‘Zero waste to landfill’ is Close the Loop’s (CtL) brand promise and what drives the company to help customers achieve their sustainability goals and participate in the circular economy. The Genox recycling line helps, too.
The circular economy makes the most of valuable resources, transforming items that would normally end up in landfills and oceans into useful commodities that can be returned to the supply chain.
“A key role of CtL is bridging the gap between industry and the consumer. Our aim is to make the process accessible and encourage people and companies to take the next step to recover and recycle difficult products,” said CtL marketing manager Jessica Ansell.
CtL has a number of recycling lines, a key part of which revolves around recycling soft plastics. In order to protect products from deterioration, soft plastic packaging typically contains multiple different types of plastic joined together in thin layers. This creates issues at end of life, as these materials cannot be separated, and hence provide a low grade of recycling feedstock. The company specialises in recycling imaging products, ink and toner cartridges, bottles and the toner itself. More then 53 million cartridges have been recycled over the past 20 years.
The recycled raw material is supplied back to a number of different industry partners; cartridges are also returned to the original supplier for remanufacturing. CtL is also a manufacturer of recycled products including mailing satchels and horticulture bags. CtL’s recent merger with OF Packaging further complimented the company’s focus on more environmentally friendly packaging products.
“We are the largest user of post-consumer mixed soft plastics in Australia, taking large volumes of this material as a feedstock for our asphalt additive product – TonerPlas, and our recycled plastic injection-moulding resin rFlex,” Ansell said.
TonerPlas is a high-performance asphalt additive that improves the longevity of roads and has been used in resurfacing projects across Australia including the Monash and M80 freeway upgrades in Victoria.
The company has recently installed a new Genox recycling line at its Somerton plant, which will handle a range of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) materials including bottles, retail displays, tubs and crates. The end product called ‘flake’ will be supplied as a commodity to plastic trading companies, which in turn may be washed and turned back into bottles.
Applied Machinery, one of Australia’s largest suppliers of recycling machinery, is the sole Australian distributor for Genox Recycling Technology.
“We always go into a competitive tendering process with any new equipment, but we place great importance on trust with any business relationship – and a long-term relationship like we have had with Applied is how that trust is built,” said CtL founder Steve Morriss (pictured left).
“Over the years we’ve done a lot of work with David Macdonald from Applied; and more recently with Peter Koueik. We know if there’s any issues they’ll be addressed straight away. That’s one of the key benefits of dealing with a local supplier who has access to full technical support and back-up. The installation of our new line was trouble free; the Applied team were there to deal with any unforeseen issue. And with Genox we have the reassurance that we are buying equipment that features the very latest technology and features.”
The new line includes a feeding platform, a conveyor with metal detector, a single shaft shredder and granulator. All of the extraction along the line includes “de-dusting”, which removes dust/dirt/fines from the material as it progresses along the line. It also ensures the safety and health of the operators.
The dust proofing also increases the life of the motors. A zig zag (ZZ) classifier separates the plastic from any paper labels and other fines.
With the acquisition of another recycling company in the US and a commitment by the founder to keep ‘spreading the word,’ Close the Loop Group will no doubt continue to expand and be at the forefront of new recycling initiatives.
“People are realising that the world has finite resources and there needs to be a huge effort by both consumers and industry to do more in the recycling arena. For me this is not a job – it’s my life and a passion of mine; to educate and encourage everyone to embrace the circular economy,” said Morriss.