BPIF labels is the special interest group of the British Printing Industries Federation. This special interest group serves the needs of the self adhesive label printing sector.

Zero to Landfill

The problem

How long do you think it would take for a single reel of matrix waste to decompose once landfilled, when it takes at least 450 years for a single plastic bottle to decompose?

It's estimated that approximately 120,000 tonnes of label waste is landfilled each year in the UK alone, and consequently it is largely recognized that the UK Label Printing Industry has a poor record with regards it's environmental credibility. One primary problem to date has been establishing cost effective solutions for recovering label waste from individual print sites over simply landfilling it.

With all the hype about recycling you'd like to think that the Waste Industry would have the answers and offer printers cost effective alternatives. Unfortunately, this is far from the case as it doesn't lend itself to offering such solution, with the vast majority of contractors and Waste Treatment Facilities being geared up to handle the mass volumes of council and ‘black bag' waste. Heavy, sticky label reels are not materials that they want to process through their plants due to its destructive nature to the processing machinery. It's actually becoming more common place now that unless a contractor can simply landfill label waste they're unwilling to quote and accept such label waste as it ‘ruins' their plant. The few recovery facilities that do have the equipment that is capable of processes label reels incorporate charges relative or higher than landfill due to the running costs.

The BPIF however, recognizes that no matter what excuses there are, such poor environmental credibility is not acceptable throughout an industry. With brand owners and supermarkets putting pressure on the supply chain, ever increasing landfill costs and environmental focus from all areas of business, a cost effective solution for Label Prints had to be found.

The solution

With this in mind, BPIF Labels exclusively supports and champions Prismm Environmental, who came up with an alternative waste disposal solution for the Label Industry. Prismm is a Recycling Management Company solely positioned within the UK Printing Industries and already works closely with BPIF and supply chain partners. Through extensive waste and recycling market knowledge, Prismm have successfully implemented a solution, with a scheme entitled Zero Labels 2 Landfill, which sees around 10,000 tonnes of label waste being diverted from landfill annually.

All matrix and set-up reel waste collected within the service is now shredded and blended with other feed stocks, which are supplied into the UK Cement Industry as a fuel for the kilns.
When the scheme was first introduced to the industry it catered primarily for larger print sites due to economies of scale and the volumes of material requiring collecting to make it cost effective. However, though increasing market leverage the scheme has now been extended to smaller printers and can collect as little as 700kg of waste at a time. Prismm will carry out site audit initially to evaluate and discuss how the service would operate within that particular facility, at which time benefits such as costs savings can be established.

The scheme introduces the segregation of all label waste and consequent mass reduction in general waste output. Segregation of this material then enables Prismm to source alternative recovery routes for the remaining general waste, other than landfill.

There are in excess of 60 printers utilizing the service throughout the UK, which are also benefiting financially to varying degrees, depending on original landfill costs and waste output, which is calculated by Prismm at the outset and recorded on a month by month basis.

All scheme members receive certification confirming their scheme membership and zero waste to landfill acheivement, issued by BPIF, and open use of the Zero Labels 2 Landfill logo on all company correspondence, e-mails and marketing etc.

Prismm is also seeking the support of all suppliers, whose by-products become a waste, to recognize that they too have a responsibility regarding environmental concerns and pro-actively champion the cause. In particular suppliers of pressure sensitive films, some of who have set up waste schemes in the past but which now lay dormant. Jon Hutton, sales director at Prismm Environmental comments: We're turning a corner regarding attitudes towards mass landfilling of matrix and set-up waste and by working together as an industry and utilizing the skills of key waste treatment partners we can turn this into a an area of business that the Label Print market can be proud of'


For more information on the Zero Labels 2 Landfill Scheme please contact:
Jon Hutton, Prismm Environmental Sales Director
DD: 07557 944237
E-mail: jon@prismm.co.uk
Website: www.zerolabels2landfill.com

Downloads & Links

Download Zero to Landfill Final Jan 2014 - 4Mb

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