Ball’s Deeside plant achieves zero waste to landfill target

Another of Ball Packaging Europe’s plants has achieved zero waste to landfill.

John Griffiths AM, Welsh Government Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, visited Ball’s can end facility in Deeside, UK, on Tuesday (26 July).

During his tour, Griffiths recognised this achievement, which supports the company’s goal of producing can ends more sustainably. Ball’s plant in Rugby, UK, has previously achieved zero waste to landfill.

The Minister viewed the Deeside plant and received status briefings about the developments on site – in particular, about the zero waste to landfill project that was accomplished only last year.

He said: “Changing the way we deal with our waste to be sustainable not only means we’re being green but can bring concrete business benefits. We know, for example, that in the coming years businesses will face escalating landfill costs, while the cost of many raw materials continues to climb. That’s why resource efficiency is so important. Ball Packaging Europe is an excellent example of the way in which designing out waste and recycling everything possible brings tangible business benefits. I want to congratulate them on meeting their target, and call on other Welsh businesses to follow their lead.”

By operating according to a policy of zero waste to landfill, a company no longer disposes its waste to landfill, but instead chooses to process it further. This means a focus programme of reuse and recycling for all waste including energy recovery via thermal treatment. To tackle this task, Deeside progressively introduced a waste management system that helped reduce their waste to landfill. Investment in better recycling equipment and improved facilities for employees delivered considerable success. Waste to landfill was cut from almost 40 grams per thousand ends in 2005 to less than five grams per thousand ends in 2010.

Deeside introduced cardboard and plastic recycling balers as well as recycling points in the factory, offices and the canteen. As a consequence, 87% of the waste was recycled in 2010. The remaining waste that cannot be recycled is sent to a thermal recovery facility that, in turn, uses the energy as a heat source.

“We are determined to drive down waste at all levels of our operations – whether it’s aiming for zero waste to landfill or helping our consumers to reduce the amount that they throw away by providing recyclable packaging,” says Kevin Blackwell, plant manager. Ball has continuously worked on reducing the weight of can ends: In 2009, Deeside started producing the new lightweight CDL end which is 10 percent lighter than the standard end.

The achievement of zero waste to landfill is a milestone within Ball’s company-wide sustainability programme introduced in 2008. The programme’s goal is to reduce the company’s environmental footprint while accelerating the development and production of more eco-friendly beverage cans.

To achieve its projected targets, Deeside has made some major investments in the past five years. £17.5 million has been spent on plant improvement including energy efficiency. A further £5 million will be spent this year.

Established in 1988, the Deeside plant currently employs 180 full time staff, and 88 temporary staff. Ball manufactures 8.2 billion aluminium ends per year in Deeside supplying the UK and European markets. Key customers are Coca-Cola, Britvic, Heineken, Molson Coors, San Miguel, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bavaria and Diageo.

Pictured from left to right are: Stephan Roesgen, vice president of environmental affairs, Ball Packaging Europe; John Griffiths AM, Welsh Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development; Kevin Blackwell, plant manager, Ball Packaging Europe; Steve Phillips, EHS team leader, Ball Packaging Europe; Amber Greenhalgh, account manager, Viridor.

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