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Zero Landfill

According to Calvin Frost, CEO of Channeled Resources Group, the pressure-sensitive waste stream can and should be transformed into an industry byproduct with a useful end of life.

November 2011 By Calvin Frost, CEO, Channeled Resources Group
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Editor's note—The following is an op-ed piece by Calvin Frost, CEO of Channeled Resources Group (CRG), focusing on one of the important sustainability issues facing the pressure-sensitive labeling industry—that of release liner waste and landfilling. Frost is a well-known advocate for addressing this issue head on and his company has initiated recent partnerships with companies such as Greenwood Fuels and Precision AirConvey to provide label converters with feasible alternatives to the status quo of the pressure-sensitive waste stream.

When you're finished changing, you're finished," at least that's what Ben Franklin said. Think about it and it's pretty accurate. When you're done growing, you're done. When you're done learning, you stop. And, here's the rub: if you don't change and grow and learn, all the time, every day, you don't improve. Without a doubt, that's true.

I have a dream that all package-printing byproduct—all coated, treated, and laminated paper, and film byproducts—will find useful end of life. To reach this will require change, which means, improvement.

Several weeks ago in Dallas I listened to a wonderful presentation at PepsiCo Frito-Lay's Research and Development Center in Dallas during the Sustainable Packaging Coalition's fall conference. All attendees were invited to a reception hosted by PepsiCo Frito-Lay. It was great. Dave Haft, senior VP sustainability, productivity, and quality, our host at the reception, told us of the BHAG (Bold Hairy Audacious Goal) challenge that he made to his team in 1999. It was to reduce water, fossil fuel, solid waste, and vehicle fuel by 2015. Not unbelievably, his team not only met, but has already exceeded the goal. They have delivered. PepsiCo Frito-Lay has continued to change.

Windex is a cleaning product made by S.C. Johnson. Historically, the product was packaged in a glass container. I can remember cleaning windows as a kid with Windex. When I ran out of fluid the bottle was tossed (ok, recycled) and I'd get another bottle to finish the job. S.C. Johnson has recently introduced Windex Mini, a pouch containing a concentrated refill that, when mixed with water, is an alternative to buying a new bottle of Windex.

According to the company, the refill pouch uses 90 percent less plastic than its standard 26 fluid ounce bottle. Each pouch avoids the transportation of 22.4 fluid ounces, or 1.5 pounds of water. To really put this in perspective, if just one fifth of the 21 million bottles of Windex sold in a year are refilled, 350,000 pounds of plastic would not be used and 735,000 gallons of water wouldn't be transported. It is a win-win for S.C. Johnson … and for the environment.

 

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