Sustainable Packaging Specification Recommendations for Automotive Operations
Recyclability of Common Automotive Packaging Materials in U.S.
The guidance document includes information on the viable recyclability of common packaging materials / designs used in the automotive industry in the United States. This information is intended to help support consideration of opportunities to minimize automotive packaging waste and address barriers to recyclability in the design phase, where possible.
- Viably Recycled. For the purposes of this guidance, a material is considered to be viably recycled where established systems are in place with capability to technically, and economically, recycle the material in major automotive operating regions in the United States. To be considered economically sustainable, the material must have a market value that typically meets or exceeds the cost to collect, transport and process the material for recycling. Consideration of materials that can be processed into resin for use back into the same or similar application is typically preferred where possible, however materials that are downcycled for use in other industries may be suitable where economically sustainable recycling systems exist.
- Detrimental to Recycling. For the purposes of this guidance, packaging materials or designs that require separation or other pre-processing in order to be acceptable into established recycling systems are considered to be detrimental. While the challenges presented by these materials can often technically be overcome, the additional time, labor and other costs required to do so may outweigh the recycling value thereby increasingly the likelihood that the material may be sent to landfill.
Acknowledgements: The above guidance documents were produced through a collaborative process by the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) Sustainable Packaging Work Group.
The 2022 guidance for automotive manufacturing included input and review from representatives of Action Wood 360, AI Trading, ARPLANK Direct, Avangard Innovative, DENSO, Doug Brown Packaging Products, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Green Processing Company, Honda Development & Manufacturing America, JSP, Lear Corp, Magna International, Mustang Innovation, Primex Design & Fabrication, Real Quality Services, Stellantis, Toyota Motor North America, Toyota Tsusho America, and UGN. The 2022 project was co-chaired by Bridget Grewal, Magna International; and, Matt Marshall, Toyota Motor North America, and facilitated by Kellen Mahoney, SP.
The 2023 guidance for automotive service parts included contributions from companies such as companies such as, Absortech, Action Wood 360, Aicello, Armor Protective Packaging, Arplank Direct, Cellulose Material Solutions, Cortec Corporation, Covanta, Cummins, Decade Products, Doug Brown Packaging Products, ERA Environmental, ExpandOS, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Goodpack, Green Current Solutions, Green Processing Company, Honda Development & Mfg. America, Indigo Packaging, IPAK, Labelmaster, JSP, Magna International, MPS Group, Mustang Innovation, ORBIS Corporation, P2 Packaging, Pratt Industries, Primex, Real Quality Services, RecycleMax, Robert Bosch, Schaefer Plastics North America, Stellantis, The Royal Group, TriEnda, Toyota Motor North America, Toyota Tsusho America, VMX International, and Worldwide Foam. The 2023 project was co-chaired by Bridget Grewal, Magna International; and, Matt Marshall, Toyota Motor North America, and facilitated by Kellen Mahoney, SP.
Disclaimer: This document is intended to provide information for automakers, their suppliers and the general public on sourcing sustainable packaging designs. The information included in this document is based on the professional judgment of the individual authors and reviewers and may be used at a company’s discretion. SP and its member companies make no warranty, expressed or implied, and assume no liability for any form of damage that may result from the application of the information contained in this document.
Contact: Please submit any feedback on this guidance or suggestions for future improvements to email@example.com.