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Companies Celebrate Earth Day with News on Goals of Improving the Planet

Zuru bunch o balloons
A toy maker, materials supplier and tech company report on how they are applying reduce, reuse, and recycle principles to help solve pollution problems of all types.

It’s Earth Day, and that means a lot of companies have released news of their plans for reducing, reusing, and recycling to help solve pollution problems of all types.

Zuru is shifting to using 100% recycled plastic in its popular Bunch O Balloons product line. Image courtesy Zuru.

Zuru, a toy and consumer goods company out of Hong Kong, announced a sustainability program for its top-selling Zuru Bunch O Balloons brand, including a transition from plastic polybags to sustainably sourced paper bags.

The program will prevent an estimated 800 tons of single-use plastic from entering the supply chain each year and enable consumers to recycle all elements of their product, regardless of local regulations. Beginning this August, all Bunch O Balloons plastic stems and caps will be made from 100% fully certified and traceable post-consumer-recycled plastic.

“The Bunch O Balloons program showcases our all-in commitment to a full-circle approach to sustainability,” said Anna Mowbray, Chief Operating Officer. “We are changing to 100% recycled plastic in our manufacturing, essentially giving it a new life rather than seeing it end up in landfills and the ocean, as well as providing consumers easy opportunities to recycle after use.”

Zuru’s partnership with recycling company TerraCycle, which launched last September, will continue, enabling consumers to ship at no cost Bunch O Balloons parts, balloon pieces and foil bag packaging. The program is currently offered in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

Zuru is also working to provide better labeling to help consumers identify plastics that can be recycled. By June 2021, the company will have its molds adapted so that each toy component will have the correct plastic grade and recycling logo, where relevant, to help increase the rate of recycling.

Making old plastics new again

Ineos and Plastic Energy announced a collaboration to construct an advanced plastic recycling facility to convert waste plastic into raw material to make new plastic. First trials of product produced from Plastic Energy’s patented technology, called Thermal Anaerobic Conversion (TAC), which transforms previously unrecyclable plastic waste into Tacoil, have been completed.

The new raw material has been successfully converted into virgin polymer through the Ineos cracker at Köln, Germany. The plastics made from this trial will now be used by selected customers and brands to demonstrate the benefits of the process. Production at the new facility is targeted for the end of 2023.

“This represents the delivery of another important milestone in the Ineos sustainability strategy,” said Rob Ingram, CEO, Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe. “To take plastic waste back to virgin plastic is the ultimate definition of recycling and will create a truly circular economy solution. This will enable us to offer another opportunity for our customers to help them meet their pledges and commitments in this area.”

Ocean-bound plastics diverted into tech products

HP Inc., a technology company that produces a portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D-printing solutions, released news of its latest Z by HP mobile workstation, which incorporates ocean-bound plastics.

UL, an independent and standards development, testing, and certification organization, announced that HP received its first Recycled Content Validation for ocean-bound plastics from UL for five resins that contain recycled content from ocean-bound plastics. HP said that it is the “first company to achieve validation from UL” to the UL 2809 Environmental Claim Validation Procedure (ECVP) for Recycled Content standard, which now includes auditing of social responsibility procedures.

HP has upcycled more than one million pounds of ocean-bound plastic, roughly 35 million plastic bottles, into its products. It initially used ocean-bound plastic bottles to manufacture its Original HP ink cartridges, through a partnership with First Mile Coalition. Since then, HP has scaled the use of ocean-bound plastic across its portfolio of products.

“HP believes that what’s good for the environment is good for both business and society,” said Ellen Jackowski, Global Head of Sustainability Strategy and Innovation. “We recognize the importance of third-party validation in bringing recycled content claims to market. Validation to UL’s recycled-content standard helps ensure we are transitioning to a circular economy reliably and transparently, while creating a positive social impact for plastic collector communities. HP is reinventing its supply chain to accelerate the strategies that are in direct alignment with sustainable development, and, in turn, helping to solve some of the most pressing global issues of our time.”

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