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Braskem initiative promotes reverse logistics and corporate disposable cup recycling

Brazil-headed petrochemicals major Braskem has announced a partnership with Dinâmica Ambiental to implement the Reverse Logistics for Polypropylene Plastic Cups Program. The project, which already has garnered the support of Jaguar Transforma, Altacoppo and Copobrás, seeks to guide and encourage organizations to adopt better logistics procedures for the proper destination of plastic cups after their use.

Braskem has announced a partnership with Dinâmica Ambiental to implement the Reverse Logistics for Polypropylene Plastic Cups Program to promote the value of plastic waste across the production chain (image courtesy Braskem).

Part of the Wecycle Platform, the program is a Braskem initiative to promote the value of plastic waste across the production chain that works to disseminate information and good sustainable practices among companies from different backgrounds and sectors. To achieve this, Dinâmica Ambiental will provide a suitable collection of the cups discarded by companies and commercial establishments.

According to Braskem, the goal is to work together with companies from all industries, from producers and distributors of disposable cups and plastics to companies that merely use them, while engaging the program’s partners and supporters.

The material collected will be transported to Wecycle partner recyclers and then transformed into a post-consumer resin, which will be used to make new products such as caps for cosmetic products, housewares and more. During the process, data on solid waste generation, recycling rates and, any increase in the value of the materials will be collected.

Interested companies have two ways to participate. They can join the program and become a supporter, helping to provide financial support through the acquisition of shares, or they can become a participant by opting to adopt the reverse logistics of the cups used by their company.

We have studied various ways to promote sustainable development and to strengthen the reverse logistics chain for disposable cups, seeking to reconcile this with the needs of our clients. This is yet another way to strengthen Braskem’s commitment to the circular economy, said Fabiana Quiroga, head of the Recycling and Wecycle Platform team at Braskem.

According to the corporate director of Dinâmica Ambiental, Helio Junior, the project’s scope also allows organizations that join it to showcase their adoption of the initiative on a platform specializing in sustainability.

The initiative supports companies in “responsible” disposal. All partners and supporters can disseminate their participation. The platform will have its content replicated on social media viewed by readers and opinion makers interested in the topic, raising the general public’s awareness of their sustainable actions, said Helio Junior.

Disposable better than perceived study finds

The program is already debuting with a major player, the international hair product manufacturer Davines, and SICK Brasil, a German-based industrial technology company operating in 88 countries, including Brazil. Joining the project reinforces the company’s brand positioning, which seeks to minimize the impact of its operation through actions such as using renewable electricity sources and reducing water consumption and solid waste generation.

To understand how disposable cups are used in different contexts, Braskem, in partnership with the consulting firm ACV Brasil, conducted a comparative Life Cycle Assessment study of disposable polypropylene cups and reusable cups after being washed. The information obtained will be used in the applications of the Reverse Logistics of Polypropylene Plastic Cups Program.

According to Braskem, the study shows that disposable PP cups require 30 percent less energy in their life cycle and use less water, consuming only 26 ml throughout their cycle, including manufacturing and recycling, while reusable cups can use up to 1.2 litres each time they are manually washed.

There’s a perception that disposable cups are more harmful to the environment, given the higher volume of solid waste generated, but this study shows the opposite when we consider the different kinds of environmental impacts that can happen. In the case of reusable cups, the impact is concentrated in its washing, while for disposable cups the impact is concentrated in producing and disposing of the material. For this reason, recycling the plastic cups takes on critical importance, commented Yuki Kabe, Life Cycle Analysis expert at Braskem.

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