Sonoco Recycling launches Sonoco Sustainability Star Award to recognize customers with significant landfill diversion, waste stream reduction; winners include Cascades Sonoco in Birmingham, Alabama, Kraft Foods in Suffolk, Virginia

HARTSVILLE, South Carolina , September 21, 2011 (press release) – Sonoco Recycling, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sonoco and one of the largest packaging recyclers in North America, today announced the launch of its Sonoco Sustainability Star Award program.

Created to recognize customer and Sonoco facilities for achieving significant milestones in landfill diversion and waste stream reduction, the program is comprised of three tiers:

-- Gold recognizes facilities that have achieved 99% landfill diversion.

-- Silver is awarded to facilities achieving 95% landfill diversion.

-- Bronze recognizes facilities that have made significant waste reduction achievements, such as drastically reducing their waste streams or implementing a new composting system.

"With the increasing importance placed on sustainability by both Sonoco and our customers, we felt compelled to create a program that would recognize those facilities that take considerable steps to achieve higher levels of sustainability," said Jim Brown, vice president, Sonoco Recycling.

"To date, we've experienced great success in helping our customers -- in targeted facilities -- significantly reduce their landfill waste or become landfill free. We fully expect this program will encourage even more of our customers to strive for significant reductions in landfill waste. Additionally, by recognizing the efforts of our own facilities, the new Sonoco Sustainability Star Award program furthers Sonoco's goals of achieving landfill-free status at 10 percent of our plants by 2015."

Plants and customers who have achieved landfill-free status prior to the program's implementation will be recognized retroactively. Sonoco Sustainability Star Award winners to date include the following plants, all at Gold level:

Boeing, North Charleston, S.C.
Kraft Foods, Suffolk, Va.
Cascades Sonoco, Birmingham, Ala.
P&G, Auburn, Maine
Kraft Foods, Philadelphia, Pa.
Unilever, Suffolk , Va.
Kraft Foods, LeHigh Valley, Pa.

The Sonoco Sustainability Award program will be administered through Sonoco Recycling and Sonoco Sustainability Solutions, LLC (S3). With a knowledge base informed by more than a century of experience as a global packaging leader and innovative recycler, S3 is uniquely qualified to find alternative recycling solutions for waste that was previously thought to be unrecyclable. Today, some of the world's most successful manufacturers and retailers rely on S3 to create and implement sustainable business solutions in their facilities.

A recycling leader with locations and expertise worldwide, Sonoco Recycling annually collects more than 3 million tons of old corrugated containers, various grades of paper, metals and plastics. In addition, the Company has experts who provide secure, reliable and innovative recycling solutions to residential and commercial customers. Currently, Sonoco Recycling operates three material recovery facilities (MRFs) serving more than 125 communities in which curbside-collected residential and commercial materials are processed. The Company also operates recycling programs which identify waste reduction opportunities that reduce operating expenses for many of the largest consumer product companies in the U.S.

Learn more about the Sonoco Sustainability Star Awards program at .

About Sonoco

Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a $4.1 billion global manufacturer of industrial and consumer products and provider of packaging services, with more than 300 operations in 34 countries, serving customers in some 85 nations. Sonoco is a proud member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. For more information on the Company, visit our web site at .

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