The MAC joins innovative circular economy initiative

The MAC joins innovative circular economy initiative

April 28, 2023

​The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) is one of 18 regional companies and organizations to join a statewide initiative to increase plastic film recycling in the Upper Midwest.

The initiative is led by MBOLD, a coalition of local food and agriculture leaders that collaborate to address the most pressing challenges facing the industry. MBOLD is powered by the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Economic Development Partnership (GREATER MSP).

The effort to build a circular economy for flexible film includes diverting single-use plastic packaging materials (e.g., plastic bags, pallet wrap, shrink wrap) from the waste stream. MBOLD estimates that Americans use 12 to 15 billion pounds of flexible packaging and films annually, and just 5 percent of it is recycled. The other 95% is landfilled, incinerated or released into the environment.

Unlike its hard-shelled counterparts, flexible plastic is difficult to recycle due to a lack of local facilities to handle the products and a lack of demand for the recycled material.

As a new participant in the initiative, the MAC will be asked to explore opportunities to have their flexible films recycled close to home, evaluate strategies for increasing the use of recycled resin in new film products, and provide strategic support to the circular economy effort.

"It takes a village to bring a circular economy to scale," said MBOLD managing director JoAnne Berkenkamp in a statement.

The MAC joins the following companies and organizations added to the initiative, which was announced in March:

  • AllinaHealth
  • Andersen Corporation
  • Bedford Industries
  • Dem-Con Companies
  • GreenForest Recycling Resources
  • HealthPartners
  • Hormel Foods
  • The Kraft Heinz Company
  • Kraus-Anderson
  • Land O'Lakes, Inc.
  • Metropolitan Airports Commission
  • Midwest Marina Association
  • Marvin
  • McGough
  • Minnesota Grocers Association
  • M.A. Mortenson Co.
  • Post Consumer Brands
  • Uponor

These companies join other Minnesota-based companies and organizations – including General Mills, Schwan's Company, Target, Ecolab, Cargill, and the University of Minnesota – that have previously joined the MBOLD coalition to help solve the biggest challenges facing our food system.