May 21st 2024

How Novolex is Building a Brain Trust to Educate Consumers and Achieve Our Sustainability Goals

Novolex employees thrive when developing innovative new products, identifying more sustainable solutions, and stretching the boundaries of packaging to meet unique customer needs. At Novolex, we pride ourselves on collaborating across the industry, cultivating a broader brain trust with others in the manufacturing and packaging space.

Certain issues—like recyclability or reusability—we can’t tackle alone. By joining coalitions focused on consumer education, collaborating with foodservice operators, participating in labeling systems like How2Recycle®, and fostering the construction of recycling infrastructure, we support consumers and elevate the entire industry.

Participating in an Alliance to Educate Consumers on Flexible Plastic Film Products

Last month, the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) launched the Flexible Film Recycling Alliance (FFRA), an initiative Novolex is proud to participate in. The alliance has plans to educate the public about the sustainability and recyclability of flexible plastic film products.

The alliance recognizes that many consumers may not fully understand how and where to recycle plastic films. As a plastic film recycler ourselves, Novolex knows firsthand that it can be done on a large scale. By convening with other industry representatives, we hope to improve recycling and keep valuable materials in our circular economy and out of landfills and the environment.

Spearheading a Program with Foodservice Operators (Eco-Products)

In October 2023, Eco-Products®, a Novolex brand, introduced an innovative new program to help foodservice operators keep non-compostable items out of their organic streams. The program, named Controls Intended to Remove Contamination or CIRC, provides restaurants and other foodservice operators with guidelines that will help them take the proper steps to prevent non-compostable materials from accidentally being sent to composting facilities. Most composters have a very limited ability to combat contamination once it gets to their facilities. CIRC helps foodservice operators put controls in place to stop this issue at the source.

The program features scorecards that foodservice operators use to show composters and haulers that the necessary controls are in place to generate contaminant-free organics streams. Taking this a step further, Eco-Products has made this scorecard and other supporting materials free and available to anyone interested in using them, regardless of whether they’re customers of Eco-Products.

Educating Consumers on Recycling and Composting Through Strategic Partnerships

Novolex is a proud member of both How2Recycle® and How2Compost™, which provide labels we use on our stock products and which we encourage customers to use on their branded items. How2Recycle® is a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling guidance on packaging to the public, including the classifications of “Widely recyclable,” “Check Locally,” “Store Drop Off” and “Not Recyclable.” For example, nearly half of the Novolex portfolio is composed of fiber-based packaging products, many of which meet the “widely recyclable” definition. How2Compost™ labels educate consumers about whether a product is compostable in commercial composting facilities. This label can be used on products that have been certified compostable by the Biodegradable Product Institutes (BPI).

Showcasing Innovative Products at Key Industry Events

Novolex also participates in annual industry events to showcase new products and innovations. This month, Novolex will attend the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Show 2024 in Chicago to spotlight CIRC and other solutions for restaurants or hospitality companies. Novolex will kick off June by attending the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) 2024 conference in Houston to showcase our portfolio of products that support a circular economy.

Advocating for Responsible Legislation, Regulation, and Standards

Policy discussions in 2023 focused on recyclable and compostable labeling, post-consumer recycled content standards, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and other sustainability-themed issues.

As a leader in sustainable packaging, Novolex is positioned to capture and understand the perspectives of consumers, operators, distributors, and others in the value chain. We want to contribute our expertise as both a packaging manufacturer and recycler and be a resource for trade organizations, policymakers, regulatory agencies, community leaders, and others seeking to create better end-of-life options for packaging. The focus of these engagements is to support well-crafted public policy that fosters sustainability. To get there, Novolex continues to invest in trade association memberships, participate in regulatory agency sustainability and working groups, and, as new legislation and regulation emerge, communicate and work with customers and other partners to develop compliant products

Each of these collaborations scratches the surface of what Novolex does daily to set high standards for the broader packaging industry. Through thought leadership efforts and external relationships, Novolex helps peer companies, customers, and consumers make smart decisions and be more conscious of their packaging choices.