At our manufacturing plant in Calenzano we launched waste management projects aimed at reducing waste from manufacturing, for example by replacing the disposable cloths used for line cleaning with washable 100% cotton cloths. The agreement concluded with the cleaning firm allows us to avoid the disposal of 6 tons of hazardous waste each year, by collecting, washing and returning the cloths.
Another important step is represented by the introduction of a system for the recovery of glassines, namely the adhesive label medium applied to product bottles, which was previously disposed of as non-recyclable packaging. Today, in accordance with circular economy principles, we can recover the glassines and deliver them to a recovery facility, from which they are reintroduced onto the market. This international project launched at the end of 2019, has already allowed us to recover 18 tons of glassines and in 2020 we expect to recover about 150 tons. We have further improved paper waste management by installing electric hand dryers in plant bathrooms to replace disposable paper towels.
In the Adhesives Business Unit, at the Goes site in the Netherlands, we’ve delivered a 60% reduction in the volume of waste generated by our polymer adhesive production lines. The reorganisation and increased efficiency of the entire industrial process have benefits for the environment and for our business operations, enabling us to reduce the volume of waste generated and consume less water, while at the same time bringing down costs and boosting production capacity.
The ongoing Be Green project, which aims to eliminate disposable plastic from our workplaces, has been extended to some manufacturing plants in addition to the Milan offices and has allowed the elimination of disposable plastic by introducing water dispensers, reusable water bottles and glass bottles in meeting rooms. Plastic cups and stirrers for hot drinks and water have been replaced with completely biodegradable products that can now be disposed of in organic waste bins.
With these initiatives, every year our offices can save almost 12 tons of plastic, equivalent to approximately 6 tons of CO2 emissions (as much can be absorbed in a year by 915 trees).