Een tweede leven voor PE-foam

A second life for our PE-Foam waste

Blog

In the context of sustainability Faes recently purchased a special shredder and installed the corresponding exhaust system. “Disposing of something that is still usable as residual waste is no longer of this time,” says Faes CEO Johan Faes. Residual PE-foam that previously disappeared into the grey container is disposed of in a constructive way so that this foam rubber can be reused as mats for artificial grass courts.

 

Recycling waste

At Faes we use PE foam for the production of customised interiors. Although we do this as efficiently as possible, we always have to deal with cutting loss. The recently installed shredder is a sustainable solution for the 15m3 foam waste that we have to deal with every week. This polyethylene (PE) foam is good for recycling, but its light weight (40 kg/m3) makes it uninteresting for larger recycling companies. “For a long time, the only option for us was to dump it as residual waste and that didn’t sit well with me,” says Johan Faes.

“We have now found a company that can recycle this waste. The only requirement is that we have to deliver our residual waste in flakes of 4 centimetres in diameter. To this end, we have invested in a shredder and a corresponding exhaust system. The flakes are collected in a container that is regularly taken to the mat company. This way, the material gets a second life and earns us something as well.”

Reducing our CO2 footprint by means of this shredder is a step towards circular thinking, design and production; in short, circular entrepreneurship.

What is circular business?

Circular entrepreneurship is a new way of working, a new way of looking at the production process. You look not only at the lifespan of a product but also at its place in a larger system. A product is designed in such a way that it completes its cycle. Used raw materials are reused to prevent waste and dissipation.

“Our focus is on sustainability within industrial packaging,” Johan continues. “However, industrial packaging is not nearly as topical and top-of-mind as consumer packaging. The focus in the industry is on the product, not on the packaging. Optimising this, however, contributes enormously to cost savings and a better environment. As Faes we are engaged in integrated packaging optimisation. There are still big opportunities there.”

Contributing to a better environment

More and more companies hardly realise how big the impact of an efficient packing policy is within the chain. That too is an aspect of circular enterprise, according to Johan:

“What companies are already starting to realise is the impact of packaging and shipping on the environment. Although the cost of packaging in the industry is relatively low, there is still much to be gained in terms of sustainability. The beauty of it is, however, that in absolute numbers, this can also generate a lot of money.”

This is the same thought that led to the purchase of this shredder.

“The payback time of this business case is 8 years. For many companies, this is not interesting, because often the maximum ROI for their investments is 2 years. We save on landfill costs and we even get a bit of money back, but the contribution we make to the environment is worth a lot more in this case.

We made this investment primarily with a contribution to our living environment in mind. By thinking about circular entrepreneurship, we hope to be able to contribute to a better and more sustainable environment now and in the future. We also hope that other entrepreneurs will take a closer look at the cycle of their products and use of raw materials. Things like this take time and require new insights, but when companies take this on together, we can make a greater contribution to our living environment. After all, circular business is something you do together!”

Attention to sustainability at Faes

De Nederlandse economie moet in 2050 volledig circulair zijn, zo staat in het rijksbrede programma van de overheid. Om dat voor elkaar te krijgen moeten we allemaal ons steentje bijdragen; overheid, burgers én bedrijven. Lees hier op welke manieren we bij Faes aandacht besteden aan duurzaamheid. Wil je hier meer over weten of ben je benieuwd naar hoe verpakkingen kunnen bijdragen aan duurzaamheid binnen jouw bedrijf? Stel je vraag in het contactformulier hieronder of neem direct contact met ons op. The Dutch economy must be fully circular by 2050, according to the government’s nationwide programme. To make this happen, we all have to contribute; government, citizens and companies. Read here in which ways we pay attention to sustainability at Faes. Would you like to know more about this or are you curious about how packaging can contribute to sustainability within your company? Ask your question in the contact form below or contact us directly.

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        Mandy van Alebeek
        Relations manager