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Evonik benefit from packaging recovery and reuse employing RPS expertise

Case Studies,Latest News September 27, 2012 8:27 am

Evonik, one of the world’s leading chemical companies, set RPS a challenge to help the business assist in the recovery of their packaging assets from their UK customers for return to Germany. Evonik buy a robust, wooden pallet in Germany to supply Unilever in Warrington. The pallets are well built and solid making them ideal for recovery and reuse opportunities.

Up until recently, Evonik had replaced the wooden pallets used at their Rheinfelden site with new pallets but it was realised there were potential benefits of recovering the packaging from the UK for reuse. With RPS expertise in logistics and pallet inspection and repair, the Evonik packaging assets can be collected in the UK, inspected and assessed and returned to Germany for reuse. This reduces the amount of new packaging required as each pallet already in the system can be recovered and reused, replacing the need for a new pallet.

The challenge set to collect the Evonik pallets from Warrington to return to the Rheinfelden plant, based on the southern borders of Germany, was gladly accepted by RPS. After evaluating the logistics and operations essential to achieving an environmentally responsible recovery option, RPS commenced collections from the Evonik customer Unilever in March 2012. Once sufficient pallets had been collected, inspected and prepared, a full load was returned to Evonik in Germany in July 2012. There were a total of 390 pallets returned, which made a cost saving of 37.5% on the price of purchasing the same pallet new.

Owen Hines of RPS led the challenge, visiting Unilever at Warrington and making all the necessary arrangements for the first collection, with the help of Janice Gibson in RPS’s logistics department. Along with close interaction with Tony Smith of Evonik, it was essential RPS understood the business and the challenge brief set. Tony commented on the service, saying, “The co-operation between Evonik and RPS enables us to reduce our overall logistic costs for supplying our customers in the UK market. By reusing the pallets both Evonik and our UK customers reduce the CO2 footprint of the product.”

There are major environmental benefits for Evonik as the pallets remain in the closed loop system between Rheinfelden and Warrington and this bespoke pallet can be re-used several times, helping to reduce the amount of new packaging entering the UK waste stream. This also bolsters Evonik’s environmental responsibility for the packaging it uses. Another key factor is that the pallets being delivered to Germany utilise empty vehicles returning to the continent from the UK, which further demonstrate an environmental saving and essential sustainability.

For more information about Evonik please visit their website www.evonik.com.

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