Celebrating "America Recycles" Day

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America Recycles Day is celebrated each year on November 15 to raise awareness and highlight the importance of recycling as well as to encourage people and companies to become more engaged in recycling to reduce the amount of total waste in the environment. 
 
With the growing negative impacts of climate change, climate-saving strategies like recycling are critically needed for conserving natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Today, recycling is essential for companies to operate more sustainably and successfully move toward a zero waste, circular economy.
 
The transition to a circular economy can’t come soon enough as global waste continues to increase unabated. The world is expected to generate 3.4 billion tons of waste annually by 2050. This waste stream includes plastics, a serious problem which has led to pollution of the world’s oceans. About 13 million tons of plastic enter the oceans each year - the equivalent of tipping a garbage truck into the ocean every minute - and it is estimated that there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.
 
This waste started as natural resources. According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), more than 100 billion tons of resources enter the economy every year – everything from metals, minerals and fossil fuels to organic materials. Just 8.6% gets recycled and used again. WRI noted that the use of resources has tripled since 1970 and could double again by 2050 if business continues as usual.
 
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It is clear that recycling is essential to building a sustainable future. At Kingspan, we are working to build a circular economy and to reduce our environmental footprint. Our Planet Passionate commitment includes recycling initiatives aimed at scaling back our use of resources and cutting global greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the ways we are paving the way to a more sustainable future include:
 
  • Increasing the use of recycled raw materials including using PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles in the production of QuadCore® insulation at our Modesto, California, plant to help prevent them from ending up in a landfill or in the ocean. We are progressing toward our 2025 targets of recycling 1 billion plastic bottles annually worldwide - enough recycled bottles to fill over 800 soccer fields. Our inaugural Planet Passionate Sustainability Report, reviewing the first year of progress in our 10-year strategy to reduce our environmental impacts by 2030, revealed that 573 million plastic (PET) bottles were recycled globally into insulation manufacturing processes.
 
  • Achieving zero waste to landfill at several of our manufacturing sites through solutions such as recycling/re-use of production waste and reducing packaging. A recycling initiative at out DeLand, Florida plant uses nine color-coded bins to separate waste into specific waste streams for recycling.
 
  • Establishing partnerships to ensure 100% of waste is repurposed and/or recycled. Kingspan is partnering with two companies to upcycle waste generated from our DeLand, Florida plant. Belter Tech recycles panel and foam waste and GFL Environmental recycles plastic, panel and wood/cardboard waste. All of this waste is diverted from the landfill, recycled to find new life in a variety of materials and products such as cement fill, ceiling tiles and panel products.
 
  • Enabling circular markets to grow through a circular supply chain. Our 30% circular sustainability program ensures certain products we recycle go directly back to the very customer we collected/processed from (i.e., creamery milk jugs collected, baled, sent to the pellet processor, then resold back to creamery).
 
  • Leaving no stone unturned when it comes to advancing circularity and reaching zero-waste targets. That includes finding new life for old manufacturing equipment. For example, equipment no longer in operation at our Modesto plant is being recycled into rebar for bridge projects across the Pacific Northwest while other parts of the equipment are being smelted and reused as seamless pipe in the semi-conductor industry.

Introducing Planet Passionate Communities

Kingspan is proud to launch Planet Passionate Communities, the philanthropic arm of our ambitious 10-year sustainability program, Planet Passionate. Through our Planet Passionate Communities initiative, we are striving to support people and communities around the world while promoting sustainable practices using responsibly sourced materials.
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In a world drowning in waste, recycling is one of the best ways to keep materials out of the landfill, conserve precious natural resources and transition to a circular economy. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy has the potential to reduce the annual volume of plastics entering our oceans by 80%, generate savings of $200 billion per year, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% and create 700,000 net additional jobs by 2040.
 
We believe it is our responsibility not only to deliver the highest performing insulated metal panels, but to do so while building a circular system in our operations and across the entire lifecycle of our products.
 
As we celebrate America Recycles day, join us today and every day in recycling activities that minimize waste and deliver the environmental stewardship needed for a cleaner and more sustainable planet.
 

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