RPC bpi Recycled Products is the UK’s largest producer of refuse sacks, and the largest polythene recycler in Europe. Recently the firm achieved an ambitious zero waste to landfill target, accredited by Valpak. Here, the company offers some insight into how it was achieved
RPC Bpi Recycled Products now segregates 85% of its waste, ranging from damaged pallets to used ink rags, for reuse and recycling. At its Stroud site, waste management has become self-funding, due to rebates earned from recyclable materials and a reduction in waste management costs.
The company’s four UK sites, in Stroud, Heanor, Rhymney and Dumfries, receive 50,000 tonnes of scrap polythene each year; these are then recycled into high performance finished goods such as refuse sacks and Plaswood lumber.
The firm is one of just a few UK companies that can claim to offer a genuinely closed loop manufacturing business. It does not just produce recycled materials for re-sale; it reprocesses waste into useful, high quality products, managing the entire process in-house.Incoming feedstock for the recycling and manufacturing process is polythene waste sourced from agricultural, retail and local authority sectors. A typical load consists of 98% polythene, plus contamination, which makes up as much as 70% of the company’s outgoing waste.The company has been monitoring waste levels at its four sites since 2008, predominantly for general waste and hazardous waste, with metal, wood, paper and cardboard extracted for recycling.Incoming material is placed onto a sorting belt. The majority is turned into plastic pellets, the beginning of the manufacturing process, with contamination removed at the start of the recycling process.