How 'greener' Plastic Packaging Grew to become An issue

27 Nov 2018 12:20

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<p>Cut back, Reuse and Rethink is a CBC News sequence about recycling. We're exploring why our communities are at a turning point and how we are able to recycle higher. You could be a part of the conversation by joining our Fb group. Not so way back, pretty much all child meals came in jars, pet food came in cans and containers, and frozen vegetables and path combine got here in baggage — and you possibly can recycle that packaging. Now those products are sometimes bought in handy, resealable plastic pouches that usually cannot go in the recycling bin. The story of the standup pouch, as it's known as, reveals how innovation in packaging can generally include some huge environmental challenges.</p>

<p>40.Sixty five billion in 2022, in response to the marketing agency Stratistics MRC — there are individuals engaged on solutions. British Columbia lately launched a pilot program to gather standup pouches and other versatile plastic packaging, like chip bags, at grocery stores and other places so they can figure out methods to finest recycle them. And a few manufacturers, including a Canadian company, have lately come out with biodegradable and recyclable variations. The recyclable pouches can theoretically be dropped off at supermarkets throughout the country.</p>

<p>However these efforts themselves additionally show that finding ways to recycle new types of packaging is more durable than it seems to be. Layfield Versatile Packaging, a Canadian firm that makes standup plastic pouches at its manufacturing unit in Richmond, B.C., primarily sells its merchandise for medical makes use of, equivalent to blood baggage, as well as for meals and client packaging.</p>
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<p>In keeping with company president Mark Rose, there are good causes — together with environmental ones — why pouches have come to replace so many aluminum cans, glass jars, and onerous plastic containers. For one factor, they're lighter and use less materials, saving vitality and costs on manufacturing and transportation. Other benefits arise from the actual fact they're made by layering totally different sorts of plastics, every with distinctive advantages. Rose, whose father began the company. At Layfield's manufacturing facility, big sheets of polyester feed by a printer that covers them in crisp photographs of shiny-eyed dogs and text with the branding, elements and nutritional data.</p>

<p>Polyester holds the ink effectively and retains oxygen out, so the pet food stays fresher. Next, these sheets reel via a machine that laminates them to polyethylene, which retains out moisture. A 3rd, metal-coated plastic layer keeps out light that will otherwise pace up spoilage. The result is a handy, resealable package that keeps meals fresh, reducing meals waste that may itself trigger greenhouse gas emissions, Rose mentioned.</p>

<p>And the packaging is appealing and rigid sufficient to face up on a shelf — serving to to market the product. Because it is manufactured from layers of various materials, it's not recyclable. Rose mentioned. Nor is melting it down going to assist, because the different plastics have utterly different melting temperatures. Small portions of some particular standup pouches are at the moment being recycled: They're collected by way of producer-funded packages and became plastic lumber via an organization known as TerraCycle.</p>

<p>However what needs to be done with the rest is a growing problem, given the recognition of the pouches. Whereas Rose is convinced that plastic pouches are still more environmentally pleasant than different kinds of packaging, he has spent years making an attempt to develop versions which are greener to dispose — partly on the request of shoppers. This spring, his firm launched two kinds of recyclable pouches: Each comprises just one type of plastic — either polyethylene or polypropylene. Comparable recyclable pouches have previously been put on the market by different companies, including Dow Chemical, Accredo Packaging and Amcor Flexibles, that are using them to package Seventh Generation and Methodology dishwasher detergent.</p>

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