Jabil Inc. sees the plastics packaging market at a tipping point when it comes to sustainability.
So the company's Jabil Packaging Solutions unit is out with a new Sustainable Packaging Services program aimed at delivering new formats to the market quickly.
In launching the new service, the company enlisted the input of both KW Plastics, a huge plastics recycler based in Troy, Ala., and Danimer Scientific, which hopes to bring its polyhydroxyalkanoate, or PHA, biodegradable resin to market by the end of this year, to talk about the issue.
"Converters can play a bigger role in sustainable packaging in providing the expertise and services to guide our customers to the most sustainable solutions," Jason Paladino, vice president of technology for Jabil Packaging Solutions, said.
"As a customer comes to us with an idea for a product or an unmet need, our team applies a three-pronged process," he said.
The method starts with designing the packaging for sustainability, which "allows us to leverage the design parameters and practices to ensure the product can either be reused [or] recycled appropriately," he said.
This approach considers the end-of-life disposition of packaging during the design phase, allowing companies to have a sustainable solution. The company also conducts a life cycle analysis of the design and material use to see how that stacks up against other options.
St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Jabil can then help steer customers along the path of material selection, which will consider factors such as availability of recycling opportunities within their regions of use. This, the company said, introduces "holistic procurement strategies that consider price, supply chain optimization and performance."
Danimer Scientific comes in when considering materials, and the Bainbridge, Ga.-based firm expects to bring its Nodax-branded PHA resin to market by the end of this year.
A key market for the biodegradable resin will be one high-profile category these days.
"We are focused on single-use plastics," CEO Stephen Croskrey said, including straws, clamshells, films for food applications and cutlery.
Jabil, as part of its unveiling of the company's new program, also debuted what it calls a short "documentary" on YouTube to promote the program.