EU Green Deal: Creating a circular economy for plastics

Jennifer Perr, Sustainability Director at Hi-Cone explains how the EU Green Deal can impact the packaging industry and transform plastic use for a more sustainable future.

The new EU Green Deal has outlined a plan to boost sustainable industry and eliminate pollution through the building of a circular economy. Key players in the packaging industry have already begun transforming their products and supply chain structures to support more efficient resource use and increased recyclability, but the right steps towards a circular economy are not always obvious, even if they offer huge opportunities for many materials, including plastics.

 

Read the full article on Open Access Government!

Hi-Cone Worldwide Joins U.S. Plastics Pact

The supplier of plastic-based multi-packaging systems has committed to achieving four ambitious goals, including ensuring that all of its plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.

Hi-Cone Worldwide, a global supplier of plastic-based multi-packaging systems, has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaborative initiative to forge a path to a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025.

“Hi-Cone joining the U.S. Plastics Pact is further evidence of our commitment to creating a circular plastics economy and ensuring this material doesn’t become waste,” said Shawn Welch, Vice President and General Manager of Hi-Cone Worldwide. “The pact is creating substantive change regarding how our country deals with plastic, and Hi-Cone is eager to advance this fundamental shift in the packaging industry.”

 

Read the full article on Plastics Today!

Hi-Cone Joins U.S. Plastics Pact

Hi-Cone Worldwide joined U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaboration led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

As part of the U.S. Pact, Hi-Cone recognizes that significant, system-wide change is imperative to realize a circular economy for plastics. As such, the U.S. Pact will convene more than 70 brands, retailers, NGOs, and government agencies across the plastics value chain to bring one voice to U.S. packaging through coordinated initiatives and innovative solutions for rethinking products, packaging, and business models.

 

Read the full article on Packaging World!

HI-CONE WORLDWIDE JOINS U.S. PLASTICS PACT, COMMITTING TO MEET AMBITIOUS CIRCULAR ECONOMY GOALS BY 2025

Led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the U.S. Plastics Pact will unify approaches to rethink the way we design, use, and reuse plastics

 

ITASCA, IL, (OCTOBER 26, 2020) – Today, Hi-Cone Worldwide has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaborative, solutions-driven initiative rooted in four ambitious goals intended to drive significant systems change by unifying diverse cross-sector approaches, setting a national strategy, and creating scalable solutions to create a path forward toward a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025. The first North American Pact of its kind, the U.S. Pact is a collaboration led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

As part of the U.S. Pact, Hi-Cone recognizes that significant, systemwide change is imperative to realize a circular economy for plastics. As such, the U.S. Pact will convene more than 70 brands, retailers, NGOs, and government agencies across the plastics value chain to bring one voice to U.S. packaging through coordinated initiatives and innovative solutions for rethinking products, packaging, and business models.

“Hi-Cone joining the U.S. Plastics Pact is further evidence of our commitment to creating a circular plastics economy and ensuring this material doesn’t become waste,” said Shawn Welch, Vice President and General Manager of Hi-Cone Worldwide. “The U.S. Pact is creating substantive change regarding how our country deals with plastic, and Hi-Cone is eager to advance this fundamental shift in the packaging industry.”

As an Activator of the U.S. Plastics Pact, Hi-Cone has agreed to collectively deliver against these four ambitious goals:

  1. Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025. ​
  2. By 2025, all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable. ​
  3. By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging.
  4. By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30%. ​

 

Hi-Cone has already begun transforming its multipack packaging portfolio to RingCycles™, a 50%+ post-consumer recycled solution that eliminates more than 25 million pounds of virgin plastic per year with a much lower environmental impact. The company is also on target to provide a packaging solution that is 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.

While the U.S. Pact is complementary to, and follows the ambitious precedents set by the existing global network of Plastic Pacts, it will be tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of the U.S. market. The Pact will reflect national priorities and realities, while still propelling the nation closer to other developed nations in its management of plastic waste.

“Together through the U.S. Plastics Pact, we will ignite systems change to accelerate progress toward a circular economy,” says Emily Tipaldo, Executive Director for the U.S. Plastics Pact. “The U.S. Pact will accelerate system-wide change by inspiring and supporting upstream innovation through a coordinated national strategy, creating a unified framework and enabling members to accelerate progress toward our ambitious 2025 sustainability goals. Members’ full participation will be vital to reaching our shared goals.”

Achieving this vision will require new levels of accountability from all facets of the plastics supply chain. The U.S. Pact emphasizes measurable change and as such, Hi-Cone is committed to transparent, annual reporting, guided by WWF’s ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker, which will be used to document annual progress against our four goals. The first task of the founding members of the U.S. Plastics Pact will be to establish a “roadmap” in 2021 to identify key milestones and national solutions to achieving the U.S. targets and realize a circular economy in which plastic never becomes waste.

Hi-Cone recently launched the RingRecycleMe program in partnership with Avangard Innovative – the worldwide leader in #4 LDPE plastic recycling. Through this partnership, the two companies joined forces to address the current plastic waste crisis through a circular approach that keeps ring carriers in a recycled production loop, and out of landfills and the environment. In addition to partnering with Avangard Innovative and investing in next-generation solutions, Hi-Cone partners with leading organizations around the world including the Ocean Conservancy and TerraCycle® and is part of the Ellen McArthur Foundation New Plastic Economy Global Commitment to advance the circular economy and keep plastics in use as a valuable resource.

