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Waste minimisation around the world

Logistics can help the company achieve ISO 14001 certification

Waste minimisation around the world

Did you know that we dump 2.12 billion tons of waste per year globally? Thanks to growing populations and economies, this figure is predicted to grow by 70% as soon as 2050. So, what can we do to stop this number from continuing to rise?

One way that countries are already working to curb waste is by implementing two types of initiatives: ones that help maximise waste recovery, and ones that seek to minimise waste overall. We looked at which countries are faring well in the fight against municipal waste, and what learnings we can take from them.

Recycling

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. From eco packaging to plastic alternatives, we are collectively moving toward more products that can be recycled and more products that have been made from recyclable materials. Out of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries we explored, we found that Germany were the top recyclers, recycling almost half (49%) of their waste, followed by Slovenia (47%) and Belgium (33%).

Germany is embracing this lifestyle through many ways, and one of these is their Green Dot system. This makes manufacturers and retailers pay for a green packaging sticker to show that a fee has been paid to fund its recycling. The results are twofold: manufacturers cut down on the materials they use, and consumers are able to recycle the full product and its packaging.

                   

Composting

It is said that almost half of the food waste in the average UK rubbish bin could be composted. This is the process of letting kitchen and garden waste decompose in a dedicated bin, and using it as fertiliser for plants. It not only saves money and resources, but also helps to improve the soil and reduces the impact on the environment. Looking at the five-year average, the composters that came out on top were Austria (32%), Netherlands (28%) and Switzerland (21%).

Austria’s impressive biowaste management comes from a combination of things. They boast high-quality home composting, separate collections where home composting is not possible, as well as on-farm or municipal composting plants.

Lithuania also has commendable composting performance, having increased their composting by 22% over the last five years. Just one of the ways they’re doing this is through waste management centres. In Lithuania, most private houses are provided with free composting boxes, as well as needing to follow strict guidance on how to separate food and kitchen waste.

Landfill

Globally, we’re producing around 1.3 billion tons of landfill waste annually, with a projected increase to 2.2 billion tons by 2025 – with less places to put it, and more landing in our precious oceans every day.[2] The toxicity of landfills is bad for our health and the environment, which is why 23 out of 29 countries have been making reductions over the last five years.

Turkey (93%), Greece (83%) and Latvia (69%) were the worse culprits for sending municipal waste to landfill. One thing worth noting however, is that, while it’s now illegal to send non-recoverable materials overseas, it doesn’t always work like that. Many countries send recyclable waste to other countries because it’s cheap, reduces landfill, and ticks off their green goals. The problem? Unrecyclable materials are often found amongst the waste sent over, forcing other countries to add it to their own landfill statistics.

                   

Incineration

Incineration tends to be the lesser talked about disposal option. It’s a slightly more complex method in that some incineration techniques get rid of waste but do not recover it, whereas others can convert waste into the likes of ash, flue gas and heat. These are referred to as ‘incineration with energy’. Even then however, there are some consequences, including the emissions that are released into the air when energy is produced.

Sweden is a country that is using incineration with energy efficiently. Just over half of their waste is recovered in this way, thanks to their 35 waste-to-energy power plants around the country. This municipal waste works to provide both district heating and electricity to their 10 million residents. In fact, according to research, Sweden recovers more energy from each ton of waste than any other country![3]

What about waste production?

Ultimately, however, while positive recovery is an important part of our war on waste, we can’t get away from the fact that we need to produce less waste in the first place. A truly conscious country will not only be recovering a high proportion of their waste, but producing a low percentage of it, too. Why not read our full campaign on waste minimisation to find out which countries are proving themselves the shining star in both of these areas?

[1] https://www.recyclenow.com/reduce-waste/composting/why-compost

[2] https://steelysdrinkware.com/growing-global-landfill-crisis/

[3] https://smartcitysweden.com/focus-areas/climate-energy-environment/waste-to-energy/#:~:text=Incineration%20is%20a%20method%20ideally,waste%20than%20any%20other%20country.

The WrapPak ® Protector, a paper packaging solution

The WrapPak ® Protector (PT) produces on-demand waved paper packaging pads using Kraft paper that is 100% recyclable, renewable and biodegradable. What makes this sustainable packaging solution innovative is the design design of the Kraft paper. The waved paper construction allows flexible movement and the combined layers provide strength, padded protection and versatility, so one packaging machine can be used for various applications.WrapPak Protector paper packaging products

The WrapPak ® Protector improves your warehouse’s packing efficiency, whilst packing stations are simplified by converting Kraft paper into a paper packaging pads. The warehouse packer can adapt the protection based on the shape and size of the product.  It means that only one packaging machine is used in the entire packing protection operation.

Box lining

Light protection – acting as a barrier between the product and box.

WrapPak Protector paper packaging for box lining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapping products

Medium protection – cushioning multiple products and separating items during transportation.

WrapPak Protector paper packaging for wrapping products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thermal insulation

Temperature protection – helping to maintain your products in an ambient or chilled condition.

WrapPak Protector paper packaging for thermal insulation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block and bracing

Heavy duty protection – restricting movement and preventing products from shifting by filling the void.

WrapPak Protector paper packaging for block and bracing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several programme modes are available to set the paper pad lengths, quantities and frequency by using the touchscreen display. A foot pedal can also be used for a manual packing operation; for on-demand production. Two separate packs of single-ply Kraft paper are automatically fed into the converter; the paper pad is converted from 2-ply Kraft sheets, the paper edges are punched and scrunched together forming the wave shape. The result is a paper pad that can be used alone to protect products, and is ideal for warehouses with a varied stock range requiring different protection qualities.

Paper packaging offers great protection for packages. Paper by nature, is a good shock absorber that reduces impacts, and does not transfer the pressure to other areas. It has good insulation properties by trapping air, also, paper is adaptable and malleable meaning each box can be individually packed according to the specific product. And lets not forget about the environmentally friendly aspects of paper packaging too.

For more information on paper packaging machines or the WrapPak ® Protector, contact the team on 0800 542 44 28 or sales@rajapack.co.uk.