• Florida Power & Light turns packaging into mulch at its solar energy centers


    Florida Power & Light and its subsidiary Gulf Power came up with a unique solution to disposing of the boxes and packaging for the 200,000 to 250,000 solar panels recently installed at its Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center in Escambia County and Blue Spring Solar Energy Center in Jackson County.

    Approximately 10,000 refrigerator-sized boxes along with their accompanying wooden pallets were turned into mulch and reused on-site at both of the energy centers.

    “The mulch is a great stabilizer and promotes the grass to grow, which causes the mulch to decompose even faster,” FPL Senior Project Manager Matt McCord, who came up with the solution, said. “After a year’s time, it’s gone back to nature, and you can’t see it anymore. The wildflowers and other vegetation are planted to transform the solar energy sites into stewardship sites that support wildlife and pollinators.”

    They used a large grinder to chew up the wooden pallets and cardboard boxes, splitting the nails into a container. The output was then fed out of the grinder on a conveyor belt, creating a mound of mulch perfect for supporting grass and wildflower seeds.

    It’s not only environmentally friendly, but it also saves money as it is more expensive to discard the tons of packaging into landfills and legally burn the wooden pallets. These industry standards cost about $180,000 per site, McCord said.

    “All of that takes manpower and trucks,” McCord said. “The new method costs about $50,000 per solar site. Plus, we’re not burning or sending this material to the landfill. We’re working to reduce our carbon footprint through our 30-by-30 solar plan and the retirement of coal. By the time we’ve completed the 30-by-30 plan, you’re talking in the ballpark of $10 million in savings. This is good for the environment and saves our customers money.”

    The mulching operation at Cotton Creek and Blue Springs went into full operation in the summer of 2020. It is now the company’s standard for disposal of packaging as it has been used at 16 more sites in 2020 and 2021. FPL’s 30-by-30 plan calls for the installation of 30 million solar panels statewide by 2030, so this is a solution that will be used quite often over the next 10 years.

    “The mulching project is an innovative way to do both but also has the added benefit of supporting our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint,” Gulf Power Vice President Mike Spoor said. “We’re excited that Cotton Creek and Blue Springs solar energy centers are the first solar sites in Northwest Florida to use this method. Not only are we producing clean, emissions-free energy from the sun, we’re also disposing of the panel packaging in an eco-friendly way.”

    Both Cotton Creek and Blue Springs will be operating in January 2022.

  • Amorepacific and Eastman Collaborate on Introducing Advances in Sustainable Packaging


    “Cristal Renew and Eastman's innovative molecular recycling technologies will play a crucial role in helping us achieve the commitments laid out in our '2030 A MORE Beautiful Promise,' without sacrificing the premier beauty experience customers expect from Amorepacific," said Jung Changwook, senior vice president of Amorepacific development and purchasing division.

    Eastman's molecular recycling technologies break down hard-to-recycle plastic waste into building blocks used to create new materials that are comparable to traditional materials in clarity, luster and mechanical properties. Using molecular recycling to make these materials diverts plastic waste from landfills, incinerators and the environment. The process also reduces the use of fossil resources and results in 20%–50% lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional manufacturing.

    For Amorepacific, Cristal Renew is key to creating recycled-content packaging that lives up to its signature beauty aesthetic, renowned worldwide. Cristal Renew, available with 30% and 50% certified recycled content*, gives the skin care leader brilliant, crystal clear packaging that enhances its products and customer experience.

    "It's an honor to be selected as a partner in Amorepacific's sustainability journey," said Glenn Goldman, commercial director for Plastics at Eastman. "We look forward to working further with them to bring new innovations to market, beginning with the LANEIGE launch before the end of the year."

    *The recycled content is achieved by allocating the recycled waste plastic to Eastman Cristal™ Renew copolyesters using a mass balance process certified by ISCC.

  • Meaford Expands Stryofoam Recycling Project


    A release notes, with the pilot project starting on Oct. 9, and with support from local community group Transition Meaford, the pilot will also now accept rigid packaging from computers, electronic, appliances and toys.

