Constant waste reduction brings Zero Waste Vision closer

There is an urgent need to reduce man’s impact on the environment. Protection of resources plays an important part in this. The avoidance, reduction and recycling of waste is key.

  • Various types of waste are separated at this collection point on the Mibelle AG site: card and mixed plastic are collected in the green containers to left and right; both are recycled. The blue container in the middle is for the remaining waste which cannot be recycled.

  • This Mibelle AG cardboard compactor reduces the volume of waste cardboard so much that per shipment the container can take around 4.5 tonnes of compacted cardboard.

  • Zero waste principle: avoidance is the bottom line. Progression to the next stages should only take place after avoidance has been maximised. This ensures the most sustainable overall solution.

  • Pigging system: the feed pipe to filling line L-2 is cleaned using a pig, resulting in an increased yield of 200 kg/campaign; Jochen Naef (Process Services department engineer) adjusting the compressed air flow.

  • Pig: a pig (usually a rubber or silicon plug) is pushed through the pipework using compressed air, thereby forcing out the residual filling materials.

Parent company M Industry’s Zero Waste Vision states that it will operate completely closed ecological cycles by 2040 and a 100% recycling rate. An ambitious target which the Mibelle Group has enthusiastically embraced.

In recent years the Mibelle Group’s experts have already implemented many small and large measures to get closer to the vision. René Gerber, Mifa AG’s head, OP&SCM, explains: “There are three stages to sustainable waste management: avoidance, internal direct reuse/recycling and finally environmentally friendly disposal or appropriate reuse of the remaining waste which leaves the plant. This ambitious vision means that after 2040 no residual waste of any kind whatsoever should leave the plant.”

Innovative approaches are required to bring this pioneering vision, which avoids production of waste in every conceivable form, to fruition. “There are many different approaches to avoiding waste. For example, we train our employees and make them aware of this important topic” says Heinz Buser, head of Delivery Management at Mifa AG (and in this role responsible for waste disposal). Thomas Aliverti, head of Infrastructure, Energy & Construction at Mibelle AG, adds: “Around one third of the volume of waste at the Buchs site consists of raw materials, bulk products, finished products and packaging. Theoretically we could completely avoid this waste. We want to significantly reduce the remaining two thirds of waste and recycle anything that remains.”

Fredy Kühnis, Mifa AG’s Environmental Officer, describes the tactics: “We ask what alternative use is there for a waste product on the same level of use? One example from dishwasher detergent production is broken tabs, or excess powder. These can be collected in big bags and incorporated into partner firms’ products. They are still used for their original purpose and no waste is created.

Arno Merki, Mibelle AG’s Environmental Officer adds: “We are working closely with quality management so as little waste as possible is caused by production mistakes. This is why we have our own recycling system for specific types of plastic.

Sustainability facts on reducing waste volumes at the Mibelle Group:

  • Parent company M Industry’s Zero Waste Vision aims to to operate completely closed ecological cycles by 2040 at the latest and to achieve a 100% recycling rate.
  • Mifa AG aims to reduce the specific volume of waste (with regard to the weight of goods produced) by almost 4% between 2011 and 2020.
  • Mibelle AG aims to reduce the specific volume of waste by 5% between 2010 and 2020.
  • Mifa AG and Mibelle AG intend to increase the recycling rate to 80% by 2020. In 2015 the recycling rate for both was 51%.

Production & Retail

Consumption & Recycling

Water & Soil

Efficient use of resources