By: Dante Ferrari, Celplast Metallized Products Limited
There is decent availability of land in North America for landfills. However, the vast majority of people do not want landfills located near them or their food sources, particularly in high density areas in and around cities where most garbage is produced. Maintaining the infrastructure and logistics around a landfill is becoming increasingly costly for municipalities. These costs are passed on to the consumer via consumer goods tipping fees or higher local taxes. In addition, younger generations are particularly engaged in the idea of more sustainable, environmentally conscious solutions, and identify landfills as a worst-case last resort option only. Many retailers, CPG’s, automotive companies and their suppliers have responded by engaging in activities that either reduce or eliminate their landfill waste. For many companies, their efforts are not solely to satisfy consumer demand. They also believe landfill reduction activities contribute to their long-term financial sustainability by reducing waste disposal costs. They also believe these activities will improve relations with the local municipalities they operate in and enhance their standing within the community. Celplast embarked on a journey towards becoming a zero landfill facility back in 2008. This was somewhat due to encouragement from flexible packaging converting customers to follow their
lead. It was also an opportunity to eliminate some waste disposal costs and streamline operations as part of Celplast’s Continuous Improvement program. Mostly, it was because the company’s management team, most of who had very young children at the time or have had children since then, believed it was the right thing to do for future generations. This paper shares some of Celplast’s experiences with working towards this goal. We present landfill reduction achievements as well as the relative financial benefit. We also share some of the longer term ideas the company has to create new solutions for the industry.
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