Educating the Community about Environmentally Friendly Corrugated

Joe ask,

We are having some issues with the community surrounding our plant, they seem to feel that we are creating hazardous waste which they say is causing illnesses. We have obtained and maintain all required permits and are always in compliance. My question to you, does AICC have any documentation that would cover how environmentally friendly the corrugated industry is?

Joe it sounds like you’re looking for materials to help educate your community and I think that is a very good first step. Human nature makes us leery of things we don’t understand. Those outside of the industry don’t realize that most of the materials used in corrugated packaging are natural such as paper, starch and soy. Nor do they realize that industries and industrial sites are typically held to a much higher level of compliance. When you add up the communities individual contributions to the environment (cars, barbecues, furnaces that are probably older and very inefficient and the biggest offenders of all gas powered lawn tools) you may find the plant is not the largest threat to the neighborhood.

But we’re not looking to shift blame, just to be good neighbors. I’ll check our resources here and touch base with TAPPI and FBA to see what they may have.

Let’s also open this up for comment from other members and followers who may have or are facing the same issues. Does anyone want to share their experiences on how they have addressed similar issues?

In the mean time, just some ‘good neighbor’ things to consider.

  • How is your boiler fueled and how is the exhaust handled?
  • How long will you allow trucks to idle, are there oil spills under cars and tractors, and what hours do they operate?
  • Are night lights and truck headlights shining into neighbors homes?
  • Where is water discharged and what is known about your roof and hard surface runoff?
    How is your waste water stored or disposed? Drums being hauled away from an industrial site can look much more menacing than they really are.
  • How modern is your dust collection system?
  • What’s the decibel level at the property lines?
  • When are your dumpsters emptied and how is your rodent control?

One Response to “Educating the Community about Environmentally Friendly Corrugated”

  1. George B Cusdin Says:

    Make a point to visit local schools and give a classroom presentation on how environmentally friendly corrugated packaging is. The kids are more likely to influence their parents than talking to directly to the grown-ups at a town-hall meeting.

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