If in the beginning they were resulted from materials which were not very elaborated, in time, the market exigences and the competition lead to the development of more and more industrialized materials. Thus, on one hand some problems disappeared, but others new showed up, among which is the fact that, being synthetic, many of these materials do not decompose freely in nature, or they decompose in very many years (some of them even in hundreds or thousands of years), and the conditions known as normal for sustaining our life are changing and become dangerous (they pollute). Beside the very long time needed for decomposing, there is added the fact that the rhythm of generating these waste but also their volume are continuously increasing, and, so far, the capacity of specialized companies to collect and recycle was exceeded.
So that the intense concern for reuse came as a natural interest of the civilized world for the quality of the current life, but also for the legacy it leaves to future generations.
Recycling is in fact the method by which the waste can be transformed into materials that can be safely reused for the subsequent production of various goods, without using new raw materials except in very small quantities and much rarely.
In logistics (and not only), plastic is perhaps one of the most used raw material in production of packaging. It ensures a superior level of protection during transport, the storage process is safe, is more available than other types of raw materials, it offers a longer service life to the packaging it is used for, and they can be used for a great number of times, thus, this way, the rhythm of waste generating decreases significantly. In addition, at the end of the service life it can be recycled, and this way reenters in the circuit and prolongs its usefulness.
Logimarkt, through its research and development team, is constantly looking for solutions and takes action to contribute to environmental conservation and to reduce the rhythm of the global warming by finding new ways to help:
- to increase the sustainability level for packaging
- to decrease the consume of fossil combustible in production (1 tone of recycled plastic saves 16 barrels of oil) and, in general, to reduce the consume of natural resources
- to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint
- to reduce the volume of plastic waste (1 tone of recycled plastic releases 7,4 mᶾ of storage space)
- the energy saving (1 tone of recycled plastic saves energy equal to 5 774 kW/h)
- to increase the use options and reuse level for packaging
It is a difficult task, which needs continuous and correct information, documented, to find optimal, safe solutions, with immediate applicability and visible and constant good results.
How do we put into practice the principles of waste management?
The first step of waste management is to reduce their volume and rhythm of generation.
In this regard, Logimarkt proposes products with a superior quality, resistant to intensive and long-term use, whether if they are from virgin or recycled material. This aspect guarantees that, no matter how often they are used, they will not degrade easily and only in exceptional or unforeseen conditions. The longer the period of use, the less need of new products, and the waste of resources is eliminated.
The second principle of waste management is the reuse of products. This means to use the products also for other applications than the ones they were initially designed and produced.
Logimarkt team proposes 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 are not used, 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, pallets can be used without any problems for a wide variety of products
- injected plastic packaging with folding or nesting options: due to the significantly reduced space they take when are not used, the costs with storage or return transport from delivery are very low, so they ca be reused for many packing cycles and successfully replace the one-way/ non-returnable packaging
- customizations for rapid 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 needed, and easily deblocked when the application requires it
- accessories like wheels/ castersor 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 lid for transport and storage), interlayers (they are used when the products can be placed on at least two layers, and between them there can be placed these protection sheets), seals or safety elements with which the products can be secured for storage or transport
The third big principle of waste management is recycling. When the products reach the end of their service life and they cannot be repaired or reused for any applications at all, the obligation is to be selectively collected and sent to the specialized recycling centers.
Furthermore, through specific processes, the old, damaged packaging become prime material for new products, resistant, in perfect shape for a large range of applications.
Even if the original material can be used only up to appx. 4-5 times, and, at some point, it needs to be combined with virgin material to balance the quality, for these recycling cycles are eliminated the same amount of one-way packaging batches – sure source of waste. Even more, the energy consumption to produce packaging from recuperated plastic is smaller than the one for packaging from original virgin material, even with up to 25-30%.
Logimarkt recommends that, every time is possible, the returnable packaging to be preferred instead of the one-way ones. A correct management of plastic, the responsible waste collection and recycling can make the difference between a controlled environment state and one at the alarm level or above it.
At first are gathered the materials from clients which want to participate to the recycling process.
After these products are received (containers with HDPE and PP materials, rigid containers, boxes, crates, totes, bins, foldable containers, pallets, trays, etc.), they are cleaned from labels/ other sticked materials/ residues/ contaminants, metallic holders, hinges, seals, and then are grinded into small pieces.
The next step is a profound and fine milling, and the initial products become small flakes. This procedure is necessary so that after, the pieces can be carefully washed, to eliminate completely all the impurities. The contaminated parts will not be recycled because they can affect the whole batch, and this is why this step is essential, so the effects of the entire process to be correct and the resulted material to be usable.
There can be done supplementary filtering with magnets to eliminate the eventual metallic parts which skipped the first step.
It follows the careful wash and dry of the plastic flakes before they are transferred to the injection molding points.
Intermediary, 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, the dense ones will lay on the bottom of the recipient. This separation is useful for setting the melting point or the color.
The final step involves the melting of the flakes and injecting them into molds.
This way, the plastic packaging waste receives a new life at lower costs than in case of first injection production, and the resulted products keep the important characteristics: resistance, robustness, ensure a high level of protection.
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 contaminant material can survive. This is a prevention measure which ensures an adequate hygiene level for the new products.
