Portola reports environmental initiatives results: 2010 energy usage down 10.5%, 2.5 million pounds of material recycled

Portola Packaging, Inc. is announcing significant environmental improvements in energy and packaging source reduction, recycling and office materials.

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The company, known as a leading manufacturer of closures, is reporting a 10.5% reduction in energy usage in 2010, compared to 2009. The significant decrease is a result of conservation efforts at the company's eight North American manufacturing facilities.

In addition to energy reduction, Portola plants recycled in excess of 2 million pounds of material•€¹including plastic regrind, corrugated, paper, aluminum and steel. An additional 500,000 pounds of paper were recycled from its various North American offices, bringing the overall company total to more than 2.5 million pounds.

"Portola's goal is to minimize its environmental impact by creating sustainable, value-added manufacturing and product solutions. We believe in using natural resources responsibly to manage energy use and reduce waste wherever possible. We also believe in partnering with our customers and communities to help make that happen," said Kevin Kwilinski, president and chief executive officer, Portola.

Contributing to the energy conservation efforts were more than 20 different initiatives across all eight plants. These included the purchase of new equipment with reduced energy requirements; conversion from injection to compression molding for specific products; implementation of productivity improvements which reduced energy load; shut off protocols for idle equipment; plant and office heating/cooling conservation and others.

Portola's material recycling efforts included production scrap/regrind (mostly high-density polyethylene and polypropylene), corrugated shippers, hydraulic oil waste, scrap metal, aluminum cans, paper, etc.

The company also is investigating alternative packaging approaches which would enable between 30 - 35% more closures per truckload, reducing fuel and packaging material costs by more than $1 million annually.

In addition to the material and energy reduction strategies, all of the corrugated cases Portola purchases have been certified under the standard requirements of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

"At Portola, we believe that good environmental stewardship is an ongoing process. As such, we have engaged all of our employees in the process to reuse, reduce and recycle. We encourage all of our team members to generate new, environmentally-sound ideas so that we can continue on this path," Kwilinski said.

Participating in the initiatives are the company's four U.S. facilities, plus three Canadian plants and one in Mexico. In addition to Portola's North American operations, the company's five international manufacturing plants (two in China, plus the U.K., New Zealand and the Czech Republic) are also working on a parallel environmental stewardship path.
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