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Plastipak’s purpose is to create products that inspire choice, provide value and are sustainably balanced for their customers - always with innovation as a key driver. Dave Stajninger - the company’s Global Recycling Business Manager - works with Plastipak’s four global recycling sites to implement strategy, develop common standards, assess new technologies and drive operational improvement.

Please tell us more about Plastipak and the relationship between Plastipak and Sidel.

Plastipak was founded over 50 years ago and has grown to be a global leader in the plastic packaging and recycling industries. The company is family owned and led by Mr. William C. Young, the founder and CEO. Plastipak’s business is extensive with operations in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. At the core of the company’s continued success has been our longstanding customer and supplier relationships, underpinned by a commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability.

Part of Plastipak’s long term growth has been made possible by partnerships with innovative companies like Sidel. Plastipak has been using Sidel blow molders since the mid-1980s and we have experienced first-hand the tremendous advances in two-stage blow molding driven by Sidel. In many of Plastipak’s manufacturing locations around the world you will find Sidel machines producing the highest quality PET bottles at best-in-class output and reliability.

 

With PET increasingly under attack, are you facing any challenges in delivering your brand promise?
 
It is important to remind people of the many advantages that PET brings to consumers. PET allows us to make packages that are strong, lightweight, transparent, convenient, appealing and safe for many applications, including food and beverage. And of course, it is fully recyclable. Plastipak began recycling PET and HDPE in 1989 because customers were looking for ways to reclaim their postconsumer bottles and reprocess them back into new bottles.

The closed loop concept that has gained high visibility over the last couple of years, a concept that we like to call “bottle-to-bottle”, is something that Plastipak has been doing continuously for 30 years. We have invested in capacity and technology over the years to make consistent, high quality material because we have always viewed the “bottle-to-bottle” model as fundamental to plastic packaging sustainability. Now more than ever it is critical to communicate to consumers the feasibility and importance of recycling plastic packaging.

 

Can you comment on future developments of PET packaging - especially on opportunities you see on the rise around integration of rPET in bottle production?

As brand owners pledge to use more recycled content, this presents new opportunities and challenges for the industry. Being closely linked with the preform and bottle producers is now critical for Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) PET producers, in our view, as there are different considerations compared to using only virgin resins. At the same time, greater use of PCR PET makes plastic packaging even more sustainable and can offer comparable levels of performance.

 

 

 

 

Can you tell us more about the concept of Life Cycle Thinking (LCT)?


We are involved in every step of the packaging value chain - from packaging design and development, to prototyping, to virgin resin production, to preform and bottle manufacturing, to decoration, and finally through the reprocessing of post-consumer packages into PCR resins that we use back into the bottles we produce. So we understand how decisions at each step of the chain fit in the bigger picture, to develop the best possible packaging solution. We work with our brand customers at our Global Creative Packaging Studio locations to develop concepts that will win on the shelf, using advanced design technologies such as virtual reality to visualize how containers will perform in the retailer space, and focus groups to determine consumer preferences. Next, we test the injection and blow molding feasibility of design concepts in our numerous Global Development Centers. Then, we demonstrate manufacturing capability across multiple innovative production platforms, including Direct Object Printing, in our Capability Center. Finally, to assess the recyclability of a package, we are able to conduct tests on our pilot wash line at our Clean Tech recycling facility in Michigan (US).

 

With sustainability as a priority in Plastipak’s processes, how can partners - like Sidel - support?


Innovation, quality and sustainability have been at the core of Plastipak’s culture since the foundation of the company, over 50 years ago. We look to partners like Sidel to continue to deliver technologies that can help us offer the best possible value to our customers. Further innovations in lightweighting while maintaining packaging performance and appeal is something we rely on from the suppliers we cooperate with. Additionally, now more than ever, we need our partners to help communicate the message that PET is recyclable and consumers should continue to recycle packages at the curbside or wherever available. We have the means and end markets to reuse this valuable material.

