Werner & Mertz Professional presents active circular economy
The EU Circular Economy package was the main focus of the Forum „Redefining Innovation – Opportunities of the EU Circular Economy package for the professional cleaning industry” on the third day of the ISSA/Interclean in Amsterdam.
Key-note speaker, Dr. Hugo Maria Schally, Head of Unit Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy, Directorate General for the Environment of the European commission gave an overview of the Circular Economy Package. He pointed out its potential impact on the cleaning sector by improving global competitiveness, fostering sustainable economic growth and generating new jobs.
Reinhard Schneider, eco-pioneer, owner and CEO of the Werner-Mertz GmbH, parent company of tana-Chemie GmbH/Werner & Mertz Group, showed how circular economy is applicable in an enterprise. With different eco-initiatives, the in 4th generation family-owned company, which is based in Mainz, Germany, has become a reference for the circular economy.
"You generate trust and confidence when you consider sustainability in all corporate decisions," Schneider told the audience. Trust which the Frosch brand and the SME Werner & Mertz have persistently worked towards over the past 30 years as a European sustainability pioneer." A manager of a family-owned company with a longer planning period than a publicly listed corporation can certainly make different decisions, which, in best case, link ecological with economic concerns."
In the so-called “Recyclat Initative”, Werner & Mertz and its partners work towards genuine recycling of packaging waste that successfully integrates plastic packaging from the Yellow Bag, the German plastic waste collection system. "We are pursuing a genuine recycling principle with the goal of doing without crude oil in the production of plastic packaging," explained Schneider, who originated the Initiative in 2012. "Instead of using oil, we are processing reusable materials from a previously untapped source to yield packaging of such high quality that it can even be used with foodstuffs." Instead of incineration or downcycling the plastics to inferior material, modern sorter techniques could produce high-quality recyclates without the use of virgin material. “In this way, we can not only recycle PET, but also hDPE-plastics”, told Schneider. Furthermore, working in a real circle without danger for other eco-systems would mean less pollution by plastics in the oceans. “Microplastic will become a bigger issue in the future”, he predicted.
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