A zero waste program for the plastics industry is expected to result in about $20,000 in new revenue for its first participant.
Thermoplastic provider The Minco Group achieved the designation after diverting 88 percent of its total manufacturing waste from landfill. The company also projects a revenue increase of about $20,000 for 2017 from its recycling efforts.
Andy Brewer, program manager at All Service Plastic Molding (ASPM), a company owned by The Minco Group, managed the Zero Net Waste program implementation and organized a “Green Team,” which leads the waste reduction program at their facility.
The program is self-reporting and the Green Team monitors and reports company progress, which to date has also included:
- Organizing a 24-hour sort of ASPM waste and categorizing materials into 26 categories.
- Decreasing landfill bound waste weights by 46 percent.
The Zero Net Waste program is available to SPI members, which include suppliers, processors and recyclers, and provides them with resources they can use to pursue, and achieve, zero waste in their facilities and offices. This includes tools for companies throughout the plastics value chain to ensure that plastic materials and other manufacturing byproducts are reused or recycled.
It also builds a business case for zero waste, includes tips for educating employees, and offers guidance on finding service providers.
The program requires companies to meet qualification and verification requirements that demonstrate their goals for pursuing zero waste. Companies are asked to submit information annually for ongoing verification, which allows them to display the Zero Net Waste program logo on their marketing information.
Its launch followed a report by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation that calls on all stakeholders across the global plastics value chain to apply circular economy principles to plastic packaging to reduce harmful environmental effects such as leakage into oceans.
The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics says that while plastics and plastic packaging are an integral part of the global economy and deliver many benefits, their value chains entail drawbacks.
The report finds that most plastic packaging is used only once; 95 percent of the value of plastic packaging material, worth $80 billion to $120 billion annually, is lost to the economy.