Mardenkro is continuously taking steps towards achieving more sustainable methods of production and application. At the moment the company is running a trial using 100% recycled buckets. The initial experiences have been positive.
‘Not only do we want to take steps to ensure the formulations of our coatings are more eco-friendly and cause lower CO2 emissions, but we also want to do the same for our packaging. The plan is to gradually switch to a system of recovering and recycling the packaging,’ says Jort Gerritsen, CEO of Mardenkro.
Although recycling plastic is the focus of a great deal of interest, it is anything but straightforward. There are hundreds of types of plastic, and mixed collections often mean only low-quality recycling is possible, resulting in products that have limited applications.
However, buckets and jerry cans need to meet high standards. They have to be strong enough for the contents, they must not collapse or become deformed and the handles may not come loose. Only recently have there been suppliers out there who are able to offer good recycled buckets.
‘Coatings are relatively heavy and the buckets have rather a lot to put up with during transportation and use. We therefore want to test the recycled packages properly beforehand, with the help of a construction company. The trial will have to prove how the buckets hold together in practice,’ explains Gerritsen.
There are considerable environmental gains. Manufacturing uses 95% less fossil feedstock and saves 75% in CO2 emissions. Our other aim is to find a collection system that will maximise these environmental benefits. ‘This is another thing we need to pay attention to: how to organise the recovery of the packaging in as efficient and environmentally friendly a way as possible,’ he adds.
Working in an environmentally responsible way
Spraying company Paul Sosef in De Lier is keen to get involved in the trial. ‘We share Mardenkro’s strong desire to work in an environmentally responsible way. There is no other way forward if you want to safeguard your future existence,’ says Hein Wubben.
He said that the company’s initial experiences had been positive. ‘So far we haven’t noticed any problems. Our impression is that although the recycled buckets are slightly less sturdy than the old ones, they do the job well enough. The colour takes some getting used to: they are grey rather than white. At the moment we’re still in the trial phase, so maybe in time something can be done about the colour.’
For the past four years the construction company has already been taking its used buckets to a local recycling company. ‘If you take the recycled buckets back too, they can even get a third life,’ says Wubben.