 

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About Hi-Cone Worldwide

Hi-Cone is a leading supplier of ring carrier multi-packaging systems for the global Beer & Non-Alcoholic Ready to Drink (NARTD) beverage markets, providing sustainable packaging solutions to major Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies. Hi-Cone has set ambitious goals to become 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025. We realize we cannot do this alone and need to work collaboratively with consumers, governments, and industry to meet consumer’s desire to reduce their plastic use and meet the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information on Hi-Cone, please visit hi-cone.com or follow news on LinkedIn. To learn more about Hi-Cone’s new recycling program, please visit RingRecycleMe.com.

 

About The Recycling Partnership

The Recycling Partnership is a national nonprofit organization that leverages corporate partner funding to transform recycling for good in states, cities, and communities nationwide. As the leading organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain from the corporations that manufacture products and packaging to local governments charged with recycling to industry end markets, haulers, material recovery facilities, and converters, The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. Since 2014, the nonprofit change agent diverted 230 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 465 million gallons of water, avoided more than 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and drove significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at www.recyclingpartnership.org

 

About World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in nearly 100 countries for over half a century to help people and nature thrive. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat the climate crisis. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and keep up with the latest sustainability news by following @WWFBetterBiz on Twitter and signing up for our newsletter and news alerts here.

 

About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy. Since its creation, the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, putting the circular economy on the agenda of decision-makers around the world. The charity’s work focuses on seven key areas: insight and analysis; business; institutions, governments, and cities; systemic initiatives; circular design; learning; and communications.

Further information: www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org | @circulareconomy

 

About The New Plastics Economy and The Plastics Pact

Since 2016, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative has rallied businesses and governments behind a positive vision of a circular economy for plastic. Its 2016 and 2017 New Plastics Economy reports captured worldwide headlines, revealing the financial and environmental costs of waste plastic and pollution.

The Plastics Pact is a global network of initiatives that brings together all key stakeholders at the national or regional level behind a common vision with a concrete set of ambitious local targets. It builds a unique platform to exchange learnings and best practices across regions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic – a New Plastics Economy – in which it never becomes waste or pollution.

Further information: www.newplasticseconomy.org | @circulareconomy

College students challenged to rethink plastic in global competition

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (9 September 2020) – Enactus launched a challenge to university and college students worldwide to rethink plastic use, recycling and disposal today during Enactus World Cup 2020.

Sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, Dell and Hi-Cone, the new competition seeks to motivate Enactus 72,000 students to bring creative new thinking to devise improvements to current practices.

The launch at the digital Enactus World Cup, included a panel discussion with the sponsoring companies and industry experts including Ben Jordon, Senior Director, Environmental Policy Global Policy & Sustainability with The Coca-Cola Company and Jennifer Perr, Sustainability Director with Hi-Cone Worldwide.

Plastics are ubiquitous, having proven to be among the world’s most important industrial innovations, changing industries from food to healthcare and consumer goods. However, most plastic packaging is used only once, and 95 percent of plastic packaging material – estimated to be worth US$80-$120 billion annually – simply becomes trash, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Thus, a move from single use to reuse of plastic not only helps eliminate plastic waste and pollution but can offer significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other negative impacts.

“We are thrilled to support Enactus nextgen leaders, who share our commitment to prevent plastic waste and find sustainable solutions that can advance a circular model of consumption and production,” said Shawn Welch, vice president and general manager of Hi-Cone Worldwide, a minimal multi-packaging solution for global beverage brands. “As a multi-packaging solutions company, innovation and sustainability are at the core of everything we do. We are always looking for fresh ideas and alternative perspectives. Enactus‘ Race to Rethink Plastics provides a platform for young inventors and entrepreneurs to do just that – share their passion, creativity and innovative solutions.”

“The Coca-Cola Company is committed to our World Without Waste initiative, which we introduced in 2018. We are making strong progress towards our goals and are fundamentally rethinking how we get our product into the hands of consumers,” said Elaine Bowers Coventry, chief customer and commercial officer, The Coca-Cola Company and Enactus Board Member. “Supporting the Enactus Race to Rethink Plastics allows us to tap into the entrepreneurship and creativity of the thousands of Enactus student leaders from around the world. These young entrepreneurs are driving change and offering impactful solutions that will help accelerate the transition to a circular economy.”

Enactus, a network of global business, academic and student leaders unified unified by a vision to create a better, more sustainable world, operates the largest experiential learning platform dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. The organization has an an established track record of addressing plastic issues with its 1 Race 4 Oceans. In the first year, 1 Race 4 Oceans projects have directly impacted 73,025 and indirectly impacted 892,824 people. 1 Race 4 Oceans student projects created 128 businesses, 738 jobs and nearly $9.5M in new revenue streams while reducing more than 120,000 kilograms of waste, including plastic.

As part of the Enactus model, more than 72,000 students in 35+ countries create businesses that address the global goals. Students compete on the positive impact created through their work at national competitions; from September 8 to 11, Enactus national champion teams are competing on a virtual, global stage at Enactus World Cup 2020.

