Historically, retailers’ obsolete visual merchandising signage has just been thrown into the landfill. But thanks to DuPont’s LifeCycle Based Solutions program, retailers can recycle entire Tyvek and Tyvek Vivia displays with ease, enhancing the materials’ appeal to sustainability-minded big brands and their supply chain printing partners.
“The DuPont LifeCycle Based Solutions for Tyvek is part of our ongoing initiative to offer sustainable material options, which meet our corporate responsibility goals. It also aligns with the tenets of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), a certification body that DuPont has actively supported since its inception in 2008,” comments Annette Kim, North America Marketing Manager for Tyvek at DuPont Protection Technologies. SGP Certification requires that printing facilities undergo a thorough audit of their operations in order to satisfy its criteria for sustainability. “We support SGP Certified facilities by favoring them in our print procurement practice,” states Kim. “We are also proud to support their sustainability journey by developing innovative products to their use and to advocate to their clients.”
One SGP Certified print facility in particular, Portland-based Infinity Images, has received positive client feedback as a result of the recycling options of the Tyvek Vivia product line. Infinity Images constantly seeks ways to enrich its solutions to clients while embracing a sustainability-driven business model. Tyvek Vivia allows Infinity Images to accomplish just that for some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including adidas.
“Tyvek Vivia is an awesome product for window campaigns when we need two sided banners or when a customer is looking for something that is recyclable,” states Jason Mockley, Senior Project Manager, Infinity Images. “The clients are happy with the print quality of the banners and are excited to address waste concerns by using the Tyvek mailback program to extend the life of the banner material when the campaign ends, instead of just throwing them away. It’s a good, win-win product that is easier to sell because of that story,” notes Mockley.
By sourcing sustainable substrates and print manufacturing processes from an SGP Certified print facility like Infinity Images, adidas is realizing its supply chain goals as part of its Environmental Strategy 2015. As a result, the sporting goods giant is reducing its carbon footprint while advancing its sustainability leadership.
Creating LifeCycle Based Solutions with Recycling Metrics
“In addition to being a strong and versatile material, Tyvek Vivia has been designed with sustainability in mind. It’s PVC-free, which is of utmost importance to SGP Certified printers,” notes Kim. “It doesn’t contain any phthalates, binders, heavy metals, or compounds that are found on lists of toxic chemicals.” DuPont’s Tyvek is used as wide format material across the country; the high-density polyethylene is a popular choice for banners and signs due to its durability and lightweight strength, requiring less material than vinyl to accomplish the same task.
To complete the lifecycle of the Tyvek products, DuPont partnered with Waste Management to create a convenient recycling kit and program. Waste Management recycles the banners and reprocesses them into resin, which is then repurposed for a variety of uses.
Waste Management also gathers valuable data pertaining to the Tyvek recycling program by scanning a barcode on the recycling kit envelope. The material owner can then receive a certificate that details how much Tyvek is recycled. “The recycled material tracking is a unique feature of the program and is valuable to SGP Certified printers. It provides documentation of their sustainability best practices and helps monitor their continuous improvement progress, which can easily be incorporated into their annual reports,” Kim notes.
Print facilities and their clients using Tyvek can sign up for the program at recycletyvek.wm.com to receive a recycling kit. The standard kit includes an expandable Tyvek envelope capable of holding 250 square feet of Tyvek material. Custom recycling kits are available upon request.