Reducing the impact of manufacturing on natural resources and our communities is integral to our sustainability vision. From the choice of raw materials and sources of the energy we use to make our products to the thousands of jobs we create and training we provide, we know manufacturing makes a difference. In turn, sustainable manufacturing provides our customers with packaging solutions that offer convenience, hygiene, food safety and the means to reduce food waste for millions of consumers every day.
Novolex operates two world-class recycling centers in the US and invests to expand capacity in recycling operations.
NORTH VERNON, IN
Our North Vernon, IN facility has historically specialized in high molecular weight high density polyethylene (HDPE) film recycling.
Today, the facility processes not only post-consumer high molecular weight HDPE but also low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) items such as retail bags collected at store drop-off as well as HDPE plastic film from dry cleaning, produce, newspapers, paper towel wrappers and other over-wraps, resealable bags and more.
In 2020, a new water treatment system was installed to increase capacity for the recycling of plastic retail bags and other films collected via store drop-off programs.
And, in 2022, Novolex announced a $10 million investment in North Vernon to increase recycling capacity. With this investment, Novolex expects to double the volume of PCR PE films that is recycled in North Vernon by the end of 2024.
Novolex operates a 100,000 sq. ft. recycling facility in Shawano, WI. This facility specializes in recycling linear low-density (LLD) stretch wrap that has been reclaimed and sold back into the marketplace for recycling. The Shawano facility also recycles post-industrial film. Since 2010, 75 million pounds of post-consumer scrap have been recycled. Learn more about plastic recycling at Recycling Is Real.
NORTH VERNON, IN
The Novolex company wide greenhouse gas (GHG) target is focused on reducing emissions from energy use in manufacturing (Scopes 1 and 2) by 30% per ton of production by 2030. This target has annual emissions reduction requirements which we must achieve as part of our Sustainability-Linked Financing Framework which also includes a requirement that our GHG inventory be verified annually by a third party. The third-party assurance of our 2022 GHG inventory is available here. Longer term, we will develop a Scope 3 emissions inventory to complete our understanding of our carbon footprint.
Novolex is committed to reducing waste at our facilities to promote operating efficiencies and reduce our impact on the environment. In 2022, we made significant progress measuring waste generation across our facilities and are publishing data for the first time in our 2022 sustainability report. Since we started our waste reduction program, Novolex has diverted over five million pounds of waste that would have otherwise been sent to landfills.
Our Waddington Europe received Zero Waste To Landfill certification from Valpak for its three manufacturing sites in the United Kingdom and Ireland for three years starting in 2020. Employees worked with experts and market leaders to review processes and waste streams to ensure anything that could be recycled was being recycled. Items included recycling waste from offices, break rooms, and cafeterias, as well as recycling all plastic waste produced by production lines and putting it back into the manufacturing process.
As a manufacturer of resin-based packaging and foodservice products, we understand our responsibility to keep plastic used in our manufacturing facilities out of the environment. To achieve this goal, Novolex participates in Operation Clean Sweep Blue, a worldwide initiative co-sponsored by the Plastics Industry Association and the American Chemistry Council to prevent the escape of plastic pellets, flake, and powder into the environment. Operation Clean Sweep has been in place for more than 25 years. OCS Blue enhances the management, measurement, auditing to prevent release of resin into the environment at participating facilities.
All Novolex facilities comply with environmental regulations in every jurisdiction in which we operate. We conduct internal and third-party site audits to review compliance with regulations and standards, evaluate programs, and review processes. We incorporate audit findings into our policies, regularly updating them to reflect best practices to reduce the environmental impacts of our facilities. Additionally, waste diversion and recycling remain a hallmark of our approach to improve production efficiency and reduce manufacturing waste.