Packaging Is Awesome with Adam Peek
People of Packaging Podcast
185 - The TLMI sustainability awards are named after Calvin Frost!

185 - The TLMI sustainability awards are named after Calvin Frost!

So honored to get a legend in the industry on!

I’m trying out a new service to decipher the audio into some nice summary and formats which you can view below!

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If you listened to the podcast and wanted to connect with Specright to rid the world of waste. Let’s go! Cory Connors and I just got back from their Summit and learned a ton about how they are enabling companies to organize their data for EPR reporting, sourcing, and LCA’s. Make sure you check them out and join them on their mission to have a world where people are free to make amazing things!


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This podcast is part of a great network of podcasts about packaging. Go follow Sustainable Packaging with Cory Connors along with Packaging Unbox’d hosted by Evelio Mattos.

If you want to be a guest on this podcast, or Sustainable Packaging with Cory Connors OR Packaging Unbox’d with Evelio, go to and fill out an application for one or all!


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Summary/Key moments/highlights

Calvin Frost has joined the People Podcast, hosted by Adam Peek, to discuss his experiences in the label industry. He got into the industry by chance in the mid 80s and left corporate America to pursue a career in recycling. They discuss Adam's post on LinkedIn asking who should she talk to at the TLMI converter meeting, and how Ginny Gandy of Label Leaders of Tomorrow suggested Calvin. Adam hopes Roz Bandy, a good friend of his, is feeling better. Calvin mentions that he will be the most controversial guest on the podcast and the conversation shifts to him introducing himself. He talks about how he got into the industry by chance and left corporate America to pursue a career in recycling. The speaker talks about their journey of starting a business in the recycling industry and how they eventually shifted to recycling non-recyclable materials such as laminated paper and films. Through their efforts, they developed relationships with large corporations such as Three M, Avery, and Dennison. The speaker also mentions the covenants they have to agree to, which includes not landfilling any byproduct that they can't reprocess and bringing in salvage materials at 60%, 20-25%. The speaker, who has been involved in the pressure sensitive label industry for many years, discussed the evolution of the industry and the risk it is currently facing. As the adhesive used renders the label non-recyclable, the speaker was part of a task force in the 1990s to develop benign technology, which would render the label recyclable. Currently, the speaker is trying to garner support and scale in order to make this technology more cost effective so that it can be used. This would make the pressure sensitive label industry more environmentally friendly. The speaker, a recycling expert, began by discussing how he got into the pressure sensitive label industry and realized it was at risk due to lack of sustainable practices. He then discussed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and how it would influence the technology of the industry. He then discussed liner recycling, noting the two main issues of logistics and packaging. Finally, he discussed Jim Shively and how he has made improvements in the industry but the two main issues still remain unsolved.



Conversation with Calvin Frost, TLMI Converter Meeting Day Two


Heading: Channeled Resources: Recycling Non-Recyclables and Developing Relationships with Large Corporations


Heading: Exploring the Pressure Sensitive Label Industry and the Benefits of Benign Technology


Exploring the Challenges of Recycling Pressure Sensitive Labels in the Label Industry


Discussion on Pressure Sensitive Labels and Recycling in the Packaging Industry


Conversation on Recyclable Adhesives and Sleeve Packaging


Exploring Sustainable Packaging Solutions: A Discussion on Chlorine-Based Inks and Sleeve Packaging


Exploring the Challenges of Recycling: A Conversation with an Expert in the Field


Interview with Calvin Frost: A Conversation on Sustainability in the Packaging Industry


We're trying to compete with coal and the products that we use, the matrix and the flexible packaging that go into our fuel, all of those have to meet an EPA emission standard. Chlorine causes a problem. What we had, we had a supplier shipping us 300 tons a month of their matrix, and we had to stop it because the tests that we found showed very, very high levels of chlorine. When we finally drilled down into this, we found out that this company was using a chlorine based ink.

So when we start talking about some of these technologies, it's great. The really interesting part is, from a technology point of view, from a sustainability point of view, the end user has to be part of the discussion. And they give you one example, and this is really interesting. So we have problems when we use materials for energy. The basic problem is chlorine. Chlorine causes emissions, and we're out of spec with EPA. We have to meet standards.

What happens in the repulsing process and we're talking paper now, not film. What happens in the paper manufacturing process is that the traditional adhesives, hot milled and acrylics will disintegrate into smaller pieces and they'll go through the felts, they'll go through the screens, and those adhesives will then cause contamination in the paper. Now, we can use it in brown grades, corrugated. We're able to withstand some contamination in that kind of material.. But if we have the technology that will keep the adhesive in a large piece so I can catch it on that screen and I can put it in my wastewater. I'll keep it away from the new paper that I'm making.

We can figure this stuff out, right? But getting the industry to focus on solutions for those two issues, logistics and packaging, that's been really complicated. So there was a good Q and A this morning on liners. Jim Shively ran that and I've spent lots, he's terrific and I've spent a lot of time with Jim and Jim has brought some real good changes to the industry but we're still backwards when it comes to solving the two basic problems, logistics and packaging.

EPR is now coming in extended producer responsibility. All of these factors are going to push our technology to change or we're going to be out and glue applied is going to be back because it's friendlier. So to me some of the things that we've been working on liner recycling, that's an easy one. We've been recycling liners for years and years and years. The complicated part is collecting it, right? The complicated part, there are two problems with liner recycling, just two, logistics and packaging. It's as simple as that.

Packaging Is Awesome with Adam Peek
People of Packaging Podcast
This is a podcast where we illuminate the stories of people in the packaging industry and proudly sponsored by
Hosted by the Packaging Pastor, Adam Peek