Graham Packaging Highlights Progress With Plastics Recycling
In 2019, 375 million containers were diverted from landfills by the Graham Recycling Operation.
Graham Packaging recently released its 2019 Sustainability Report. The report provides an overview of the progress made in 2019 towards sustainability across all areas of the company and offers a glimpse into its objectives for 2020 and beyond.
“Progress has been the driving theme for what we have accomplished in 2019, as well as what we are striving for in 2020,” said Mike King, CEO of Graham Packaging. “The goals we implemented in 2018 have gained momentum, and we will continue to exhibit our passion and energy to create positive change for our customers, community and employees.”
Throughout 2019, Graham Packaging made significant strides in key initiatives outlined in its 2018 Sustainability Report. Some of the achievements from 2019 summarized in the report include:
- 56% increase in the use of rPET content
- 65.7 million pounds of HDPE PCR content consumed
- 375 million containers diverted from landfills by Graham Recycling Operation
- 25%+ ocean-bound PCR content in a single bottle
- 6% overall reduction in energy usage
- 100% renewable energy used by two Graham facilities in Brazil
- 19.4% combined decrease in scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions
Graham has made commitments to sustainability-focused organizations that promote environmentally responsible behavior, including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The Recycling Partnership and the Better Plants Program. Graham Packaging is leveraging its relationships with these organizations and others to achieve the following by 2020:
- Reducing energy usage by up to 5% as part of an overall 25% energy reduction by 2028
- Increasing its use of PCR — including ocean-bound plastic — by incorporating an average of 10% PCR
- Conducting more than 25 life-cycle assessments to help communicate the value of sustainability to its customers
- Innovating to provide product lightweighting, recyclability, durability and reusability
- Reaching a goal of 98% of its products being recyclable by continuing to design for recyclability across all product lines
“While we recognize the challenges of adopting aggressive sustainable packaging practices, we also acknowledge it is a commitment that is both necessary and achievable,” said Tracee Auld, chief sustainability officer of Graham Packaging.
Graham Packaging highlights progress made through strategic initiatives.
So-called “ocean plastics” is a global problem, but a wide range of companies across the entire supply chain have put in the time, money and R&D efforts necessary to make capturing and converting the material into a sustainable business. But demand must follow.
With virgin resin so expensive, there’s plenty of recycling action—from PET bottle-to-bottle plants to new projects aimed at agricultural film, carpets, and auto-shredder residue.
Two recently developed technologies are said to make high-quality PET recycling more economical.