Glenroy, Inc., a producer of sustainable flexible packaging, has teamed with Trex Company, a manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing, to make its eco-friendly flexible packaging products even friendlier. Further reinforcing the company’s commitment to sustainability, Glenroy has submitted its innovative TruRenu stand-up pouch for assessment and acceptance for recycling through the NexTrex Recycling Program, a Trex initiative focused on sourcing, collecting and qualifying polyethylene film materials for use in the making of Trex’s composite decking.
One of the largest recyclers of plastic film in North America, Trex reclaims and repurposes more than 850 million pounds of polyethylene plastic waste and reclaimed wood scrap annually through a number of commercial partnerships and community programs. Among its largest sources of recycled plastic material are grocery stores and other retailers who partner with Trex to responsibly dispose of shopping bags and polyethylene film used to wrap products and pallets. Trex introduced the NexTrex package testing and labeling initiative designed to help brands inform consumers that their packaging can not only be recycled, but upcycled, into Trex decking.
To qualify for the certified NexTrex label, product packaging must be made of polyethylene plastic and pass three stages of testing to ensure that it meets the criteria for use in the Trex manufacturing process. Packaging producers and brand owners may have packaging tested for free by Trex, which provides a report assessing three key areas:
- package/film recyclability
- risk/impact of product contamination
- affect/risk of “look-alike” package contamination
To meet the latter criteria, a majority (at least 75%) of competitive packaging in the marketplace must also be made of polyethylene packaging in order to avoid confusion with non-recyclable material. Once packaging is validated by Trex, a Certification of Acceptance will be issued to the brand owner and the brand will be authorized to use the NexTrex Recycled Packaging Label.
“Qualifying for the NexTrex program adds both perceived and tangible value to our flexible packaging that our brand partners can then pass on to consumers,” says Evan Arnold, vice president of business development for Glenroy, Inc. “We are confident that this affiliation and certification will drive consumer participation in recycling and have a positive impact on reducing plastic waste – one pouch at a time.”
Glenroy’s TruRenu stand-up pouch has effectively passed Stage 1 of the NexTrex testing process, meaning the virgin packaging material has been determined to be made of polyethylene plastic and meets the company’s general recycling standards. Ultimately, however, the recyclability of the packaging through the NexTrex program will depend on its “in-use” contents.
For instance, one of the first companies to adopt the TruRenu packaging was Walex Products Company, which recently introduced the first-ever store drop-off recyclable stand-up pouch in its industry. In this case, the pouch houses biodegradable septic tank treatment pods that pose no risk of contamination to the recyclability of the packaging material, thereby qualifying it for the NexTrex label which is promoted on the product packaging.
“Highlighting NexTrex certification on product packaging allows brands to inform consumers about how to easily and responsibly dispose of packaging material, while also promoting their commitment to sustainability,” says Dave Heglas, senior director of supply chain excellence for Trex Company. “With the NexTrex label, consumers know exactly where their recycled plastic is headed and that it will one day find new life as a beautiful Trex deck.”