From waste to resource
From the textiles of Prato to the recycled paper of Lucca, Italy has a tradition that helps us to understand efficient, intelligent and innovative methods for reusing material – today this is known as responsible production (or circular economy).
We face a real challenge and we have the means for tackling it – considering not only how to manage waste, but also how to turn it into a resource and extend its lifecycle.
The main source of waste in the paper industry is sludge resulting from the purification of water used to process the raw materials. It is a mixture of plant fibre, water and minerals that ferments with the heat of the production process.
By optimising the processing and disposal of our resources, in 2020 alone we reduced the total amount of sludge the group produced by 1%.
The impact of the Self-Adhesives division
Waste constitutes the largest environmental impact in our Self-Adhesives division. Production operations leave semi-finished raw materials as processing waste (mixed waste) and washing water (used to clean spreading heads). In 2020 we decreased this waste by 1.9%.
Zero non-recyclable waste by 2030
Transparency first and foremost
The first large project is accurately mapping the waste produced by each site, to understand where every kilo of waste ends up, so it can then be recovered or recycled.
We have installed a pilot drying plant in Verona, which enables us to reduce the volume of sludge produced, and plan on doing the same in Fabriano and Arco in 2021. Our sludge can then be used by other production areas such as construction/building industry.
Waste to Product
We have already implemented lots of plans for reusing our waste. For example, we use all production scraps in-house as fibrous raw material, and most of the sludge from our purification plants is used as inert material to make panels for the building industry.
Sorting and reusing
Innovation, technology, sorting and separating components, and strategic partnerships mean the products in our Self-Adhesives division can go down the circular route. This also explains the reason for the establishment in 2020 of CELAB, the international coalition implementing circular economy models for the industry of self-adhesive labels, with Fedrigoni being a co-founder in Europe.