Four New CPGs Join Film Recycling Collab MBOLD

A total of 18 new partners joined the MBOLD Coalition, including packaging suppliers, material recovery facilities (MRFs), agricultural companies, grocer organizations, and at least four major brand owners.

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Brand owners Hormel Foods, The Kraft Heinz Company, Post Consumer Brands, and Land O’Lakes, Inc. are four of 18 new companies and organizations to join MBOLD to help build a circular economy for flexible film in the Upper Midwest. An initiative of GREATER MSP, MBOLD’s initiative is rooted in a collaboration among members General Mills, Schwan’s Company, Target, Ecolab, Cargill, and the University of Minnesota with the aim of cutting plastic waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and driving circularity.

Watch video   Sign up for this free webinar on the MBOLD coalition and the circular future of films. Join David Chumura of General Mills, JoAnne Berkenkamp of MBOLD, Apurva Shah of Charter Next Generation, and Andrew Pieterse or Myplas USA, as they discuss a path toward the "Holy Grail of film-to-film, potentially even food-grade film, circularity. The webinar will be held live on April 6, 2023 and viewable in in Packaging World's webinar archives thereafter. 

“We’re innovating across every part of our business to find new ways to nourish our communities and planet–including innovating our packaging. Continuing to find ways to divert manufacturing waste, including packaging materials like films, out of the landfill to be recycled, or better yet, incorporated back into packaging, is critical to moving toward a circular economy,” says Janelle Orozco, chief procurement officer, North America Zone, Kraft Heinz. “We’re excited to join MBOLD and the initiative of partners to explore ways to further propel us toward unlocking new solutions to this industry-wide challenge.”

Other key partners include film recycler Myplas USA and film manufacturer Charter Next Generation. With earlier investment from MBOLD members, Charter Next and other stakeholders, Myplas will open a state-of-the-art recycling plant in Rogers, Minn. in mid-2023. The plant will recycle and pelletize nearly 90 million pounds of low- and high-density polyethylene packaging and film annually at full capacity. Charter Next will purchase recycled resin from Myplas for inclusion in a wide range of film products for the food, healthcare, construction, industrial, boat wrap and other markets.

“Land O’Lakes, Inc. is committed to building a sustainable future where agriculture helps solve the world’s most pressing issues, including climate change and waste reduction. As such, we are taking action on plastic waste. Land O’Lakes will recycle flexible film from our plants and explore ways to use the recycled resin,” says Rita Bielinski, director of sustainability operations at Land O'Lakes, Inc. "In addition to this recycling initiative, Land O’Lakes has collection programs in our crop inputs business through the Ag Container Recycling Council, and we are building a plastic tub circular economy for our animal nutrition business.”

Organizations joining the MBOLD circular economy initiative are asked to explore opportunities to have their flexible films (such as pallet wrap and shrink wrap) recycled close to home, evaluate strategies for increasing use of recycled resin in new film products, and/or provide strategic support to the circular economy effort.

Among the other new members of MBOLD include packaging supplier Bedford Industries, retail organization Minnesota Grocers Association, and material recovery facility (MRF) GreenForest Recycling Resources.

“It takes a village to bring a circular economy to scale,” says JoAnne Berkenkamp, Managing Director of MBOLD. “We are so glad these new project partners are joining us on this journey to tackle a major sustainability challenge through innovation and collaboration.” 

The U.S. uses 12 to 15 billion pounds of flexible packaging and films annually. Only five percent of the flexible film used in the U.S. is recycled. The rest is landfilled, incinerated, or released into the environment. PW

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