To learn more about the Race to Rethink Plastic powered by Enactus, visit http://enactus.org/plastic

About Enactus

Enactus, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the largest experiential learning platform dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. A network of global business, academic and student leaders unified by a vision to create a better, more sustainable world, the organization also provides a platform for next gen leaders to develop leadership skills while working with leading companies worldwide. In 2019, Enactus projects impacted 2.9 million lives, helped launch 3,000 small businesses, and eliminated 5.9 million tons of CO2, plus 819,699 women gained new skills to advance economic equality. For more information, visit www.enactus.org.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at www.coca-colacompany.com.

About Dell

Dell believes they have a responsibility to protect and enrich our planet together with their customers, suppliers and communities. It is a core part of their business and they embed sustainability and ethical practices into all that they do, being accountable for their actions while driving improvements wherever and whenever possible. By 2030, for every product a customer buys, Dell will reuse or recycle an equivalent product. 100% of their packaging will be made from recycled or renewable material. More than half of their product content will be made from recycled or renewable material. For more information, visit https://corporate.delltechnologies.com/.

About Hi-Cone

Hi-Cone is a leading supplier of ring carriers, a minimal multi-packaging solution for global beverage brands. Hi-Cone has set ambitious goals to become 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025. We realize we cannot do this alone and need to work collaboratively with consumers, governments, and industry to meet consumer’s desire to reduce their plastic use and meet the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our aim is to educate consumers on how to reduce plastic consumption and how to recycle all aspects of the circular economy; an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. We partner with consumers, retailers, and industry experts to make tangible and impactful changes to advance the circular economy through our ongoing innovations in packaging design and material development. For more information on Hi-Cone, please visit hi-cone.com or follow news on LinkedIn. To learn more about Hi-Cone’s new ring carrier recycling program, please visit RingRecycleMe.com.

How a partnership created a ring carrier recycling program

Plastics reclaimer Avangard Innovative will sell millions of pounds of PCR each year to six-pack carrier manufacturer Hi-Cone Worldwide, as the companies expand their existing business relationship.

The two companies recently announced they launched a ring carrier recycling program, though which consumers will be able to return used LDPE six-pack ring carriers to participating stores or mail them straight to Avangard Innovative. Avangard will recycle the plastic and sell PCR to Hi-Cone for use in 50%-recycled-content carriers.

 

Read the full article on Plastics Recycling Update!

Companies Kick Off Partnership Week to Tackle Plastic Waste

While COVID-19 continues to disrupt local recycling, two companies launched a partnership this week to prevent some of the 9 million tons of plastic waste from ending up in the environment.

Hi-Cone Worldwide, a multi-packaging provider for the beverage industry based in Itasca, Ill., is partnering with Houston, Texas-based Avangard Innovative to launch a “manufacturer-led” consumer recycling program in the U.S.

 

Read the full article on Waste 360!

Avangard, Hi-Cone partner in ring carrier recycling program

Avangard Innovative, a plastics recycler based in Houston, has partnered with Hi-Cone Worldwide, supplier of ring carrier multipackaging systems based in Itasca, Illinois, to launch RingRecycleMe, a program for recycling Hi-Cone’s plastic ring carriers for beverages, which are made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

 

Read the full article on Recycling Today!

Hi-Cone Responds to Beverage Companies Switching from Plastic to Paperboard Can-Rings

After writing about Coca-Cola European Partners making the switch from plastic can-rings to paperboard, I discovered that several European-based beverage companies have done the same, including beer makers Carlsberg (announced in 2018) and Heineken (announced in November 2019). The goal is to rid the world of plastic can-rings, which are made by global supplier Hi-Cone (Itasca, IL).

 

Read the full article on Plastics Today!

Hi-Cone Worldwide Partners with Avangard Innovative to Stem Plastic Waste

New RingRecycleMe Program Creates Renewable Supply for Ring Carriers Designed to Cut Plastic Production in the midst of the global pandemic.

Itasca, Illinois – Today a new sustainability milestone has been reached in the multi-packaging industry with Hi-Cone Worldwide, the leading supplier of multi-packaging solutions for global beer, soft drink, and general product industries, and the launch of its RingRecycleMe program in partnership with Avangard Innovative, the worldwide leader in #4 LDPE plastic recycling. The two companies join forces to address the current plastic waste crisis through a circular approach that keeps ring carriers in a recycled production loop, and out of landfills and the environment.

Currently, in the U.S. and Canada, ring carriers can be recycled where #4 LDPE mixed plastics, including ring carriers, are collected. However, we recognize more needs to be done to support collection services and recycling infrastructure. Where ring carriers are not collected today, Hi-Cone has created a free recycling program to ensure that consumers can recycle their ring carriers and give them a second life. Consumers can now send back their ring carriers through RingRecycleMe.com or by dropping them off at a participating retail location later this year.

“Since joining the Hi-Cone Worldwide team last year, one of my immediate goals was to provide consumers with the information and tools needed for them to recycle their ring carriers. I am excited to see this vision turning into reality, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the launch of our RingRecycleMe initiative,” said Shawn Welch, Vice President of Hi-Cone Worldwide. “Our partnership with Avangard Innovative is important to Hi-Cone because we’re working together to collect and use ring carriers to make new ones over and over again, furthering our commitment to reducing the use of virgin plastic and transitioning all ring carriers into +50% post-consumer recycled product,” Welch mentioned.

