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A circular economy initiative from Berry Superfos that recycles used paint containers into new ones has been recognised in the recent RECOUP Awards.
The Berry Closed Loop Recycled Paint Containers project has been named Best Development or Innovation to Enhance Recyclability or Re-use.
The project tackles the challenge of being able to make use of the used paint containers for recycling by ensuring enough of the residue paint is removed in order to make this possible.
The solution involved the establishment of a circular partnership to combine these procedures. In conjunction with paint recycling and recovery social enterprise organisation Paint360, waste paint is collected and re-engineered into new paint, while the plastic containers into which the paint was originally packed are recycled into new paint cans for the recovered paint.
The project is delivering significant environmental benefits. It reduces the overall impact of both the paint and its packaging through the reduction of waste product sent to landfill and the carbon emissions associated with incineration. For example, for each tonne of plastic packaging saved from incineration* and recycled**, a total saving of approximately 2.8 tonnes of CO2 is achieved. The Paint360 project, meanwhile, is already saving in excess of 70 tonnes of embedded carbon per month.
The project has also demonstrated the suitability of the circular plastic for the manufacture of new paint containers, performing as well as current PCR material and providing an additional source of feedstock to meet the demand for recycled plastic.
The success of the scheme has also served as a proof of principle to facilitate the expansion of the concept.
“We are delighted to win this prestigious award which ideally demonstrates the role a closed loop system can play in a circular economy as well as our own commitment to support our customers in the devising of circular packaging solutions,” said Søren Rohleder, CEO Berry Superfos.
“The recovery and recycling of both paint containers and paint will help manufacturers meet demands from their customers for more sustainable solutions, as well as meeting the requirements of any future EPR legislation. Equally important, it gives consumers greater opportunities to sustainably dispose of waste paint and used paint containers.”
Header image: Jim Armstrong, RECOUP chairman (right) presents the award to Jamie Riley, Sustainability Lead | Berry Superfos.