In what is believed to be an industry first, Kinder and Co is taking the responsible approach with plastic components it supplies, once these are at the end of their life cycle.
This cradle-to-cradle solution prevents Kinder plastic conveyor components from ending up on a landfill tip.
By arrangement, clean and palletised components, which were previously supplied by Kinder can be returned for recycling. These plastic components then end up as pallets, shipping dunnage or fence posts, which of course add further environmental benefit by conserving timber.
Kinder & Co comments that for more than 50 years, many products, both consumer and industrial, have been made from some type of plastic. Its physical and chemical properties give it versatility in countless applications, with new uses for plastic appearing almost daily.
In today’s environmentally conscious society, increasing pressure is being placed on industry to put controls in place to protect the environment. However, unlike the legislation that is in place for such things as atmospheric emissions, or water and land pollutants, the disposal of recyclable materials is pretty much self-policed.
In industrial applications, the strength and versatility of plastics has lead to its use in areas, where steel has been more traditionally used. One such industry that is seeing the ever-growing use of plastics because it operates in particularly aggressive environments is the bulk materials handling industry.
So this in-house recycling development is expected to benefit this sector and hopefully trigger similar developments right across Australian industry.
A typical example of this recycling will happen with the company’s K-Polymer range of conveyor rollers, which are manufactured from high density polyethylene (HDPE), or the range of elevator buckets made from the same type of composite material.
Because the K-Polymer conveyor rollers are 50% lighter than steel rollers, less aggressive on the belt, quieter, resistant to wear and wont rust, yet they maintain a competitive price advantage over their traditional steel counterparts and are thus experiencing a growing level of use.
But with the growing use of plastics across all industrial sectors comes the issue of its disposal at the end of its useful life.
Unlike the situation for homeowners, there are few collection schemes in place by local government to deal with recycling post-industrial plastics waste. Consequently, far too much industrial plastic waste ends up in landfill tips. where it can take up to 400 years to break down.
Instead of paying to dispose of this waste in landfill, it makes much better business sense to recycle.
The environmental benefits of recycling are undisputable and the economic benefits are clear. Although future changes in legislation are almost certain to force industry to take a more responsible approach to this issue, organisations voluntarily involved in recycling post-industrial plastics waste now, are less likely to come under attack for poor environmental performance.
With this scheme, Kinder is taking a responsible approach to environmental leadership and in conjunction with its customers looking towards the future.