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Sev-Rend’s sustainability efforts have broadened

Walking its talk with a new line of sustainable produce packaging, Sev-Rend Corp. also looked in-house in the effort to reduce global waste.

“This is not a trend. It’s a new way of life,” said Jeff Watkin, graphics and marketing manager of the packaging company.

2019-3-6-Sev-Rend SustainableFilm Avocado On the packaging side of the business, “Sev-Rend will continue to strive to meet the needs of the industry” with products that can be recycled.

And, in operations in 2018, Sev-Rend recycled 46 tons of potential waste products from its modern manufacturing facility in Collinsville, IL. This was diverted from landfills because of the effort.

Of the total volume, 36 tons were sent from the plant to an external recycling facility. And ten tons of waste materials were reformed to be used in Sev-Rend packaging materials.

In another effort to reduce waste, Sev-Rend uses high-efficiency lighting indoors and on the exterior of its massive plant. The firm reduced its kilowattage by 11 percent in 2018.

In-house, “our people are excited. Everybody is looking for a way to reduce waste. The production workers on our floor are looking for ways to be creative. It’s nice to see everybody be proactive. This effects everybody.”

Sustainable packaging

Last year, Sev-Rend developed tags, netting, film and pouch bags that are 100-percent recyclable.

Watkin said the new polyolefin line is fully compatible with customers’ packaging equipment that was previously using Sev-Rend products. Sev-Rend customers have tested the sustainable products without any problems.

Watkin said the move to recyclable products was driven by large national retailers “who are demanding recyclable packaging in their stores. Growers and packers are getting on board because of the demand.”

The new products carry the green packaging logo and the proper number classification indicating the nature of the recyclable product.

When the products were rolled out last year, Watkin told The Produce News that an advantage of the light-weight Sev-Rend packages is that their weight is very low compared to other recyclable consumer packaging, such as soda cans or bottles for water.

Watkin said a net bag weighs well below one percent of the overall filled package weight. A pouch’s contribution to the total weight is two to ten times more.

“That is less package per unit of product weight” for Sev-Rend products, he emphasized.

Sev-Rend celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018.