ESG Spotlight: NPX ONE
NPX ONE joined the Atlas Family as Novipax in 2015. NPX ONE has manufactured innovative food trays for more than 50 years, with roots tracing back to 1965 when W.R. Grace & Co. acquired Wyomissing Paper Corp. to create Formpac, which operated facilities in Reading, PA and Indianapolis, IN. Both of these legacy locations are still in operation, producing food trays as NPX ONE following Atlas’ sale of the absorbent pads business of Novipax in December 2020.
Modern food systems have come to rely upon plastic and, more specifically, the thermal properties of polystyrene foam, to ensure that food reaches the consumer in a fresh state at the proper temperature. According to a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one third of all food produced in the world for human consumption never reaches a consumer’s table because of spoilage and waste in the distribution channels. In the United States alone, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that food waste represents 24% of all landfilled material. For NPX ONE, the longer its products can help keep food safe and fresh, the more food waste can be avoided. While polystyrene has come under attack for its carbon content, less considered is that the methane produced when food decays has a global warming potential 85 times higher than that of carbon. Worldwide, the greenhouse gas emissions of food waste are a greater contributor to global warming than the aggregate emissions of every country in the world other than China and the United States. Foam meat trays lower these emissions by extending the shelf life of fresh red meat to as much as 21 days, allowing more time for food to end up on tables instead of in the garbage.
The commitment of NPX ONE is to create the best quality food tray on the market, and to do so in a way that is sustainable and environmentally conscious. The company has joined with other leaders in the plastics industry to push state governments towards building better recycling infrastructure that is capable of capturing all forms of plastic, including polystyrene. NPX ONE has also partnered with Operation Clean Sweep, which has the goal of ensuring that no plastic ends up in waterways. Importantly, NPX ONE’s foam trays are free of PFAS class chemicals or “forever chemicals,” the potential health implications of which are becoming well understood.
To cement its commitment to sustainable products, NPX ONE is pursuing recognition with the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). This program utilizes mass balance accounting to provide customers with reliable accounting of recycled material content in finished products. The plastics industry has a goal of relying upon 30% recycled material by 2030. NPX ONE is far more ambitious, having established a goal of reaching 70% recycled material in all NPX ONE products by 2025. Customers have already begun to show their interest and support for this endeavor, making NPX ONE’s commitment to ESG both good for business and the environment.