Kiilto – Closed loop of recycling industrial plastic as part of the circular economy and sustainable development
Finland recycles plastic consumer packaging, but hardly any packaging discarded by companies. Kiilto has begun an extensive pilot project to reduce the plastic waste created by companies. We have begun a joint project with our customers to gather experiences of recycling and to develop suitable operating models. The goal has been reduce waste and CO2 emissions by a closed loop recycling.
Consumers can easily recycle plastic packaging, whereas companies are still facing various problems. The challenges companies face in plastic recycling are associated with issues such as the practice of sorting waste in the location where it is generated. Different plastic grades need to be separated, which increases the workload. Another problem is that the volume of some plastic materials is too low. Recycling is also made more challenging by the fact that many types of plastic have to be recycled separately. Kiilto’s pilot project involves the recycling of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) packaging.
Kiilto wants to promote the circular economy and protect the environment. It makes more sense to keep good materials in circulation than to incinerate them and increase carbon emissions. The goal of the piloting project in 2021 has been to have a closed loop in. In closed loop Kiilto’s plastic packaging are recycled to make new Kiilto packaging.
Customers participating in Kiilto’s pilot project for recycling industrial plastic have received positive feedback and see the pilot as an excellent opportunity to develop cooperation with experts of different areas. Cooperation between experts of various fields promotes the awareness of recycling plastic and uses of reprocessed plastic. Recyclable containers mean less energy waste and recycled plastic is primarily used to make products of the type in which the plastic was originally an ingredient, such as plastic bottles.
Our modern society depends on packaging. A package protects the product, provides user instructions, and enables a logistics chain from the manufacturer to the end user. Plastics have many properties that make them superior packaging materials. If the packaging fails to protect the products properly, the spoiling or disposal of contents results in a greater environmental impact than the packaging itself.
For example, the carbon footprint of packaging made from recycled plastic can be 50% smaller than that made of virgin plastic. In 2019, Kiilto launched a project that helps its customers to recycle plastic packaging. The pilot has continued in 2021 and will do so also in 2022. During the project, Kiilto has been advising and training the staff of the participating companies in the collection and recycling of packaging.
Recycling commercial plastic waste is taking its first steps but its development will be rapid in the next few years. One driver is EU legislation that promotes more efficient recycling.
Customer stories about closed loop recycling: