More than 70 percent of our planet is covered by oceans. Water is the existential basic material for humans, animals and plants, and nowhere is more climate-damaging CO2 stored than in our oceans. As a plastics producer, the RKW Group acknowledges its responsibility for preserving the world's oceans. As a plastics producer, the RKW Group acknowledges its responsibility for preserving the world's oceans.
But why do humans treat this valuable resource so recklessly - especially since the Earth's water reserves are finite? Plastic waste finds its way into the sea, destroying the ecosystem of the animals living in it. Plastics decompose into microplastics and are reabsorbed by marine life - and ultimately by us humans - through food.
For years, the RKW Group has been committed to combating the increasing pollution and exploitation of the oceans and thus to ensuring a sustainable future.
Zero Pellet Loss Initiative
Even though plastic pellets play only a small role in polluting the world's oceans, we are actively seeking ways to reduce the loss of these pellets throughout the value chain - from production, storage, transport and processing.
The "Zero Pellet Loss" campaign is a joint initiative with the industry associations PlasticsEurope and the VCI and is part of the global "Operation Clean Sweep®" project. To become part of this initiative, internal audits first had to be carried out at all plants. Measures were then initiated to eliminate these leaks and the sites were certified by the IK association. In the meantime, all factories worldwide are participating in the "zero pellet loss" initiative.
Measures include the installation of strainers on rainwater drains to prevent pellets from entering the environment. The contaminated pellets, instead of being disposed of in the normal trash, are then collected for reuse. The concept includes continuous improvement of the measures as well as employee training.
New technology for efficient water consumption
Not only water pollution, but also water consumption plays an essential role in sustainable and environmentally compatible operations. Today, vast amounts of water are needed for cooling extrusion lines, as process aids for aggregates, and as sanitary water. Our production sites also require water, but we have been able to reduce the quantities significantly compared with the previous year.
For example, the installation of new, highly efficient cooling systems at the Nordhorn site and new vacuum pumps and dryers at the Helsingborg site in Sweden have already reduced water consumption per kilogram of good by 10 percent. Overall, this corresponds to a saving of almost 30,000 liters of water compared to the previous year.
All these are supposedly small steps to save the oceans, but we at RKW want to do everything we can within the scope of our possibilities to make continuous contributions to more sustainability - every action counts!