Countdown in the management of professional packaging

Beyond domestic spaces, citizen life generates many other wastes of which perhaps there is not as much awareness. An example is changing car oil in the workshop, which produces waste classified as hazardous. In fact, it was the first waste to be regulated by the then EEC, back in 1975. Used motor oil contains toxic substances and is not biodegradable; Therefore, if not managed properly, it can have very negative effects on water, soil and even people's health.

But what happens to the used oil extracted from the crankcase? The good news is that it is collected and recycled 100%. This is done by Sigaus, the SCRAP (Collective System of Extended Producer Responsibility), which has been making the circular economy of industrial oils a reality in Spain for 17 years, transforming them into two new products: regenerated bases, which are the fundamental component to manufacture new lubricants, or a fuel similar to fuel oil, which is used in thermal power plants and industrial furnaces.

With this management, not only is used oil prevented from contaminating, but a large amount of an exhaustible and expensive raw material such as oil, from which these products are traditionally obtained, is saved. Furthermore, producing them from used oil entails great energy savings and fewer CO2 emissions compared to their production from petroleum.

Universal service, full traceability

Sigaus is a SCRAP specialized in waste that is generated beyond homes, in a wide range of commercial and industrial activities. And this, precisely, is an area in which regulation is introducing important novelties.

When it comes to professional environments, one of the keys to this successful model is being able to guarantee the universal collection service, which requires great penetration into the productive fabric, since it is a very capillary generation of waste. According to Sigaus figures, in 2023, 131,000 tons of used oils were collected in almost 5,000 different municipalities, among which thousands of them are located in mountain areas, extrapeninsular areas or in the so-called empty Spain.

«Our commitment to the universality of the service is inalienable: we collect at any point of generation and throughout the territory without exception. To achieve this, our recipe is to respect the existing operations and work with the maximum number of management operators. We have registered and geopositioned more than 160,000 generation points, from large industries to small workshops in rural areas,” explains the general director of Sigaus and Genci, Eduardo de Lecea. “Seamless collection and total traceability combined for maximum control over every drop of used oil,” concludes De Lecea.

Efficiency model in Europe

In addition to its effectiveness, in Spain we can boast of having the least expensive industrial oil management system among comparable models in Europe. Companies that manufacture, import or market lubricants pay Sigaus, like SCRAP, 50 euros per ton placed on the market. A waste management cost assumed in the first instance by those who sell the product

that will generate that waste. And that, by law, is passed on to the consumer. This is what is known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). In France, its RAP system, barely two years old, costs 89 euros per ton; while, in Italy, the oldest system in Europe, the contribution is set at 70 euros per ton. For its part, in Portugal the cost that ends up falling on the consumer is 72 euros/ton.

And now, professional packaging

The good results in the management of this generation waste in a professional field, place Sigaus in a privileged position to address a new challenge: starting January 1, 2025, the application of RAP will be extended to commercial packaging and industrial. From that moment on, manufacturers and marketers of products packaged in this type of packaging (any that accompanies a product intended for businesses or industry) must cover the management of their waste, regardless of the nature, format, material or useful life of the product. packaging (from a bottle to a drum, a pallet, a box or a film). A small tsunami for more than 100,000 affected companies in Spain, since practically everything sold requires packaging.

A scenario of changes for which, precisely, Sigaus presents an already tested solution: Genci. A new SCRAP that transfers the successful Sigaus model, the one with the greatest knowledge and experience in the management of industrial waste, to packaging waste. «Commercial and industrial packaging waste behaves, above all, like industrial waste. And we have 17 years of experience in the industrial sector, meeting objectives year after year, and with a very tight cost. A background from which we now offer, through Genci, an agile solution for all sectors,” says De Lecea.

Genci has the advantage of being the only system that has real experience in managing professional packaging waste, since it has been operating in the Balearic Islands for almost three years, responding to regional regulations. And another no small advantage in these times: Genci does not charge a membership fee, since its model will be easily scalable at the national level.

Cost efficiency, experience with waste and great knowledge of the generating fabric, a combination that sounds like a winning bet in the face of uncertainty and the difficulty of adapting to completely new regulations, which will represent a radical change in the management of professional packaging in Spain.