At PakTech, sustainability is not just a buzzword but is at the heart of everything we do. From sourcing eco-friendly material to the minimal but mighty design, we take serious steps to make sure our responsibility to the environment guides every business decision. And we are proud to say that this has been the core of our business since the very beginning, not just as a response to changing consumer expectations. We have achieved a lot since our beginnings in 1993 and we are proud to share our sustainability story with you.
Our Circular Approach to Sustainability
Throughout all aspects of developing our products, PakTech focuses on preserving the reduce, reuse and recycle model. Every packaging solution is manufactured with 100% recycled HDPE sourced from plastic waste - a transition we made back in 2012. Not only does this help to keep valuable material within our economy and out of our environment, but we are also able to reduce the generation of GHG by 78%, use 90% less energy and 100% less petroleum when compared to using conventional plastic. We even went a step further in 2020 when we introduced Pak to Pak handles that are made from recycled PakTech handles, making them third-life products that embody the closed loop cycle.
Further, by using plastic waste to manufacture our products, we have kept over 103 million pounds (over 47 million kgs) out of landfills and waterways.
PakTech packaging solutions are in most cases reusable many times over, extending their useful lives and recyclable to be perfectly aligned with the circular economy and the waste hierarchy principles.
Constantly Striving for Better
We are always striving to improve and take steps to do better. When it comes to PakTech’s total carbon footprint, we have made a reduction of 14.2% in our emissions from 2019 and over 40% from 2015. We have also made changes to our 6Pak and QuadPak handle formats by decreasing their weight by 2.5% and 7.4% respectively, helping to reduce material use and transportation needs. We are proud to say that in 2020, the energy consumed to produce our handles was equal to only 0.021 megawatts hour (MWh) per handle produced. To put that into perspective, 330 houses use 1 MWh of electricity per hour. When it comes to our production facility in Eugene, Oregon, 80% of the energy comes from carbon-free hydroelectric energy.
At PakTech, all our handles are made from 100% recycled plastic, therefore, we are passionate about ensuring that when our handles do reach their end of life, they are also recycled. That’s why we have been running the PakTech recycling program through which we work with more than 500 businesses across North America to ensure that as many PakTech handles as possible are recycled.
We have always been committed to being sustainable, and this not only means working on our operations but also working with others to make sustainability go even further. Alongside our recycling program, we are thrilled to be a founding member of the US Plastics Pact, which places industry collaboration at the forefront of creating a solution-driven system for the use of plastics.
As you can see, we have achieved a lot so far, but at PakTech we still have so many goals we want to achieve. In the coming months and years, we aim to:
- participate in the development of a NIR detectable colorant for our black plastic products, which will ensure that they can be more efficiently sorted in the current recycling infrastructure;
- extend the PakTech recycling program to more markets where PakTech handles are used;
- complete our comparative LCA by Sphera to validate our sustainability advantages compared to alternatives ;
- continue to educate businesses and consumers on the differentiation of plastics, highlight the benefits of recycled plastic and how this supports a circular economy.
The bottom line is that not all plastics are bad. Our products demonstrate that recycled HDPE is the best material choice to provide the fit, form and functionality required by packaging while allowing us to provide products that meet consumers’ sustainability expectations.
We are proud that our achievements are not only recognized by customers who choose to buy our products and support us, but also by expert external bodies with insights into the activities of numerous companies.
We have always been committed to being sustainable. However, being sustainable is a marathon and not a sprint. It requires not only constant commitment and innovation from industry but collaboration amongst all stakeholders. We are proud of our journey and all that we have achieved along the way. But we won’t stop here as we strive to continue taking one step further every day.