Brazilian papermaker Ibema has collected over 3 tons of plastic waste at Embu das Artes mill for recycling into PCR resin; employees place plastic waste into 1,000-liter plastic buckets, and site will soon be able to collect sludge, post-production waste

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October 13, 2022 (press release) –

The industry's sustainability actions need to be planned with strategy and intelligence. Only in this way is it possible to obtain real results, which go well beyond speech. This is the proposal of Ibema activas, a partnership between the paperboard manufacturer and the specialist in reverse logistics and industrial plastics that has already brought social and environmental benefits.

“Ibema encourages buyers to think beyond the box, as we are able to develop projects that support their circular economy and sustainability,” says Ibema senior supply buyer Patrícia Fernanda Vieira. The initiative came from the Supplies team in partnership with Ibema's R&D area, and gained support and support from the environment, processes and industrial management areas. “Our purpose is to contribute to the ESG indicators of both Ibema and the entire market, setting an example of practical and effective actions to reduce waste in the production chain”, explains Jade Ambrozi, buyer of Chemicals at Ibema.

According to environmental analyst Aghata Santana, the team understood that investing in recycling is investing in the future. “In partnership with activas, we brought in this project a significant reduction in the generation of plastic waste, in line with the circular economy, in addition to complying with the obligation of the PNRS”, she reinforces. The project also had the help of key people such as Orlânio de Jesus from the finishing area, Thiago Azevedo from production and Indáia Sanchez from R&D.

Since 2021, actives has maintained 1,000-liter plastic buckets at the Ibema plant in Embu das Artes (SP), where employees regularly deposit plastic waste such as sacks and big bags. So far, more than 3 tons of waste have been collected and, soon, it will also be possible to collect materials such as sludge and post-production waste.

After collecting these tailings, the material goes on to manufacture the PCR resin (post-consumer resin), obtained from other plastic materials already consumed, mainly packaging. PCR can be used to manufacture stretch film and rolls for various industrial applications, among other sustainable purposes.

So far, a reduction of 601 kg of scrap has been recorded at this Ibema unit, between the months of February and July 2022, in addition to full compliance with Law No. Brazil. “The material returns to the market for application in flexible PE, thus complementing the circular economy process.”

The logistical process is quite simple, and this is one of the secrets of good operation. “When we remove the properly filled plastic bucket, we leave another empty one in place to continue the process”, explains Fernanda Boldo, Head of sales, marketing and ESG at activas. The company has more than 30 years of experience in industrial plastics and, in recent years, has been expanding its services to the reverse logistics segment.

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