Soyang Europe builds sustainable future for customers with Reconomy

Soyang Europe has been working with Reconomy to offer customers access to environmentally focused and responsible waste management services.

Reconomy: Soyang textile bales in yard
Reconomy combines technology and skills to enable businesses to better manage their resources, helping to reduce waste, optimise their supply chains, and contribute towards the circular economy.

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International circular economy specialist Reconomy has revealed how its relationship with wide-format and superwide-format media manufacturer and distributor Soyang Europe is helping UK print service providers to improve their environmental credentials.

Reconomy combines technology and skills to enable businesses to better manage their resources, helping to reduce waste, optimise their supply chains, and contribute in a meaningful way towards the circular economy.

While this involves working directly with print companies, Reconomy is also partnered with several leading manufacturers and distributors, supporting their customers with textile waste management. One such partnership is with Soyang Europe, whereby printers using materials from Soyang Europe can responsibly dispose of their waste.

This partnership came about three years ago with the support of FESPA UK. Reconomy was working on various sustainability initiatives with FESPA, while Soyang Europe is a long-term member of the association.

The process works with Reconomy providing customers with a baler to prepare their textile waste. Soyang Europe then collects the bales when delivering new products to customers, with the waste taken to its facility in Altham in Lancashire ready for bulk collection and transportation to a recycling facility for processing.

“It was a perfect fit,” said Reconomy Director Jon Hutton. “Soyang has always been proactive in wanting to offer their customers, and the wider industry, waste management solutions for their products.

“Sustainability is a hot topic for several reasons. Brands and consumers are looking down the supply chain for environmental credentials, so it’s therefore a driving factor in how to not only maintain and gain business, but how a printer positions themselves for the long term.”

Mark Mashiter, Managing Director at Soyang Europe added: “It provides our customers with an outlet for their waste. This works well with local customers when we deliver orders to them; we can bring any textile bales back with us and store them in our yard until they are collected.”

Originally, Reconomy had sourced a solution for recycling PVC banner and polyester fabrics at a UK site, whereby waste was blended with other polymers to produce low grade products. While this process ended when more desirable material became available to the market, a recovery route was soon set up and, with the support of Wheeldon Brothers, waste could now be diverted from landfill to renewable energy.

However, recycling has since been re-established and material is again being used in manufacturing processes. Coupled with its use for renewable energy, all of this is helping work towards a circular economy.

An additional benefit to the service is that Soyang Europe is willing to take other supplier’s waste textiles along with its own. This option is available to customers using their own transport within a set radius of Soyang Europe’s facility and when making deliveries.

“Soyang Europe wants to be part of the environmental solution and not the problem,” Jon said. “The take-back scheme provides a platform for printers to demonstrate their sustainability by providing customers with an outlet for their recycling waste.

“Several customers have engaged with Reconomy further and are now collecting their own clients’ end-of-campaign textiles, integrating this with the collection of their materials. All loads are tracked, and Certificates of Recycling can be issued once the material has been processed.”

The work does not stop here for Reconomy, with Jon saying the company will continue to work with Soyang Europe, FESPA UK and its wider membership base to provide more sustainable solutions to the UK industry.

“It’s our aim to continue to be a driving force in educating the industry on the importance of recycling and developing circular economies,” Jon said. “This, with the continued support of Soyang Europe, will ensure more customers take up this service.”

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