The cooperation is a tangible example of the circular economy in action, involving the manufacture of plastic bags and flexible packaging material from recycled CIRCO® plastic granules produced by Ekokem, a leading Nordic provider of environmental management and material efficiency services. The majority of the Ekokem Plastic Refinery's raw material originates from consumer waste.
“We see no reasons to delay the transformation of the flexible packaging industry into an environmentally sound business, and do not buy the notion that our customers would have to make a choice between Green packaging and profits”, says Reima Kerttula, Amerplast Chief Operating Officer. “Today's consumers value sustainable packaging, and we believe that what is good for the environment is good for the business. We have therefore partnered with suppliers, retailers and the public sector to introduce the AmerGreen concept, aiming at more sustainable packaging solutions.”
Through this agreement, Amerplast will be able to provide consumers with products based on the circular economy model. “We manufacture carrier bags containing more than 95% recycled material. We are delighted that post-consumer plastic packaging materials can now also be recycled for the manufacture of new carrier bags”, says Reima Kerttula.
“For us, this agreement is a significant step in implementing our Towards a Circular Economy strategy. Plastic waste produced by households can at last be used in consumer products”, says Mari Puoskari, SVP, New Business Ventures, at Ekokem.
The Finnish Environment Institute and the Technical University of Lappeenranta published in 2009 a comparative OPTIKASSI study examining the life cycle impacts of the shopping bags used by the Finnish retail sector, with an emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions. The study scrutinized five types of bags: plastic bags made from virgin raw material, bags made of recycled plastics, paper bags, cotton bags and biodegradable plastic bags. As a result, plastic bags made from recycled material appeared as the most favorable alternative.
Ekokem Corporation, Mari Puoskari, SVP, New Business Ventures, tel. +358 10 755 1330
Amerplast, Reima Kerttula, COO, tel. +358 10 214 2202
Ekokem is a Nordic circular economy company that provides environmental management and material efficiency services. Ekokem provides its customers with solutions for recycling, recovery and final disposal, as well as soil remediation and environmental construction services. The Ekokem Group employs about 650 skilled professionals in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The Group’s net sales in 2015 amounted to approximately EUR 258 million. www.ekokem.com
Amerplast, founded in 1952, is one of Europe's largest flexo printers and bag converters and a leader in innovative packaging solutions, manufacturing high-performance flexible packaging for fast moving consumer goods for both food and non-food categories. The company plays a key role in consumer goods categories such as retail bags, bakery, fresh and frozen food, consumer tissue and personal care, providing optimal logistics and packaging solutions that efficiently support customer business. With manufacturing plants in Finland and Poland and sales offices in Sweden and Russia, Amerplast employs around 400 people and sells to customers in more than twenty countries. Amerplast plants producing food and hygiene packaging are BRC certified (British Retail Consortium) and the company is an officially certified HD quality printing house. www.amerplast.com