P&G raises the game on sustainability by joining US plastic wrap recycling group
Flexible film is ubiquitous, adorning a plethora of fast moving consumer goods for both labeling, functional and aesthetic purposes.
However, the type of plastics used for these film wraps can be difficult to recover while consumers are not always aware that it can be recycled, points that have been criticized by environmental groups over the years.
Flexible Recycling Group focuses on recovery
This is where the self-funded FFRG has stepped in to raise awareness of polyethylene (PE) film, wraps and bags, both to encourage consumer goods to specify the material as part of packaging, and to raise consumer awareness about how to recycle it.
P&G’s research and development team is behind the initiative to work with FFRG, having decided that joining the group could help it to achieve its own goals as well as contributing to improved plastic recycling rates in the US.
"Our aim is to reduce our environmental footprint as a Company and that of the consumers who choose our products,” said Stephen Sikra, P&G Research and Development Manager.
“Working with the FFRG and our value chain partners to expand film collection and recycling is a focused priority as we work toward that goal."
Reducing plastics use
In keeping with its goal of meeting consumer demand for green products, the Ohio-based firm has been steadily reducing its packaging use and introducing higher levels of environmentally friendly practices that have included plastics that are easier to recyle.
Within the past two years all packaging for the Gillette brand has been redesigned to use recyclable material and manufactured using 26% less plastic, with similar initiatives introduced for other brands.
The company says that because such changes have been implemented across its brand portfolio plastic use by its customers has been significantly reduced.
P&G’s efforts contribute to raised US recycling
Last October the company announced that it would be using 20% less packaging, while using recycled resin in plastic containers and encouraging more recycling programs.
The recycling of postconsumer plastic film in the US surged 116m pounds, or 11% during 2013, to reach a total of 1.14 bn pounds, according to the American Chemistry Council.
This figure marks the highest annual rate for recycling plastic film in the US since the data was first collected on an annual basis, back in 2005.