Hi-Cone’s partnership with Avangard Innovative comes at a time when food delivery and the use of disposable plastics are on the rise and U.S. consumers do not understand or trust recycling. According to Hi-Cone’s State of Plastic Recycling Annual Report 2020, only one in four Americans recycle all of their plastic waste. The report also highlights the desire to do more to ensure a more sustainable future. The launch of the RingRecycleMe program gives consumers the confidence that their ring carriers will be recycled and reused to reduce virgin plastic production and lower environmental impacts.

“We are excited to be a part of the RingRecycleMe initiative in partnership with Hi-Cone, as we both share a commitment to keeping plastic and other recyclables out of landfills and the environment,” said Rick Perez, CEO of Avangard Innovative. “Our participation leverages proprietary technology to measure, manage, and monetize retailers’ sustainability programs, maximizing the volume of ring carriers and other LDPE plastics reclaimed, recycled, and transformed into post-consumer resin. By using the PCR pellets to manufacture new ring carriers, Hi-Cone and Avangard Innovative will effectively create a circular economy solution,” Perez added.

The Houston-based recycling specialists for #4 LDPE or low-density polyethylene used in bags, film, and lighter plastics, Avangard Innovative will supply post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) pellets from its NaturaPCR recycling facilities to Hi-Cone for the production on its redesigned RingCycles™ packaging, which reduces the use of virgin plastic by half. Ring carriers originated as an innovative alternative to paperboard to prevent deforestation back in the 1960s. The company is currently working on a sustainable solution that is 100% recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable by 2025.

In addition to partnering with Avangard Innovative and investing in next-generation solutions, Hi-Cone partners with leading organizations around the world including the Ocean Conservancy and TerraCycle® and is part of the Ellen McArthur Foundation New Plastic Economy Global Commitment to advance the circular economy and keep plastics in use as a valuable resource.


About Hi-Cone Worldwide

Hi-Cone is a leading supplier of ring carrier multi-packaging systems for the global Beer & Non-Alcoholic Ready to Drink (NARTD) beverage markets, providing sustainable packaging solutions to major Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies. Hi-Cone has set ambitious goals to become 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025. We realize we cannot do this alone and need to work collaboratively with consumers, governments, and industry to meet consumer’s desire to reduce their plastic use and meet the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our aim is to educate consumers on how to reduce plastic consumption and how to recycle all aspects of the circular economy; an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. We partner with consumers, retailers, and industry experts to make tangible and impactful changes to advance the circular economy through our ongoing innovations in packaging design and material development. For more information on Hi-Cone, please visit hi-cone.com or follow news on LinkedIn. To learn more about Hi-Cone’s new ring carrier recycling program, please visit RingRecycleMe.com.


About Avangard Innovative

Avangard Innovative is the worldwide leader in technology-driven circular economy solutions headquartered in Houston, Texas. With 30 years of experience operating in 11 countries, Avangard Innovative is the largest recycler in the Americas, offering full-service waste management and recycling optimization solutions at all levels of the process. Our proprietary technology (Sustayn Analytics™), program management & optimization (NaturaZero2.0™), and post-consumer resin manufacturing facilities (NaturaPCR™) are designed to help our clients measure, manage and monetize their sustainability programs. Avangard Innovative’s mission is to preserve and protect the environment by achieving zero waste to landfill. For more information, please visit avaicg.com or follow news on Facebook @AvangardInnovative or LinkedIn @Avangard-Innovative.

The Total Cost of Consumption

Consumption of any kind comes at a price. In manufacturing, processes draw on resources to produce items that, once they have served their purpose, become surplus to requirements.

What happens to them next is often the subject of intense scrutiny; after all no-one is immune to social pressure to reuse and recycle. Yet, fewer among us probably consider the total cost of consumption – the end-to-end environmental impact of generating, transporting and disposing of goods.

Yet, to ignore this is to take an incomplete view of sustainability. We are all striving for a circular economy, in which a throwaway culture is superseded by an approach that keeps products and materials in use. A linear economy follows a ‘take-make-use-dispose’ model, whereas in a circular economy, materials are extracted from waste to re-enter production processes. Reuse and recycling initiatives are central to this and great strides have been made in raising awareness of this need.

 

Environmental Impact: Taking a Wider View

Plastic in particular has received considerable attention in recent years, so much so that ‘single-use’ was 2018’s word of the year. We all need to recycle plastic in our day-to-day lives and manufacturers should consider alternatives to single-use, but they must also take a wider view. They must consider the total impact of their materials, products and production processes.

The UK government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee in its report on plastic food and drink packaging, wrote: “In the backlash against plastic, other materials are being increasingly used as substitutes in food and drink packaging. We are concerned that such actions are being taken without proper consideration of wider environmental consequences, such as higher carbon emissions.”

The full environmental cost of production and consumption includes the choice of materials themselves but also the level of carbon emissions generated, and energy consumed.

Understanding total cost is unlikely to be a simple task; often there are complex interrelationships at work. Not surprisingly, consumers are confused. Our recent survey of adults across four regions (the USA, UK, Mexico and Spain) reveals that 69% believe non-plastic packaging (such as cardboard, glass, cans, etc.) is better for the environment than plastic, yet 30% are unsure if using a small amount of plastic can be better than a larger amount of a different packaging material such as cardboard.

 

The Complete Product Life Cycle

To arrive at the most sustainable solution for a product, such as a type of food or drink packaging, manufacturers and developers must look at the complete product life cycle. That means taking account of carbon emissions and the amount of energy used in manufacturing as well as the recyclability of the final product. In so doing, industry commits to optimizing the suitability of materials and products to the circular economy, as well as minimizing waste.

