In line and even anticipating the application of the future directive on the single use plastic limitation, the Tecniplast group is using durable plastics.
The state of pollution and littering from plastics has a serious impact on climate change, on soil and marine water pollution:
- The most reliable data estimates that at least 8 million pieces of plastic are entering the oceans every day;
- Due to the plastic degradation process that lasts hundreds of years, the actual status of the accumulated plastic is the fragmentation into about 50 trillion of microscopic pieces of plastic;
- Dispersed microplastic entered the food chain considering that about a third of fish caught for human consumption now contain microplastic.
In order to tackle plastic dispersion and littering, the European Commission is producing a new directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment starting from 10 items that represent almost 70% of the plastic dispersed.
For many years Tecniplast have selected reusable plastics for our products being aware that they do not degrade their technical and performance features even after many years of usage.
This is the case of PSU cages subject to weekly sterilization process, also having an RSL reference service life greater than 7 years.
At the end of its life each PSU cage, after sterilization, is disassembled and sent for the recovery of the PSU material that is used for manufacturing of other components, thus supporting the circular economy.
On the other side, single use plastic used for cages manufacturing could not support the sterilization process and could be burned or - in case of landfilling – increase the infective risks without any advantage in terms of circular economy. Such a statement is not Tecniplast's opinion but the result of a comparative LCA, submitted by the third party LCA critical review more than 10 years ago!
In addition to the environmental improvement objectives, according to ISO 14001, Tecniplast decided to eliminate single use plastic and move towards becoming a zero single use plastic organization.
Such additional and voluntary commitment and objective means that from January 2020 any plastic bottles for bottled water was eliminated from any Tecniplast building, together with single use plastic glasses shifting to plastic free solution, even if more expensive.
Our initiatives include offering drinking water from water stations and dispensers, using recyclable paper glasses and providing each employee with a refillable aluminium bottle, reusable thousands of times!
Furthermore, all single use plastic coffee spoons that will vanish shortly and substitute with wood coffee spoons, which also contributes to our zero-plastic policy.
Tecniplast's employees will be able to work with a good conscience and reduce the organization's plastic footprint!
The action of eliminating the single use plastic is followed by a communication campaign about the CO2 emissions reduction in order to improve the employees awareness.
Considering the yearly consumption of single use bottles with bottled water plus the single use plastic glasses and using appropriate LCA software and database (Ecoinvent 3.5) it was calculated the avoided CO2 emissions considering the amount of plastic (PET) necessary and the blowing injection process obtaining the following results:
- 35 ton/year of avoided CO2 in the atmosphere, reducing consumption of 7000-7500 kg/year of plastics from single use bottles for bottled water;
- 6.5 ton/year of avoided CO2 in the atmosphere, reducing consumption of 1350-1400 kg/year of plastics from single use plastic glasses.
Tecniplast fully embraces the responsibility and opportunity to take action against single use plastic bottles and glasses will obtain significant benefits on the planet, following Tecniplast "World Without Waste" vision, reducing and eliminating single use plastics.
INTERNATIONAL SENIOR SUSTAINABILITY EXPERT - TAKE CARE INTERNATIONAL