Good practice

More efficient plastic and cardboard waste sorting saves money

More efficient plastic and cardboard waste sorting saves money
© steve29, #25194936, 2017, source:
All sectors, Food processing, Waste management and recycling
Medium cost
Annual saving:
Payback time:
0.3 Year(s)
Resource savings: Waste:
70 tonnes of waste sold for recycling instead of going to landfill
Associated cost savings: Waste:
Co2 emission reduction:
25.3 tonnes CO2 equivalent per year
Premises and operation areas:
Waste and recycling
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
One off investment:

Tackling mixed waste a priority

  • Improved waste-sorting channels cut back on mixed waste destined for incineration
  • Better-sorted waste leads to lower waste costs, resale options, more staff participation 
  • Improvement measures generate savings of around € 6 000 per year

Nestlé Purina, a food-processing company, has been working to reduce material losses at source and during manufacturing.

Despite existing recycling and sorting channels, an unacceptable level of mixing (plastic and cardboard) was observed. The company reorganised its waste flows, separating them more effectively with the introduction of appropriate channels. It also introduced an awareness campaign aimed at staff, which coupled with the introduction of a simpler system of waste-separation bins around the site and compacting facilities for recoverable waste, delivered considerable benefits.

Key benefits

These improvement measures generate savings of around € 6 000 per year, including sales of reusable waste and lowered cost of treating mixed waste. For example, Nestlé Purina reduced the tonnage of non-hazardous waste in blends by 21 % from one year to the next (at equivalent production).

The redirected ratio on plastics and cartons is stable also thanks to rationalised packaging of raw materials. The company monitors the performance of the sorting systems by using indicators related to production.


“Waste sorting at source has been in place for many years at the site and, thanks to improved sorting in the field, we have been able to reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration while reducing our waste budget; this long-term approach has also made it possible to find a procedure to sort the big bags.” - Bruno Gérard, Health and Environment Manager, Nestlé Purina

Want to know if relevant support is offered in your country?