Is there a need for end-of-life strategy for flexible packaging? Absolutely! “We must increase the recovery and value capture for flexible packaging,” according to Jeff Wooster, Global Sustainability Director, The Dow Chemical Company. Wooster spoke at the recent FPA Annual Meeting. Mechanical recycling, feedstock recycling, and energy recovery are a few of the options available for flexible packaging. There are many benefits of recycling/using recycled materials including: reduced GHG emissions; lower energy consumption; reduced raw material extraction; and less waste to the landfill.
In 2014, The Dow Chemical Company led a collaborative Energy Bag pilot program in Citrus Heights, CA that proved non-recycled plastics can be collected, sorted and converted to alternative energy resources through an existing curbside recycling program. In late 2016, Dow launched a second collaborative program, Hefty Energy Bag 2.0, in Omaha, NE, to increase the collection of non-recycled plastic packaging. Since its launch in September 2016, over 6,000 Energy Bags have been collected and sorted at First Star’s MRF, resulting in a diversion of over 6,200 pounds of material from the landfill.