The numbers speak for themselves. For 2015 “Charalambides – Christis”, the biggest dairy company in Cyprus has placed on the market products, the packaging of which corresponds to 1.6 million kilograms of solid waste, and has paid the cost for their recycling. At the same time the company has recycled over one million kilos of solid waste from its own facilities.
The company pays every year a considerable amount of money for the recycling of its products placed on the market, in compliance with the Cypriot legislation. According to the legislation, the waste coming from the packaging of products sold in the market must be recovered or recycled. Due to practical difficulties in the collection, recycling and recovery of packaging from the point of sale and households, “Charalambides – Christis” participates since 2004 in the collective system of Green Dot (Cyprus) Public Co Ltd, which in cooperation with the municipal authorities is responsible for recycling and recovery of the packaging of the products placed on the market.
As the company`s Environmental Manager Yiannos Eliades explained in an interview with CNA, “Charalambides – Christis” paid approximately €200,000 per year for recycling. The biggest cost (€ 180,000) is resulting from the recycling of packaging and packaging waste. The company declares to “Green Dot” every year the quantities of products it places on the market and based on these quantities it pays an agreed recycling fee (per weight), depending on the type of packaging material.
More specifically, for 2015 the company placed on the market 210,712 kg of paper packaging, 1,429,222 kg of plastic packaging, 24.779 kg of Tetra Pak packaging and 648 kg of aluminum packaging. These packages leave the factory in the form of milk products purchased and consumed daily by most households, restaurants, hotels and institutions such as hospitals and schools in Cyprus.
The company in 2015 also recycled 872.080 kg of organic waste-ABP, 79.180 kg of paper, 88,698 kg of plastic and 28 kg of batteries in cooperation with various licensed recycling companies.
An integrated management system with multiple benefits
The integrated management system applied by the company, according to the provisions of law and European standards, has multiple benefits. Alongside with the objective of reducing waste, there is also production of clean energy while there are also applications in livestock farming.
The company implements an environmental management system since 2004 and is a member and shareholder of “Green Dot Cyprus”. Since 2012 it cooperates with “Animalia Genetics Ltd” which receives and processes the products to be destroyed for the production of biogas. Since 2012 it also participates in the European Project LIFE + DAIRIUS – “Sustainable management of expired milk products” in order to optimize their energy exploitation in Cyprus.
Moreover, the company in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, sends the whey derived from the production of cheese to the licensed company Nikos Armenis & Sons Ltd (Pigsty), which uses it for the preparation of liquid feed for pigs.
The company points out that it cooperates with licensed operators and recyclers, and fully manages all of the solids / liquids and other hazardous or non-hazardous waste, according to the legislation.
“The primary goal and part of the environmental policy pursued by our company is the recycling of all waste resulting from the activities of our company. At the same time, “Charalambides – Christis” is trying to reduce the amount of materials used in the packaging, thus reducing any environmental impact”, said Eliades. He added that all the packaging used for the company`s products consist of recycled materials.
Recycling constitutes an obligation for the company, however, beyond the cost paid, there is also benefit. Perhaps the greatest benefit for a modern company, is the enhancement of its corporate social responsibility profile, but there are also other benefits.
“The biggest benefit for the company, and generally for those involved in recycling is the social contribution, the proper waste management, the sense of satisfaction and participation in the environmental protection, while simultaneously there is saving of energy and natural resources. There is also energy saving on the manufacturing of these products, as the process of raw material is not needed “, said Eliades. “Then we protect our environment and hence our health and the future of the new generations, providing always better living standards,” he added.
Regarding the use of recycled packaging materials, he said that at this stage is limited to a series of secondary and tertiary packaging, such as cartons, bags, pallets, since packaging used for food production (especially primary packaging) is specific, coming from factories specialized exclusively in food packaging.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
** The interview is in the context of the project Rethink: Reduce- Reuse – Recycle which is funded by the EU programme LIFE+ (project code: LIFE13 INF/CY/000910) of the EU. Coordinating Beneficiary: CyBC. Partners: Green Dot Cyprus, Department of Environment, Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, CNA, Fost Plus Belgium **