A Lifecycle of Sustainability
Responsibility Through Research
At IGI, we believe sustainability is fundamental to modern business.
Environmental responsibility, product recycling and waste management go beyond our own IGI footprint. We work with clients, product partners, manufacturers and universities to use our materials intelligently and to reduce global waste. Understanding our role in the natural ecosystem is fundamental to IGI’s success.
Companies in the materials, chemical and earth sciences industries have a unique responsibility when it comes to environmental awareness. At IGI, business and sustainability go hand-in-hand. As a world leading refiner and manufacturer of petroleum wax and blended wax products, IGI operates on the front lines of sustainability for literally hundreds of products from dozens of manufacturers. This “view from the source” gives our customers added insight when evaluating their own supply chain sustainability efforts.
IGI – A Partner for Possibility
Addressing the renewability of popular packaging products is essential for meaningful worldwide waste reduction. IGI works directly with our corrugated and paper customers to address sustainability from both sides – as a materials source and as an advisor and research partner for recycling options.
Our partnerships with companies in the recycling community are making exciting breakthroughs in emulsion/substrate separation that are going live in paper mills today. We are also involved with renewable products that leverage the inherent properties in wax coated paper fibers such as advanced particle board, roofing and decking used in the construction industry.
Real-World Sustainability Efforts at IGI
Our advanced technical projects address sustainability from a variety of perspectives including source reduction, environmental safety, waste utilization, advanced materials (compostable waxes, blended waxes and water-based coatings) and planned life-cycle management. These projects connect to our customer’s sustainability initiatives by assisting them with formulation, processes and strategic recycling and waste renewal strategies.
These commitments confront challenges in new ways, spawning better products, invigorating fledgling industries like compressed composite materials and giving rise to a global future with promise.
Manufacturers continually strive to balance efficiency, performance and cost. Today, true product performance often means building-in a level of reuse and recyclability. At IGI we are always looking for “what works.” That means exploring options, pushing science in new directions and partnering with like-minded leaders in research, manufacturing, product development and government.
At IGI, advanced waxes, wax blends and water-based coatings demonstrate advantages in new package design. IGI’s products, new and traditional, deliver the required performance of barrier coatings at reduced coating weights, allowing performance delivery with less packaging material. Wax-coated papers are being adopted to replace polystyrene and other bulky containers in the fast-food industry. This represents the convergence of smart sustainable practices to reduce waste, provide product protection and use fewer raw materials.
IGI’s R&D groups have partnerships with industry and academic technology centers to pursue advanced recycling processes. In addition, our product development team is working to improve the repulpability of coated papers and laminates by simplifying separation of the barrier treatments from the raw paper fiber. Pursuing blended products that incorporate vegetable components are an example of products that are already in the marketplace. The goal: to increase the raw fiber yield and quality of recycled papers.
Waxed packaging often involves direct contact with food stuffs making it unsuitable for recycling or reuse. Fully refined IGI paraffin waxes and blends with vegetable waxes are compostable. Many wax-based coatings contain greater than 1% additive so they do not meet BPI certification. They do however pass the simple ASTM D6400 test for compostability.