Pacific Seafood, a family-owned seafood company based in Portland, Ore., has made recycling a top priority by investing in a Styrofoam recycling program that keeps more than 300,000 pounds of Styrofoam out of landfills each year.
Instead of sending Styrofoam collected at Oregon and Washington distribution facilities to landfills, Pacific Seafood invested in a machine to break down the polystyrene for reuse. One pallet of Styrofoam, which is approximately four feet by six feet in size, is condensed into a two-foot block called an ingot, which is later ground into beads that are used in molding, picture frames, cameras and other consumer goods.
“There is no need for this type of packing material to go to waste,” said Kurt Mitchell, operations manager for Pacific Seafood’s Northwest operations. “We are thinking outside the box and have come up with innovative ways to put packaging waste to good use.”
In addition to recycling Styrofoam, Pacific Seafood composts its used wax cardboard for potting soil and sends plastic pallet wrap to a recycler to be manufactured into products like siding and composite decking. Even broken pallets, if beyond repair, are sent with scrap wood to be converted to mulch.
In 2008, Pacific Seafood’s waste reduction efforts, at the company’s Clackamas facility alone, reduced the amount waste being sent to local landfills by more than 600,000 pounds.
About Pacific Seafood
Pacific Seafood Group is a West Coast seafood processing company that launched in 1941 as a small, fresh seafood retail operation in Portland, Ore. Over the years, the family-owned business expanded to become a vertically integrated seafood processing and distributing company to meet customers’ needs and a growing market. Pacific Seafood processes seafood products from Alaska to Mexico, has facilities in seven Western states and participates in the global seafood trade market. It is a member of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association and is active in promoting a healthy and sustainable seafood industry by supporting fisheries awarded Marine Stewardship Council eco-labels. Pacific Seafood is under the leadership of Frank Dulcich, the founder’s namesake and grandson, who will be president of the National Fisheries Institute in 2011.