Dordan announces goal of zero-waste!!!

June 29, 2010

Good afternoon world!

I am SoOoOoOoOoOoOoOooooooOoOO EXCITED!

Why, you ask?

Because…I have a new Sustainability Initiative to oversea at Dordan. And you, my diligent blog followers, are the first to know!

Dordan Manufacturing Company Incorporated is proud to announce its goal of becoming a zero waste facility!

We will begin to approach this goal by purchasing a composter for the food and yard waste generated by Dordan’s employees and facility…

We will then use this compost to nourish our “Victory Garden,” which will produce organics for local charities, community events, and ME (maybe I will share with other employees if I’m feeling generous…)! Just joshing; I’m happy to spread the joy!

Because Dordan sits on a nice piece of earth and because everyone likes gardens and fresh veggies, we thought that this would be a great place to do well by our community and our environment. I don’t know why but I am positively tickled pink that I got the green light to pursue this initiative.

And how funny…picture us, at Dordan’s booth at Pack Expo, giving out fresh produce to passer buyers (no pun intended)….

A Dordan rep says, “You want a green package? How about some organics grown from our garden fertilized by our own organic waste! BOO YA greenwashers!”

A little spicy, yes, but still, it tells a nice story. And I think the value in all of this is being able to develop a brand and tell a story that will resonate with consumers looking to do well by themselves and the environment. Cool beans!

Granted a goal of zero-waste is an almost impossible goal to attain, it does give us something to work towards… AND, I have spent most of my time at Dordan creating a pro-plastics argument in the context of sustainability and packaging, which is all fine and good and someone needs to do it, but it doesn’t really set us apart from our competition, that is, other Midwestern thin-gauge custom thermoformers.

SO that is when we thought the idea of zero waste was a good one. I don’t know why I get so surprised when sometimes, good works=good business; I guess they aren’t mutually exclusive…who da thunk?

I’ll be honest—I was feeling a little without direction as my work with the Canadian retailer is moving along slowly…very slowly. I think I was just so super excited to be managing a Committee that wanted to recycle thermoforms like me that I kind of lost site of the reality of the situation, which is, that this is business. Granted people do care about the environment and recycling, but often times, said sympathy is catalyzed by business interest. In the case of recycling thermoforms, everyone wants to do it, but no one is ready to step up and take responsibility or the risk. I do know that a lot of people want the post-consumer material and that the demand will continue to rise, especially if retailers start “suggesting” a percentage of post consumer content in packaging sold; what I don’t know, however, is if the economics will support the recycling of thermoforms in the States…ever.

I’ll keep you posted on my work with my clamshell recycling initiatives. Right now, as directed by my co-lead for the Committee, I am shelving my work until the communication of the Committee is better managed for easy correspondence.

BUT, what that does mean, is now I will be blogging about my work on recycling clamshells and our day-by-day attempts to become a zero-waste facility. Oh boy!

Have a splendid afternoon!

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