Neil Stewart, Director of Supply Chain and Processing said that despite what many people think, the technology does exist to reuse styrofoam. “It’s gotten a bad reputation because recycling depots won’t take it and people think you can’t do anything positive with it but that’s not true.” he added.
Since January 2009, damaged styro boxes® (fish boxes) have been sent from the Marine Harvest’s Port Hardy Processing Plant to Noboco’s Coulter Road plant in Campbell River. The MHC Freshwater Division also contributes since vaccine is also shipped in styro boxes®.
Once the boxes arrive at Noboco, their density is reduced 25 times by machinery that grinds, crushes and very slightly heats foam into blocks said Cory Percevault, Plant Manager at Noboco. The equipment Noboco uses is now widely available from many suppliers worldwide.
After the blocks leave Noboco, they are consolidated at Aqua-Pak’s largest recycling operation and shipped to California or the Orient, where they are further re-processed and extruded into attractive, light weight decorative picture frames and crown house hold mouldings that are sold in the retail market by Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc.
Cory said Noboco processes 500-600 boxes and other packaging a week into bricks from all outside sources including Marine Harvest, Hardy Buoys, Walcan, and their other corporate clients. Total investment in the necessary equipment and set-up was approximately $125,000, said Tim Dayton, General Manager of Noboco and Aqua Pak.
“We’ve incorporated this into the way we’re doing business now,” said Neil, adding that it’s another aspect of improving our environmental sustainability.
And Tim agrees. We all (personally and corporately) have to take responsibility for our actions, facilities and products we produce to ensure what we do is sustainable.
Having been certified ISO 9001 process for almost ten years, Noboco and Aqua-Pak certified ISO 140001 environmental a year ago and credit some of their current efforts to that new standard.
“We are taking ownership for the products we make and Marine Harvest is doing absolutely the right thing.” Tim added.