Tata Steel UK
Reducing and Managing
Waste: Tata Steel UK's
Journey Towards
Sustainable Packaging
At Tata Steel UK's Shotton site, plastic straps and wrapping help safely secure and protect steel coils after they've been galvanised and painted. This helps ensure high-quality steel arrives at the customers' location in perfect condition. At the customers' end, the plastic wrapping and straps are taken off and become waste. Tata Steel UK recognised the need to reduce plastic waste and worked with customers to achieve this.
Types of plastic packaging
Overall approach
Tata Steel reviewed the purpose of the packaging and rationalized its packing catalogue to avoid over-specification. This reduction-focused approach led them to make several changes, such as reducing the thickness of green strapping, the length of fluted lengths, and the width of logo print film, VCI paper, and blue corex sheets. The company also increased the number of customers using reusable top-edge protectors rather than fluted lengths which are single-use.
Tata Steel introduced a return program for top-edge and inner bore protectors, which can be reused up to 50 times. This involved providing storage cages and agreeing to backload from customers.
Tata Steel introduced baling machines to compact materials for recycling items that cannot be reused. Where customers were geographically closer to Tata Steel UK's packing supplier, they were encouraged to have the packing picked up by the packing supplier directly.
One of the key challenges of the project was to encourage a change among customers through extensive guidance, as they needed to segregate, store and return the plastic waste.
Today, top edge protectors, fluted lengths, blue corex sheets and black plastic inner bores have 100% recycled content. Additionally, 100% requirement of top-edge protectors and 50% requirement of plastic inner bores are met through packing returned by customers leading to a reduction in the annual plastic consumption by up to 130 tonnes every year! The initiative is part of the company's sustainability commitment at its Shotton site, and has accelerated its work towards the goal of zero on-site waste.
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Last updated on 07th July 2024