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KCP launches successful US RightCycle programme across EMEA
Kimberly-Clark Professional has launched a pioneering initiative across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which enables cleanroom and laboratory operators to recycle a wide range of used protective garments. This follows a successful launch in the United States earlier this year.
The programme, called RightCycle, makes it easy to dispose of previously hard-to-recycle garments such as coveralls, gloves, hoods, boot covers and hairnets in a sustainable manner. The used items are simply placed in a RightCycle collection box or the operator's own box. Full boxes are assembled onto pallets and collected by Kimberly-Clark Professional programme partner TerraCycle.
Launched initially in the UK and Germany as a one-year pilot scheme, RightCycle is believed to be the first large-scale recycling solution for this kind of waste, offering companies an opportunity to reduce landfill waste streams and enhance their sustainability efforts. After the used garments are collected, they are turned into raw materials to create eco-friendly consumer products such as plastic chairs.
"Our cleanroom and laboratory customers have ambitious sustainability goals, yet often struggle with where and how to get started," says Ruud Sleumer, Customer Marketing Manager at Kimberly-Clark Professional. "Our innovative RightCycle programme offers a powerful and easy way for them to exceed their solid waste reduction goals, while helping to make their workplaces healthier, safer and more productive."
The RightCycle programme supports the 'Planet' pillar of the three-pronged Kimberly-Clark Corporation Sustainability 2015 vision, which also encompasses 'People' and 'Products'. The Sustainability 2015 strategy engages Kimberly-Clark businesses, brands and employees globally. Under each of the three pillars, the company is working towards meeting a range of demanding targets that will make a major difference to the sustainability of its operations and, potentially, affect millions of people's lives for the better.
Sustainability 2015 builds on the success of previous Kimberly-Clark Professional environmental improvement programmes - such as the Vision 2010 initiative, under which the company implemented a number of successful projects worldwide to improve its performance in key environmental areas. It also widens the focus and scope of the company's sustainability agenda to integrate elements that sustain and nurture healthy working environments and communities.
"The disposal of solid waste by pharmaceutical and other scientific organisations poses considerable challenges for businesses and society," adds Ruud. "Landfill options are becoming more limited and waste disposal costs continue to rise. The RightCycle programme takes recycling to a new level - beyond downcycling, upcycling and other approaches - by making it easy to recycle pharmaceutical cleanroom and laboratory garments that used to be very difficult to dispose of sustainably.
"This new recycling programme, operated with our partner TerraCycle, further extends our commitment to offering our customers sustainability initiatives which save time, materials and ultimately money. This new capacity to recycle cleanroom gloves and coveralls also importantly helps our customers' employees stay motivated to reach their CSR goals."
Chris Baker, General Manager for TerraCycle Europe, adds: "TerraCycle is delighted to partner with Kimberly-Clark Professional to launch this new, first-of-its-kind recycling solution for non-traditional cleanroom waste. Providing end-of-life solutions for previously difficult-to-recycle items from cleanrooms is an exciting new venture and could have massive industry-wide impact."
1st August 2013