Through education, consumers will be equipped to make fully informed decisions, minimize the impact of their consumption and maintain pressure on industry to deliver solutions that address all sustainability issues.

The importance of recycling can’t be overstated so work must continue on raising awareness of the need to recycle, and on improving infrastructure and the recyclability of products and components. Yet, industry must also strive to bring down the total cost of consumption and support consumers in making positive choices for a circular economy. That means taking steps to understand the full environmental cost of production and consumption and working to minimize carbon emissions and energy consumption, while maximizing the sustainability of materials.

 

Find out about Hi-Cone’s work on sustainability to optimize the life cycle of ring carriers from production through consumption to recycling, and visit www.ringrecycleme.com, an international recycling program, to discover how to give plastic ring carriers a new life.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Perr is the Global Sustainability Director at Hi-Cone. In this role, she collaborates with the entire value chain to both build and educate key stakeholders about the circular economy. She also leads Hi-Cone’s Vision 2025 team, focused on developing new multi-packaging solutions that continue Hi-Cone’s long history of packaging with positive end-of-life outcomes and that uphold Hi-Cone’s commitment to minimal environmental impact.

Creating Conditions for a Circular Economy

In a linear economy, resources are drawn upon to create products which are used and generate waste. Essentially, it is a throwaway culture – one where consumption goes hand-in-hand with disposal. A circular economy takes a different approach. It, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is: “based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.”

Reuse and recycling are at the heart of keeping products and materials in use. Products that can be reused may be given a ‘second life’ and become useful all over again. For items that are not reusable the aim should be to recycle component materials to re-enter production processes. This helps them move from a Linear Economy to Circular Economy.

Naturally, a range of stakeholders must play their part:
Manufacturers must choose materials carefully, with the aims of the circular economy in mind
Scientists and innovators need resources and support to design materials that will recycle
Waste management companies must invest in infrastructure and processes to enable recycling – and be encouraged and supported in doing so
Governments and local authorities must provide simple and convenient mechanisms for used materials to enter recycling processes
Consumers need to be motivated to engage with recycling initiatives and have access to clear, easy to understand information on what and how to recycle.

Yet, according to recent survey findings, only 34% of adults across four regions – the USA, UK, Mexico and Spain – believe that only half of what they put in recycling bins is recycled, while 31% believe a quarter is recycled and only 3% that everything is recycled.

Consumer confidence

These findings indicate there is work still to be done to build consumer confidence in recycling initiatives. What’s more, it would appear that clarity is needed over the specifics around recycling of plastics: over half of adults (56%) responding to the survey said they find recycling different plastics difficult to understand. In this, consumers in the USA were least confused with 48% finding this difficult, followed by Spain (55%), Mexico (58%) and the highest proportion coming from the UK at 60%.

In the UK, an on-pack recycling label gives an indication when 75% or more of local authorities will collect that type of packaging for recycling and when, conversely, fewer than 50% will. For more detailed guidance consumers have to refer to their own local authority’s information and in 2018, the BBC reported there were over 39 different sets of rules.

Meanwhile, in the US, some recycling programs had to reduce the items they would accept for recycle in response to challenging market conditions. According to The Recycling Partnership, its 2019 State of Curbside survey found that 29% of programs did this, with the most commonly removed items including certain plastics (primarily #3-7 – a range of plastic types used in items including some food containers).

Capitalizing on good intentions

Ultimately, this means not all plastic waste enters recycling processes each year – less than 30% in Europe, the European Commission reported in 2018. Similarly, in the US, recovery rates for packaging and food-service plastic are put at only around 28% (through mechanical recycling and waste-to-energy).

The overwhelming message is that people want to recycle but quite often they simply don’t have the resources to do so. Education is at the heart of our global plastic recycling challenge. At Hi-Cone we’re committed to driving change. Our goal is to get everyone informed and working together towards a circular economy.

 

 

To find out how to recycle Hi-Cone’s plastic ring carriers, visit www.ringrecycleme.com, an international recycling program. The RingRecycleMe™ program is a circular economy solution. It gives plastic ring carriers a new life by using materials over and over again. By encouraging recycling over waste, we keep plastic out of landfills, and transform it into a valuable resource.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Perr is the Global Sustainability Director at Hi-Cone. In this role, she collaborates with the entire value chain to both build and educate key stakeholders about the circular economy. She also leads Hi-Cone’s Vision 2025 team, focused on developing new multi-packaging solutions that continue Hi-Cone’s long history of packaging with positive end-of-life outcomes and that uphold Hi-Cone’s commitment to minimal environmental impact.

Recycling – Building on the Foundations

Recycling for World Environment Day By Jennifer Perr, Hi-Cone Director of Sustainability

For most people, recycling is now a regular activity – something they do when they dispose of used packaging or get rid of something they no longer need. Education on the importance of recycling has created a momentum which can now be capitalized upon with further guidance on what can be recycled, and how. By working together, manufacturers, policy makers, enterprise and individuals can promote an even more sustainable future, and a circular economy in which the entire lifecycle of products is considered.

According to recent findings, nine out of ten (91%) of adults surveyed believe recycling plastic is beneficial to the environment, while 75% regularly recycle at home. This is incredibly encouraging – a strong foundation to build on – and a clear demonstration that society is moving away from a single-use outlook in which products are created, used and disposed of, in favor of sustainability.

