How Davpack Recycles Waste Products
Recently we’ve been making a push to become more environmentally conscious, such as creating our new Eco Packaging range that offers eco-friendly packaging options that are easy to recycle, biodegradable and made from partially recycled materials. This year we’ve made a change to how our waste management is done and have started working with waste recovery specialists Enva to make better use of any waste we produce and improve our environmental friendliness.
What Waste Products Do We Have And How Are They Recycled?
Although we recycled cardboard in the past, Enva are able to recycle our waste cardboard more efficiently and turn it into new products, creating a circular economy. Cardboard is one of our largest waste products, coming with many of our stock orders as well as off cuts from boxes that we manufacture in house.
Our waste cardboard is collected together on site and taken by Enva where they wash the cardboard and turn it into a slurry which is then heated to break it down into small fibres and remove any glues, plastics or other items. This will then be deinked which is one of the more complicated parts of the process. This can either be done by adding the pulp to a flotation cell that is heated while blowing air into it to cause the ink to rise to the surface, this is known as ‘flotation deinking’. Alternatively, the mixture can be washed with dispersants or enzymes to break down the ink. These fibres can then be used to make new paper or cardboard for other items.
With a huge amount of in stock products, we have many pallets coming in daily. Although we do use these pallets for their original purpose again and they are used to store items on our racking in our warehouses, sometimes they do get damaged and aren’t usable again. Rather than throwing these in landfill, Enva can turn these into a variety of items that gives the wood a second life. The first of these is animal bedding where the waste wood can be shredded into wood chip whilst removing any nails, creating a great source of bedding for chickens, horses, or cows. Once this has been used and disposed of, it can be turned into compost and spread over farmland, which once again gets more use from the reclaimed wood. Another way in which this wood is given a second life is by turning it into biomass fuel. Much of the wood waste that Enva receives is turned into this fuel which can be burnt to produce heat or energy. This biomass fuel is made from wood, making it a renewable source of energy made from organic materials.
Plastic is one of the least used items on our premises by quantity but is arguably one of the most important to recycle as it does not biodegrade if it ends up in landfill. Here at Davpack we have waste plastics from a variety of things such as strapping, polystyrene and stretch wrap on orders that we receive in. On our premises we have separate disposal areas for things like strapping and stretch film which helps make it easier to sort once Enva receives it. Upon receiving any plastic waste from us, Enva will sort through any mixed plastics where required through separation steps such as size reduction, wet separation, dry separation, colour sorting and electrostatics to group the different plastic types into their own categories. Once this plastic has been separated it is then shredded and washed before it can be turned into specific polymers which can then be used in the manufacturing of new goods such as electrical goods. Enva extrudes four types of plastic polymers which are polystyrene, high impact polystyrene, polypropylene, and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. If there are any items of plastic that can’t be recycled, rather than throwing them in landfill, Enva will use them as forms of fuel for energy production, ensuring that nothing is needlessly wasted.
Even though this isn’t a waste material we see much from our business operations, there is still ways which it can be produced as a waste material, for example, through drinks cans. Enva is able to collect, sort and recycle a variety of metals that we may have as waste, whether they are ferrous such as iron or steel or non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, copper and tin to name a few. These metals can then be used again for manufacturing new products and saves these valuable materials from going to landfill.
On top of Enva looking after our waste products, we have recently launched a campaign alongside our sister companies within TAKKT to fund the planting of one tree for every order we receive, helping to counteract any carbon that we produce as a business and give back to the environment further. You can find out more about how our scheme works by checking out our website!