Austin, Texas — Each time someone drinks from a PET bottle, there is a chance to send a sustainability message and make a difference, according to the president of Amcor Rigid Packaging.
"The No. 1 thing we as an industry got to figure out how to do is get our packages, whatever the substrate, in the bin," Eric Roegner, president of Amcor Rigid Packaging, said at the recent Packaging Conference in Austin.
PET, while it is the most recycled resin, still suffers from a recycling rate of less than 30 percent.
Roegner can think of no better way to help increase that number than to put messaging on both caps and containers urging consumers to recycle their empties.
"I personally believe that the more that we rub it in the consumer's face on the package, that will start to educate and change behavior," he said. "And by the way, the extra benefit is it makes the consumer feel better about the package. It's educating them and making them feel better."
Roegner made his comments while holding a Core-brand water bottle that tells consumers the container is made from recycled PET.
"It's not just running ads and sending flyers — doesn't work. I think when the package speaks to you, that works," he said. "What we can do is make sure this package — as well as the product, but really the package — drives the message and reinforces commitment, the whole value proposition around sustainability.
"The PET substrate, the PET package, is absolutely the best way to make a claim on sustainability," Roegner said.
He pointed to the lack of yield loss during recycling as well as lower greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing for PET compared with containers made from other substrates. "When you compare like for like for like, there is no question that this package, PET, has a significantly lower greenhouse gas footprint," he said.