Amerplast manufactures carrier bags made from up to over 95% recycled materials. Part of this material is post-consumer waste separately collected from Finnish households. We also reuse all of our own PE production waste for the manufacture of carrier bags and utilise plastic waste collected from our customers. We have over 25 years of experience in utilising recycled raw materials for the manufacture of new plastic products and packaging.
The transition to a Circular Economy is a necessity if we wish to create a better and more sustainable future for our children and the generations to come. We need to make the most of our limited resources, recycle and reuse the materials whenever possible.
Amerplast’s T-shirt and Iisi carrier bags are made in Finland and they are ideal general-purpose shopping bags as they are durable and capable of carrying heavy loads. They are easy to carry and perfect for repeated use. We take environmental issues into account and manufacture T-shirt bags containing more than 95% recycled materials. In addition to general-purpose shopping bags, we manufacture durable and stylish bags for specialised shopping needs and smaller purchases such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and small items of clothing.
Amerplast has a long history of working with recycled raw materials. We have been manufacturing recycled carrier bags since the beginning of the 90s. Due to our long history of transforming recycled raw materials into high quality plastic packaging, we are an industry leader in the utilisation of recycled raw materials in different flexible packaging applications. According to our research, the use of recycled raw materials decreases the environmental effects of packaging and also the need for virgin and often fossil-based raw materials.
In 2017 we launched the First Finnish Circular Bag ESSI, which is partly made from post-consumer packaging waste separately collected from Finnish households. The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra* included Amerplast in its listing of most interesting companies in the circular economy in Finland, which showcases the country’s most inspiring examples of the circular economy. Amerplast earned its ranking for its use of plastic waste from consumers and industry as a raw material for the ESSI Circular Bags. Read more about the ESSI concept (in Finnish) >>
*Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, is an independent public foundation that operates under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament. Sitra aims at making Finland a successful pioneer in sustainable well-being by anticipating societal trends, exploring alternatives for development and bringing together partners from different sectors for open-minded trials and reforms.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland studied the environmental impacts of the ESSI Circular Bag’s life cycle and the results of the circular economy model were very positive. Based on the life cycle analysis (LCA) of a ESSI Circular Bag, it may be said that using the plastic packaging separately collected from households as a raw material makes sense from an environmental perspective and it further reduces the climate change effects of a carrier bag made from recycled raw materials which have already being studied to generate a small amount of emissions. The study shows that the separate collection’s and logistics’ share of the overall climate change effects of a product was very small. Based on these results, the separate collection of plastic packaging can be stated to make sense for the environment.
Studies about the environmental effects of Finnish carrier bags have been done before. Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) conducted the OPTIKASSI study in 2009. The study report studied the environmental effects of carrier bag alternatives available in Finnish grocery stores (paper, plastic, recycled plastic, biodegradable plastic and cotton carrier bags). According to the report, the greenhouse gas emissions of a recycled plastic carrier bag containing 60% recycled materials are between -7-24g, emissions of a cotton bag 1100-3160g and emissions of a biodegradable plastic bag 38-60g. Depending on the use of the bags, the paper bag and the plastic bag made from virgin raw materials were at the same level compared to one another.
More research-based information about the environmental effects of plastic carrier bags made from recycled raw materials was gained in 2014 when VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland executed the EcoFlexoBag project, to find out, what would be the environmental effects of increasing the share of recycled materials in plastic carrier bags from 60% to 90%. The study results show that increasing the share of recycled raw materials used in the carrier bag lowers the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, for example. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions dropped from 42g to 30g per bag when the share of recycled raw materials was increased from 60% to 90%.
Table based on OPTIKASSI study report 2009
Studies done in Finland show that the ESSI Circular Bag is a great shopping bag choice for the environment. Using recycled plastic as a raw material for the shopping bags is shown to be a good solution also when looking at other study results. The latest comparative European study was published in March 2018 by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. According to that study, carrier bags made from plastic have the smallest environmental effects when taking into account all the effect categories.
Sustainability is and will remain a key requirement for flexible packaging. At Amerplast, we are relentlessly promoting the use of green packaging solutions simply because we think it is our responsibility as a packaging supplier to constantly search for and bring forward the most environmentally friendly alternatives in materials and technologies for producing high quality packaging solutions.
The AmerGreen sustainability program is our quest for a better world. As part of the program, we offer sustainable raw materials and ensured recyclability. Read more >>