With the right insights, it is possible to develop methods of handling plastic that save time and money and lead to more efficient production and a more sustainable company profile.
Plastic swallows up resources
The way plastic is handled affects decision making and requires different types of resources in the manufacturing industry. This applies throughout the production process – from purchasing and design to fitters and truck drivers. Ultimately, value is measured in terms of purchase costs, incineration costs and time spent dealing with employees, machinery and other resources. Managing plastic wisely throughout the entire chain allows for progress and makes it possible to create circular solutions that retain value – avoiding linear solutions where value is lost.
The majority of plastic is incinerated
Today, a high percentage of plastic is incinerated as part of its life cycle. This is despite the fact that the purchase value of plastic can sometimes be as high as the cost of copper – a highly valued material, where everything is recycled. In other words, plastic is a valuable material which loses most of its value during handling.
The report “Retaining value in the Swedish materials system” shows that in Sweden the purchase value of plastic amounts to 10 billion SEK per year – in the rest of Europe, this amount is of course much higher. 84% of plastic packaging, production waste and discarded plastic products is incinerated or ends up in landfills. The rest is recycled. This shows there is great potential in re-evaluating plastic as a resource.
Global buzz around plastic – a chance to lead by example
During the last year, plastic has perhaps become the world’s most widely discussed material. Making advances in the way your business handles plastic can make a powerful impression on sustainability reports and other communication aimed at your stakeholders. It can also contribute to the new emerging market of recycled plastic. Who knows, maybe you're thinking about increasing the use of recycled plastic in your products?