Logimarkt’s research and development team is constantly looking for solutions to support reducing waste and consumption:
- Increasing the sustainability level of packaging
- Decreasing the use of fossil fuel (1 ton of recycled plastic saves 16 barrels of oil)
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint
- Reducing the volume of plastic waste (1 ton of recycled plastic saves 7.4 mᶾ of storage space)
- Saving energy (1 ton of recycled plastic saves 5,774 kW/h in energy)
- Increasing the usage options and reuse for packaging
To achieve this, constant research, development and testing are carried through.
How do we put the principles of waste management into practice?
First principle. Reduce the waste volume and its pace of generation.
Logimarkt produces high-quality items that are resistant to intensive and long-term use, from both prime-grade and recycled material. This aspect guarantees that, no matter how often they are used, they will not degrade quickly, and break only in exceptional conditions. The longer the period of use, the less need for new products. Waste and consumption are reduced.
Second principle. Products are reusable for applications different from the ones they were initially designed and produced for.
R&D promotes solutions which can be used as they are but also expanded by using various accessories or options:
- Internal separators for crates, boxes, or containers – foldable (from woven or nonwoven textiles, corrugated plastic, foam) or compact (rigid plastic, foam, thermoformed, injected plastic) – they can be stored aside when not in use, and when necessary, can be easily mounted back.
- Plastic or metal label holders: the labels can be changed as many times as needed, so the crates, bins, totes, boxes or containers, and pallets can be used for a large variety of products.
- Injected plastic packaging with folding or nesting options: due to the significantly reduced space they take up when not in use, the costs of storage or return transport from delivery are meagre so that they can be reused for many packing cycles and successfully replace the one-way/ non-returnable packaging.
- Customizations for quick access to the packaging’s content, like loading/ unloading doors or drop doors for bulk handling: these access zones are blocked when they are not used and quickly unblocked when the application requires it.
- Accessories like wheels/ casters or trolleys (the same packaging can be used for static applications – the wheels are blocked or mobile), lids or covers (the plastic boxes and containers can be used without lid for internal applications or with a lid for transport and storage), interlayers (they are used when the products can be placed on at least two layers), seals or safety elements to secure the products for storage or transport.
The third significant principle of waste management is recycling. When the products reach the end of their service life and cannot be repaired or reused for any application, they need to be collected and sent to specialized recycling centers.
Furthermore, the old, damaged packaging is transformed into raw material for new products through specific processes.
The original material can be used up to 4-5 times, and then it only needs to be combined with prime-grade material to balance quality. The energy consumption to produce packaging from reclaimed plastic is up to 25-30% smaller compared to the process using raw material.
Logimarkt always recommends returnable packaging over single use. Correct management of plastic, responsible waste collection and recycling can make the difference between a sustainable and a harmful situation.
The recycling processes
- Items are collected.
- The items received (containers with HDPE and PP materials, rigid containers, boxes, crates, totes, bins, foldable containers, pallets, trays, etc.) are cleaned from labels, stickers, residues, contaminants, metallic holders, hinges, seals.
- They are ground down into small bits.
- Profound and fine milling. The crates are reduced to small flakes. This procedure is necessary for the thorough cleaning of the plastic. It is essential because impurities would affect the quality of the entire batch.
- Additional filtering with magnets would eliminate metallic parts skipped in the first step.
- Careful washing and drying of the plastic flakes are done before they are transferred to the injection moulding department.
- If necessary, the flakes can be separated by weight by simply putting them in water: the lightweight ones will float or stay on the surface, and the dense ones will lay on the bottom of the container. This separation is helpful in defining the melting point or the colour.
- The final step involves melting the flakes and injecting the paste into moulds.
Plastic packaging waste has now received a new life at a low cost, and the resulting products keep the important characteristics of the original.
Because during the injection process, the plastic containers, boxes or pallets are melted at a temperature of up to 250°C, it is guaranteed that no bacteria or any other contaminating material survives. This ensures an adequate hygiene level for the new products.
