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KCP to help customers achieve 'closed loop' recycling
Kimberly-Clark Professional is embarking on a drive to help its customers better understand the concept of 'closed loop recycling' and how it can help them to minimise their impact on the environment.
Closed loop recycling is a production system in which the waste generated by one product is used to make another. A typical example would be the recovery of fibre from recycled office waste paper to be used in the production of towel and tissue products. The manufacturer can help customers calculate the amount of waste paper they need to recycle in order to recover enough fibre to manufacture the towel and tissue products they consume.
Lori Shaffer, Sustainability Marketing Manager at Kimberly-Clark Professional, says: "We share our customers' concerns about the post-consumer waste generated by the products we supply them with. Many of our customers are already able to recycle enough office waste paper to produce the tissue products they consume, thereby creating a closed loop. Where our customers are not able to achieve this closed loop, we want to help them do so.
"In an ideal world, we would recycle their waste for them. But in many cases it's not realistic for us to do this, so offering practical support is the next best solution. There are a number of ways we can help. For example, it might be the case that a change in product mix - a switch to products that are more effective and therefore reduce consumption levels - could be the answer. Simply looking afresh at the products a customer purchases from us could help them to close the loop - and at the same time reduce their cost-in-use."
The company is also stepping up efforts to help its customers educate their employees about recycling and disposing of their waste in a more environmentally friendly fashion. It is offering subsidised Kimberly-Clark Paper Saver waste paper collection bins, which are designed to store recyclable paper waste for collection and re-processing.
Initiatives like these, which enable customers to reduce the impact of their paper waste streams, are an extension of the actions being taken by the manufacturer to reduce its own waste generation.
Kimberly-Clark is committed to sending zero manufacturing waste to landfill by 2015. By the end of 2012, 78% of all waste generated directly by its manufacturing operations was diverted to secondary, beneficial uses. These included reconstituted paper pulp, egg cartons, building insulation, cement blocks and animal bedding.
The manufacturer is aiming to dramatically reduce the waste it generates overall in real terms. From 2011 to 2012, it cut its manufacturing waste levels by 85,000 tonnes through packaging optimisation, minimising 'off-spec' production, and reconstituting any off-spec goods by putting them back into the production process.
Last year (2012), its RightCycle programme diverted 28 tonnes of single use protective garments and nitrile gloves away from landfill - and is projected to double that volume by the end of 2013. The diverted waste is turned into plastic pellets and used to make anything from Frisbees to chairs. To find out more about the programme:
21st November 2013