In 2011, Forbo Eurocol was the first supplier in its sector to introduce to the market a bucket made from recycled plastic. ‘That was with our ready-mixed tile adhesive 682 Majolicol,’ says Product Manager Dino Brouwer. ‘The fact that we are now using bottles and jerrycans made from recycled raw materials is a logical new step in our sustainability policy. From now on, all ready-made Eurocol products will be contained in recycled plastic.’
It was, however, not as simple as it sounds. Purchasing Manager Bart Reiling at Forbo Eurocol: ‘Developing a bottle or jerrycan made from recycled plastic that meets our wishes and high quality requirements needs a great deal of technical know-how and experience. Not least because a bottle or jerrycan is much more difficult to produce than a bucket. A bucket is made using injection moulding, whereas bottles and jerrycans are made through extrusion blow-moulding. Houweling Group, with whom we have been doing business for decades now, has all the necessary expertise in-house and so we set to work together.’
From waste to jerrycan
Commercial Director Fred van Beek: ‘As specialist in packaging, Houweling Group has been doing business with Forbo Eurocol for many years now. We take care of not only the packaging but also the storage and transport. We also take care of, for example, the printing and supply of the jerrycan sleeves. About four years ago, we started talking about sustainable bottles and jerrycans, alongside the existing bottles of recycled plastic that Forbo Eurocol was already using. We worked on developing packaging from plastic waste and carried out tests on producing bottles. Once we were able to make them fully out of waste without losing any quality, we started to carry out tests with jerrycans. And after some time, we were able to guarantee that our packaging made from recycled materials were of the same quality as packaging made from virgin plastic. After consultation with Forbo Eurocol, we then together tested both types of packaging.’
Wishes and requirements
And so were these tests successful? In Wormerveer, Dino and Bart explain, with samples in front of them in various phases of development, alongside the final bottles and jerrycans. ‘Dennis Jongmans (Business development), Erik Forsten (QSHE) and Tim Havenaar (Backoffice), all from Houweling Group, were involved in the project aimed at developing these,’ says Bart. ‘And so they made a start applying our wishes and requirements. A bottle or jerrycan made from recycled materials is great, but they also have to be sturdy, strong and practical.’
Another requirement was the colour. This had to be in line with the already existing Eurocol buckets made from recycled plastic.
Of course you want to see uniformity on the shelves, so we had to be quite precise with that colour of grey. We also wanted the jerrycans to have a level line, so that users could easily see how much it contained.
Dino Brouwer, Product Manager at Forbo Eurocol
After various test samples and adjustments to, for example, the colour, the bottles are now ready and are already on the shelves. And the jerrycans are also now ready for production. As of the construction industry holiday, all existing jerrycan packaging will be tacitly replaced by the new sustainable ones. Subsidiary Forbo Flooring is already using the bottles for their maintenance products.
Thanks to the use of recycled HPDE (rHDPE / recycled High Density Polyethylene)
- waste is once more a raw material.
- up to 95% less ‘virgin’ raw materials are used
- the CO₂ emissions are reduced