On January 17th it will be two years since the launch of the first Finnish circular bag ESSI. The first bag was launched in Finland together with one of our biggest retail customers K Group. This product is important for Amerplast in many ways. The circular economy concept is our answer to our customers’ needs in a market that is going through a significant transformation due to public conversations around plastics, EU legislation and local Finnish alignments. Also the utilization of post-consumer recycled plastics for the manufacture of carrier bags has offered us a new source of raw materials and opened new possibilities for product development.
Sales of ESSI bags has grown steadily ever since the launch and continues to grow. Our customers that have already chosen the ESSI concept are K Group, Musti ja Mirri and UFF to mention a few. Currently the share of ESSI bags of our overall t-shirt bags production is around 43%. This is extremely great because based on the life cycle analysis (LCA) of ESSI circular bag, done in the end of 2017, it can be stated that ESSI concept is the most environmentally friendly way of producing carrier bags in Finland. The share of recycled materials in the t-shirt bags we produce is on average over 90% which is a great achievement.
Thanks to the separate collection of Finnish household plastic packaging waste, we now have more material available. This makes it possible to utilize more of our own production waste in new product applications. In addition to the t-shirt bags, also the post-consumer recycled material is being used for the manufacture of other non-food packaging. This provides us with more opportunities for versatile utilization of recycled materials.
Recyclability and recycling are the key trends in the plastic packaging markets. EU level plastic strategies, legislation and growing recycling targets are creating higher requirements for our customers’ packaging. At Amerplast we are keeping constantly a close eye on this development and making actions that ensure us to be on the front line of this development, offering solutions to our customers and being able to utilize the new opportunities created by the changes.
We will continue our active development work for more efficient utilization of recycled materials and for the development of new recycled product applications. Amerplast is one of the leading utilizers of recycled materials and for this we can give thanks to people that have worked for the company on the recycled materials throughout the company’s history and to the leading professionals working at Amerplast today, further developing the use of recycled materials in our production and producing high quality recycled packaging and products to our customers.
At Amerplast, we are extremely proud of our vision to be in a leading position in the transformation of our industry into an environmentally sound business and of the actions we have already done for our environment and for the climate.