Because waste doesn’t result only from using the products until the end of their technical life, it is good to know that another source is represented by products in the following situations:
- they do not end up at the final customer from various reasons:
- the production is not sold and cannot be kept in stock for too long because it remains behind as technical performances, aspect, design, and generates problems with inventory and storage costs
- the products have defects and are not sold even if those defects are small, or the products are offered with discounts
- they are perishable food and beverages, which expire
- the rhythm of sales doesn’t clear the stocks in a timely manner
- they end up at the client, but:
- their return is desired because of the defects which were not noticed on purchase, they have hidden operating flaws, they were deteriorated during the transport covered by the seller/ supplier, or, in the case of e-commerce, the clients order products which they see only in pictures or video, and when they receive the order they find color differences, problems of size compatibility, design differences, the quality is not the one promoted by the seller, etc.
- they break quickly during the operations they were produced and bought for
- they are delivered in one-way packaging which cannot be handled by the buyer
- they are old products or with short service life, technically and morally outdated, with performances inferior to the new products on the market (in general electronics, house appliances)
To decrease the volume of final waste, it is tried, as much as possible, to move the scrap or rejected products from the client back to the producer. This process doesn’t imply that the products must end up in the point from where they left. They can stop anywhere on the way back, up to the point where:
- there can be recuperated the remaining value by selling them on secondary markets, outlet or discount type
- the components which can be reused further are taken over, also to recuperate the remaining value
- they can be repaired
- they can be properly recycled
- the packaging can be returned to the producers and reused for new deliveries
This entire circuit back of the goods is called Reverse logistics.
Not only that this way there can be reduced the quantity of waste incorrectly thrown by the end users, but it increases the clients’ satisfaction and fidelity for the supplier or producer from which the acquisition was done.
In case of packaging, the concept of reverse logistics adopted by Logimarkt allows the deteriorated pallets, containers, boxes, or crates to receive a second life by repairing them (refurbishment) or transforming them into new products from recycled material. This way are avoided the supplementary costs with packaging produced from virgin material, but also the stress of waste pick up by the third parties or of the costs resulting from keeping the nonconforming products in storage.
Even if this process, compared with direct delivery, is much more complicated, involves a laborious organization, planning, rigorous control, well placed pick up points, maybe even additional costs, Logimarkt recommends its use in order to come in front of the clients with new products, more attractive, with a new design, with more options, competitive, with a higher demand and better chances of not being returned and not produce waste anymore or generate unwanted costs.
In addition, from the legal point of view, European regulations are clear in this regard, and the consequences for not complying them are drastic.
In fact, the European Commission’s Framework-directive regarding the waste from 2018 established a clear hierarchy to reduce its volume, and the emphasis is on prevention, followed by reuse, and recycling. In the end, with the smallest share and only as last resort, are incineration with energy recovery and disposal.
How to participate in recycling process?
Logimarkt encourages the return of old or deteriorated pallets, crates, boxes, bins, containers at the collection points, anytime is possible, with the possibility of a discount for the next order. This procedure is benefic for the clients because they do not throw worn out equipment which increase the waste percentage, the costs for buying new ones are reduced, and civically, they contribute to maintaining a safer environment.
The integration of recycled products in existent or new applications
Packaging from recycled injected plastic guarantee sustainability and safety in use, just like the ones from virgin material. With only a few exceptions related to some internal standards or regulations regarding the food contact, these products are reliable, durable and can be implemented in any kind of applications, having the same guarantees and functioning abilities.
Prioritize customer preferences
Among the methods of integrating recycled products into the logistic flow, is the possibility to change, upon request, the color of materials and produce them in a darker shade or complimentary color (for example, a box which is light blue can be produced on dark green).
Also, recycled packaging can be produced in models and dimensions other than those from which comes the material to be injected.
For more details regarding the color change or size modification of the crates, bins, totes, containers, or pallets, Logimarkt’ s team is available with recommendations, proposals, solutions for its clients.
With the modern recycling systems, Logimarkt can assure that, by the used methods, the products will be as resistant and practical as they were before entering this process.
Through the newly developed procedures, the transformation of old, deteriorated products and packaging is done at optimized costs, smaller than in the case of the original production.
It is very important for customers that, once they participate in this waste recovery process for recycling, they can even enter in cashback promotions, just because they send the material that could no longer be used.
Target: zero waste
Environment pollution means the situations when, in nature arrive elements which are not natural and are in large quantities, continuously, which are not recognized by the environment and so it cannot decompose them partially or totally, or it decomposes them in a very long time.
Whether we are talking about air, water or soil pollution, these unnatural components endanger the health, the development or even the life of any natural component, no matter if we are talking about people, flora, fauna, land forms, atmosphere, weather conditions, seasons, ecosystems in general.
If initially the “zero waste” principle was more of a set of recommendations and alternatives to the solutions related to waste management from that time, today, this principle is integrated as a lifestyle and activity scheduling, which tends to eliminate the waste completely. It’s important to underline that zero waste doesn’t mean incineration and elimination, but it’s focused on the first steps of the hierarchy set by the early mentioned Framework-directive regarding the waste from 2018 of the European commission, meaning prevention, reuse, and recycling.
Logimarkt team approaches in fact the waste as being a new source of material, so this way, all the collected products are used and transformed to create new article, efficient, practical and ecological.
For Logimarkt’ s clients, the zero waste target comes along with the comfort of collaborating with a company which respects strict protocols of quality and which is always searching for opportunities to come with the best solutions, prioritizing the interests of its present and future clients, and the interests of the society.
Each action sustained by Logimarkt, no matter how small it might seem, it’s a plus to the contribution in maintaining a clean and safe environment, to the creation of healthy and nonpolluting consume principles and habits.
As a business in progressive growth and development on the European market, Logimarkt company constantly encourages the ways through which the society can participate in reducing plastic waste, offering to the present generation and to the future ones a clean place where they can live in total safety and security.