Moving Toward Zero Waste

As a global manufacturer, we have an important role to play in reducing our operational waste and supporting the circular economy. For decades, our sites around the world have practiced effective waste management, focusing on reducing, reusing and recycling as much waste as possible. When reduction, reuse or recycling is not possible, we apply controls and treatment technologies to prevent human health effects and minimize environmental impacts of disposal.

Every Crown facility around the world tracks and reports the amount of operational waste it generates and how it is managed. Since requirements for disposal vary from country to country, waste reporting is done at the local business level, and documentation is supplied by the waste contractor or the facility itself. We continue to work with our waste management suppliers to improve the collection of data against waste categories in a reliable and consistent way.

In our metal packaging facilities, steel and aluminum represent about 85% of our incoming materials. Significant effort is made to capture, recover and recycle nearly 100% of our metal waste globally. To process the remainder of our waste, which includes items such as pallets, shrink wrap and cores from our metal coils, we take every step possible to divert it from landfills by reusing, recycling or generating energy. In 2018, several of our European sites achieved zero waste to landfill and less than 10% of total waste generated across the European Division’s 61 sites was sent to landfill.

Effective waste management is an important component of our goals for world-class manufacturing and sustainability. That is why we are currently establishing an enterprise-wide system to better understand our waste footprint, and we plan to announce formal waste management goals in early 2020. Our goals will be based on several key strategies, including:

  • Improving processes, equipment and materials to reduce waste generation.
  • Continuing to send less waste to landfill globally by maximizing the use of environmentally beneficial disposal methods like recycling, composting and waste-to-energy.
  • Collaborating with suppliers to reduce waste across the value chain.

Sustainable Efforts at Every Point of the Line

The Florence, KY operation of our Transit Packaging Division was recognized with a 2018 Supply & Demand Chain Executive Green Supply Chain Award for its Closed Loop Recycling Program. The full-circle system collects and recycles polyester beverage containers, polyester strapping and other recyclable materials, contributing to internal sustainability accomplishments and enabling customers to achieve concurrent goals. The initiative encourages customers to participate to reduce packaging supplies waste and disposal costs by returning used plastic strap to the Florence facility. By combining this returned strapping with other recycled materials, the facility produces strap from nearly 90% recycled material, significantly reducing dependency on new raw material consumption.