Dordan sustainability

Dordan's Clamshell Recycling Initiative

In 2009 when Dordan discovered that the thermoformed containers it manufactures were not collected for recycling in the majority of American communities, it began an investigation into the complexities of recycling in America, narrated in its then blog, Recycling in America.

This blog caught the attention of Walmart Canada's Sustainable Packaging Coordinator, who was organizing a working group of PET stakeholders to investigate how to increase PET thermoform recycling in Canada.

Invited to serve as the co-lead of this Material Optimization Committee, Dordan worked with Walmart Canada from 2009-2010, learning much of the economics of waste management and how to overcome the obstacles to clamshell recycling.

These efforts culminated with the release of Dordan's Recycling Report, The Truth about Blister & Clamshell Recycling in America; a discussion of why thermoform containers were not recycled with suggestions for what the industry could do to overcome the barriers.

After the publication of Recycling Report, Dordan was invited to present at industry events on its research and became an integral player in the discourse around thermoform recycling. In 2011 Dordan was awarded the cover feature of Sustainable Manufacturer Magazine for its efforts to recycle clamshell packaging.

In 2012, Moore Recycling Associates reported that PET thermoformed containers are now collected for recycling in the majority of American communities; therefore, the clamshell packaging that Dordan manufactures is officially "recyclable."

In 2013 Dordan published a follow up to its 2010 Recycling Report, The State of Post-consumer PET Recycling: Past, Present & Future. This Report described how the industry collaborated to remove the obstacles to PET thermoform collection for recycling.

Dordan was invited to present its research in the UK at RECOUP Plastic Recycling Conference, awarded the cover feature of Plastics in Packaging Magazine. 

In 2015 Dordan published it's final report on clamshell recycling, Postconsumer PET Thermoformed Containers: Recyclable vs. Recycled. This report was featured on the cover of Plastics in Packaging Magazine and described how not only are clamshells collected for recycling, but how they are actually being recycled.

As the cost for virgin plastics fell with the over abundance in capacity that characterized the energy market in 2016, post-consumer plastics recycling steadily declined, unable to compete. When the market for post-consumer recycling rebounds, the infrastructure for recycling PC PET thermoforms can be again utilized.



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