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Mon February 1, 2016

Jacob Barron 
Tel: 202-974-5249  | JBarron@plasticsindustry.org

February 1, 2016

New Program Will Promote the Pursuit of Zero Waste in Plastics Manufacturing

WASHINGTON--SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association launched the Zero Net Waste (ZNW) program Monday, a groundbreaking tool for members to use to evaluate waste reduction opportunities and maximize landfill diversion. The ZNW program will provide plastics companies with a concrete set of resources they can use to pursue, and achieve, zero net waste in their facilities and offices.

The ZNW program was born out of the SPI Recycling Committee’s Emerging Trends Subcommittee, chaired by Kathy Xuan, CEO of PARC Corp, and then developed by a broad workgroup of SPI members. "As chair of the subcommittee and a recycler who provides zero landfill services,” said Xuan, “we feel this program will be instrumental in providing tools and resources to accelerate the industry's pursuit of zero waste.”

The cornerstone of the Zero Net Waste program is the manual, which includes real-world, step-by-step tools and resources for companies throughout the plastics value chain to ensure that plastic materials and other manufacturing byproducts are put to their highest and best use. From building the business case for pursuing zero net waste, to educating employees and offering practical guidance on finding the right service providers, the ZNW program manual is designed to enable companies of all sizes to take immediate steps to begin pursuing zero waste in their facilities.

Companies who participate in the program, and meet requirements of the two-step qualification and verification process will be recognized for their efforts. 

However, "the Zero Net Waste Program isn't just for companies looking for Zero Waste certification,” said Robert Flores, Director of Sustainability for Berry Plastics. “The accompanying manual is applicable to a wide variety of companies and provides the basics for how get started, as well as how to enhance existing programs that a company already may have in place."

Reducing reliance on landfills provides both environmental and economic benefits, which are being driven by many of the major brand owners in the plastics industry today, notes Nina Goodrich, executive director of GreenBlue. “GreenBlue and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition support SPI's Zero Net Waste Program,” she said.  “Providing companies the tools and resources to demonstrate leadership in landfill diversion is an important step towards reducing carbon emissions and developing a circular economy.” 

For more information on the ZNW program and how it can impact a company’s sustainability click here. The ZNW program is currently only available to SPI members. 

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Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $427 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly one million American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI’s industry services. Find SPI online at www.plasticsindustry.org and www.inthehopper.org.

"From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. "Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."