ALIPLAST and HASI: The winning combination for the reuse of industrial waste in food & beverage packaging
12 November 2021
Aliplast and HASI: areas of expertise and common denominators
The collaboration between the two companies covers a variety of industries, such as food, beverage, production, chemical and pharmaceutical. HASI delivers all the environmental services supporting the management and optimization stages of industrial waste treatment to recover the highest possible amount of waste and, where possible, improve the efficiency of the customer’s production process, upstream of the supply chain, through improvement plans. Solving the issue of waste for medium and large businesses is one of the main goals of the company. In Italy, industrial waste represents about 80% of all waste and it requires highly professional management systems, combined with efficient and cutting-edge treatment plants. HASI boasts a set of plants that include 17 facilities, among which are stabilization plants, physiochemical treatment plants, soil washing and the Ravenna F3 waste-to-energy plant.
These are complemented by the 8 Aliplast plants, including collection plants and plastic waste treatment plants aimed at recycling products to reintroduce them on the market. In many instances, the full integration throughout the plastic lifecycle allows Aliplast to offer “closed-loop” solutions to its customers. This system, developed for the first time in Italy by Aliplast itself, is based on managing an extensive collection network throughout the country, which enables the company to send 65% of their LDPE packaging already released for consumption to recycling. The closed-loop system is based on a circular strategy: Aliplast produces and sells packaging materials to its clients, and they use them to package their products. At the end of the life cycle, Aliplast recovers these materials that have become waste, and regenerates them in a sort of endless loop.
A company that engages a group such as Herambiente, relies on a strong partner that is capable of offering a wide range of solutions for a 360-degree recovery of its industrial waste. Thanks to the availability of plants, Gruppo Herambiente is capable not only of treating and recovering the main types of waste, but also to generate electrical and thermal energy from non-recoverable waste, thanks to its waste-to-energy facilities. When its plants can’t meet the customer’s needs, Herambiente offers its network of collaborators, developed over the years and made up of qualified and certified partners, both in Italy and abroad.
The beverage industry: the Granarolo experience
Among the groups that work with HASI and Aliplast is Granarolo, a Bologna based company, leader in the production of milk and dairy products. The company has been collaborating with Aliplast since 2004 in its Bologna, Gioia del Colle and Soliera facilities. The partnership with HASI has started in 2014, with the launch of the “turnkey” service called Global Waste Management (GWM). This service includes the management of the entire industrial waste production from the 3 Granarolo plants in Bologna, Coriano and Soliera serviced by HASI. GWM isn’t just aimed at waste treatment, it is also a high value service bundle targeted at big industrial groups and multi-site organizations, with services such as production process optimization, the reduction of waste production, regulatory consulting, environmental auditing, and chemical analysis. In line with its sustainability plan, which is reported every year through its Group Sustainability Report, Granarolo has chosen Gruppo Herambiente to reduce the environmental impact of its processes. The goal: significantly lowering the amount of industrial waste produced and recovering currently produced waste. In Hasi and Aliplast, Granarolo has found two partners that work together to provide a customized answer to the specific needs of the different facilities, which vary in terms of plants and products. Today, this represents a positive example of waste material recovery and recycling.
The baseline scenario
The production cycle of food manufacturing companies generates a small amount of packaged end product that doesn’t meet the requirements for sale. In Granarolo, this type of product was generating waste that wasn’t recovered to be reused within the supply chain, it was instead sent to waste-to-energy plants. Incineration, while allowing for the recovery of energy and heat, is a preferable solution only when it’s impossible to implement the recovery of the materials, which means giving new life to waste products by reintroducing them in the supply chain and thus lowering waste and reducing costs.
The circular solution of Gruppo Herambiente
Production waste had to be treated in a way that ensured its recycling and later reuse. Since 2004, Aliplast had already been providing solutions aimed at collecting and recycling PET bottles and preforms, LDPE films and other plastic waste for Granarolo. Thereafter, the synergy with HASI and the subscription of the GWM service enabled performance improvements in terms of recovering almost all of the waste produced. For Granarolo, the GWM service includes the treatment of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, mixed packaging and other production waste, and, especially, high value services customized for the needs of individual facilities (approval process support, dedicated project manager, partnerships with qualified suppliers and supply chain improvement plans).
The results are an 80% reduction in mixed waste and a 100% recovery and reintroduction in the market of plastic waste
In the 7 years of partnership, Granarolo has improved the production of mixed waste by obtaining an 80% reduction compared to 2014. Thanks to an optimized and integrated waste management, in 2020 Granarolo has been able to recover more than 95% of the waste produced in the facilities serviced by HASI (Coriano, Soliera and Bologna). In 2020, Aliplast has collected almost 85,000 kg of PET bottles and preforms, 15,000 kg of LDPE film and 10,000 kg of other waste from the Soliera, Gioia del Colle and Bologna facilities for a total 110,000 kg sent to 100% recovery in the Aliplast plants and reintroduced in the market to be used as recycled plastic material for packaging. The partnership between HASI and Granarolo has further developed in 2020, with the activation of the Operation&Maintenance (O&M) service for the Bologna plant purifier. O&M is an additional high value service of the GWM offer. It consists in the on-site management and maintenance of private waste and wastewater treatment plants, with dedicated staff, to support the customer’s production cycle and integrated by defining improvement plans and/or creating new purification plants based on the customer’s needs