If you haven’t heard… Walmart announced new plastics recycling & waste reduction commitments, another wonderful step towards retail plastics waste reduction & sustainability … and another tremendous “opportunity” for the plastics supply chain to team up, collaborate, & innovate together.
That’s our specialization for 30 years at GearedforGreen. For those needing support with plastics recycling, certified PCR plastic raw materials, and plastics circular economy implementation to meet Walmart’s sustainability goal, GearedforGreen is equipped to support your needs.
How’s it going to work?
Walmart plans to leverage its massive private brand system, which uses an enormous network of suppliers, all of whom may need sustainability support to help implement and use recycled content plastic raw materials under the new Walmart goal.
Walmart announced it wants to use at least 20 percent post-consumer recycled content in all private brand packaging by 2025. The recycled content goal doesn’t single out just plastic, but separate source reduction goals are plastic specific.
THAT CAN BE A DAUNTING CHALLENGE FOR MANY BRANDS, MANUFACTURERS, AND PACKAGING SUPPLIERS… FINDING THE RIGHT LONG-TERM STRATEGIC RAW MATERIAL SUPPLIER IS IMPORTANT! MANUFACTURERS SHOULD KNOW, USING RECYCLED CONTENT PLASTIC RESINS ISN’T THE SAME AS RUNNING PRIME RESIN. AT GEAREDFORGREEN WE SUPPLY SUSTAINABLE RECYCLE GRADE PCR RESINS INCLUDING OUR PROPRIETARY “BULK SUSTAINABLE RAW MATERIAL SOURCING” PROGRAMS, AND WE HELP CLIENTS USE RECYCLED PLASTIC RESINS MORE EFFECTIVELY PROVIDING ON-SITE TECHNICAL, LAB, CUSTOM FORMATIONS, AND PROCESSING SUPPORT.
“The move by Walmart is designed to help get to the heart of the problem by focusing on the retailer’s private brand packaging, building upon existing efforts to reduce plastic waste in Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club operations, and encouraging national brand suppliers to set similar packaging goals,” Walmart stated in the release.
The packaging commitment was made during a Walmart supplier forum, and the company also encouraged its national brand suppliers – brand name products sold at Walmart stores – to also strive for similar packaging goals as part of Walmart’s Project Gigaton effort.
THESE GOALS MAY INCLUDE INTERNAL INITIATIVES SUCH AS – ZERO PLASTIC WASTE, SUSTAINABLE PLASTIC RESINS & RAW MATERIALS, PACKAGING REDESIGN AND LIGHT-WEIGHTING, CARBON FOOTPRINT MEASUREMENT & CERTIFICATION, FDA COMPLIANCE, ETC., AND ALSO EXTERNAL SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES INCLUDING SOCIAL SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIPS, OUTREACH, EDUCATION, AND MORE.
In the announcement, Laura Phillips, senior vice president for global sustainability at Walmart, described the effort as “another key milestone in our ongoing journey of working with our private brand and national brand suppliers” to increase product sustainability.
GEAREDFORGREEN HAS BEEN CONNECTING-THE-DOTS & CLOSING-THE-LOOP WITHIN THE PLASTICS SUPPLY CHAIN FOR WALMART AND OTHER RETAILERS ALONG WITH THEIR SUPPLY CHAINS FOR 20+YEARS! AS A PLASTICS CIRCULAR ECONOMY SUSTAINABILITY PROVIDER, GEAREDFORGREEN HAS PROUDLY HELPED CLIENTS RECYCLE MORE THAN 900M POUNDS OF PLASTIC WASTE BACK INTO NEW PRODUCTS.
THROUGH OUR PLASTIC FILM-BAG-WRAP CIRCULAR ECONOMY INITIATIVES, WE ARE USING A COMBINATION OF TECHNOLOGY-INNOVATION-COLLABORATION TO HELP RECYCLE MANY MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF POST CONSUMER PLASTIC FILMS-BAGS-WRAPS EVERY MONTH, WASHING-PELLETIZING-CERTIFIYING THE PCR RESINS USING THE NEWEST STATE OF THE ART RECYCLING TECHNOLOGIES AND USING THESE “NOW SUSTAINABLE PLASTIC RESINS” TO GO RIGHT BACK INTO BRAND NEW PLASTIC PACKAGING, TO HELP RETAILERS ACHIEVE THEIR 20-40%+ PCR REQUIREMENTS INCLUDING RETAIL FRONT OF STORE BAGS, TRASH BAGS, CAN LINERS, E COMMERCE BAGS, AND MORE – CircularEconomy@Gearedforgreen.com
Beyond 20 percent recycled content, Walmart stated its commitment to strive for its brands to use 100 percent recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging by 2025. The announcement also highlighted several separate waste-recycling-related Walmart projects, including the company recycling 151 million pounds of shrink wrap in 2017, providing an in-store film recycling option, offering alternatives to single-use products and more.
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: