Cost-effective recycling radically cuts IBC waste and saves money
Paper factory writes new chapter in recycling
- Waste recycling saves € 30 000 and cuts actual waste by 37 tonnes per year
- Measures reduce emissions by 32 tonnes CO2 annually
Ahlstrom is a French paper manufacturer which recently carried out a review to understand where resource and cost savings could be made. It found that some 57 tonnes of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) were discarded per year, representing 37 % of the management budget, and 4 % of total waste tonnage. As it stood, treating the dirty IBCs for reuse was generally considered too expensive.
To cut back on costs and the environmental impact of this waste stream, Ahlstrom changed supplier and set up cost-effective recycling processes for IBCs, which are now either washed and fully reused or just the inside pocket is replaced. Some IBCs containing hazardous materials continue to be destroyed, but this represents only 5 % of the total.
One year after implementing this recycling and reuse system, Ahlstrom saved around € 30 000 and cut CO2 emissions by some 32 tonnes. Inspired by the success of the programme, the company is exploring other avenues for improving the recycling of its primary waste streams.
Sludge, plastic films and big bags, in particular, are being considered. The continued objective is to find new channels that contribute to savings while reducing the environmental impact.
Ademe (2016), '30 k€/AN D’ÉCONOMIES SUR LE BUDGET DÉCHETS EN RÉEMPLOYANT LES CONTAINERS DE 1000 L', http://multimedia.ademe.fr/catalogues/fiches-entreprises/1_AHLSTROM_FAM…