McDonald’s shareholders weigh in on a proposal to eliminate the company’s use of EPS packaging outside the U.S., and a couple of op-eds note that recycling is only one part of plastics sustainability.
Shareholder pressure: Owners of nearly a third of McDonald’s shares want the company to phase out EPS packaging in overseas locations, according to advocacy group As You Sow. In a press release, the group reports that owners of 31 percent of shares supported a proposal submitted by As You Sow seeking to phase out EPS cups globally. The company stopped using foam in the U.S in 2013.
Medical wrap: Halyard Health medical wrap will be recycled to create new products for healthcare facilities. Halyard writes the company is partnering with Sustainable Solutions to collect and recycle products after use, and that the materials will be converted into resin for new totes, garbage cans, bedpans and washbasins.
Partnering up: European companies have come together to advance post-consumer flexible film recycling efforts. Plastics News Europe reports the 34-member Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (Ceflex) coalition wants to develop collection, sorting and reprocessing infrastructure for the challenging material throughout Europe by 2025.
Broader view: Recycling is only one part of the sustainability discussion, according to an industry expert. In an op-ed, Steve Russell of the American Chemistry Council advises looking at environmental impact through a sustainable materials management (SMM) lens, examining not only recycling but resource efficiency, greenhouse gas reductions and more.
Long-term solution: Solving the ocean plastics problem will need to incorporate an “upstream solution,” according to a producer of the documentary film “A Plastic Ocean.” Julie Andersen, executive director of Plastic Oceans Foundation USA, writes that using less plastic is the long-term solution, as it will make a larger impact on the environment than recycling.
Don’t look to India: It remains to be seen how China’s National Sword campaign plays out in the end, but there are some rumors of longer-term recovered material import bans. Recycling International reports that, if those rumors prove true, India will not be equipped to take shipments displaced from China.