The South Carolina-based firm, who works with a number of personal care companies, has implemented employee-driven programs at five manufacturing plants that are focused on reducing waste streams to less than 1 percent (on a waste-to-landfill ratio) by the end of 2011.
In addition, Sonoco has established a goal to have 10 percent of its global manufacturing operations achieve landfill-free status by 2015.
To achieve landfill-free status, a company’s operations must divert 99 percent of all wastes from landfills.
"As one of the largest packaging recyclers in North America, we have established programs through our Sonoco Sustainability Solutions, LLC (S3) service that are eliminating landfill wastes at our customers' manufacturing plants and have moved 10 plants to land fill-free status," said Harris DeLoach Jr, CEO.
"While we have always worked to reduce landfill wastes from our own plants, we are now focused on taking the next step in moving our operations to landfill-free status where possible."
Sonoco also released its 2010-2011 Annual Sustainability Report, which outlines the company's continued progress in achieving its global sustainability targets.
Sonoco addressing sustainability issues
Last year, Unilever USA turned to Sonoco to help reduce its packaging costs and environmental footprint, by redesigning its Suave brand’s shampoo and conditioner bottles.
By adding a curve to the side of the bottle, the overall strength was improved, and the amount of resin required to produce the bottles reduced by 16 percent, Sonoco explained.
Sonoco’s sustainable line of solutions is called True Blue. In order to qualify for the brand a package must provide a clear environmental advantage over the package it was created to replace either through the use of more sustainable materials or source reduction.
Unilever also implemented True Blue’s eco-friendly point-of-purchase (POP) display for its Vaseline Sheer Infusion body lotion, in a bid to achieve its sustainability goals.
By redesigning an existing floor-stand wing unit, Sonoco cut the paperboard required to produce the display in half, from 65.2 to 32.65 square feet.