To maximize the benefits of a closed-loop supply chain system, it’s best to minimize the loop as much as possible.
Post-consumer material is a key component of closed-loop systems, but it’s not the only one. Production scrap and other unusable feedstock material is an area of great potential for many organizations. Manufacturers often send such unusable material to a recycler, where some of it can be processed into something close enough to virgin material to be added back into the production process. That’s better than simply throwing it all away, providing several categories of advantages, including environmental impact, profitability, and feedstock supply reliability.
But there is a better way.
Consider the advantages of sending unused material back to the supplier rather than to a recycler. In many cases, the supplier will be better able to return such material to the feedstock supply stream. This tighter version of a closed-loop system enhances all the advantages of using a recycler. In addition, it offers logistical advantages. Fewer locations within the loop means fewer transport trips and, especially, fewer empty trips.
And believe it or not, there is an even better way than that.
Consider the advantages of also collaborating with the supplier to improve the formula of the material itself to enhance its potential for reuse. A small investment up front can pay big dividends for many years to come.
GEON recently collaborated with a customer looking to improve its process for redirecting production scrap back into the feedstock supply chain. After listening to the customer’s story and visiting the production site, GEON experts went into the lab to work on a material reformulation. Now, the customer’s scrap is sent back to GEON and processed back into the feedstock supply stream. This reduces the customer’s carbon footprint and other environmental impacts. Working directly with the supplier also reduces logistics costs and improves supply reliability.
For more details about this improved closed-loop system, and other examples of GEON expertise in action, check out GEON’s case studies.