The company is now using shipping boxes made of a minimum of 80 percent post-consumer recycled content for some of its products.
Dow AgroSciences is now using shipping boxes made of a minimum of 80 percent post-consumer recycled content for its pest management and crop protection products manufactured in North America.
“We have a corporate culture around sustainability, and much of what we do is focused on continuous improvement and enhancing sustainability,” said Patrick Bell, product manager, Turf and Ornamental.
In 2008, Dow AgroSciences began investigating the use of higher recycled paper content in the boxes for products manufactured in North America. At that time, shipping boxes contained only 20 percent recycled material.
“We challenged ourselves to see how high we could go on the recycled content, and we were very pleased that we could go as high as we did,” said Paul Ouillette, senior packaging engineer, who led the sustainability initiative. “This is about moving the sustainability bar higher for our company.”
During a six-month period in 2010, more than 85,000 boxes made with the new material had been manufactured and used for Dow AgroSciences products, including Dimension 2EW specialty herbicide, with zero packaging material defects. All shipping boxes were converted by the end of 2010, and now feature a recycling logo denoting the change in packaging material.
Compared to the 20 percent recycled material boxes that were used previously, the new material represents annual savings of more than two million pounds of solid waste, more than 13.5 million gallons of waste water, more than 33,400 harvested virgin trees, and more than three million pounds of carbon dioxide release.
“Sustainability is fundamentally about the idea of zero waste, and this project is a great example of what can be done to move in that direction,” said Bell.