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Recycling Education

When you learn about recycling, you’re learning how to make the world better now and forever.

As part of Sonoco's mission to change the way people, companies, and communities think about recycling, we actively share our ever-expanding knowledge and resources with teachers, students, homeowners, businesses and municipalities.

How can we recycle more responsibly?

As both a producer of sustainable packaging and part of the recycling supply chain that gives those items a second life, Sonoco is constantly expanding our knowledge on waste reduction and better recycling practices.

And we're committed to sharing that knowledge, whether by publishing insights on recycling as an industry, working with global businesses to cut down on waste or talking to local students at one of our recycling education centers.

An ongoing dialogue is vital to the work we do and inspires us to continually craft recycling solutions that meet our planet’s changing needs. 

Resources on This Page

Recycling Resources

Recycling Resources for the US

Recycling Resources for the Carolinas

Additional Resources for North and South Carolina Educators

Sustainability Unpacked: Video Series

  • PET Thermoforms
  • Design
  • Life-cycle assessments
  • Now You See It
  • End-of-Life
  • Chemical & Mechanical Recycling

Sustainability Unpacked: PET Thermoforms

Can you believe only about 9% of PET thermoforms are recycled today? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to this packaging format. In this episode of Sustainability Unpacked, we discuss how we make PET thermoforms easier to recycle and reclaim to make into new packaging.

We're packaging problem solvers.

It can be tough finding a package that not only protects your products, but also offers that fly-off-the-shelf pop with a sustainable message. Is it even possible? Check out our new myth busting series, Sustainability Unpacked, to see if it can be done.

Quantifying environmental impact.

Life-cycle assessment quantifies the resources taken from the environment and the emissions put out into the environment. By taking a holistic approach rather than focusing only on end-of-life, Sonoco captures the environmental impact of every stage in the life cycle.

Increasing Recyclability through Visible Substrates

Can black plastics be recycled? Learn how Sonoco uses a special colorant to detect and properly sort black pigmented plastics to prevent them from ending up in a landfill. 

Unraveling the Paper-Based Product Recycling Process

Depending on where you live and the product type in question, the process for recycling paper-based products varies. See how the industry thinks through technical challenges, economic realities, and consumer behaviors to keep more unique paper products out of landfill and into productive post-consumer recycled content.

End-of-Life Solutions for Plastics

Plastic packaging offers numerous benefits in manufacturing and on the shelf. As the need to promote circularity grows, Sonoco continues to explore both chemical and mechanical recycling processes. Find out which method has stood the test of time as well as the benefits of new recycling methods.

Video Tour

Tour a Material Recovery Facility (MRF)

Come along with us on a tour of the Sonoco Recycling MRF located in Raleigh, NC, and learn about how recyclables are processed before being repurposed into new materials. 

Sonoco Recycling partners with local governments to collect 200,000 tons of curbside recyclables in 150 cities and towns across the Southeastern US each year. Community members can request tours, classes or workshops at on of our MRF recycling education centers.

SC Green Step Schools

The South Carolina Green Step Schools Initiative encourages K-12 schools to take annual steps toward establishing and maintaining model quality sustainability projects. Schools can earn awards when they work with qualified mentors and submit videos or pictures showing their students learning, doing and teaching others about sustainability.

Sonoco Recycling co-sponsors the Green Step Schools program alongside the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina and SC DHEC.

For the Classroom

Meet the Remarkable Recyclables

Did you know there are superheroes in your midst? Meet the Remarkable Recyclables! Heroes capable of transforming themselves into new products for a better tomorrow. This is the story of their epic journey into the heart of the Sonoco Recycling process to find new ways to help people all over the world reduce, reuse and recycle.

View the video with your classroom to learn about the recycling process for paper, aluminum and plastic. You can also download our Remarkable Recyclables coloring sheet

Recycling Solutions

Connect With Sonoco

Discover how Sonoco Recycling can help your business meet sustainability goals.