99 percent of all production waste recycled
Coca-Cola and Interseroh show the way: zero waste is more than just a vision – it’s a fact. Achieving 99 percent recycling of all production waste is already possible.
Coca-Cola has set itself the goal of turning the theory of the closed-loop economy into reality – in full. In the pilot project ‘There’s Value in Everything’ run jointly with Interseroh, no less than 99 percent of all production waste can now be recycled.
“As one of the leading producers of non-alcoholic beverages, we attract a lot of public attention on many topics – including resource conservation and sustainability. Our customers and consumers talk to us about their expectations – and here too, they expect us to lead by example,” says Dr Stefan Seiss, Supply Chain Director, Coca-Cola European Partners Deutschland GmbH, explaining the strategic background to the pilot project.
Full implementation of the closed-loop principle
At Coca-Cola’s production site in Genshagen near Berlin, Interseroh made a detailed analysis of the flows of material – from suppliers to production and administration, and on to outbound delivery. Less than 24 months later, the independent environmental institute bifa has confirmed that 99 percent of all production waste is now being collected for recycling. In terms of all recyclable materials produced at the site, the quota is an impressive 98 percent.
“The project has also resulted in our monthly volume of non-recyclable waste being slashed by around 66 percent compared to figures for 2014 and 2015,” Seiss reports. With the technology currently available, the trivial amount of remaining general waste – such as hairnets and disposal gloves – are not worth reusing from an economic or environmental perspective. But these are naturally not simply neglected. Interseroh regularly reviews potential solutions to see if the target recycling quota of 100 percent can be achieved.
300 bins and 50 kinds of recyclable materials
A visible sign of the new sorting process at Coca-Cola in Genshagen are the 300 containers in various colours in which 50 separate kinds of material groups are collected – directly at the point of production. Comprehensive reporting on miss-sorting also offers a means of checking collection quality. Interseroh has also developed a series of modular training materials that describe each process step and how to handle the recyclable waste that this step produces.
Rollout at another Coca-Cola site is already planned. The next ‘There’s value in everything’ project is due to be launched as part of pending modernisation work at the company’s Karlsruhe plant, where the site’s use of returnable bottles will increase project complexity.
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