Argos distribution centres find green solutions
Home Retail Group-owned Argos’ distribution centres are on the way to achieving their ‘2010 Zero Waste to Landfill’ target thanks to a complete recycling solution for its cardboard and soft plastic wastes developed in partnership with Smurfit Kappa Recycling. In the past two years, over 30,000 tonnes of cardboard have been saved from landfill, while seven Argos distribution centres have achieved IS014001 (the international standard for environmental management). Late 2005, Argos set itself the tough target of achieving zero waste to landfill by 2010 which led to a three year contract with Smurfit Kappa Recycling. Argos stores now return their recyclable packaging waste back to one of the eight Argos distribution centres on returning vehicles that have delivered stock. Packaging waste material is then collected and segregated in wheeled roll-cages, before being fed into automatic baling presses where it is compacted to mill sized bales and loaded onto trailers at each site. The waste is then collected by Smurfit Kappa Recycling's transport division using a back-haul system to minimise carbon emissions. From here, the cardboard is used in Smurfit Kappa paper mills in Kent and Birmingham where it is reprocessed and used throughout the company's supply chain, to produce new packaging materials. They also recycle all old catalogues and flyers (including many catalogues returned by customers as part of its instore recycling scheme). "Waste and recycling is not the most glamorous end of the logistics world but it is a subject which has grown in importance over the past few years and more often finds itself on many CEOs' to do lists. Developing the right solution for Argos is a team effort, involving management, staff and the support of key suppliers like Smurfit Kappa Recycling," said Mark Jones, Project Manager, Central Distribution, Argos.
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