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Plastipak’s purpose is to create products that inspire choice, provide value and are sustainably balanced for their customers - always with innovation as a key driver. Dave Stajninger - the company’s Global Recycling Business Manager - works with Plastipak’s four global recycling sites to implement strategy, develop common standards, assess new technologies and drive operational improvement.

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Please tell us more about Plastipak and the relationship between Plastipak and Sidel.

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Plastipak was founded over 50 years ago and has grown to be a global leader in the plastic packaging and recycling industries. The company is family owned and led by Mr. William C. Young, the founder and CEO. Plastipak’s business is extensive with operations in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. At the core of the company’s continued success has been our longstanding customer and supplier relationships, underpinned by a commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability.

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Part of Plastipak’s long term growth has been made possible by partnerships with innovative companies like Sidel. Plastipak has been using Sidel blow molders since the mid-1980s and we have experienced first-hand the tremendous advances in two-stage blow molding driven by Sidel. In many of Plastipak’s manufacturing locations around the world you will find Sidel machines producing the highest quality PET bottles at best-in-class output and reliability.

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With PET increasingly under attack, are you facing any challenges in delivering your brand promise?
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It is important to remind people of the many advantages that PET brings to consumers. PET allows us to make packages that are strong, lightweight, transparent, convenient, appealing and safe for many applications, including food and beverage. And of course, it is fully recyclable. Plastipak began recycling PET and HDPE in 1989 because customers were looking for ways to reclaim their postconsumer bottles and reprocess them back into new bottles.
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The closed loop concept that has gained high visibility over the last couple of years, a concept that we like to call “bottle-to-bottle”, is something that Plastipak has been doing continuously for 30 years. We have invested in capacity and technology over the years to make consistent, high quality material because we have always viewed the “bottle-to-bottle” model as fundamental to plastic packaging sustainability. Now more than ever it is critical to communicate to consumers the feasibility and importance of recycling plastic packaging.

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Can you comment on future developments of PET packaging - especially on opportunities you see on the rise around integration of rPET in bottle production?

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As brand owners pledge to use more recycled content, this presents new opportunities and challenges for the industry. Being closely linked with the preform and bottle producers is now critical for Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) PET producers, in our view, as there are different considerations compared to using only virgin resins. At the same time, greater use of PCR PET makes plastic packaging even more sustainable and can offer comparable levels of performance.

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Can you tell us more about the concept of Life Cycle Thinking (LCT)?
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We are involved in every step of the packaging value chain - from packaging design and development, to prototyping, to virgin resin production, to preform and bottle manufacturing, to decoration, and finally through the reprocessing of post-consumer packages into PCR resins that we use back into the bottles we produce. So we understand how decisions at each step of the chain fit in the bigger picture, to develop the best possible packaging solution. We work with our brand customers at our Global Creative Packaging Studio locations to develop concepts that will win on the shelf, using advanced design technologies such as virtual reality to visualize how containers will perform in the retailer space, and focus groups to determine consumer preferences. Next, we test the injection and blow molding feasibility of design concepts in our numerous Global Development Centers. Then, we demonstrate manufacturing capability across multiple innovative production platforms, including Direct Object Printing, in our Capability Center. Finally, to assess the recyclability of a package, we are able to conduct tests on our pilot wash line at our Clean Tech recycling facility in Michigan (US).

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With sustainability as a priority in Plastipak’s processes, how can partners - like Sidel - support?
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Innovation, quality and sustainability have been at the core of Plastipak’s culture since the foundation of the company, over 50 years ago. We look to partners like Sidel to continue to deliver technologies that can help us offer the best possible value to our customers. Further innovations in lightweighting while maintaining packaging performance and appeal is something we rely on from the suppliers we cooperate with. Additionally, now more than ever, we need our partners to help communicate the message that PET is recyclable and consumers should continue to recycle packages at the curbside or wherever available. We have the means and end markets to reuse this valuable material.

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