A Lifecycle Approach

Across the Novolex portfolio, we take a holistic view of the total lifecycle of our products. This includes consideration of the environmental, economic and social impacts of our products at each phase of the value chain – from the choice of materials and production processes to the way our products are used and disposed of. When viewed through this lens, each type of product in our portfolio presents customers with choices. Given the array of available options, we work closely with our customers to understand their needs, discuss alternatives and help balance their requirements with an understanding of the environmental impact that materials and disposal strategies can have.

Product Materials and Disposal

We make our products with a wide range of materials that offer reduced environmental impacts at their source. For the past three years, nearly half of all the fiber we purchase has been made from post-consumer recycled content (PCR). Molded fiber-based products such as clamshells can be made not only with recycled material but also with renewable, plant-based materials such as bagasse (sugar cane). Plastic products, as well, can contain PCR resin or use plant-based polymers as an alternative to resins derived from fossil fuels. To further conserve materials, we also design products that can reduce – by downgauging – the total amount of material used, as well as through product innovation that reduces the need for other products.

The materials we use also enable us to create products that can be recycled or composted. Most of our fiber and plastic products made with plant-based materials are designed specifically for composting. Our Eco-Products® brands made with plant-based materials are sought out by foodservice establishments that are committed to composting. Many other Novolex paper packaging such as our Dubl Life® bags can be recycled and composted where appropriate facilities exist. A selection of our rigid and flexible plastic products made with resins derived from fossil fuels are also designed to be recycled where recycling facilities exist.

In 2020, 49% of Novolex raw materials were derived from either renewable or post-consumer recycled (PCR) sources

Consumer Awareness and Labeling

Novolex products touch the lives of millions of consumers every day, and each person can play a vital role in ensuring our products are properly disposed of. Easy-to-understand labeling is key to successful recycling. Novolex is a member of the How2Recycle® program that provides labels for packages to show consumers what to do when they’re finished using the product. We partner with our customers to adopt the How2Recycle labeling system for their packaging. Novolex also voluntarily displays How2Recycle labels on many of our stock products.

In addition to How2Recycle, Novolex participates in other industry forums, including the Association of Plastic Recyclers in the U.S. and RECOUP in the U.K., that support design standards and labeling to improve recovery and reduce contamination in recycling streams. To advocate for and develop composting infrastructure, Novolex also works with industry coalitions such as the Biodegradable Products Institute and the Compost Manufacturing Alliance.

Plastic Film Recycling

As a leader in packaging, Novolex has been in the vanguard of promoting and supporting the recycling of plastic retail bags. The Novolex Bag2Bag® program features store drop-off bins at grocery and retail stores where consumers can return used plastic bags and other recyclable films such as dry cleaning and newspaper bags. The bags are collected and returned to recycling centers, such as our North Vernon, Indiana Recycling Center, where the films are sorted, cleaned and converted back into material to make new bags. As a member of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance, Novolex continues to advocate for increased recycling of plastic retail bags. Learn more about legislation affecting the use and recycling of plastic retail bags.



Global Needs

Novolex is a proud contributor to the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a multinational and multi-sector non-profit composed of plastics value chain members that are committed to keeping plastic waste out of the environment. Established in 2019, Alliance programs are expanding globally – creating recycling infrastructure, building markets for post-consumer recycled material and encouraging consumers to recycle. View Report

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