Alejandro Pena, Keter CEO, and Keter employees raise awareness about Global Recycling Day through sustainability education.
On March 18, 2023, Global Recycling Day, les petits enfants in the French village of Gorcy learned about cutting-edge science amid centuries-old castles. It was a juxtaposition of new and old as employees from Keter, a global maker of consumer products for the home and garden, shared their passion for sustainability with the young schoolchildren.
Keter employees were there to raise awareness about Global Recycling Day, which the Bureau of International Recycling established in 2018. The BIR represents the most extensive group of international companies committed to recycling.
“We’ve designed all our products to be 100% recyclable and are on an ambitious trajectory to increase the use of recycled content in our products from 40% in 2020 to 55% in 2025,” says Keter’s VP of Marketing, Europe Kerry Murfin. “The Earth is our home and our workplace.”
Since Keter uses recycled materials in many resin-based products, Global Recycling Day was a perfect opportunity to share the company’s sustainability processes. Keter’s employees shared with Gorcy’s elementary students how the company recycles and uses recycled materials.
Keter’s employees also gave presentations highlighting France’s recycling symbols, including the Triman Logo, Green Dot, and “crossed-out garbage can” icons. After honoring Global Recycling Day, Keter gifted the students with mementos.
The company plans to exhibit students’ drawings at its Niederkorn, Luxembourg, factory, a half-hour drive from Gorcy where sustainable processes are used to produce an impressive range of furniture, storage, and organization solutions.
Keter employs advanced recycling science at dozens of factories across Europe. The company manages a world-class supply chain with innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions. For example, Keter produces many products in the same areas where it sells them, limiting fuel costs due to such transportation considerations.
Companies must tackle environmental issues like water, energy, and waste in their supply chain. They must also alert their employees that they have a strategy for sustainability that will shape the future of the business.
Keter CEO Alejandro Pena explained his organization’s year-round commitment to recycling.
“One of the benefits of using resin materials is that they can be recycled. It’s very important to understand that all Keter products can and should be recycled. We are starting to be more proactive in trying to collect back many of these products that are being discarded.
In areas proximal to Keter locations, Pena added that the company is partnering with communities to buy back or collect local waste. “We have a commitment as part of our sustainability to make sure that no waste coming out of our factories ends up in a landfill,” adds Pena.
Where Next? Spain, Italy, and Hungary
Gorcy, surrounded by vineyards and history, wasn’t the only place on Keter’s Pan-European tour to celebrate Global Recycling Day. Keter employees also visited Spain, Italy, and Hungary to teach students about sustainability and recycling.
The Keter team visited Ormelle, Italy, about 25 miles north of Venice. Keter employees organized to educate students about waste recycling. During activities, Keter explained how plastic travels from end-of-life waste to become new recycled products. Then the team played a game with students identifying the correct recycling bins.
Keter employees also participated in Spain’s national campaign to widen awareness of abandoned waste in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs that impacts riverbeds and marine ecosystems. During the event, 5,500 area volunteers recycled an astounding 77,250 waste items.
Additionally, Keter participated in a career forum and exhibition at an elementary school in Hungary. Employees introduced Keter’s products, factory, processes, and roles. The engagement sparked positive feedback and attention, and guests got to touch and feel Keter’s raw materials and products.
Global Recycling Day reminds the public that recycling is vital to protecting natural resources. It alerts world leaders to take up the urgent need for recycling. It also asks global citizens to think of waste as resources; this helps people understand the actual value and repurposing they deserve. Reprocessing plastic, steel, aluminum, glass, and cardboard keeps these materials out of the environment. Recycling generally requires less energy than that needed to create these materials.
Keter’s Support for Global Recycling Day Stresses the Importance of Protecting Natural Resources
Keter is a global manufacturer of resin-based household and garden consumer products. As a leader in this field, Keter has set the tone for sustainability, and its employees were eager to discuss green processes with young students on Global Recycling Day.
Pena says, “We enjoy promoting our responsible consumption practices to the communities in which we operate.”
Pena has been driving the purpose-driven brand’s sustainability goals, shaping the Keter Green Spaces initiative from company volunteers to turn communities greener through connection and education.
“One of our responsibilities is not just to our shareholders, but to the communities that we’re in and to the environment and world that we live in,” he says.
The mission of Global Recycling Day dovetails with what companies like Keter are doing to reduce their global footprint. As Keter CEO Pena points out, “One of our pillars is not only are we a business driven by innovation, we are also living by the values of being good to the environment and being good to our communities.”
Keter’s Multiple Sustainability Innovations Continue With Massive Goals for the Future
Innovative employees are crucial to confront sustainability issues practically. Keter hires team members with the skill and vision to redesign products, processes, and business models.
Pena says that commitment “will eventually extend itself to end-of-life management of product. There’s still a lot of room for, and a lot of opportunity for, doing things better.”
Prominent manufacturers of plastic products, like Keter, can help themselves, the environment, and billions of people when they adopt a sustainability plan. Keter achieves its plastic-reducing aims through its strong company culture.
In a 2020 sustainability report issued to various stakeholders at Keter, Alejandro Pena introduced the Keter Everyday Sustainability Pledge 2025.
This pledge is a guiding philosophy Keter uses to increase recycling content in total production. It proposes five commitments in five years. It will use 55% of the recycled content of the total output. It will continue to produce zero single-use plastic consumer products.
Critically, the Keter Everyday Sustainability Pledge 2025 aims to end waste-to-landfill of materials used in production. The company will also guide its production to a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are committed to being good citizens of the environment,” Keter CEO Alejandro Pena says. “We are also committed to being good employers and citizens of our communities. We are ethically doing business with good governance and good practices that we encourage our employees to follow.”