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How to improve your Shrink Wrap Recycling Program

No matter what you call it, a successful film recycling program can bring in serious revenue and help you reach Zero Waste goals.

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Recyclable wrap often ends up in the trash container, which then goes to landfills. Or contaminants end up in plastic wrap recycling bins, making it unrecyclable. If there are too many contaminants, it can be a problem for those who want to purchase your film. Businesses face the challenge of recovering as much recyclable material possible by accurately streaming and recovering materials into the right collecting bins.

These are some tips to help companies make the most of their plastic recycling efforts.

Find a recycling company that will buy soft plastic scrap

Wrap must be recovered by a recycling company. Many recyclers now offer soft plastic pickups that are determined by the volume of material generated. There may be a charge for smaller volumes, but there is often a reimbursement available if the volume warrants the installation a baler.

Calculate your recovery rate

To determine how effective your group is at recycling wrap, you can calculate the total recycling potential compared to what is being recycled. It would likely include an estimate of the amount of wrap that was removed from pallets at your site compared to actual recovery. If a reverse logistics program has been established with consignors, it could include an estimate of how much wrap was sent to customers.

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Make wrap recycling an operational goal

Plastic recycling should be a key goal. Establish recovery goals, monitor and encourage. Make sure recycling is included in crew meetings, employee reviews, or other communication. Employees are becoming more involved in making your business sustainable.

It’s easy to recycle plastic wrap

Make it easy for shrink wrap to recycle. Employees will be able to place scrap more accurately if there is clear signage and easily accessible, color-coded bins. To avoid wrap being mixed with other scrap materials, ensure that adequate receptacles are available for any residuals. Recent research supports the importance of color in recycling recovery.

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Take steps to reduce contaminants

Clear wrap has a higher value. Clear wrap has a higher value than other materials such as tape and strapping. Before recycling, employees should take out labels. Employees should encourage their employees to remove labels from outbound or incoming wrapped pallets. You can work with suppliers to encourage clear wrap use and encourage your employees to take out labels before recycling.

Keep an eye on recycling activities in the Warehouse

Supervisory and peer observation can help you spot when employees place wrap in the wrong container. You can also challenge them to make the right choices. Clean wrap is not being disposed of in the trash or placed in the wrap container. If this happens, you can take steps to correct the situation, regardless if the problem is poor recycling bin placement, poor training or complacency. The baler is a good place to inspect the recycling material. A clear bag can be used to collect wrap and help the bale operator identify any foreign material.

Management of a Multiple Location Recycling program

Recovery will be easier if there are fewer stretch wraps than those scattered throughout a large distribution center. It may also be easier to recover wraps that have been returned by hundreds of customers. These programs need to be managed with a high level of communication and reverse logistics planning to succeed.

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Keep trying to improve your results

Share with your team how well they do in recovering recyclable wrap and other materials, both in volume and quality. Encourage them to think of ways they can improve. Businesses can increase plastic wrap recovery rates by tracking material quality and potential recovery. This will help them generate additional revenue. There may also be ways to save more money by using innovative recycling methods, such as reusable pallet wrappings.

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