This article originally appeared on LinkedIn in Portuguese and Spanish.
We see, on a daily basis, the problems caused in the environment after decades and decades of industrialization. Worldwide, two billion tons of waste are generated each year, according to the World Bank. From the consumer's perspective, packaging has become a visible representation of the impact of humanity on the planet.
At Avery Dennison, sustainability is a fundamental value. It is embedded in our product design, operations and culture, and in the decisions we make every day. It is about regenerating, repairing the damage done in the past and how to positively impact the future! With that in mind, we recently announced our new 2030 sustainability goals:
- Deliver innovations that advance the circular economy;
- Reduce environmental impact in our operations and supply chain; and
- Make a positive social impact by improving the livelihoods of people and communities.
The new goals align with the most urgent environmental challenges in the world and give us higher targets to achieve; they demand that we all raise the bar of our actions in order to reach them.
Solving seemingly impossible problems, building a collaborative path between partners, customers, end users and suppliers - is at the heart of our efforts. We seek to add our strengths and collaborate for solutions designed for the needs of the world, the desires of the market and society in general.
This approach is crucial for waste reduction, for example, which requires a joint effort between all stakeholders in the value chain. No one entity alone will be able to solve the problem on its own, so we need to collaborate across the industry to drive systemic change. Therefore, in 2019, we created the AD Circular program in Brazil, which connects the entire chain, from one end to the other, bringing together brands and recyclers to find new solutions and create new life to label waste. These materials represent more than 80% of the waste generated throughout the label production chain.
The program allows us to recycle paper, PET liner waste and matrix film into products such as tissue paper and other plastic items, which can be reused in the chain itself. All this is only possible with the collaboration between companies that believe in these goals and share the same values. We consider the circular economy to be a solution to reduce waste disposal, enabling new life cycles for products and everyone can contribute. We will soon be expanding AD Circular to Mexico.
Remarkable sustainability developments are taking place across our product portfolio that enable our customers to reduce their environmental footprint, satisfy consumer demand and increase recyclability, besides effectively responding to government regulations. Solutions include materials that facilitate the recycling process, such as Clean Flake. The product has an innovative adhesive that guarantees the separation of label flakes from PET packaging, without contamination during the recycling process, allowing packaging to have a new life, including in the food industry (bottle to bottle concept).
Products from responsible sources, with less weight or thickness of components and options with recycled content, complete our portfolio. Among these materials, I can highlight the rPET liner, composed of 30% of waste from PET bottles, which will soon be launched in Brazil. Other product launches are coming soon! Always focused on sustainability, innovation and without compromising performance in conversion, labeling or final use by the consumer.
At Avery Dennison, we are trying to take responsibility as a company, not just constantly adjusting our goals, but going beyond sustainability. We believe that sustaining means standing still and that's not enough. We need to restore and evolve. And that's why we seek to regenerate!
I am optimistic about the potential of materials science to generate systemic movements and drive truly transformative change on the path to building a new tomorrow. I believe that a better future is possible and together we will make it happen.
Learn more about Avery Dennison's Company Leadership team here.
Stay up-to-date on all the latest from Avery Dennison. Connect with us on Social Media.