The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) has recognized three of its member companies with the presentation of Environmental Excellence Awards. Paragon Label of Petaluma, CA, USA, and Prairie State Group, Franklin Park, IL, USA, share top honors in the area of process improvement, while PolyCello of Amherst, NS, Canada, won in technical innovation.
Paragon Label has been installing and innovating environmentally-friendly applications and practices for several years. All of Paragon’s 185 tons per year of solid waste is recycled. By retrofitting the lighting system, the company cut energy use by 70,000 kWh. It also utilizes sustainable practices in landscaping, cutting water use by 50 percent in four years.
Paragon’s Green Team meets two to three times a month to discuss ways to become more sustainable. The committee introduced the “In Good Company” initiative to focus on sustainability issues. “The Company We Keep” campaign consists of a wall in the lobby filled with posters and photographs showcasing and celebrating not only the firm’s own sustainable achievements, but the achievements of its customers as well.
Prairie State Group (PSG) is a printer and laminator of flexible packaging and PS labeling, specializing in both narrow and midweb flexible packaging. PSG’s various sustainability initiatives include efforts to reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill, and the use of energy and natural resources.
PSG’s GIFT (Great Ideas for Today) is an incentive program that has resulted in 93 new ideas from employees. A number of these ideas have been implemented not only to reduce the company’s environmental footprint, but to save money. By partnering with a company that regrinds waste rolls, PSG further reduced the amount of solid waste going to the landfill by nearly 50 percent, saving the company approximately $45,000 per year.
PolyCello’s SmartPack technology produces environmentally-conscious packaging that gives the look of high quality lamination with only one layer. SmartPack utilizes energy curing technology that is VOC-free. Itreduces production steps, saving labor costs and energy consumption, and has greater recyclability than laminates. A flexible package that once had a recycle symbol of 7 is now rated number 2, meaning millions of packages each year can be diverted from landfills to the recycling stream. SmartPack is fully integrated into PolyCello’s printing process and does not require any downstream production stages, as is the case with laminated products.