One Company’s Waste, Is Another Company’s Resource

One Company’s Waste, Is Another Company’s Resource

February 7, 2019

NISP

“A business led initiative that uses the industrial symbiosis approach to create new market opportunities. It also increases the range of resources that have commercial value. This means adding to the bottom line and improve resource efficiency.”

Win/Win/Win

Associated Labels and Packaging participated in this program to discover if our waste could be turned into another companies input. The program was pretty simple in design. Companies were invited to fill out as many “Haves” on a green info card (this could include waste, unwanted resources, services, vacant warehouse space etc). This was followed by your “Wants” on a yellow info card (similar to haves, but also included information requests). The results would be shared amongst each table and people would write their names on either cards to make connections or referrals.

Example

Associated Labels and Packaging recycles shipping shrink wrap, which likely gets sent to China to process into who knows what. Instead, this plastic can be sent to a local company who can use the shrink as an input to create their products. This process accomplishes the following:

  • Hauling and dumping fees are removed
  • Our truck can simply add this stop to it’s local delivery
  • Receiving company gets a free resource
  • Resource remains in local circular economy
  • There is less environmental impact and virgin materials created
  • Associated Labels and Packaging can get closer to zero waste!

Roadblocks

Associated Labels and Packaging creates continuous, and for the most part unavoidable label and flexible packaging waste. These products have zero end value since they cannot be separated into their original components. This unfortunately means most of the time this product ends up either in the landfill or incinerator for energy. Our suppliers have no solution, however there is a small glimmer of hope in Iowa of all places.

Continuous Materials Recovery  takes all paper and plastic waste and transforms it into building materials for exterior walls and commercial roofs. Unfortunately Iowas is a staggering 3,000km (1,864 miles) away. NEXT Steps>>> Feasibility study on using Continuous Materials Recovery.

Connect

If you have any suggestions, or have heard any solutions out there, I would love to hear them! Direct your message to info@associated-labels.com, Jay Ashworth, Sustainability Manager.

To learn more about NISP’s local, national and international programs click here.

 

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