The Kraft Heinz Company announced the successful completion of a pilot project to demonstrate the use of roof board made from recycled flexible packaging. The test was made possible by the company’s participation in Materials Recovery For the Future (MRFF), a nonprofit research collaborative that set out to prove technical and economic feasibility to collect, sort, bale and recycle flexible plastic packaging.
The project installed roofing material made from post-consumer flexible plastic into two Kraft Heinz manufacturing plants in Beaver Dam, Wis., and in Holland, Mich. The recycled roofing materials were installed late in 2020. The materials were comprised of 4-foot by 8-foot boards; 94% of each board was made of post-consumer recycled plastic and fiber. This was an important project for Kraft Heinz because the company uses flexible plastic packaging across its product portfolio.
“It was a privilege being part of MRFF, which not only helped identify ways to curbside collect and recycle flexible packaging, but also identified end markets that we could leverage within our facilities," said Erik Groner, senior principal packaging engineer. "Our test project highlights the company’s commitment to sustainable packaging and the priority it places on its Environmental, Social and Governance commitments. Kraft Heinz continues to search for ways to make our packaging recyclable and to incorporate recycled content within our supply chain.”
The pilot project will be monitored for performance versus standard building materials. If the recycled materials perform as well or better than standard building materials, Kraft Heinz will strongly consider standardizing use of this recycled material in the future. The company will report on its use of recycled content to the Association of Plastic Recyclers Demand Champion program, after having joined late last year.
“This Kraft Heinz project is a powerful example of environmental stewardship, reducing use of virgin materials by choosing roofing material made of recycled flexible plastic packaging," said Susan Graff, vice president, resource recycling systems; MRFF research director. "Working with recyclers, they’ve provided a model for addressing expectations for full life-cycle management of plastic while using an efficient, low-cost package for consumer product protection."