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Plastic Handle Recycling Program Helps Close the Loop

PakTech is an enthusiastic advocate of sustainable packaging, both in the materials it uses for its plastic handles and now in the way it ensures those materials are collected for reuse. The company’s handles for multipack cans and bottles are injection-molded from 100% recycled high-density polyethylene sourced from milk jugs and similar containers and are 100% recyclable, where recycling systems exist for this material.

At PACK EXPO Las Vegas, PakTech Marketing Coordinator Elizabeth Kouns shared environmental stats on the company’s handles, which she says have grown even stronger since the most recently reported information, which includes:

  • More than 370 million milk jugs turned into PakTech handles
  • Kept 50 million pounds of plastic out of landfills and oceans
  • Saved 20 acres of land from being used as landfill waste

Kouns added that in a Life Cycle Assessment provided by EPI using the PIQET LCA tool that compares PakTech’s 100% PCR HDPE four- and six-pack handles versus four- and six-pack coated recycled boxboard containers, the handle outperforms in every metric, including climate change, ozone depletion, contamination of fresh water, solid waste to landfill, and more.

PakTech’s most recent initiative regarding the sustainability of its products is the PakTech Recycling Program, which ensures that its used carriers can be collected for recycling into items such as composite lumber, flower pots, and pipe. Under the program, PakTech supplies companies wishing to become a PakTech partner with a Recycling Collection Bin that can be used on-site, along with a poster that can be displayed over the collection bin and a sticker for the front of the bin. PakTech will then help the company to locate a local PRF (Plastics Recycling Facility) or MRF (Material Recovery Facility) that will accept the handles. It is then up to the user to communicate directly with the PRF or MRF to facilitate the logistics of the handle collection.

According to Kouns, the program now has approximately 300 recycling drop locations nationwide as well as a few international locations.