How Can the Flexible Packaging Films Industry Up the Recycling Ante?
Just today, I was looking up regulations for the flexible packaging industry, and came across a new website www.iwanttoberecycled.org. This website helps consumers understand what can be recycled, and where and how to recycle their waste.
Wisely, the website groups types of materials together, offering an explanation for each type of material (aluminum, glass, steel, paper, etc.). Flexible packaging (‘Plastic Bags and Films’) has its own landing page, too.
According to the website, “As of 2011, America’s recycling of plastic bags and film increased by 55 percent since just 2005. There are currently more than 15,000 locations nationwide, primarily major grocery and retail chains, where you can take your plastic film items to be recycled.” This is excellent news for our industry!
Currently, the types of materials that consumers can recycle are listed on the website: “Retail bags, dry cleaning bags, bread bags, flexible plastic packaging from paper towels, cases of soda, shipping pillows, sealable or “zippered” plastic food bags, etc.” Again, kudos to the industry on getting these materials to be recyclable!
But, being the flexible packaging industry cheerleader that I like to think I am, I wonder how we can up the ante, and expand on the list of recyclable materials in our realm. What I’d love to see on the list of recyclable flexible packaging materials in the coming years: stand up pouches (SUPs), coated and laminated films, and other flexible packaging that simply cannot be recycled at this moment.
I know you’re all working diligently on improving our industry – that’s what makes this industry of all of the packaging industries so wonderful!
Do you think this is a doable feat? Am I too naïve to think that this is a reachable goal for the industry? Let me know in the comments section below, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org