Plastic is foundational to modern society, as it is used in everything from medicine to transportation to consumer goods and packaging. More than 300 million metric tons of plastics were produced worldwide in 2015. Yet, less than 9 percent of the plastic we use every day is recycled; most of it ends up occupying landfills or polluting the ocean. The enormity of this situation is undeniable.
Jabil Packaging Solutions (JPS) recognizes it has an important role in the fight against plastic pollution, and is driving advancements in smart packaging with better, easier ways to reduce, reuse and recycle and drive toward a circular economy. When our JPS site in Atlanta began working with a new customer, we took at look at their processes and we made them more sustainable.
For years the customer had been receiving its packaging product in cardboard boxes which then had to be cut, broken down and compacted. JPS switched to reusable plastic totes and lids, which is not only more sustainable, it paid for itself after 6.5 turns – less than 10-percent of its lifecycle. In partnership with the customer, JPS also reduced the size of the product, making it 22-percent lighter and saving 3,000,000 pounds of plastic a year.
And one of our healthcare facilities has initiated a “waste rebirth” solution where more than 20 types of plastic manufacturing waste have been repurposed to create chairs for schools and art supplies for local charities. This effort has enabled the facility to achieve an impressive 96 percent recycling rate with zero waste produced onsite going to landfill.
JPS is taking this issue seriously. We understand change is inevitable; the linear packaging lifecycle is inefficient and harmful to the environment, and we must adapt to the idea of a circular economy that benefits both the economy and businesses. JPS is innovating for a circular economy, engaging new solutions that will drive greater sustainability.
Our work supports the many brands we call customers. To achieve the vision of a more efficient and environmentally friendly future, JPS partners with customers, offering innovative solutions to achieve their sustainability goals. For example, Keurig Green Mountain pledged to make 100 percent of its K-Cup® pods recyclable by 2020. Through innovative product designs and advanced production technologies, Keurig is meeting its sustainability and performance goals while giving consumers the eco-friendly product they demand.
We applaud the amount of deliberate effort it takes to examine entire product lifecycles and rethink how products should be designed, made, delivered and reused. Jabil is committed to helping our customers move toward a restorative, regenerative circular economy by preserving natural resources, designing for recycling and reducing environmental impacts.
We continually partner with customers to select sustainable materials that meet their product requirements. Each material used for is tested and qualified to provide customers with durable products made from sustainable materials. Initiating continually viable solutions requires time and consistent effort that our teams across Jabil are focused on every day.
While it will require time and consistent effort to bring innovative new solutions forward on the sustainability front, we regard this action toward sustainability as an invaluable investment in the future. We are improving business, preserving the earth and enabling a higher quality of life for future generations.
We believe that the key to developing long-term solutions is to engage our customers as partners on the journey to sustainability. By combining different resources, expertise and capabilities, we can create solutions that will contribute to solving global environmental challenges, help our customers and partners meet environmental goals and deliver new and exciting products to a market the craves it.