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Essentra Components look ahead to 2021 with a program of Sustainability Manufacturing by which they will address the hard-environmental issues around plastic component production.
Like many environmental issues this is a complex one, since the use of light weight, high performance plastics has proven beneficial to the overall impact of many finished products. For example, by reducing energy use over their lifetime, especially in the automotive sector where plastic components are considerably lighter than machined metal parts, and higher performance materials are continually being developed and improved upon.
As a result, plastic injection moulding is increasingly being used by automotive manufacturers in order to improve fuel efficiency and by the construction industry to produce flooring and roofing, insulation, piping and connectors, windows and doors. Injection moulding is also becoming increasingly prevalent in consumer electronics and appliances, medical applications, and agricultural machinery and equipment.
There are real opportunities for sustainability in production, exemplified by the rapid rise of bioplastics for example, a market tipped to grow 16% year-on-year over the next half-decade.
Therefore, to help customers meet their own sustainability objectives, Essentra Components have developed a program which works to increase the use of post-consumer recycled content in low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene (PP) standard product ranges. Recyclability is another important element of the program where the product management team are seeking opportunities to improve by viewing the products’ complete lifecycle from raw material to end of life. Some materials currently being trialled include post-consumer recycled polymers, bio-based polymers derived from plants, and biodegradable additives blended with recycled and virgin resins.
Explained Scott Fawcett, Divisional Managing Director:
“Essentra Components has set a target to use 20% packaging and polymer raw materials from more sustainable sources by 2025 across our global manufacturing operations. Sustainable manufacturing of our industrial components is very important to us and we now have ambitious targets to boost ongoing energy-saving and waste reduction projects, which include:
Achievement of a 25% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025, all sites to be Zero Waste To Landfill certified by 2030 and our direct operations to be carbon neutral by 2040.
We’re not stopping there and as part of the plastics value chain, we recognise the risk of pellet loss to the environment. That’s why we are actively managing our use of pellets as a signatory of the British Plastic Federation’s Operation Clean Sweep.
Further, as a signatory of the European Commission’s Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA), we are dedicated to increasing our use of recycled polymer raw materials and contributing to the CPA’s aim of boosting the European recycled plastics market to 10 million tonnes by 2025.
Essentra Components and the wider Essentra Plc believe in being transparent about our sustainability journey, progress and challenges. We disclose our data to CDP and Ecovadis annually to meet the needs of our customers who request this information and help us to identify areas for improvement.
We have already been successful in our efforts and actively seek to be more so in the future - in 2019 Essentra Plc achieved an Ecovadis silver rating and a CDP Climate Change C Score, this shows we are aware of impacts on and of the climate, and we strive to improve our work in these areas every year. We achieved a CDP supplier engagement rating of B-, because we are taking action to engage with our customers on sustainability issues.”