The importance of recycling in the supply chain will increase in the coming years, and firms risk missing out on the range of business benefits that properly dealing with their packaging waste offers.
Vanden Recycling‘s UK Managing Director, David Wilson, explains “A large volume of packaging material that is collected and reprocessed is comprised of back-of-store recyclates – and this material offers significant advantages over post-consumer waste.”
These advantages include concentrated tonnage in single loctations, the opportunity to capture as a single stream and the ability for recyclers to work alongside interested parties, incentivised by potential rebates and reduced costs.
Businesses must acknowledge the processes and initiatives that will ensure that their secondary packaging waste from warehousing storage, shipping and logistics find its way back into the supply chain.
Moving away from mixed polymer materials will have a critical impact on its recyclability. Vanden are consistently working with businesses, guiding them in moving away from mixed polymer materials, labels and adhesives that cannot be recovered, or advising them that the materials widely deemed as non-recyclable, can be recovered, such as PP film.
Other areas that can secure recyclability and therefore generate a revenue stream and contribute to a circular economy include:
Segregating polymer types at source where possible, to maximise the recovery of packaging waste and scrap. Once polymer types have been mixed, the cost to separate at a later date can outweigh the cost of the recycling solution.
Introduce equipment that requires little floor space, such as balers and stillages. These enable you to efficiently store plastic waste and scrap to meet effective tonnage weights and maximise outgoing load potential without impacting core business space.
Creating greater synergies between all aspects of the supply chain, from manufacturers to handling, storage and retailers will also enable waste to be recovered in larger volumes and meet the required weights in less time.
Rethink packaging design. Packaging components must be rethought to ensure that recycled material can be used, the volume of non-recyclable components can be reduced, and the item can be easily collected and recycled by the current UK infrastructure.
Much can be done within the supply chain to close the gaps and create recyclable, sustainable products and packaging.
Vanden’s mission is to make recycling part of the supply chain and to optimise the use of plastics, by adding value and educating our team and customers as we go. To find out more about Vanden’s services, visit their website.