Laminating Partner environmental initiatives
As we are now ISO 14001 certified and carbon neutral certified it is important to us that our laminating partners are also focusing on their own environmental objectives and targets. On a recent compliance audit from our quality and purchasing team to one of our laminating partners based in Europe, there were impressive processes that stood out in their efforts to reduce their environmental impact and to encourage sustainability with environmental measures in place.
Different waste streams are easily identified and a specific waste suction system has been constructed. This is a network of pipes that both keeps the environment clean but also pulls all foil waste to one location for compacting and recycling. A designated employee then collects and bails the laminate to compact the waste.
They have adapted one of their Rotogravures laminating buildings to reconvert the gases collected during production back into a liquid. It is called “solvent recovery” – with this, they can re-convert solvent from gas to liquid with a process of condensation. The colours used for printing are always mixed with acetone. When the printed material passes through the oven of the rotogravure machines, the solvent evaporates and this system “catches” the gas and re-converts it to a liquid state. It is converted back into acetone in liquid form and can be used again as ink in its most pure form and the none pure liquid that remains can be used for cleaning. It is collected and converted at 2000L per day. This also means that the CO2 does not release into the atmosphere as they do not need to burn these gases and because of this, they do not have CO2 emissions.
A massive €4.5 million has been invested into this project alone and they continue to look at ways in which they can lessen their environmental impact that is in line with our business objectives here at PPL.
For our laminating partner to have such an impressive system this reflects in a positive manner to PPL. This also provides further encouragement to purchase from businesses which take the ideas of recycling and cleaner methods of working more seriously. This then can be demonstrated to any customers that ask us about our own personal environmental targets and goals for their product and we can show that we consider sustainability and environmental impact in our supply chain.