AMS is celebrating – it looks like we won!! We won the battle of plastic film recycling! Cheers to 20 bales!
First a little history, quoting from our “Plastics Free July” blog.
“As a B Corporation, AMS sees Planet Over Profit. The AMS Green Team felt they had to come up with a solution, as the plastic stretch film was rejected for recycling and therefore it was ending up in a landfill, and it was quite a lot. In California, each of the AMS’ four facilities receive 60-80 stretch wrapped pallets a day. After some searching, the Team located a company that will pick up and recycle baled plastic stretch film once it reaches 10K lbs, which allows them to market full truckloads of film. To solve this, AMS purchased 92 waste bins enabling the team to properly dispose of this waste so it could be baled, weighed, and stored until the facility has 10K pounds, at which time it is recycled.”
For our recyclable plastic film to be picked up and processed, it had to be baled. AMS is committed to recycling so we raised the bar from baling cardboard to baling plastic stretch film as well. This is film that would have otherwise been disposed of with our landfill waste. Success for us is 20 bales!
When 20 bales have accumulated, the plastics are picked up by the vendor and taken to the recycling plant. Recycled plastic film is made into composite lumber, which is used for benches, decks, and playground sets. It is also recycled and reprocessed into small pellets that are used to make plastic containers, crates, pipes, new plastic bags, and pallets. Victory for AMS!! We solved the issue of proper handling of plastic film.
Some Background on this Issue
The effectiveness of plastic film recycling is a subject of debate among many in the industry. Plastic film recycling programs can succeed only if the recycler accumulates large quantities of material to recycle, which is one reason why it’s collected at drop-off locations rather than curbside.
In general, the U.S. only has a 5% processing capacity for plastic films and the majority of the film that is able to be recycled are pallet wraps from retail store sources as they tend to be cleaner. Additionally, the market for plastic film recycling is not ideal as it is much more profitable to make new plastic film rather than recycling old films. The cost to collect, sort, clean, and reprocess old plastic film is 100 times higher than creating new plastic.
Sadly, this creates the conditions for ‘profit over planet’. AMS is doing its best to change the focus to Planet in all that we do.
With our leadership’s attention and full support to our company’s role in improving the environment for future generations, recycling plastic stretch film was our only option. AMS’ Green Team provides a great place to be involved in using business as a force for good. As a B Corporation, it is not making money from recycling that motivates us, but rather it is the dream of making a difference for the benefit of future generations. Planet over profit drives AMS Fulfillment.