The MBOLD-led coalition of businesses and innovators is driving the creation of circular economy for flexible films and packaging materials in the Upper Midwest. Coalition members include General Mills, Schwan’s Company, Target, Ecolab, Cargill, and the University of Minnesota. Through an innovative collaboration across the film value chain, MBOLD is working with film recycler Myplas USA and Wisconsin-based film converter Charter Next Generation (CNG) to create a circular economy for films.

This new initiative expands film recycling infrastructure and the supply of recycled resin for use in new products, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting waste. Through a $9.2 million equity investment from General Mills, Schwan’s Company, Target, Ecolab and Charter Next Generation, Myplas will establish a state-of-the-art flexible film mechanical recycling plant in Minnesota. Slated to open in mid-2023, this 170,000-sq-ft mechanical recycling plant aims to recycle 90 million pounds of LDPE and HDPE packaging and film annually when at full capacity.

The U.S. uses 12 to 15 billion pounds of flexible packaging and films annually, but only 5% is recycled each year. The rest is landfilled, incinerated, or becomes litter. Compared with virgin plastics, studies show that use of recycled PE resins offers significant lifecycle benefits, including a 65% reduction in total energy used, a 59% reduction in water consumption, and a 71% reduction in global warming potential.

Building demand for recycled PE resin is also key to a circular economy. CNG will purchase recycled resin from Myplas for use in a variety of food, industrial, and healthcare film products. MBOLD members are now evaluating opportunities to direct film waste to Myplas for recycling and /or deploy recycled resin in new film products.

Join Packaging World for our next webinar as we discuss the creation of a collectively beneficial pull market for rPE alongside representatives from coalition members and allies. MBOLD Managing Director JoAnne Berkenkamp, General Mills’ David Chmura, MyPlas’ Andrew Pietersen, and Charter Next Generation (CNG)’s Apurva Shah will join Packaging World editorial director Matt Reynolds to discuss the following topics:

- What advantages can brands and CPGs derive from regional, voluntary circular supply chains?
- What’s the blueprint for creating system like this in your region?
- What are the cost and benefit tradeoffs that brands and CPGs seeking to join these partnership need to make?
- What films are actually recyclable at MRFs, and which films are profitable to recycle?

*If you’re interested but not able to attend the live broadcast, register anyway and we’ll send you a link to the recording and presentation slides once they’re available.
Matt Reynolds
Editorial Director, Packaging World
A respected and trusted journalist in the packaging community, Matt Reynolds became Editor of Packaging World in 2018. With PMMI Media Group since 2014, Matt's earlier career included editorial roles at Baking Management, Modern Baking, and multiple machine tool and fabrication publications. He was also Editorial Director of PMMI Media Group’s OEM magazine. Reynolds received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, and he holds a MS in Journalism from Roosevelt University.
JoAnne Berkenkamp
Managing Director, MBOLD
JoAnne Berkenkamp is the Managing Director of MBOLD, a coalition of leading Minnesota-based food and agriculture businesses and innovators collaborating to address sustainability and climate issues in the food and ag sectors. One of MBOLD’s core priorities is catalyzing development of a first-ever circular economy for flexible film in the Upper Midwest through value chain collaboration among corporate end-users and film recycling and film conversion partners. JoAnne is one of the lead architects of that circular economy initiative, which was a finalist for SPC’s 2022 Innovator award and the November 2022 cover story of Packaging World.
Apurva Shah
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Charter Next Generation
Apurva Shah is the director of strategic partnerships at Charter Next Generation, one of the leading producers of specialty films in North America. At CNG, Apurva leads the evaluation of new technologies, innovative business models, and strategic partnerships which support CNG’s mission to be the most sustainable material supplier to the packaging industry.
Apurva has spent almost his entire career in the films and flexible packaging industry – first through several sales & marketing roles within Dow Chemical’s Packaging & Specialty Plastics business. In between his time at Dow and CNG, Apurva was at L.E.K. consulting, a London-based strategy consulting firm, where he advised private equity firms looking to invest in the packaging space. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Apurva lives in Chicago with his wife, Amy, and son, Liam.
Apurva also serves on the board of MyPlas USA, a plastic film recycler that is building a state-of-the-art facility in the greater Minneapolis area.
Andrew Pieterse
CEO, Myplas
During his fifteen years with the energy company BP, Andrew developed deep experience in manufacturing, supply chain, financial management, logistics, strategy, and pricing. His work has taken him to Europe, South Africa, and the US. He joined Myplas as US CEO in 2021 to lead its expansion efforts, acting on his belief that the company’s commercial opportunities complement its potential for contributing to environmental stewardship and sustainable change.
David Chmura
Sr R&D Manager, General Mills
Lead packaging strategy and development for Snacks Operating Unit, bars, fruit snacks, salty snacks and Totino’s. Sponsor GMI packaging sustainability efforts. Over 22 years experience in packaging across plastics and Food CPG. 17 years at General Mills in Packaging and Processing R&D, Operations and Supply Chain. Currently resides in Minnesota.
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