The global pandemic has brought to the forefront the necessity to adapt to remain sustainable.
More than ever, sustainable practices must be integrated into every step of a manufacturer’s operation to survive. So, it is no surprise that this year, the annual FTA Sustainability Excellence Award program was the most competitive it has ever been, drawing nearly triple the average number of high-quality entries in its 22-year history.
Through this competition, companies are recognized for outstanding Sustainability Programs and Innovations in Sustainability.
This year’s award winners are:
- Industrias de Plasticos SA de CV (INPLASA), of Valle de Amarateca, Francisco Morazán, Honduras C.A., for Sustainability Programs
- Footprint LLC, of Gilbert, AZ, for Innovations in Sustainability
Additionally, two companies were awarded Honorable Mentions for Innovations in Sustainability: Sun Chemical of Parsippany, NJ and TC Transcontinental Packaging of Chicago, IL.
INPLASA stood out in the Sustainability Programs category with its entry “Socially Responsible INPLASA.” The company of more than 300 employees manufactures flexible packaging, while investing in solutions to reduce its environmental footprint. Since its establishment in 2006, INPLASA has distinguished itself by the high quality of its products and operations. The company earned ISO 9001 certification in May 2008 and has been accredited in Honduras as a “Socially Responsible Company” under the ISO 26000 standard. Since 2015, it has received two Best of Show honors in FTA’s annual Excellence in Flexography Awards competition.
INPLASA’s award-winning sustainability program is divided into five main projects, each with significant sustainability merit and positive financial implications:
- Energy generation: INPLASA improved its environmental footprint by working with clean energy. It has a 1,232-kWp. photovoltaic plant that provides 100 percent of the facility’s power
- Wood recycling: In 2021, the company recycled more than 180,000-kg. of wood. The carpentry shop used it to manufacture 352 desks to donate to educational centers. The remaining wood pallets were donated to make finished products
- Solvent recycling: INPLASA recycled more than 200,000 liters of solvent with its three solvent recyclers. Solvent evaporation was reduced by training employees on better ways to manage storage and dispensing
- Polyethylene recycling: Personnel were trained on waste sorting and more efficient use of machinery. Waste polyethylene was converted back into pellets, generating two types of raw materials. In 2021, 100 percent of INPLASA’s polyethylene was converted into raw materials, accounting for 524,000-kg.
- Polypropylene recycling: INPLASA compacts polypropylene into bales, which are then sold in South America. In 2021, nearly 275,000-kg. was used in roofing materials
“INPLASA shows a substantial commitment to protecting the environment and utilizing sustainable practices in the areas that are most likely to be harmful within their operation,” said Competition Judge Dan Magallanes of Miraclon. “I am especially fond of the woodshop that remakes packaging materials into furniture, which is then donated to schools—That is great citizenship.”
INPLASA’s sustainability program is an example for others. Its customers have mirrored the use of clean energy production. INPLASA promotes the sustainability measures implemented through training, presentations, visits and videos to customers as well as suppliers. It has been recognized in Honduras for the work of supporting educational centers with the donation of desks.