Sustainable Packaging

Picture of bridge with a recycling bin nearby.In the U.K., there is a 90-foot bridge made out of 50 tonnes of recycled plastic waste. The bridge, which crosses the Tweed River in Wales, is Europe's first to consist of 100% recycled plastic. The structure was designed and built by a Welsh startup company called Vertech Ltd., with the help of designers and engineers from Cardiff and Rutgers Universities.

The ability to make a strong, safe bridge out of recycled waste is truly a huge step toward a more sustainable future. Rather than throw those plastic materials out and add them to the earth's growing landfills, they have instead been upcycled into a high-quality structure that won't rust, requires little regular maintenance, helps cut costs and significantly reduces waste.

The bridge was put together in less than two weeks. Vertech hopes to introduce its recycled thermoplastic materials more widely throughout the European construction industry, replacing timber and laminated products for more sustainable solutions.

At Heritage Pioneer, we are always excited to hear about new ways in which recycled plastics are being used worldwide. To learn more about our sustainable packaging solutions, products and services, contact us today!

Picture of corrugated cardboard packaging.The corrugated cardboard box is a widely used packaging product, and for good reason. Corrugated material may consist of a simple, easily recognized design - an arched layer of paper ("fluting") between two smooth sheets of paper ("liners") - but with its long list of benefits, the material is certainly here to stay. Here, we'll explore why corrugated is a smart, sustainable packaging choice for any packaging or shipping needs.

  • Corrugated is versatile. With its simple design, corrugated is infinitely customizable. Fluting and liners come in various sizes and thicknesses, depending on specific packaging requirements. The material can be formed into cardboard boxes that transport a variety of products safely, from medical supplies to toys, electronics to books. In addition, corrugated can be used for wine shippers, POP and floor displays, and more.
  • Corrugated is affordable. The cost of labor, production and shipping of corrugated materials is extremely low, making it one of the least expensive materials ever developed.
  • Corrugated is durable. Rigid structure and superior cushioning makes corrugated packaging strong and protective - able to withstand rough shipping and handling processes while keeping its contents safe and dry.
  • Corrugated is sustainable. As a highly recycled, recyclable and reusable material, corrugated is an environmentally responsible packaging option. Corrugated is often made by using old corrugated containers, newspapers and even straw. It has the best recycling rate of any packaging material today. Breaking down cardboard boxes and storing them away for later use is a common practice among businesses and homes, where they can be used over and over before being recycled.

At Heritage Sustainable, we provide a wide range of sustainable packaging solutions, including corrugated cardboard products. For more information, contact us today!

Ford Escape uses recycled plastic bottles for carpeting in its SUVs.Ford is doing it again. We recently wrote about the soy-based foam materials used in the head restraint cushioning of Ford vehicles. Now, the American car giant is introducing its new Ford Escape, complete with carpeting made from recycled plastic bottles.

This is the first time Ford has used the recycled plastic carpeting in its SUVs. The carpeting uses 25 20-ounce plastic bottles that have been collected and recycled, and would have otherwise ended up in landfills had they just been thrown out. The more bottles used in the carpeting, the stronger the carpeting becomes. With as many vehicles as Ford makes and sells annually, the new Ford Escape can save millions of bottles from landfills and dramatically reduce the amount of toxic plastic waste that is put into the earth.

Just like every part of a new vehicle, the carpeting has gone through rigorous testing to ensure strength, durability and effectiveness. In addition to plastic bottle carpets and soy-based foam cushioning, Ford is also looking into coconut-based plastics to possibly replace its oil-based plastic car parts.

Heritage Pioneer is committed to providing innovative sustainable packaging solutions, in addition to keeping our customers informed on the latest in sustainable packaging news. For more information on sustainable packaging solutions, contact us today!

Recycled packaging used for playground equipment.The Channahon Park District in Illinois is one of many communities across the country taking initiative to become more eco-friendly. Rather than use virgin plastic and building materials for its parks, the organization has benches, surfacing materials and playground equipment made out of such environmentally-friendly materials as recycled plastic packaging, recycled plastic timbers, and wood chips and grass clippings.

The park benches and picnic tables are made out of recycled plastic milk jug timbers. Each bench is about 510 milk jugs, while each picnic table uses about 1,275 jugs. The plastic materials used in the playground equipment are made from recycled laundry detergent containers, shampoo bottles, juice cartons and more. Wood chips and grass clippings are used throughout the parks' landscaping, and most come directly from trees and limbs that either the park district staff or tree-trimming firms have cut down and chipped at no extra costs.

With modern technology and growing environmental awareness, people are finding new ways to use recycled plastics that help to reduce waste, improve communities and lifestyles, and contribute to a greener future.

As a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, the Heritage Pioneer team is always happy to hear about the latest in recycled plastic innovations, and how businesses and consumers are using them. Check back for news and updates from the sustainable packaging industry, or contact us for more information on our services and products.

Non-recycled plastics ending up in landfills.Although consumers and businesses have become more eco-conscious in recent years, there is still a large amount of used plastic that doesn't get recycled each year - ending up in landfills when they could be converted into energy.

According to a recent study by researchers at Columbia University, about 86% of used plastics still end up in landfills. In 2008, there were 28.8 million tons of plastics sent to landfills - enough to potentially create 139 million barrels of oil. The study also states that if the United States took all that plastic and sent it to a waste-to-energy power plant instead of a landfill, we could power 5.2 million American homes a year.

As technology continues to rapidly evolve, there are now ways to convert recycled plastics into synthetic oil, electricity and gas. These innovative processes allow us to not only reduce the plastic waste that is cluttering the earth, but also provide a way to reduce dependence on non-renewable energy and fossil fuels.

As a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, the Heritage Pioneer team encourages all businesses and consumers to learn more about sustainable solutions, replace virgin plastic materials with recycled plastic whenever possible, and to do their part in reducing, reusing and recycling. For more information on sustainable packaging solutions, contact us today!