Berry Global Celebrates Increased Polypropylene Recycling
August 08, 2022
EVANSVILLE, Ind., August 8, 2022 – In collaboration with The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, Berry Global Group, Inc. (NYSE: BERY) recognizes the recent analysis supporting the upgraded recycling status of polypropylene (PP) rigid containers to “Widely Recycled” under the How2Recycle label. This status change comes as the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition marks its two-year anniversary. As one of the world's largest purchasers of PP and a member of the Coalition, Berry strongly believes in the benefits of increasing recycling access of this substrate, recognized as the second largest plastic resin produced in the world* and its high potential in a circular net-zero economy.
How2Recycle is a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public. The label was created to provide consistent and transparent on-package recycling information to consumers in North America. Through the inclusion of the How2Recycle label, consumers benefit from easy directions on how to property recycle the package, ultimately promoting circularity.
Launched in July 2020, the Coalition brings together stakeholders across the PP value chain – from resin suppliers and manufacturers to consumer packaged goods, and recycling processors – to improve PP recovery and recycling in the U.S. and to further develop end markets for recycled PP.
Thanks to the commitment of its members and their collective focus, the Coalition was able to secure 26 grants, totaling $7.3 million, awarded across the U.S. to support sorting technology improvements and community education. These grants will ultimately improve curbside access to PP recycling for approximately 8% of U.S. households, positively affecting over 20 million people. As a result, the amount of recovered PP is estimated to increase by 25 million pounds annually for established domestic end markets.
“As a proud member of the Polypropylene Coalition, we are thrilled to see the results of dedicated action and funding, ultimately increasing the infrastructure and education of PP recycling,” said Diane Marret, Director of Sustainability at Berry. “Through the results demonstrated by this work, we are making strides collaboratively toward circularity and giving valuable materials multiple lives, achieving more together than any member of the Coalition could do alone.”
As part of its own sustainability commitment to achieve 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025, this initiative is in line with Berry’s partnerships to help improve polypropylene curbside recycling. Berry is strategically targeting its own investments in recycling infrastructure and partnerships to foster recycling infrastructure. An example of this is a recent collaboration with Evansville, Indiana, materials recovery facility (MRF) to purchase and install a new AMP Robotics Cortex™ high-speed robotics system to sort polypropylene. Recovered material will be reused in Berry’s products, but more importantly, learnings from the robot will be evaluated and shared to enhance and promote polypropylene recycling.
Polypropylene is a widely used plastic for food and non-food applications. Versatile in nature, the material offers brands an affordable and safe solution for packaging and food service applications. Not only does the material offer high levels of utility, but it often has the lowest carbon footprint when compared to other substrates**. In addition, brand owners benefit from polypropylene’s durability and contact clarity for use in applications such as food containers.
**Source: S&P Trucost