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The Power of Local: Working Towards a Circular Economy for Plastics, One Industry and One Community at a Time

When it comes to plastics, not all products are created, or recycled, equally. 

It’s true that due to the source materials and manufacturing process used, too many plastic products are short-sighted, single-use and non-recyclable, and longer-term, sustainable alternatives need to be engineered as quickly as possible to replace them in our supply chains.  However, we should not lose sight of existing safe and effective plastic products that are responsibly manufactured and easily recyclable – as long as we all do our part to keep them IN the economy and OUT of the environment.

Challenge #1:  Eliminating problem plastics.

Organizations like the U.S. Plastics Pact – a multi-sector, public-private collaborative – are focused on creating a circular economy for plastics in the U.S. by 2025, by eliminating problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging from our national supply chain and promoting the use of responsibly-sourced, bio-based packaging which is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable.

Challenge #2:  Promoting good plastics.

It’s up to us as responsible consumers and stewards of our communities to make informed, conscious purchasing decisions and then hold ourselves accountable for helping to close the sustainability loop on these products. That means making sure we’re re-using, recycling, and/or repurposing them whenever possible.

100% Committed to 100% Supply Chain Circularity in the Beverage Industry

PakTech – the world’s largest producer of 100% recycled, recyclable and reusable HDPE beverage handles made from recycled milk, water and juice jugs – is a founding member of the U.S. Plastics Pact.   The company is also leading the plastics recycling challenge in local communities across the country through its beverage handle recycling program.

As the largest distributor of PakTech handles in the U.S., Millcraft Beverage Solutions was proud to become the first official “Consolidator” for the program when it launched in 2018.  (To date, we are still the only participating industry merchant in the U.S.)  When asked by PakTech to help set up local recycling collection channels for used handles, we jumped at the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in our communities.  Cincinnati-based Millcraft craft beverage specialist Chris Bregger started in his own back yard, enlisting the help of Madtree Brewing to serve as the first neighborhood collection center. Land-Grant Brewing in Columbus and Platform Beer in Cleveland were quick to follow suit in their own communities.  In our role as Consolidator, Millcraft helps to educate about the program; procure and distribute the collection bins; coordinate scheduled pick-ups from the breweries and  ultimately get them in the hands of area recyclers and re-processors to complete the loop.

The Lifecycle of PakTech Recycled Handles

Today, more than 500 breweries, grocery stores, liquor stores, and other retail locations serve as PakTech drop-off locations, making it easy for businesses and consumers alike to participate.  As a result, the program has turned old handles into flowerpots, park benches, composite lumber, new PakTech handles, and more.

Check where you closest recycling drop off location is, or better yet, volunteer to come one today!

Interested in learning more?  Just ask.