Global packaging company Sonoco announced that it reduced water usage by 1.7% and greenhouse gas emissions by 3.2% over the past year. The company says that since 2009, it has reduced normalized greenhouse gas emissions by 27% and water usage by 40.3%.
Sonoco says it is one of the largest recyclers in the US, collecting nearly three million tons of materials each year, much of which it rolls into new sustainable packaging. For example, the company:
- uses recovered fiber to produce more than two million tons of uncoated recycled paperboard each year, much of which is converted into industrial and consumer packaging;
- recovers approximately 1 in 5 PET bottles collected in California, using them to manufacture clamshells for fresh produce;
- used 26% recycled content in its plastic supply chain, of which 23% was post consumer material, in 2018;
- implemented a campaign in all 25 of its plastic packaging facilities to implement “good housekeeping” and containment practices, working towards achieving zero waste and reducing resource loss.
Sonoco’s commitments for sustainable use and increased recyclability of packaging by 2025, announced in 2018, include:
- Sonoco will increase the equivalent by weight, the amount it recycles, or causes to be recycled, from 65% to 85%, relative to the volume of packaging it places into to the global market place.
- Sonoco is committed to increasing the use of post-consumer recycled resins in its plastic packaging from 19% to 25%.
- Sonoco will ensure that approximately 75% of its rigid plastic packaging can carry the relevant on-package recyclable claim.
The company points out that the “recycling gap” – the fact that there are tremendous holes in recycling infrastructure around the world, as well as inconsistent policies about what can be recycled that confuse consumers – makes its commitment to a circular economy a challenge. To be successful in developing a better circular economy where all products are collected and converted into new raw materials, the company says it is working with policy makers and communities to develop new recycling schemes, while better educating consumers on how and what to recycle.
Read more about how Sonoco reaches its sustainability goals: