Andersen Joins MBOLD’s Groundbreaking Circular Economy Initiative for Flexible Film

Andersen recently announced its participation in MBOLD’s circular economy initiative, working to expand film recycling capacity in the Upper Midwest, curtail plastic waste and cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

MBOLD, an initiative of GREATER MSP, is a coalition of Minnesota-based food and agriculture business leaders and innovators working collaboratively to accelerate solutions to the most pressing challenges facing food and agriculture.

“Andersen is pleased to join other great Minnesota-based companies in this collaborative work to keep these plastic packaging materials out of the waste stream and drive circularity through innovative applications for future use,” said Chris Galvin, president and chief executive officer at Andersen. “Environmental stewardship has long been one of Andersen’s core values and this initiative furthers our work to support a healthier planet and make the world a better place.”

Film recycler Myplas USA will open a state-of-the-art recycling plant in Rogers, Minn., midyear 2023. The plant will recycle and pelletize nearly 90 million pounds of low- and high-density polyethylene packaging and film annually at full capacity – enough plastic to circle the equator 137 times per year.

The 18 organizations joining the MBOLD circular economy initiative are asked to explore opportunities to have their flexible films – such as pallet wrap and shrink wrap – recycled close to home, evaluate strategies for increasing use of recycled resin in new film products, and/or provide strategic support to the circular economy effort.

Much of the plastic film Andersen handles comes from suppliers, like raw materials wrapped in film, for example. The company diverts that waste to a non-local recycler but joined the local effort to close the loop on the "circular economy."

"It's about progress and a recognition of how we continue to take the momentum we have into moving forward," said Jessica Ehrlichmann, vice president of strategic sourcing, sustainability and safety at Andersen. "I see this as an opportunity to participate alongside others in that progress."

The U.S. uses 12 to 15 billion pounds of flexible packaging and films annually. Only five percent of the flexible film used in the U.S. is recycled. The rest is landfilled, incinerated, or released into the environment.

Read the full news release and recent Star Tribune article.

Posted: March 16, 2023