Date posted: 5th April 2013
What is an FIBC?
An FIBC (Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container) is a woven polypropylene packaging item that is used in many industries to transport product. These products can range from chemicals, pigments, building materials and even foodstuffs. The FIBC, commonly known as big bags, are one of the 20th century’s greatest packaging achievements in terms of how such a light weight pack (approximately 3kg) can contain, support and successfully distribute payloads of typically 1000kg.
Initially an expensive item the price of bags fell dramatically during the 1980-90’s as manufacturing gradually moved further east. More recently hikes in oil prices have forced polypropylene increases which in turn have upwardly impacted on the price of a new big bag. The higher bag price is driving packer / fillers to consider the option of recovery for re-use rather than simply discarding the bag as an expendable item.
The RPS FIBC inspection and laundering service
Today some 50,000 recovered bags are pre-inspected, de-labelled, cleaned, re-tied, palletised and returned to clients for reuse. Dependent on the new bag price the potential cost saving delivered could be between 20-50%. With bag pricing anticipated to increase over the next few years we believe RPS is well placed to provide businesses with a sustainable and cost effective reuse solution.
There is the added benefit that all damaged or otherwise contaminated bags are recycled, ensuring peace of mind that not one of the bags handled enters landfill.
The RPS Laundering Facility
The refurbished laundering facility at the RPS Maltby site was completed in March and since then production has been thriving. Once an FIBC has been attached to the laundering rig, it is inflated in order to assess if there are any tears and damage that would deem the bag non-reusable. It also allows the inspection team to carefully inspect the bags loops and discharge spout to ensure they are suitable for reuse.
Once fully checked and old labels and documents removed, the FIBC is detached from the laundering rig, retied and palletised ready for reuse by the client.
Other FIBC services
Since 2011, RPS has provided an on-site inspection team at one of its clients to inspect and re-tie big bags ready for internal reuse. In 2012, 15,000 big bags were sorted on site, saving the client in excess of £100K compared to the purchase of replacement new FIBCs.