Like many molders, AptarGroup Inc. is working to achieve sustainability goals based on product design and reusability, virgin resin reduction, recycling and an increase in recycled resin use.
Changes are coming, Christophe Marie, product sustainability director for the injection molder, told an audience at the Oct. 11 Plastics Caps + Closures online event.
AptarGroup created a global sustainability team in 2018 to explore new technologies and materials recycling and establish targets. One of its goals is to eliminate 100 percent of "problematic plastics" by 2025 — getting ahead of regulatory bans on materials such as bisphenol A, formaldehyde, per- and polyfluoroalkyl, styrenics (perfluoroalkoxy) and silicones D4, D5 and D6.
Doing so, he noted, will require the market to cooperate by being willing to use post-consumer resin. There currently isn't a lot of food-grade recycled polypropylene available for Aptar's applications. Food and Drug Administration-approved resins are limited.
However, AptarGroup is supporting new technology and infrastructure while seeking to spur demand and expand applications. Marie said his company would like to see wide acceptance of chemical recycling and a common understanding of what "recycling" includes.
One step in the right direction, he said, is to design products with commonality — ones that aren't specific to a particular region and can be recycled anywhere.
Crystal Lake, Ill.-based AptarGroup will release its global commitment progress report for 2023 soon, Marie said. The 2022 report outlined goals the company met or exceeded for that period and explained what it needs to accomplish yet for 2025.
AptarGroup makes applicators, pumps, inhalers, pre-filled syringes, dispensers and other closures for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, personal care, and food and beverage markets.
The company employs 13,500 in 20 countries and reported $3.3 billion in 2022 sales, including North American injection molding sales of $995 million, making it the fifth-largest injection molder in Plastics News' latest ranking.