Big Bag Recycling initiative

Site / Function: Birla Carbon Cubatão

Team Members – Roberto Ferreira – General Manager

Date/Year – 2022

Birla Carbon Cubatão began a big bag recycling program several years ago.  The used big bags were sent back to the site by customers and the Birla Carbon warehouse employees inspected and selected the ones that could be reused.  A big bag could be reused about six times before final disposal.  However, many of the big bags were returned damaged, dirty, and/or with scrap material inside of them; this resulted in risk to our packaging quality and was negatively impacting housekeeping at our warehouse.

Birla Carbon Cubatão decided to engage with two companies to clean and repair the used big bags. Now the Cubatão plant receives the used big bags from its customers and stores these in on-site containers provided by the cleaning companies. On a routine basis, the cleaning companies come pick up the containers full of returned big bags for cleaning and repair and replace with empty containers.

The plant also works with customers requesting them to not damage the bags during the unloading process (about 20% of these bags are damaged during this process).

The Cubatão plant has achieved several benefits with the big bag recycling program. The most important benefits have been sustainability and cost saving for the business.

The Cubatão plant recycles close to 6,000 big bags on a monthly basis.

Big Bag Recycling initiative

Sustainability Focus: Customer Engagement, Waste Management