Sussex IM and The Circular Economy – A Solution to a Sustainable Economy

Sustainability is something that Sussex IM incorporates into many aspects of manufacturing including supply chain, production, and post-production environments. Those initiatives are the foundation on which Sussex has developed additional products and solutions to drive efforts for establishing a Circular Economy.

Current Environmental State

The current economy is using a “Take-Make-Waste” mindset when it comes to plastic products. This means that raw materials are used to make a product that is then discarded after a single use. Plastic packaging waste represents $80-120 billion loss to the global economy. Plastic recycling in the US is stagnant at 9% since 2012 while the global rate is between 14%-18%.

As a demand for plastic is expected to triple by 2050 the time is now to establish new guidelines and infrastructure for single-use plastics.

A major contributing product to these statistics is Takeout/Take-home Delivery, low-cost, stock containers. Positioned for 1-time use, these products are produced through high-volume injection molding and thermoforming and take hundreds of years to decompose.

Circular Economy

Circular Economy is a system aimed at eliminating waste and continual use of resources in-order-to reduce products discarded into landfills. Through circular economy efforts, products are reused through a systematic process to keep energy and resource usage low during manufacturing and product lifecycle.


The challenges presented by establishing a circular economy include developing infrastructure relating to scalability, cost and traceability through use.

Current takeout/ take-home delivery options with reusable aspects demonstrate these challenges.

Stainless tumblers: do not hit prices points for profitable reusability and are sources from the Pacific Rim which presents logistics challenges

Current high-volume thermoformed and injected molded containers: are unable to be cleaned or reused due to thin-wall construction intended to reduce price.

Non-plastic solutions: such as bamboo containers are high cost, non-scalable, not microwave safe and sourcing can be very difficult.

Sussex IM Solution

Sussex IM has developed a product line of food containers and drinkware that meet circular economy guidelines. Manufactured out of Polypropylene, these products are cost-effective, scalable and recyclable. Sussex’s ability to in-mold label these products with digitally printed labels allows for unlimited traceability through QR codes, Digi-marks and invisible QR codes.

Food Storage and Drinkware Products

Products include:

Mr. Lid –This plastic food storage product is an ideal to-go package replacement because of the attached lid which reduces pieces to clean and lost parts. Made of polypropylene, this container is BPA free, microwave safe and offers ability for branding and track and trace capabilities through In-mold labeling.

ONETUMBLER – This double-wall tumbler is in-mold labeled with track and trace technology making it a replacement for single use coffee cups. Loyalty and rewards programs for reuse are tracked easily through digitally printed codes incorporated into labels. Recyclable material options available for large programs to increase sustainability of this product.

HaloVinoTM – a shatterproof wine glass designed for functionality, taste and reusability. In-mold labeling technology provides track and trace capability.

Looking for a circular economy solution to your food service needs contact us at: