Last week in Melbourne, Plastfix’s Waste Motive Initiative took yet another step forward in a headlight shredding trial with leading resource recovery company, Close the Loop, and the National Collision Repairer had exclusive access to the trial.
Close the Loop’s underlying principle is “zero water to landfill” and provides best-in-class sustainability solutions to assist companies to enhance their corporate social responsibility. With a global footprint covering Europe, the USA and Australasia, Close the Loop is all about take-back, recovery and reuse programs, initially working in the imaging industry operating efficient ink and toner recovery programs in partnership with organisations such as Xerox, Staples, HP and Konica Minolta.
Close the Loop Joint CEO, Marc Lichtenstein said: “There is a saying in the resource recovery sector. ‘everyone wants to be sustainable, but nobody wants to pay for it’. Fortunately, what we do results in both an economically viable solution for our partners and performance advantages in their processes, such as our plastic bead that is a bitumen additive substitute for road surfacing.”
Today, manufacturers from a wide range of industries work with Close the Loop to minimise waste and make the most of their resources, transforming items that would normally end up in landfill and returning the to the supply chain. And this leads us to the headlight shredding trial.
Close the Loop’s multi-step process includes a conveyer feeding the headlights into a shredder, magnetic removal of ferrous material, followed by the removal of aluminium before the final product is collected. As headlights are a combination of various plastics, glass, metal and rubber materials, the resultant shredded material is also comingled, adding an additional element to the challenge of finding it a home.
Facilities Manager, Richard Bushnell said: “Even if we sent it to landfill it would still be beneficial due to the huge volume reduction. However, the ‘worst case scenario’ would be an environmentally sustainable waste-to-energy solution.”
Campbell Jones, CEO of the AMA Group’s Automotive Component Remanufacturing business, which now includes ACM Parts, was also invited to the trial. ACM Parts strips down cars for a living and the trial really piqued Jones’ interest:
“This is super-exciting to see the potential avenues for all the waste coming out of the automotive industry. It is just amazing that, of all the material that comes through these doors, nothing goes to landfill. Recognising that the headlight shredding is in a trial phase, it is still an eye-opener for the potential opportunities for our industry. At ACM Parts, one of our key drivers is “recycle and reuse” and processes in today’s trial has great alignment with our values.”
In summary, Plastfix CEO Mario Dimovski said: “This is the initial step in what could be one of the ways to get headlights out of landfill. It’s great to see the Waste Motive initiative capturing the attention of the industry.”
Editor: With so many exciting things happening concurrently, we will have a more comprehensive update on Waste Motive in the April Issue.