From waste to raw material

On our journey towards carbon neutrality by 2030, one of our focus areas is improving recycling and promoting circular economy. At our Mankkaa distribution centre in Finland, we have increased especially plastic recycling during the past year, which together with other actions has reduced the share of combustible waste by 33%.

Our goal is to recycle 85% of our non-pharmaceutical waste by 2022 on a Group-level. A significant share of our waste consists of the packaging material of the goods delivered to our warehouses and distribution centres. Efficient recycling allows the reuse of packaging waste as raw material instead of combusting it for energy. This saves natural resources, reduces CO2 emissions and minimises material waste.

At our Mankkaa distribution centre in Espoo, Finland, enhancing recycling has been one of the important environmental initiatives since last year, when we implemented a recycling project. During the project, we started to sort the plastic film used to protect pallets, standardised recycling bins, issued clearer recycling and sorting instructions, and trained our entire warehouse personnel. As a result, the recycling rate at Mankkaa was increased to 71% in 2019, compared to 61.5% in 2018.

This year, we raised the bar and target to recycle 75% of all non-pharmaceutical waste at Mankkaa. I’m very happy to see our systematic efforts are bearing fruit, as we almost reached it already on the first half of 2020, when 74.8% of the waste was recycled. One of the key success factors is increased plastic recycling: during the first six months, we collected 12,000 kilos of plastic film. That corresponds approximately 2.5 million plastic bags. Thanks to improved recycling actions, we reduced combustible waste by 33% compared to the same period in the last year,” says Sanna Veräjänkorva, Environmental Manager at Oriola.

Plastic recycling was first implemented to our logistics facilities due to bigger volumes, but we have expanded it further this year by starting to sort plastic packaging in our personnel restaurant and floor kitchens in the building. This will further reduce the share of combustible waste. The plastic waste collected from Oriola’s facilities is delivered to a plastic refinery, where it is turned into raw material for new plastic products.