Protec International Ltd for the initiative Protec ClosedLoop Remanufacturing Scheme

As a manufacturer of plastic material operating in an industry that has one of the highest rates of waste, Protec is passionate about reducing its environmental impact to create a sustainable future.

Supporting this drive, Protec are setting new standards in waste reduction and recycling with ProplexRE, a flame-retardant impact protection sheet made from 60% post-consumer waste manufactured using a ClosedLoop Remanufacturing Scheme.

Developing the infrastructure to create the circular economy required for the ClosedLoop Remanufacturing Scheme was going be a challenge, and extensive research was undertaken to assess its commercial viability. Tracking the location of inventory from the factory across the supply chain until it reached a site, establishing communication with the end user to identify when the project would end so waste polypropylene sheeting could be retrieved, then processing it back into a raw material would be a huge logistical undertaking.

Implementing the scheme involved developing a new system to track all material transactions from the manufacturer through to recovery and reprocessing. The team set targets within its ISO14001 management programme to achieve 20% retrieval of materials and further parameters were established to optimise transport efficiencies and increase the volume recovered by tracking projects with over two tonnes of material.

To process the recovered materials, Protec invested £2million in a state-of-the-art wash plant and recycling line. The new facility cleans and sorts the contaminated materials then shreds it back into polypropylene pellets ready to be re-used in the manufacturing process, creating a completely closed loop process.

One of the biggest challenges in launching the ClosedLoop Remanufacturing Scheme was the lack of onsite visibility to facilitate the collection of used sheeting once it had reached its end-of-life. Protec knew it needed to get buy in from both construction sites and procurement departments, so it began an initiative to raise awareness.

To date, Protec have saved 75,141 tonnes of polypropylene material from landfill and incineration, and have become the world’s only manufacturer, supplier and recycler of temporary protection materials. Through this landmark scheme, Protec have created a sustainable long-term source of raw materials to help conserve the world’s finite natural resources, reduce carbon emissions and protect the planet.

The scheme is helping customers support their own sustainability targets and BREEM credits, whilst gaining national recognition with multiple environmental and manufacturing awards, including The Circular Economy Innovation of the Year’ award – edie Sustainability Awards 2022.

Collaborating with the Supply Chain Sustainability School, Protec is sharing its knowledge helping the industry change how it approaches site waste disposal and carbon emissions, laying the foundations for other manufactures to follow.

Client feedback:

“Adopting a circular approach to materials is a must for any credible Net Zero strategy within the Built Environment. That is why Multiplex have targeted Zero Avoidable Waste by 2030, in line with the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy and subsequent recommendations of the green Construction Board. Partnering with Protec to implement their Proplex ClosedLoop Remanufacturing scheme has been a great example of this approach in practice and we hope that it can act as a blueprint for others to follow.”

Senior Sustainability Manager, MULTIPLEX

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