Waste doesn’t result only from products that reach the end of their life cycle but also if:
- They do not get to the customer for various reasons:
– a batch of products is not sold and cannot be kept in stock for too long because it becomes obsolete and generates inventory difficulties and storage costs
– the products have imperfections and are not accepted by the customer
– they are perishable food and beverages which expire
– the rhythm of sales doesn’t clear the stocks on time
- They end up at the client, but:
– they return it for any possible reason: it has flaws, it was damaged on transport, it does not match expectations (colour, size, quality, etc.)
– they break quickly after being put to use
– they are delivered in one-way packaging, which the buyer cannot handle
– they are old products or with a short service life that become outdated and have inferior performances than the new ones on the market (usually electronics, house appliances)
To decrease waste, rejected products are preferred to be returned to the producer. But one of the following might also occur:
- items can be sold on secondary markets, outlets, or discount stores
- the components can be reused
- it can be repaired
- it can be recycled
- the packaging can be returned to the producers and reused for new deliveries
This entire circuit of the goods going back is called Reverse logistics.
This does more than reduce waste. It increases customer satisfaction and generates appreciation toward the supplier.
For packaging, the concept of reverse logistics adopted by Logimarkt allows deteriorated pallets, containers, boxes, or crates to receive a second life by refurbishing them or recycling them into new products. This eludes increased cost with packaging produced from prime-grade material, but also the cost of waste disposal or storage.
Even if this process is more complicated than direct delivery, it involves planning, rigorous control, managing pick-up points, and might imply additional costs, Logimarkt recommends this practice.
In addition, European regulations are evident in this regard, and the consequences for not complying are drastic.
The 2018 European Commission’s Framework directive regarding waste established ways to reduce its volume and emphasizes prevention, followed by reuse and recycling. Only as a last resort, incineration, with energy recovery and disposal, is deemed acceptable.
How to participate in the recycling process?
Logimarkt encourages the return of old or deteriorated pallets, crates, boxes, bins, and containers at the collection points at any time possible, offering a discount for the following orders. This procedure benefits clients because they do not throw worn-out equipment to increase waste. The costs of buying new ones are reduced, and they contribute to maintaining a safer environment.
The integration of recycled products in existing or new applications
Packaging from recycled injected plastic guarantee sustainability and safety in use, just like the ones from raw material. With few exceptions related to internal standards or regulations regarding food transportation, these products are reliable, durable and compatible with all applications.
Prioritize customer preferences
If desired, recycling may bring a change of colour from the original to the new recycled items, usually a darker shade or a similar colour.
For more details regarding the colour change or size modification of the crates, bins, totes, containers, or pallets, the Logimarkt team can provide recommendations or proposals.
Using modern recycling methods, Logimarkt can ensure that the products will be as resistant and practical as they were before entering this process.
Through newly developed procedures, the transformation of old, deteriorated products and packaging costs less than the original production.
Customers engaging in this waste reduction process recover the remaining value of their unusable items.
Target: zero waste
Environmental pollution is produced by synthetic, unnatural materials, alien from the natural world and hardly decomposable.
These chemical composites endanger all life forms: humans, fauna, and flora, affecting soil, air and water and interfering with natural ecosystems.
The “zero waste” principle is now integrated as a lifestyle and business policy, which tends to eliminate waste completely. It’s important to underline that zero waste doesn’t mean incineration and elimination, but focuses on the first steps of the hierarchy set by the 2018 Framework directive regarding waste, as issued by the European Commission: prevention, reuse, and recycling.
Logimarkt regards waste as a resource. All products collected are transformed to create new items. Efficient, convenient, and ecological.
For the clients, the zero-waste target comes with the reassurance of collaborating with a company that respects strict quality protocols and is always searching for opportunities to bring the best solutions, prioritizing the interests of its present and future clients and the interests of society at large.
Every little action toward sustainability counts. It is essential to care about contributing to a cleaner and safer environment and promoting healthy and non-polluting consumption principles and habits.