colorful carts
Photo courtesy Michael Vi

Wastequip commits to reducing virgin resin use

The company’s new initiative, Project25, aims to lower the volume of virgin resin used in its cart manufacturing operations by 25 percent.

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Wastequip, a Charolette, North Carolina-based manufacturer of waste handling equipment, is launching Project25, an initiative aimed at reducing the amount of virgin resin used in the company’s cart manufacturing. The initiative is part of Wastequip's CORE (COrporate REsponsibility) program, focused on improving the lives of its employees and the communities in which it operates.

According to a news release from Wastequip, Project25 commits to reducing the amount of virgin resin used in the company’s entire cart manufacturing operation by 25 percent. Focused on Wastequip’s Toter brand, which makes waste handling containers, this commitment will help reduce Toter’s carbon footprint by 9 percent per cart.

The company says the decrease per cart is calculated from a 2020 study by Resource Recycling Systems. An ISO 14044-compliant life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted that evaluated a Toter cart’s cradle-to-grave carbon footprint. The LCA estimated that 62 percent of a Toter cart’s environmental footprint comes from resin. 

“Data to guide meaningful, measurable impacts is inherent to our CORE program,” says Kristin Kinder, vice president of research and waste stream sustainability. “Project25 is our first opportunity to turn that objective data into action and an important step toward long-lasting change at Wastequip and hopefully the industry, too”

To achieve the commitments outlined in Project25, Toter will incorporate postconsumer resin (PCR) and postindustrial resin (PIR) for its six most popular colors. Toter also will offer material traceability so customers will have visibility of the amount of PCR and PIR used in their order.  

“Of course, maintaining Toter’s legendary toughness and durability while reducing the virgin resin in our carts was the only option,” adds Kinder. “As Toter’s LCA confirmed, extending a cart’s lifespan is one of the most critical components to decreasing a cart’s carbon footprint.”

According to the company, Toter consistently delivers durability, with customers reporting an average service life of 11 years for their Toter carts, while non-Toter carts have a service life of more than nine years. Keeping Toter carts that extra two years lowers its carbon footprint by 17 percent, which Wastequip says is the same benefit as using almost 50 percent recycled resin by weight.