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Bway sees practicality in sustainability

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November 15, 2012

CHICAGO (Nov. 15, 10:45 a.m. ET) — Container manufacturer BWay Corp. is hoping its emphasis on sustainability will lead to an increase in profits, but instead of rolling out new products or policies, the company is promoting what’s its been offering all along.

“Sustainability is just something that we do,” said Lisa Merritt, marketing coordinator at the Atlanta-based company.

BWay makes more than 270 different products from metal, plastic and hybrid materials. All of them can be recycled and many of the plastic containers can be made with up to 30 percent post-consumer resin, she said by phone.

The company has also worked to make containers light weight without comprising their capabilities, she added.

BWay’s most innovative and sustainable container is its open-head Eco-Pail, Merritt said.

The 5-gallon pail, designed for industrial uses, is made from high density polyethylene. The container is designed to be recycled without removing any components — its cover uses in-seal molded technology, eliminating the need for a rubber gasket, and has a handle made from recycled resin instead of metal.

The pail can contain up to 50 percent post-consumer recycled resin and producing it takes less energy and results in fewer carbon emissions.

Merritt said that BWay also employs sustainable practices at its plants, adding that the company outlines its corporate responsibility plans on its website.

According to the site, BWay’s plants run all-electric equipment, have processes in place to recycle water and industrial solvents and, over time, have significantly lowered emissions of volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants.

It just makes business sense to reduce energy use, reduce your reliability on natural resources and reduce emissions, Merritt said.

And companies need to offer innovative products that use less resources – “it’s just something you have to do these days,” she said.

BWay displayed its containers, including the Eco-Pail, and promoted its corporate responsibility message at Pack Expo 2012, held Oct. 28-31 in Chicago.

We had good feedback from customers; “they were impressed by the things we do behind the scenes,” Merritt said.

BWay, based in Atlanta, has 11 plastics plants, 22 overall, and total sales of $1.2 billion. According to Plastics News’ annual rankings, it is North America’s 13th largest injection molder and is No. 26 in the ranking of North American blow molders.