EcoEnclose recently became an APR Recycling Demand Champion! As a demand champion, we are committing to increasing the percentage of domestically manufactured, post-consumer plastic resin used throughout our warehouse operations.
What is post-consumer waste (versus post industrial)? Post consumer means that the recycled content comes from end use, often from curbside recycling programs. Post industrial means the content comes from manufacturing scraps. Both are important, but PCR is more contaminated and difficult to use.
It is an incredibly important time for companies and households to buy post-consumer recycled waste!
China has banned the import of the harder to recycle materials (such as non-PET plastic, glass and paper), making it more and more difficult for municipal recycling facilities to find markets for their sorted materials. And there is a seemingly ever increasing volume of marine plastic pollution. However, after reusing / repairing, recycling is still the optimal end of life scenario for materials. Recycling something ensures it is quickly remanufactured into something new, eliminating the need to produce the raw materials that would have otherwise been used.
The Demand Champion program has been developed by the Association of Plastic Recyclers with the recognition that:
- Consistent, reliable demand for recycled plastic is critical for recycling to be mature, vibrant and sustainable.
- A strong “demand-pull” for recycled plastics is needed to maintain and continue the building of a robust plastic recycling supply chain.
As more companies, households and consumers buy recycled goods, especially recycled plastic, more domestic reclaimers and manufacturers will invest in the logistics, equipment and product development needed to use recycled inputs.
We envision a future in which all packaging (after being reused as many times as possible!) is not just recyclable --- but is actually recycled and efficiently and cleanly converted into new goods.
That's why we sell, almost exclusively, recycled packaging. Our commitment as a Demand Champion is simply one more step in support of that vision. It helps us look beyond simply the packaging we make and sell, but also at how we make, store and distribute our goods.
What kinds of supplies and materials are we looking into as part of this commitment? We're starting with 100% PCR plastic pallets, recycled stretch film for our outgoing freight shipments, and 100% PCR furniture (when buying used furniture is not an option).
We are most excited about the fact that now, with every purchase we make for our warehouse, we have a commitment to asking the following questions:
- Do we need this at all?
- If so, can we buy it used?
- If not, can we buy it recycled? Can we buy it with 100% post-consumer resin?
Buy asking this of ourselves, and training our entire team to ask it of themselves, this mindset will continue to become foundational to our culture (and might even change the way our team's operate their household -- how's that for an awesome trickle down effect?)!
As part of this commitment, we will complete a report sharing out our PCR purchases this year...and we'll share that here as well!