An appetite for recycling

This appetite for recycling creates the right conditions for industry to work with communities and consumers to meet the goal of minimizing the impact of plastics on our environment, while maximizing plastic recycling.

While there is work still to be done, over a third (34%) of participants in our survey thought that they recycle all the plastic waste they possibly could. That, of course, still leaves considerable room for improvement but a clue as to why this figure isn’t higher is found from 80% of those who don’t recycle all plastic, who said they would do so more frequently if they had more facilities and/or guidance.

Clear and simple guidance is essential for consumers to be able to have confidence in recycling processes and to recycle to the extent they want to. Through education, consumers can more fully understand which plastics can be recycled and where, something which will not only help increase recycling rates but also ensure the right type of waste enters recycling processes to reduce inefficiency and maximize output. Education around the suitability of different materials for recycling will also equip consumers to make informed decisions on the products they buy, consume and dispose of.

Standing at a recycling bin

Sustainable product lifecycles

Manufacturers in turn must continue to ensure they prioritize sustainability and environmental measures. They can seek to do this in a number of ways, including through an increase in the percentage of recycled materials in their products and by introducing programs for materials excluded from community recycling initiatives.

Manufacturers should also commit to regularly assessing the lifecycle of their materials – from ‘cradle-to-grave’. There is an environmental consideration for all materials, not just in how they are disposed of but also in how they are manufactured, with carbon emissions and energy consumption all contributing to total impact. Lifecycle assessments should therefore inform decisions around not only the sustainability of materials used in the manufacturing process, but also the use of resources (water, fuels etc.) and production of emissions.

Continuing efforts by governments and local authorities can improve recycling infrastructure to support community recycling. This is aided by initiatives from waste management companies like TerraCycle® to collect waste not currently recycled and turn it into a valuable resource.

As part of a collective effort to end plastic waste and promote sustainability in manufacturing, production and consumption, recycling initiatives have a good foundation to build on. To accelerate towards the next stage of progress, education and infrastructure must support good intentions around recycling and in this, consumers, policy makers and manufacturers all have a role to play.

To find out how to recycle Hi-Cone’s plastic ring carriers, visit www.ringrecycleme.com, an international recycling program.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Perr is the Global Sustainability Director at Hi-Cone. In this role, she collaborates with the entire value chain to both build and educate key stakeholders about the circular economy. She also leads Hi-Cone’s Vision 2025 team, focused on developing new multi-packaging solutions that continue Hi-Cone’s long history of packaging with positive end-of-life outcomes and that uphold Hi-Cone’s commitment to minimal environmental impact.

 

 

 

Recycling photos proudly provided by Hi-Cone employees
World Environment Day photo Credit

Hi-Cone Wins the ‘Most Responsible Packaging Solutions’ award from CFI.co

Hi-Cone is honored to have won the ‘Most Responsible Packaging Solutions – United States 2020’ award from CFI.co whose award program aims to identify individuals and organizations that truly add value. As we continue to push forward on our sustainability journey and work to provide valuable research and sustainable packaging solutions to our customers and consumers, we are humbled and grateful to receive such recognition.

We shared with The Capital Finance International Judging Panel, who have a combined 170 years of experience, the changes we have made over the past year to our brand, our product, and also to the way we operate. These changes were made to reduce our environmental footprint as a company as well as make a meaningful contribution to the global sustainability movement. The judging panel recognized what drives our motivation in sustainability, stating: “Hi-Cone reminds us that plastic has contributed massively to our modern lives and is not waste, but a valuable resource that needs to be reused or recycled at the end of its first life.” With this motivation of helping create a place for plastic in the new circular economy, we have succeeded in bringing our +50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content ring carrier, RingCycles™, to market and have published our first annual report on The State of Plastic Recycling (hi-cone.com/sustainability).

 

In addition to these projects, we have also committed ourselves to supporting more community-based and global initiatives by partnering with environmental leaders such as TerraCycle® and Avangard Innovative in our different regions of operation. Together with them, we have helped provide better ways for consumers to recycle their ring carriers as well as for more recycled material to be used in the production of new ring carriers. The judging panel further applauded the 30th anniversary of our Ring Leader Collection Program which has resulted in the recycling of well over 2.7 million pounds of ring carriers, in addition to those recycled through the latest partnerships.

 

These milestones are only some of many on our sustainability journey. The judging panel recognized our ambitious mission ahead: “Hi-Cone is determined to become 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025, and will work with consumers, government, and industry to reduce the use of plastic.” Moving into the rest of 2020 and beyond, we will be continuing efforts to offer consumers helpful insights into better recycling practices as well as continuing to provide valuable data to our partners and customers on plastic recycling and the environmental impact of different packaging materials. Our new RingCycles™ product, launched in the Fall of 2019, will also continue to roll out across all markets and be completed by early 2021. Using this award as fuel, we will be finding more ways to participate in the global shift towards sustainability and develop products that support the future circular economy.

 

Hi-Cone Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Ring Leader Collection Program

On March 29, 1990, Hi-Cone created and launched the Ring Leader Recycling Program, a large scale environmental education and ring carrier recycling campaign to reduce litter.

The program was launched as an educational experience, dispelling myths about six-pack rings and emphasizing the importance of the 3-R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Additionally, the program provided a way for ring carriers to be recycled in places where #4 LDPE plastics were not collected in local programs or curbside.

