Earth Week 2024: Celebrating by the Numbers

Earth Week is an exciting time of year for Petoskey Plastics as a sustainability leader and recycler because we get to amplify the messaging we share all year long. Honestly, we love talking about our recycling line, GreenPE® recycled resin, and our products made with recycled material. We also enjoy sharing about our customers who work with us to reach their sustainability goals. Throughout the week, on our social media accounts, you’ll see not only our company Sustainability Scorecard with total recycled materials shipped, but you’ll also get a glimpse of real customer scorecards.

So, what exactly are Sustainability Scorecards? The scorecards are a pretty straightforward concept. We take the pounds of products a customer purchases in a year and examine the amount of recycled material in those products. From there, we use cradle-to-gate life cycle analysis completed by an environmental consulting firm specializing in this analysis to estimate multiple types of environmental savings the use of recycled plastic is equivalent to.

For example, an actual Petoskey Plastics customer had 11,857,000 lbs. shipped to them from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023. Of those pounds, 63% recycled material was used. That data equates to 5,013,668 kg of CO2e savings or 11,937,306 miles not driven by an average passenger vehicle. What an impressive, positive environmental impact that customer made!

Along with that customer, 218 additional customers received their own personalized scorecard. 2024 is the eighth year Petoskey Plastics has sent out Sustainability Scorecards. At the time of launch in 2016, our Sustainability Scorecard was one of the first of its kind in the industry. The Director of Recycling and Diversion at SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association said, “This unique scorecard once again proves Petoskey’s leadership and can serve as a model for others in the industry.”

That statement stemmed from a long history of sustainability efforts that Petoskey Plastics has been involved in over the last 55 years. Not even ten years after we were founded in 1969, Petoskey Plastics first ventured into recycling. Fun fact: our recycling efforts even preceded the company’s first computer by three years! As with computers, our recycling technology has come a long way in the last 46 years. We first started recycling in Petoskey, Michigan, the only plant we had at the time. Since then, our recycling hub has moved to Hartford City, Indiana.

While recycling in Petoskey, we started a closed-loop program with our customers in 1992. This circularity program allows us to partner with sustainable-focused customers who purchase our products. We take the plastic film back after its use, recycle it into our proprietary GreenPE® resins, and put it back into new film products. This creates a closed loop between us and the customer. You may have also heard it called “circular economy,” when talking about this type of recycling.

When dealing with recycled resin, it’s vital to provide documentation that certifies its recycled nature. We’ve chosen to work with third-party certifier SCS Global since 2009. For 15 years, we’ve certified our GreenPE® resin to show our commitment to providing quality recycled resin that we broker and use ourselves in our sustainable products.

As you can see, a lot goes into practicing sustainability. We’re proud of our long history of recycling and environmental awareness, and we’re equally happy that the world is trending towards collective sustainability. Petoskey Plastics will continue to reach new milestones internally and with our customers for the years to come.

Happy Earth Week from everyone at Petoskey Plastics!