Graham Packaging Inc. now uses an average of 7 percent post-consumer resin in the company's new products.
The Lancaster, Pa.-based firm is out with its new 2022 environmental, social and governance report highlighting recycled content use as well as other ESG efforts.
The 7 percent mark compares with the company's goal of using 20 percent PCR by 2025. Current usage includes 10 percent PCR usage by Graham globally for high density polyethylene and 5 percent for PET.
"Incorporating higher levels of PCR in our products is an ongoing process influenced by dynamic factors, including legislation and customer demand. Through innovations in advanced recycling technologies as well as transferring PCR credits while ensuring traceability, we can increase customer adoption of PCR by offering more solutions to help them meet their business objectives, sustainability goals and regulatory requirements," Graham said in the report.
The company, meanwhile, is much closer to reaching a goal of producing 100 percent of its products to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The figure currently stands at 98 percent.
"The majority of our products are considered recyclable. In the U.S., that means at least 60 percent of the population has access to recycling for the material; recyclers regularly take, process and sell the material; and the material is regularly recycled into a new product. By this definition, PET, HDPE and polypropylene are considered recyclable — so we strongly recommend those materials to our customers," the report states.
The remaining 2 percent, Graham said, "consists of two 'problem plastics' — black containers and PVC." The PVC portion represents 0.04 percent of the company's total plastics production.
In terms of energy, Graham reports a 4 percent reduction in energy use compared to the 2018 baseline year and a goal to reduce the number by 25 percent by 2028.
Regarding greenhouse gases, the company has reduced emissions by 6 percent from the baseline year of 2020 and has a 30 percent reduction goal by the end of 2030.
"Reducing our GHG emissions in a meaningful way requires a unified effort on many fronts. We continue to reduce emissions through lightweighting technologies, increased PCR incorporation and improved energy efficiency — including the use of renewable energy. We also encourage our suppliers to reduce their GHG emissions, creating positive impact across our value chain," the company said.
The company also reported recycling more than 37 million pounds of plastics in 2022, including 29.5 million pounds of post-consumer material, 3.8 million pounds of ocean-bound plastics and 3.7 million pounds of post-industrial plastics.
Graham has about 65 plants in North America, Europe and South America that together produce more than 16 billion plastic containers annually. It is the second largest blow molder in North America according to Plastics News data with $2.6 billion in sales in the region.