    This free recycling service is based out of St. Thomas Ontario, and all materials collected through the program will be delivered to an end user to repurpose it into a new product.

    The program runs the second Saturday of every month and Meaford residents will be able to drop off any styrofoam materials at 87 Stewart Street from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with no disposal fees.

    This program comes as residents currently are able to place their expanded styrofoam materials in clear plastic bags for pick-up as part of the garbage system. While historically free, the collected styrofoam has been disposed of in a landfill, causing significant environmental impacts.

    Transition Meaford is also offering to assist in running the program, with Meaford Manager/Chief Operator of Environment Services Chris Collyer noting, the partnership is an excellent example of how community partnerships can benefit the area by providing enhanced services to residents.

    “We are so pleased to pilot a program that can divert waste from landfills and recycle that material in a way that we know it is being repurposed into another product such as a picture frame,” says Collyer.

    Come Nov. 1, any expanded styrofoam materials placed on the curb for the Miller Waste pick-up will need to have a bag tag and must be clean, dry and not have any tape or stickers.

    Be advised, any expanded styrofoam recycling will not be available for institutional, commercial or industrial customers at this time.

    Should any changes be made to the drop off schedule or service, residents can find them on the Meaford Waste App.

  • Eastman molecular recycling technologies to advance Procter & Gamble packaging goals


    "Eliminating waste plastic from our environment is a complex global challenge that requires a comprehensive, collaborative approach across the entire plastics lifecycle. P&G is taking a thoughtful approach to addressing the collection, processing, revitalization, and reuse of materials. That's why we selected Eastman's molecular recycling technologies which enable former waste to be transformed into useful products," explained Lee Ellen Drechsler, Procter & Gamble Senior Vice President of R&D. 

    Eastman Renew materials are made via Eastman's molecular recycling technologies using waste plastic that, without this technology, would end up in landfills. These advanced recycling technologies are a complement to traditional recycling, expanding the types and amounts of plastics that can be recycled. This gives materials an extended useful life and diverts plastic waste from landfills or the environment. 

    In addition to packaging innovation, P&G and Eastman will collaborate on initiatives addressing the infrastructure needed to increase plastic recycling rates. These efforts will complement the current recycling streams in the United States and enable additional recycling options for consumers eager to help solve the plastic waste problem. The two companies will work to expand the collection of hard-to-recycle plastics, further diverting waste from landfills. These expanded recycling streams will be used to create new materials via Eastman's molecular recycling technologies.

    "Eastman is excited to have Procter & Gamble as a partner to put molecular recycling into practice," said Scott Ballard, Eastman's Division President of Plastics. "Together, we can create value from waste and show the world what's possible through innovation. The value created will help drive the critical changes in our recycling infrastructure that are necessary to solve the plastic waste crisis."

    Eastman Renew materials are available globally at scale now, enabling companies like Procter & Gamble to deliver circular product and packaging solutions to consumers. P&G is working to integrate Eastman Renew materials into select product packaging later this year. Eastman is constructing one of the world's largest plastic-to-plastic recycling facilities at its Kingsport, Tenn., location, with completion expected in 2022. The molecular recycling facility will consume over 200 million pounds annually of landfill-bound waste plastic in the making of Eastman Renew materials. 

  • KFC Canada Piloting Home-Compostable Packaging


    "Our packaging is a part of our heritage and our storytelling. Beyond its iconic image, we want KFC's packaging to be forward-thinking, inspiring, and to champion functionality, food safety and eco-friendly solutions," said Armando Carrillo, Innovation Manager, KFC Canada. "We have continued to accelerate our efforts and push the boundaries to bring more environmentally sustainable packaging solutions to market, including our recent move to bamboo poutine buckets. A fully home compostable packaging line is the ultimate win for us and for the environment."

    To celebrate this new commitment, KFC Canada is partnering with Toronto-based artist, Briony Douglas to design and create an iconic KFC bucket installation made entirely out of home compostable materials. The installation, which Douglas will complete over 25 days – a nod to the 2025 commitment, will be revealed on June 30.