- Kingsey Falls, Quebec-based Cascades Inc. is investing $4.5 million to improve operations at two of their plants that manufacture food packaging from recycled plastic.
- About $3.5 million will be invested at Kingsey Falls-based Plastiques Cascades for upgrades such as automated packaging lines and a replacement of the thermoforming line; the current system heats thermoplastic and shapes it in a mold. The remaining funds will finance a new thermoforming line at Cascades Inopak in Drummondville, which makes recyclable PET packaging for food and other consumer goods, and barrier trays for fresh foods.
- Cascades diverted more than two-thirds of its waste from the landfill in 2014. From 2013 to 2014, their internal recycling program helped divert 3% of company-generated waste from the landfill. Cascades' website states, "We are pursuing our goal to reach 71% [diversion from the landfill]."
Today, consumers often want products that are convenient but environmentally friendly, therefore plastics and paper manufacturers are having to find a balance. Working to achieve that balance may mean high front end costs. But these investments are what Cascades calls "part of an asset modernization process," intended to meet consumer demand while improving productivity.
"In the long term, this project will improve our positioning in certain competitive market segments," said Luc Langevin, chief operating officer of the company’s Specialty Products Group.
"The goal is to increase the company's market share in the food packaging sector, by continuing to propose innovative products that ensure an optimal shelf life for food and reduce our environmental footprint," said Cascades CEO Mario Plourde.
Although food-contact packaging sometimes causes difficulties in recycling, there have also been innovations to ensure that sorting can be done. In October, the Polymark Consortium developed chemical markers to help identify food-contact PET for the purpose of sorting in the plastic waste stream. The developments can "help the recycling industry to more effectively distinguish between food-contact and non-food contact PET," according to a press release.