At Airlite, we’re proud to partner with so many customers who share our vision of a circular economy and believe in the importance of minimizing raw virgin materials in our packaging.
We’re a leading proponent and consumer of post-consumer recycled materials. Any polypropylene product we make can be made using PCR resin.
Not only are they one of the most effective ways to achieve your sustainability goals, but their use also results in packaging that’s just as efficient, effective, and high-quality as those made from virgin resin.
The demand for PCR products continues to grow, but not everyone fully understands the process or the benefits.
Here are some things you need to know:
What exactly is PCR?
PCR stands for post-consumer recycled material. In short, this is everything we’re putting in the recycling bin. This means all the cans, plastic bottles, and paper materials that local recycling programs take in.
Recycling facilities can then remove the recycled polypropylene items and sell them off to companies that can process, melt, and grind the material into small pellets. And it’s these pellets that we can then use to create brand new consumer, food-safe packaging without having to rely on virgin resin.
Due to the significant color variation in recycled materials, products made from PCR resin traditionally result in a gray color. This is why most PCR products you see today are black or gray.
Why is PCR important?
Now more than ever, consumers and producers continue to demand more environmental responsibility from each other. It’s important that those committed to recycling see that the effort is worth it and are able to inspire more to do the same.
Normalizing the efforts to create brand new packaging from PCR resin is logical and critical. Increasing PCR use and decreasing the demand for virgin materials will only help us advance the recycling infrastructure in this country and allow us to make an even more significant, positive environmental impact.
What are the benefits of switching to PCR-based packaging?
- Reduce your environmental impact — Using recycled materials will help you create more sustainable packaging, allow you to minimize waste and emissions, and reduce your overall carbon footprint.
- Giving consumers what they want — Consumers demand companies adopt more sustainable practices and are often willing to pay more for products that reflect their values.
- Demonstrating your commitment — Achieving a functioning, thriving circular economy will take PCR trendsetters to show other organizations and consumers that it can work. Being at the leading edge will help raise your organization’s profile and show others the importance you put on sustainability.
What products can be created with PCR?
Airlite is taking steps towards becoming a zero-waste company. All scrap leftover in our manufacturing process is reground to create new products. We’ve long repurposed recycled polypropylene scrap to manufacture other non-food products in our Fox Blocks® and TrueGrid® divisions.
But in the last few years, we’ve seen the development of a process that allows the use of PCR material in FDA-approved, recyclable food packaging. So now we’re finally starting to see more food-based products on the shelves packaged with post-consumer plastic, which is a massive win for the environment and all of us who are committed to bringing the circular economy to reality.
This is just the start for us as we continue to develop new products and partnerships with clients invested in the future of sustainable food packaging.