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Tiina Pessi: The recycled plastic bag is a responsible choice

Tiina Pessi | 06.06.2016

Sustainable development is one of today's rising trends that is frequently spoken about.

Sustainable development is one of the four values we have at Amerplast: Sustainable development, Cooperation, Commitment and Initiative. We emphasise sustainable development in all our operations; we use less, we reuse, and we recycle.

It is an important part of this activity to offer packaging solutions that are sustainable in terms of the environment. We feel strongly about recycled materials, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and cutting food waste.

Cutting food waste is critical to saving important resources and reduce methane emissions. Food waste is one of the biggest global challenges we face today. One way we have tackled it is by bringing to the market a packaging solution that extends the shelf life of fresh foods.

Amerplast has been developing recycled plastic use ever since the 1990s. Today, we produce bags that contain even more than 90 % recycled material. We have also developed products in cooperation with our customers.

A good example of this is the K-Group's Pirkka recycled plastic bag that is more than 90 % recycled material. 30 % of the raw material comes from protective plastic wrappings used in transporting goods sold in K-food stores. Pirkka recycled plastic bags entered the market in August 2010.

In our development, we have had a strong faith in recycled materials and putting them to good use. The starting point of our development work has been that the properties of the bag must be as good as before.

Our faith in recycled material has been further increased by the Optikassi study by the Finnish Environment Institute and Lappeenranta University of Technology indicating that a shopping bag made of recycled material is the best option. Also the Ecoflexobag project by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland showed us that increasing the percentage of recycled material further decreases a bag's carbon dioxide emissions.

In April 2016, Amerplast signed an agreement with Ekokem about plastic raw material delivery. This helps us produce ecologically more sustainable and more environment-friendly packaging solutions. According to the agreement, Ekokem's plastic refinery that will start operation during the summer of 2016 will provide Amerplast material for plastic bags. The majority of the raw material in Ekokem's plastic refinery comes from consumer waste that is collected in plastic package collection points all over Finland.

In early December 2015, the European Commission published a new Circular Economy Package with the objective of promoting transition to circular economy in Europe. So, work with recycled materials continues at Amerplast, and we have plenty of possibilities there.

Tiina Pessi, Business Director, Retail
Amerplast Ltd.

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