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Alternatives to Recycling – Reuse, New Materials, Industrialization

Workshop Date - April 6, 2021 (Online Workshop) | 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time

Workshop speakers:

Susan Graff, Resource Recycling Systems
Michelle Carvell, Lorax EPI
Math Lambalk, Avantium
Gabriela Dobrot, Lorax EPI
Christopher Layton, Eastman Chemical Company
Rachel Langhill, Lorax EPI

Workshop Agenda:

10:00 am | Facilitated Networking

10:30 am | Innovations to Recycle Films and Flexible Plastic Packaging
Approximately 12 billion pounds of flexible plastic packaging (FPP) are consumed annually in the US. But recycling and reintroducing this material back into the marketplace requires a comprehensive approach. The Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF) project brought together manufacturers, brand owners, trade associations, recycling experts, and others to collaborate through a shared vision and focused research to recover rather than landfill FPP. A pilot study conducted at a material recovery facility demonstrated proof-of-concept for a scalable solution to recycle FPP, improve the quality of paper bales, and develop a new rFlex bale for use in building materials and consumer products.

Susan Graff | Partner, VP of Global Corporate Sustainability, Resource Recycling Systems

11:15 am | Driving the Commercial Reality of Biopolyester
With increasing awareness on the fossil industry, consumers and brand owners are driving the demand for renewable packaging. PET consist for 30% of monoethylene glycol (MEG), largely produced from fossil resources. Avantium has scaled a means of making MEG from sugars in a 1-step, high efficiency process which is competitive with fossil MEG. The 1-step process nature exploits the elemental composition similarity of sugar and MEG and drives its cost-efficiency. With the demoplant opening in 2019, Avantium has made notable commercial scaleup progress. The presentation focuses on comparing Avantium’s and incumbent technologies and showing the latest promising application validation results.

Math Lambalk | Business Development Manager, Avantium

12:00 pm | No Trade-Offs. No Compromises. Here's How to Create a Recycled Content Reality That Works
The promise of recycling sounds pretty amazing: today’s package becomes tomorrow’s package over and over and over again. Except that we’re not currently delivering on that promise when it comes to plastics. As you likely know, our current mechanical system works very well for some plastics, but it’s not equipped to handle complex multi-layered packages, films or other innovations that have delivered countless product and consumer benefits. That means our current system struggles to create the amount of quality recycled content brands need to fulfill their recycled content goals.

So how can brands deliver on their recycled content goals, and deliver on the promise of recycling, without compromising the performance or quality of their packaging and products? Material-to-material molecular recycling is a key piece of the equation. By breaking plastics down to their molecular form, this process produces recycled content that looks like — and performs like — first-generation content. Better yet, molecular recycling enables the use of waste plastic in durable, refillable and reusable applications. Not only can molecular recycling help brands create better packaging solutions, but it also delivers these solutions with a lower environmental impact than first-generation, non-recycled materials.

In a fast-moving presentation, Chris Layton from Eastman will walk through our current recycling realities, how molecular recycling complements current recycling solutions and how it enables challenging applications in new ways.

Christopher J. Layton | Director of Sustainability, Specialty Plastics, Eastman Chemical Company

12:30 - 1:15 pm | Facilitated Networking 

1:15 pm - 3:45 pm | Global Packaging EPR Developments – How EPR Fees Impact Packaging Design And Corporate Sustainability

This workshop will take a closer look at what extended producer responsibility schemes in different parts of the world truly cost – including programs in Canada, Asia and Europe. It will evaluate what these programs cost on a per capita basis and how they have changed as new policies are introduced, including the revised Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive in Europe and movements to full EPR in parts of Canada.

Fees are altering as new studies arise that require the actual costs of recycling different materials to be incorporated into EPR schemes. There are also movements to add more eco-modulated fees that give producers credit for using recycled content and penalties for disruptive packaging designs. Such fees also highlight the requirement to understand what is considered “recyclable” in each country. Modified fees send signals to producers about packaging design, and this session will discuss why companies must have an in-depth understanding of fees in order to integrate them into the cost of goods and reflect them in their design protocol.

Attendees will also learn about tools that are available to help companies measure their sustainability goals (i.e. Ellen MacArthur Foundation reporting). The workshop will exemplify how these tools allow companies to use data from fee reports to automatically calculate both internal and external sustainability metrics such as greenhouse gas emissions, recycled content percentages, packaging-to-product ratios and more.

Agenda to cover:

  • Investigating the true cost of packaging EPR on a per capita basis
  • How the rise of eco-modulated fees impact packaging design
  • How major changes in worldwide EPR programs will affect the global environmental packaging industry moving forward

Workshop Speakers:

Michelle Carvell | COO, Lorax EPI
Gabriela Dobrot, Project Director | Lorax EPI
Rachel Langhill, Marketing Coordinator | Lorax EPI