As a proud Repak member, we have been playing our part in funding recycling for a number of years in Ireland.
A detailed review of our product packaging and documentation in 2019 revealed however that these items weighed a staggering 512 tonnes in total. That’s the equivalent of 340 Volkswagen Golf cars!
This stark realisation set us on a determined path to try to eliminate the non-recyclable plastic completely from our process and reduce the paper and cardboard components where possible.
We firstly formed a ‘Green Team’, comprising a cross-functional group of employees from our Shannon Headquarters and Overseas Subsidiaries. This Team identified a number of Phase 1 projects that could deliver in excess of 50 Tonnes weight reduction annually (approx. 10% of our total).
The Phase 1 initiative had 3 key components:
- The documentation for the high volume 3000 Series of products was moved from a paper based to a digital format, enabling customers to view an online version of the instruction manual via a QR code accompanying the product. This accounted for a total annual weight reduction of 38 Tonnes
- The packaging for the 3000MRF Module was changed substantially to eliminate plastic and reduce the box and user manual sizes. This accounted for a total annual weight reduction of 13 Tonnes.
- Targeting the retrofit segment of the market, the introduction of additional recyclable multipack options, without unnecessary alarm bases and duplicate documentation now provides installers with a welcomed alternative to more expensive single packs, and the associated product and packaging waste.
These savings do not take into account the reduced CO2 emissions associated with transporting more compact and lighter products.
The annual reduction of nearly 40 Tonnes of paper is equivalent to almost 1,000 trees. The elimination of nearly 10 tonnes of plastic annually, will have a huge environmental impact for years to come. This is only the beginning, with more projects in the pipeline for 2021 as part of Phase 2.