What’s better than recyclable bags? Bags manufactured with 30% recycled materials
For years, Anduro has been touting the advantages of woven polypropylene (PP) bags.
Now, we’re preparing to help the food and bag industry enter the next stage of sustainability by joining a program that will encourage the use of 30% post-consumer polypropylene in the manufacture of new bags.
Of the previously unheard-of target, Anduro’s packaging specialist Jon Solberg, a 35-year veteran of the flexible packaging industry, says, “I’m certain we can do it.”
Solberg notes that the goal of incorporating post-consumer materials will help to make the case that woven polypropylene bags, such as those used for pet food, animal feed and charcoal briquets, are not simply recyclable. They are contributors to the polypropylene recycling infrastructure.
“There are four ways to handle woven polypropylene bags post-use,” Solberg says. “Of the four, Anduro is leading the way in three of those four areas.”
The four ways to make woven PP bags more sustainable
Here’s a high-level view of the four end-paths for our woven PP bags vs. paper bags.
- Source reduction – Significant reduction vs. paper multi-wall bags that we replace and continue to replace. Our woven PP bags take up about 2/3 less space, meaning fewer pallets, less storage space needed and a big savings in transport costs for newly manufactured bags.
- Recyclable – Our woven PP bags are fully recyclable once any sewn seams on some of our bags are removed.
- Waste-to-energy (incineration)– Woven PP is a better alternative to paper. Polypropylene burns at a higher btu rate (energy output) with much lower ash content than paper after the burn.
- Biodegradable and Compostable – Our products do not fit into this classification of end path.
The drive toward further improved woven PP’s sustainability profile is being led by one of our largest customers with select bag manufacturer partners, including Anduro. Testing the new manufacturing process that will incorporate 30% post-consumer materials is expected to begin in late 2022, with full production on certain lines ramping up in 2023, assuming favorable test results.
“Sustainability remains a watchword for manufacturers, retailers and consumers,” says Solberg. “We already know from our own manufacturing process, where we reuse PP trim and waste in our bag-making, that recycling is a good idea that works even better. Incorporating post-consumer material in our manufacturing process just makes that good idea even better.
Real-world benefits of manufacturing with post-consumer recycled materials
Marc Datelle, Anduro’s CEO agrees. “There are real-world benefits of using recycled materials in our own recyclable products. It’s up to companies like Anduro and our peers in the woven polypropylene bag business to beat the drum for this and show how it can be done efficiently. That’s why we’re supporting the goal of 30% post-consumer recyclables in our manufacturing.”
As of 2022, Anduro yearly capacity is 100 million woven polypropylene bags per year. When the Anduro manufacturing facility is expanded, that capacity will increase to 160 million bags annually.
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