"Recycle" and "reuse" are not new words to most U.S. citizens, but those practices haven't always reached deep into the daily operations of American manufacturing. Badger Plug Company is one of the exceptions within the converting industry.
Newport, Ind., is now the fourth location in North America where Badger Plug Company will accept and recycle an array of packaging components previously used for protecting roll products during shipping and storage. Badger Plug first started recycling these products in 1984 at the company's headquarters in Greenville, Wis..
According to national sales manager Tom Duffy, "As the program took off, it became necessary for us to add more locations. Wauconda, Ill., and Henryetta, Okla., became home to our second and third recycling centers." Duffy says the program has grown significantly over the years. "Badger Plug is now recycling over 40 million pounds of packaging components annually. That's a lot of material that would have ended up in landfills."
According to Duffy, the company has always been environmentally conscious. "Badger started recycling used packaging components nearly thirty years ago, It took some time to educate clients as to which components could be recycled," Duffy states, "but we found the industry was more than interested in getting these products out of their local waste stream and back into a recycle or reuse venue."
Duffy points out that many packaging components can be recycled at this time. Wooden endboards, pallets, plastic sleeve plugs and interlocking clips/channels are the most popular recycled components. "One of our goals is to accept quality components that can then be offered for resale at reduced prices," Duffy states. "We inspect, or remanufacture if needed, every item before being approved for resale. Those components can then be purchased at a reduced cost, saving our customers money while helping protect the environment. That's a win-win for everyone."