Recycling Revolution

Foodservice Footprint Mediterranean-Portrait-200x300 Recycling Revolution Best Practice  Not content to rest on its laurels after launching ‘Evolution’, its greenest product yet, Dudson is now recycling paper and cardboard to make packing materials.


Dudson launched the ‘Evolution’ tableware range a year ago, which is manufactured with the prime objective of reducing the amount of carbon created during the manufacturing process. There is no doubt, at 79 per cent* fewer carbon emissions than the equivalent porcelain product, ‘Evolution’ has fulfilled its remit.


Packing ‘Evolution’ for despatch in acres of bubble wrap seemed to contradict the philosophy behind the product and the positive environmental message it conveys, so Dudson took a long hard look at its packing operation. A decision was made to trial a shredding machine that would recycle waste cardboard to produce packaging.


The Easypack shredding machine, which makes pliable mats out of cardboard and paper – perfect for packing and void-filling boxes of Dudson tableware items in transit – was installed in the packing department and trialled for one week during the summer of 2010. Waste cardboard was stockpiled for up to five weeks before the arrival of the machine, which was then processed for a full week, generating enough packing material for several weeks despatch on selected items. The trial produced such positive results that an Easypack shredding machine was purchased and commissioned at the beginning of September last year, primarily for the packing of ‘Evolution’.


“The trial was successful in three ways,” says Rob Thomson, Operations Manager. “It produced successful packing material; it enabled us to recycle waste that would otherwise have been disposed of – normally at a cost to us; and it saved us having to purchase materials solely for packing. Six months on, this method of packing has now been used for several major orders and trialled on packing lines other than ‘Evolution’.”


All kinds of material can be shredded, from cardboard boxes received from suppliers, to out of date literature, old magazines and waste paper. The result has been a reduction in the amount of materials purchased purely for packing, including bubble wrap, ecofill (nuggets made from starch), and corrugated paper pads which are used to separate plates and other flatware.


According to Thomson: “Recycled cardboard was used for packing a large order before Christmas last year of 50,000 trays, which were sent to locations all over the UK. The packing of such a large order using the shredding machine resulted in a saving of approximately 300 rolls of bubble wrap, which is what would normally have been used for packing, resulting in a beneficial effect on the environment and a substantial cost saving.


“In addition, we are running an initiative with suppliers because the purchase of the machine enables us to recycle not just our own materials, but waste cardboard from some of our suppliers as well.”

*According to independent testing by Endeka Ceramics Ltd on kiln firing processes.