In the 30 years since its launch, more than 16,000 schools, businesses and groups from around the world have participated in the Ring Leader Program, recycling over 2.7 million pounds of ring carriers.

 

Partnering With Industry

In the US, the Ring Leader Recycling Program has engaged notable partners such as Disney and Southwest Airlines. In the fall of 2017, the Ring Leader program was highlighted in Southwest, The Magazine, the airline’s inflight magazine. Southwest’s provisioning stations have collected and sent back rings for more than 10 years. However, the majority of takeback has been at a grass-roots level with school programs and recycling advocates that have taken it upon themselves to set up local collection areas. To help these collection efforts, the Ring Leader Program provided collection ‘trees’ made from recycled content themselves. These can be seen in breakrooms, cafeterias and craft beer tap rooms in the United States.

Internationally, the Ring Leader project was carried out in Spain on a pilot basis in 1992. Ten primary schools in the Barcelona area participated in the project during that school period year. Presently, more than 120 schools Spain are participating. Other advocates from around the world have set up local collection sites to get rings back to Hi-Cone facilities and our recycling partners. Returned ring carriers are made into new packaging, helping to make them into something useful and keep them out of landfills.

Expanding With The RingRecycleMeTM Program

Even before the Ring Leader Recycling Program reached this 30-year milestone, Hi-Cone had been looking for a way to further expand ring collection and recycling efforts. In conjunction with their new RingCycles™ PCR portfolio, carrier products made with 50% post-consumer recycled plastic, Hi-Cone began to roll out its wider recycling program.

The RingRecycleMe™ program will be targeted at end consumers and individuals, expanding the scope of the previous program.  The RingRecycleMe™ program is more focused on promoting a circular economy as ring carriers will be made back into post-consumer recycled material ring carriers and other products.

Hi-Cone has partnered with different groups around the world to build on their goal of eliminating waste and promoting recycling.

In the UK for example, (www.ringrecycleme.co.uk) Hi-Cone partnered with TerraCycle at the end of 2019 and has already seen almost 500 collection sites, including both individuals and organizations, sign up and start collecting.

 

In Spain, infrastructure is in place to collect the ring carriers in the municipally provided yellow bins, so Hi-Cone’s efforts there have been around messaging this to consumers through on-pack labels.

Most recently, Hi-Cone has set up RingRecycleMe.com for use in Canada and will soon be rolling out in the United States. Similar programs are in the works for Mexico. Hi-Cone asks that interested parties in these regions continue to collect rings and be ready for the upcoming announcements on where to send them for recycling and reuse.

As the RingRecycleMe™ programs launch globally, Hi-Cone will continue to support the current Ring Leader participants. Hi-Cone’s goals continue to be providing education on minimal packaging, reuse of plastic products in a circular economy, and promotion of more expansive recycling programs to include all plastic types.

Global Survey Reveals Two Thirds of Adults Not Recycling All Plastic Waste

Hi-Cone’s first annual report on The State of Plastic Recycling reveals consumer attitudes towards recycling and the circular economy.

Itasca, Illinois – February 26, 2020. To shed light on the current state of recycling and to help advance the circular economy, Hi-Cone, a leading manufacturer of beverage multi-packaging solutions, presents their first annual report on The State of Plastic Recycling. Findings of the report show that only one-third of adults across four territories reported recycling all of their plastic waste, with over half reporting they found recycling different plastics difficult to understand. Those surveyed also expressed low confidence in the recycling systems in their countries, with over two-thirds reporting to believe only 50% or less of what they put into their recycling bins is actually recycled.

Despite these low levels of plastic recycling, and uncertainty in how to recycle such materials, 75% of adults reported that they regularly recycle in their homes, and 80% of those who do not recycling all of their plastic reported that if they had more facilities and/or guidance, they would recycle more frequently. The findings of the report, conducted by YouGov, not only expose global consumers’ lack of confidence in plastic recycling, but also their eagerness to recycle in general and desire for better guidance on how to do so. Hi-Cone’s Vice President and General Manager, Shawn Welch, acknowledges the challenges the packaging industry faces as sustainability has become a major focus in recent years: “There is a great need to create a more transparent process and clear guidance for consumers when it comes to the development of a circular economy and better recycling practices. Only by understanding consumer beliefs, national programs and global goals, can the industry make real progress in sustainability.”

The State of Plastic Recycling Report surveyed over 5,500 adults across four markets – Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States — on their behaviours, knowledge and attitudes towards plastic packaging recycling. The report makes clear the uncertainty of consumers as to which materials are better for the environment, with over one-third of adults across all territories reporting to be unsure if it takes more energy and natural resources to recycle plastic than paper. In addition to lack of certainty, consumers also expressed a great lack of confidence in the recycling system, with one-third of those surveyed believing only a quarter of what they put in their recycling bins is actually recycled.

Hi-Cone’s Sustainability Director Jennifer Perr comments on how this report, and others like it, are important for the packaging industry as it works towards a circular economy: “The waste crisis is an issue of both packaging design and a lack of recycling culture and infrastructure. With the help of this report, we can take a look at where the industry can better support consumers with education and resources and start to collaborate with local governments and private recycling partners to improve the recycling system. By working together with consumers and recycling organizations, the industry will be better able to make progress towards creating a circular economy.”

