food packaging sustainabilityEcono-Pak is committed to making sustainable choices that benefit our environment and community. Sustainability is not just a buzzword for us; it’s a way of life and a method of operations.  

The best part is our clients can benefit from our sustainability practices by leveraging them toward their green initiatives, too.

We believe every step counts toward creating a greener future and are proud to share our current sustainability initiatives and plans with you. 

Current Sustainability Initiatives 

  • Transition to electric forklifts: We have phased out propane forklifts and replaced them with electric forklifts, which produce zero emissions and reduce our carbon footprint. 
  • Electric hand jacks: Our fleet includes electric hand jacks, contributing to cleaner and quieter operations. 
  • Updated charging stations: We’ve invested in updated charging stations to support our electric vehicle infrastructure. 
  • Energy-efficient HVAC: Our HVAC system is designed to be more energy-efficient, with MERV 11 air filtration. We also regularly change air filters, and they are recyclable. 
  • LED lighting: We’ve replaced traditional lighting with energy-efficient LED lighting throughout our facility to reduce energy consumption. 
  • Waste reduction with compactor: We’ve implemented a new style compactor that maximizes the weight in waste containers, reducing the number of pulls required. 
  • Sustainable packaging materials: Our purchasing department is dedicated to sourcing sustainable packaging materials, including stretch wrap, tape, dunnage paper, corrugation, bubble wrap, and safety seals. 
  • Paperless documentation: Our Quality Control and Shipping and Receiving teams primarily uses iPads for documentation, significantly reducing paper usage. 

Econo-Pak’s Recycling Program 

Our robust recycling program plays a crucial role in reducing waste and conserving valuable resources. We’ve implemented a comprehensive recycling program to ensure that we minimize our environmental impact in every possible way. 

Our recycling department, consisting of 27 dedicated individuals, is at the forefront of these efforts. They work tirelessly to collect, sort, and process recyclables, ensuring that our recycling programs run smoothly and effectively. 

PlasticPlastic Recycling 

We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of plastics. Currently, we recycle two types of plastics – PETE and PS. 

  • PETE (polyethylene terephthalate): PETE is commonly found in beverage bottles and food containers. By recycling PETE, we reduce the need for new plastic production and help keep plastic out of landfills. 
  • PS (polystyrene): PS is used in various packaging materials and consumer products. Our recycling efforts for PS contribute to reducing the environmental burden of this material. 

CardboardCardboard Recycling 

We are proud to say that our commitment to cardboard recycling is unwavering. We bale cardboard for recycling on a daily basis. To further improve our sustainability efforts, we have invested over $1 million in refurbished recycling machinery, making the cardboard recycling process more efficient. This allows us to reuse cardboard materials and reduce the demand for new ones. 

PalletsPallet Recycling

Our dedication to recycling extends to even the smallest details, like broken pallets. We ensure that every broken pallet is properly recycled. Additionally, we actively participate in the CHEP pallet program, which allows us to trace and send our pallets to other facilities for reuse. This initiative not only reduces waste but also promotes a sustainable approach to pallet management. 

InkInk Recycling 

In our ongoing pursuit of sustainability, we actively explore opportunities to recycle old ink and consumables. By recycling these materials, we not only reduce waste but also contribute to the circular economy, where resources are reused, remanufactured, and repurposed. 

We are continually exploring new ways to reduce our environmental footprint and promote sustainability throughout our operations. 

Sustainability Challenges 

We’ve identified a unique challenge in our sustainability efforts. Econo-Pak aims to recycle multi-layer film wrappers, but it’s complex due to their composition. These wrappers, made of two different materials, are hard to separate for recycling. 

This challenge isn’t just Econo-Pak’s; it’s an industry-wide concern. We’re open to innovative suggestions and collaborations to find more efficient ways to recycle these wrappers. If you have ideas or technologies that can help, please reach out. Together, we can turn today’s non-recyclables into tomorrow’s resources. 

We appreciate your support in our sustainability efforts. 

Sustainability Initiatives for the Future 

  • Solar panels: We have plans to install solar panels to harness renewable energy for our operations, further reducing our carbon footprint. 
  • More efficient cookie recycling: We plan to invest in innovative cookie recycling machinery that speeds up the process of relocating, processing, and transporting cookie waste to a recycling facility.
  • Mission study: Our recent mission study focused on the future expansion of our facilities. We carefully considered the environmental impact of this expansion and took measures to minimize emissions. By embedding sustainable practices into our growth plans, we ensure that our commitment to the environment remains unwavering. 

At Econo-Pak, our commitment to sustainability is not just a corporate responsibility; it’s a shared mission with our employees, partners, and customers. Together, we can make a significant impact on the environment, reduce waste, and create a better world for future generations. If you have suggestions, questions, or want to collaborate on sustainability initiatives, please contact us 

Thank you for your interest in our sustainability efforts, and let’s work together to make a positive difference for our planet.