While the amount of plastic waste entering the ocean from land each year exceeds 4.8 million metric tons, under 3% of the ocean’s total microplastic waste comes from retail plastic products.
Where do microplastics come from?
Source – StatistaCharts: International Union for Conservation of Nature
So How Does it Happen?
How does all this plastic end up in the ocean surrounding the U.S. and other large bodies of water within it? While wind and other earthly elements can take the blame for some of the negative environmental impacts caused by pollution, we’re the biggest culprit.
How People in the United States Improperly Dispose of Plastics:
- By overflowing trash cans
- By thoughtless littering
- By incorrectly flushing trash down toilets
- By using fishing nets created from synthetic textiles
- By the mass-littering caused by the improper transportation methods of plastics freight
Source – GVM Resource Efficiency, 2014; Analysis + Calculation by Berndt+Partner Consultants, 2018
For Consumers & the General Public:
Let's Start Simple:
Understand where trash cans should be placed: recycling bins or trash cans. Many cities and counties have bins that are specifically colored. This might seem elementary, but there's a reason why so many places have spent money to make the distinction. Plastics contaminated by other elements can potentially lose their recyclable value.
Be cautious when disposing of any items that could potentially be considered recyclable.
Understand Resin Identification Codes
Every single plastic container is legally required to have a resin identification code (RIC) that informs you of the product’s plastic grade.
The more educated our community becomes, the cleaner our oceans will be. Join us in taking the first steps toward creating an enlightened community and a brighter future for our world and everything that lives within it.
For Plastic Manufacturers:
Berry Global is proudly affiliated with the American Chemistry Council, an organization that helps the world better understand the science behind sustainability. We stand with the scientists and policy-makers who have discovered ways to improve waste management prevention measures.
Create environmentally-friendly plastic products and improve waste management systems.
A Commitment to Reduction
Manufacturing is energy-intensive. Furthermore, plastic is typically derived from energy sources such as natural gas. As our facility footprint continues to grow and as we increase automation in our facilities, we are cognizant of the fact that our energy usage will grow as well. To maximize our energy efficiency, we:
- Identify, share, and translate utilities best practices across our company
- Systematically replace energy-intensive processes with energy efficient processes
- Train our employees to identify electrical, gas, and water waste
- Implement ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems compliant processes to reduce energy intensity
Water Usage Reduction
Water is one of our most critical natural resources, and it’s becoming more scarce. In order to better understand our water impact, we used the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas to analyze water risk (including Physical Quantity, Physical Quality, and Regulatory & Reputational risks) for each of our manufacturing sites.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction
We acknowledge the importance of knowing and mitigating our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which is why we track both our Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions. Our GHG inventory was initially verified for method and accuracy by the EPA as part of the Climate Leaders program.
Electricity represents the vast majority of our Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, followed by natural gas. We will, therefore, drive GHG emissions reductions through our efforts to improve energy efficiency. We also support renewable energy as an important method to reduce GHG emissions. To understand the scale of our other energy sources, please refer to our GRI Index.
Landfill Waste Reduction
Although we focus on near‐term reduction goals, Berry Global has a long‐term vision to be “Best in Class” both in terms of our waste generation as well as our waste intensity (landfill waste per pound processed) as part of our efforts to achieve Operational Excellence.
How We’re Optimizing Our Plastic Products:
Our #1 objective is to be the industry leader in sustainable packaging. As we reach for that goal, and as we strive to minimize negative product impact, we:
- Create lightweight products
- Design 100% of packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable
- Encourage the development of renewable materials
- Practice sustainable sourcing for recyclable content
- Have taken the Operation Clean Sweep® pledge, committing to work toward zero resin pellet, powder and flake loss.
Read more about the plastic industry’s waste management initiatives here.
Visit our Education Hub page to learn more about sustainability.
The content from this site was sourced by: BerryGlobal.com, American Chemistry Plastics Resin Codes, American Chemistry Workable Solutions for Marine Litter, American Chemistry Recycling and Recovery, StatistaCharts: International Union for Conservation of Nature