Global packaging producer Sonoco recycled the equivalent of 57 percent of the packaging it placed on the market last year.
That’s according to the Hartsville, S.C.-based company’s 2016-17 corporate responsibility report. Sonoco Recycling, the company’s materials-recovery branch, manages recycling for more than 125 municipalities. The division handles 3 million tons of fibers, metals and plastics each year, feeding the company’s own manufacturing operations and supplying feedstock to other end users. Some of that material flows through the four materials recovery facilities run by Sonoco.
The 57 percent figure refers to the weight of recyclables managed by Sonoco Recycling compared to the various types of packaging the company sells into the marketplace.
Sonoco is heavily involved in using recycled fibers and plastics in its products. All but three of the its 19 global paperboard mills use 100 percent recycled fiber. According to Sonoco, it’s one of the largest producers of uncoated recycled paperboard in the U.S. and Canada, supplying more than one million tons annually. In fact, high recovered fiber prices this year have led it to increase prices for all grades of uncoated recycled paperboard in North America, an attempt to recoup its higher feedstock costs.
In March, Sonoco announced it had finalized its acquisition of PET thermoform maker Peninsula Packaging Co. Now a division of Sonoco, it uses post-consumer PET bottles to make new packaging, including up to 100 percent recycled content. According to the corporate responsibility report, about 20 percent of all PET beverage containers recycled in California are now converted in Sonoco plants.
In other Sonoco news, in July, it completed its $170 million cash purchase of Clear Lam Packaging, which develops and produces multilayer flexible packaging. The company has operations in Elk Grove Village, Ill. and Nanjing, China.
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