Sustainability

Plastics play an important role in our daily lives and are present in everything from lifesaving medical devices to lighter weight automobiles to the electronics we used to connect our world.

As a maker of flexible packaging products, we recognise the need for greater awareness and involvement in creating a more sustainable planet – from the point of manufacture to the point of disposal.

Our commitment to sustainability includes:

What We’re Doing - Providing environmentally responsible packaging products, while also reducing our own impact on the world in which we live

Green leaf illustration for manufacturing green

For over a decade, Automated Packaging Systems has been producing environmentally responsible products for our customers. We introduced GeoTech®, a line of Oxodegradable and pre-consumer Reprocessed films that forever changed the inflatable protective packaging industry. We have introduced innovative, lighter gauge films that reduce the amount of material required without compromising packaging performance.

In addition, our machinery technology continues to evolve with new, state-of-the-art components and engineering designed to reduce energy consumption.

Illustration of a leaf on a green piece of paper

All of our facilities worldwide adhere to their local and regional environmental laws and standards. In the UK, our Environmental Management System is accredited to ISO 14001:2015, which establishes a framework to measure and improve environmental impact.

Additionally, our Lean Manufacturing Processes and Quality Management Systems minimise waste and resource consumption in production.

Green Recycling arrows in a triangle

Key focus of our manufacturing facilities is to reduce the amount of leftover film (also known as scrap) that commonly results from creating pre-formed flexible packaging. Scrap that does remain is re-used for our Reprocessed film. This means we’re not only producing less waste, but also offering our customers a cost-effective and environmentally responsible alternative to virgin films.

Green recycling trash can icon

Our ‘dry mixed recycling’ efforts have resulted in more than a 50% reduction of everyday waste. By installing recycling bins throughout our facilities, office papers, cans and bottles, and corrugated products are being sent directly to recycling facilities instead of going to landfills.

Green light bulb icon with a leaf in it

Energy efficient lighting, electrically powered vehicles and motion detectors are just a few of the ways we conserve our natural resources every day. We regularly monitor our consumption and seek new and innovative technologies to reduce our impact on the environment.

Three green stick figures of people celebrating with arms up

Equally as important are the employees and associates who strive to protect and preserve our planet for current and future generations. As Employee Owners, we have a vested interest in sustainability as both providers and recipients of our environmental responsibility efforts.

Operation Clean Sweep logo

Automated Packaging Systems has signed up to Operation Clean Sweep, an international initiative led by the British Plastics Foundation to prevent plastic pellet loss in the environment. 

What Businesses Can Do - Helping our customers understand how they, too, can promote sustainability

With its durability, light weight, and infinite recyclability1, plastic will likely remain at the forefront of the packaging industry for a long time. While doing their part to protect the environment, brand owners must also consider all of their other packaging needs, including providing sufficient product protection, eliminating the transfer of contaminants, and preventing spoilage.

E-commerce retailers are right-sizing their corrugated packaging and using less void-fill inside the box, while others have switched entirely to plastic mailbags as a means to reduce redundant packaging. Products that were once available only in brightly colored boxes are now switching to bags with high-end graphic printing, because less energy and natural resources are required to produce and transport plastic bags than corrugated boxes.

Green icon of a shopping cart

 

  • Use as little packaging as possible.
  • Our in-house Applications Team reviews each customer product and recommends the most suitable packaging solution, ensuring bag size and thickness are optimised.
Green icon of a leaf going in a circle

 

  • Add relevant recycling logos to printed packaging.
  • Our experienced Graphics Team can help you design a bag that shows the recyclability of your packaging.
Green icon of a recycling trash can

 

  • Include recycling instructions.
  • Provide consumers with details on how to recycle your packaging, such as “Kerbside”, “Check Locally” or “Store Drop-off”.
Green icon of leaves

 

  • Choose environmentally responsible material options.
  • Our GeoTech range of materials includes Oxodegradable and pre-consumer Reprocessed films. 

What Consumers Can Do

 

Packaging labels with recycling symbols and instructions are becoming more prevalent. Even with labels that remind us to recycle, not all communities offer collections from your home (kerbside). This can lead to confusion and frustration for the consumer who wants to do their part for the environment, but has no idea how to get recyclables to the proper facilities for processing.

Recycling Labels

Label for Film Plastic recycling

Check Local Recycling*

This logo tells you that the packaging is recycled by 20-70% of local councils. Check with your local council before putting this material into your recycling bin.

Label for Widely Recycled at Recycling Points, Check Locally, Kerbside

Widely recycled at recycling points*

75% of councils have recycling provisions for this material.

Check with your local council for kerbside and collection point recycling facilities.

Label for Recycle with Bags at Larger Stores, Check Locally Kerbside

Recycle with Carrier Bags*

Some materials, such as plastic films, can now be recycled at supermarket carrier bag collection points.

These materials are often in kitchen roll wraps and grocery produce.

Label for Film, Plastic not currently recycled

Not Currently Recycled*

This logo lets us know that the packaging is only being recycled by 20% of councils. Check with your local council as to whether this material is being recycled in your area.

Label for Plastic Resin, number 4, LDPE

Plastic Resin Code

This signifies what kind of plastic the packaging is made from. The number 4 means the item is made from LDPE, which can be recycled at large supermarkets with carrier bags.

The Mobius Loop - 3 arrows in a triangle

The Mobius Loop

This symbol indicates that the product is capable of being recycled. However, it does not guarantee that the material will be accepted by your local recycling centre, nor does is signify that the product is made from recycled materials.

Label for industrially compostable

Compostable

This logo certifies that the product is ‘industrially compostable’ according to European packaging standards.

 

*The On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme aims to deliver a simple, consistent and UK-wide recycling message on retailer and brand packaging. OPRL have devised these logos to help consumers recycle more material correctly.

To find your nearest recycling facilities for plastic bags and film, as well as other plastic packaging, use the handy Recycling Locator tool.

Button - Enter your postcode here to check

 

 

 

1Not all plastics are currently recyclable. Check your local recycling centres for additional information.