- Leadership in Sustainability Innovation Award: Amcor Rigid Packaging
This award goes to the company with the best overall score across the three categories. Amcor submitted three entries, each of which marks the company's development of more sustainable packaging solutions for customers while "advancing the circular economy for plastics’, said Terry Patcheak, vice president R&D, sustainability and program management at Amcor Rigid Packaging. These innovations were:
Quantum Premium lightweight finish technology, a two-step lightweighting technology that eliminates unnecessary material — more than 50 percent of the weight in the finish of a PET bottle. The technology reduces manufacturing costs and GHG emissions, resulting in energy savings and lower carbon emissions compared with bottles with a traditional finish.
PowerPost lightweighting technology for hot-fill beverages. This technology delivers a fully recyclable bottle that is up to 30 percent lighter and can be made with up to 100 percent recycled material. The technology enables a 30 percent energy reduction and 30 percent carbon savings over most 20-ounce (600-millilimeter) bottles available today.
PepsiCo 2.5 L PET returnable, reusable and refillable bottle is a 100 percent recyclable and refillable 2.5-liter PET bottle created in partnership with Gepp, PepsiCo’s exclusive bottler in Mexico. These bottles are made from a tailor-made PET designed to allow hot filling and carbonated soft drink (CSD) packaging and to be washed and refilled multiple times. Amcor’s life cycle assessment from cradle (raw material) to gate (production) of the PET returnable bottle against a common glass bottle demonstrates that non-renewable energy consumption is reduced by 57 percent and water consumption is reduced by 49 percent, ultimately leading to an overall carbon footprint reduction of 78 percent.
In a statement, Patrick Kriegar, vice president of sustainability for the Washington-based Plastics Industry Association, said that the "plastics industry is innovating every day to find new ways to keep plastic in the circular economy and out of the environment. I congratulate our winners and am proud to be part of an industry that is committed to sustainability and advancing the circular economy.”
This year’s Re|focus event will take place May 1-3 in Minneapolis. The awards will be presented during a ceremony on May 2.
Karen Laird, editor of Sustainable Plastics magazine, was one the judges of the Re|focus awards.