The findings of the report aim to provide clarity for the packaging industry, and for consumers, on what challenges and opportunities lie ahead on the road to a more sustainable future. “Open communication between the industry and the public will help prevent further environmental risk down the road by stopping the current trend of solving one problem and replacing it with an even bigger one. Better communication will help us find a real solution.” Welch continues, referring to a recent Green Alliance report that warns of the potential environmental risks of banning plastic packaging in favour of other materials that have larger carbon footprints and therefore can be seen as detrimental to the environment.

The report uncovers common consumer misconceptions around packaging and recycling, identifying several starting points for the industry to come together. Hi-Cone has been making strides in its own sustainability journey. This includes the formation of several cross-industry partnerships, such as a recycling partnership with TerraCycle® in the UK, and the launch of their +50% post-consumer recycled content product, RingCycles™, which reduces the company’s use of virgin plastic by half. By releasing the report each year, Hi-Cone aims to provide a consistent and up to date resource of information to support the sustainability efforts of Hi-Cone, the packaging industry and beyond.

The State of Plastic Recycling Report is available in full HERE and is free to access.

About Hi-Cone

Hi-Cone is a leading supplier of ring carrier multi-packaging systems for the global Beer & Non-Alcoholic Ready to Drink (NARTD) beverage markets, providing sustainable packaging solutions to major Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies. Hi-Cone has set ambitious goals to become 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025. We realize we cannot do this alone and need to work collaboratively with consumers, governments and industry to meet consumers desire to reduce their plastic use and meet the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

Our aim is to educate consumers on how to reduce plastic consumption and how to recycle all aspects of the circular economy; an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. We partner with consumers, retailers and industry experts to make tangible and impactful changes to advance the circular economy through our ongoing innovations in packaging design and material development.

Further Information

Elizabeth Sheaffer
+1 815 275 5266
esheaffer@hi-cone.com

Hi-Cone Puts Safety First

Safety First: Think Safe. Work Safe. It’s How We Work.

At Hi-Cone, safety is our number one priority. That’s why we recently celebrated one year without a lost time accident with our Itasca, IL team members. #ProudToBeHiCone #Safety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi-Cone Mexico Team Recognized for Safety Programs & Zero Accident Record

The safety and well-being of our team members globally comes before anything else and is an essential component of our safety excellence vision. We strive every day to foster a proactive safety culture through the execution of our philosophy that every accident is preventable and with a shared goal of zero accidents. Congratulations to our Hi-Cone Mexico team on achieving three years accident free.

Employees at our Tlalnepantla plant near Mexico City were recently recognized for their ongoing commitment and programs to ensure a safe workplace for all employees.

 

Hi-Cone Employees Participate in Forest Clean-up in Mexico

Hi-Cone employees from our Tlalnepantla plant near Mexico City recently led their families, friends, and volunteers from Grupo Modelo at the Limpieza de Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Forest Clean-up) in Mexico City.

In Hi-Cone Mexico’s first clean-up event, we were proud to partner with our customer Modelo as part of their larger campaign, #voluntariosmodelo. By organizing a clean-up in this public park, we helped to bring awareness to waste education and recycling, subjects that both companies care about.

 

 

 

Hi-Cone Partners with Junior Achievement Chicago to Empower High School Students

Hi-Cone employees once again welcomed students from Addison Trail High School to learn about a global business and learn more about different careers. Hi-Cone shares Junior Achievements’ vision to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Opportunities like this bring the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential and helps students understand the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in our economy in the future.

International Coastal Cleanup Barcelona, Spain

 

Over 107 Hi-Cone employees, friends and family again joined forces with the Ocean Conservancy, Ambiente Europeo and International Costal Cleanup España to make a difference in the communities in which we live and work. This year’s event was at Arenys de Mar, Barcelona, Spain. Hi-Cone is proud to be part of the Ocean Conservancy’s data collection, which provides the only empirical database about animal entanglement. Once again, our efforts show that ring carriers are not a significant cause of litter or animal entrapment issues. Of the 3,852 items collected, zero ring carriers were found.

 

 

Hi-Cone ring carriers can easily be recycled via yellow recycling bins in Spain. Hi-Cone is working hard to create a world where plastics need never become waste and to keep our oceans and beaches trash free. #CollectivelyWeCan

We’ve Signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

Hi-Cone is proud to have joined the growing list of companies leading the way towards a circular economy for plastics by signing the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment in February 2019. We are holding ourselves accountable to our goals and helping create a world where plastic need never become waste.

We’ve launched RingCycles™, a multi-packaging solution that contains +50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. This is a critical step in Hi-Cone’s environmental responsibility commitment as well as its goal to deliver a 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable alternative by 2025.

Read the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment progress report 2019 to learn more about what we, and others around the world, are doing to create a circular economy for plastics. www.newplasticseconomy.org.

Adopt-a-Beach program at Chicago’s Osterman Beach

On Saturday, September 21, 2019,  Hi-Cone employees, friends and family again joined the Alliance for the Great Lakes for its Adopt-a-Beach program at Chicago’s Osterman Beach. The annual Adopt-a-Beach event has been part of Hi-Cone’s service culture for over 25 years.

Hi-Cone is proud to be part of the Ocean Conservancy’s data collection, which provides the only empirical database about animal entanglement. Once again, our efforts show that ring carriers are not a significant cause of litter or animal entrapment issues. But even one ring carrier or piece of plastic is too much, so we continue to work to ‘create a world where plastic need never become waste.’