’t just solve your pain points.. we uncover valuable opportunity.
When it comes to your plastic raw material needs we focus on supplying quality cost effective “certified recycled” plastic resins made to your exact specifications.. but we go deeper. We don’t just sell resin.. we make it! Having more than 20 years of hands on manufacturing expertise operating a wide range of tools, we also focus on your manufacturing efficiency, helping you continually lower your total cost of manufacturing, de-risk raw material purchases, reuse more of your own internal plastic waste, and use greater amounts of recycled plastics instead of virgin. We operate our own in house 24/7 plastics lab, and test every box before delivery. We ship in boxes, bags, and bulk and have rail onsite. We supply FDA approved resins, and for those manufacturers looking to make a social impact, we supply ocean and beach collected plastic resins too.
When it comes to your plastic packaging even coated food packaging, there’s a lot of value still left to recover. Solving the Single Use Plastic Packaging Waste Issue is perhaps the Single Biggest Opportunity for Plastics Manufacturers to be Sustainable! So we go deeper using patented proprietary technologies to recycle some of the most challenging plastic packaging materials in your waste stream, turning your laminated, coated, heavily printed, multi layered plastic packaging back to clean near virgin and FDA quality.
• We recycle PET, PP, HIPS, PE packaging and more… We provide close loop toll reuse to help you preserve your scrap value – by removing print, laminates, coatings from your plastic packaging, bringing your material back to clear near prime quality without adding a heat history, without negatively affecting physical properties, and without removing any internal additives from your plastic.
• We provide open loop recycling markets for your plastic packaging waste, connecting you with other manufacturers in our eco supply chain that recycle your packaging for their own reuse after we’ve cleaned it up.
• We implement packaging reuse programs that provide even greater economic value with less carbon footprint beyond recycling. Our GearedforGreen Eco Supply Chain is the largest network in North America for reused Corrugated Boxes of all sizes, Gaylord Boxes, Plastic Shipping Containers, Plastic Pallets, and FIBC Bulk Bags. We also provide close loop packaging refurbishment services for FIBC bulk bags and plastic shipping containers to clean up your used packaging for your own internal reuse.
• We engineer & optimize your plastic and corrugated packaging to “design out” waste so you can package your products using less material and with lower delivery cost.
And when it comes to industrial products you use in your own everyday operations we don’t overlook the importance of helping you “walk your sustainability walk”. We provide a range of American Made Certified Sustainable industrial plastic products .. all made from recycled plastics, including pallets & shipping containers, trash cans & can liners, recycling bins, and corporate branded promotional products and corporate logo uniforms and apparel made with the newest technical fabrics from 100% recycled plastic.
With 25+ years of plastic recycling, sustainability and circular supply chain expertise.. “Less” is something we are very passionate about!
So whether it’s plastic recycling, zero waste management, sustainable raw material, packaging, sustainable products, certified destruction, product reuse markets, LCA life cycle analysis, circular eco supply chains, co-manufacturing, regional warehousing & distribution, sustainable social partnerships, eco brand communication, strategic partnerships, and more… we go deeper to help you USE LESS to be as sustainable as you want to be.
Contact Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 email@example.com, www.gearedforgreen.com