Axjo Group creates circular and sustainable solutions together with its customers waste of XLPE, which instead becomes a valuable resource2023-10-10
Finding solutions for how a previously unusable waste can become a resource is called End of Waste. Together with Ramboll, Axjo has ensured that all legal requirements for the waste to be counted as a resource are met. Together with customers in both Sweden and Europe, Axjo is now taking another step on its sustainability journey, by recycling the cable plants' waste of XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) into new products and thus closing the circle.
Axjo Group, headquartered in Gislaved, has been using recycled materials in its product manufacturing since 2003. Over the last decade, they have been working more actively with their sustainability concept Greenology to create circular business models and have managed to find different materials that would otherwise have gone to incineration or landfill.
- “Axjo's typical customer is a cable manufacturer headquartered somewhere in Europe. Finding a circular flow with their waste and being able to utilize it in the production of new, high-quality compounds, is a given solution that benefits both parties. In most cases, our own plastic compounds have equivalent or better properties than virgin materials of the same polymer. By then adding and utilizing our return system Drumster, it creates another circular dimension and allows the products to be used up to 10 times in a return flow.", says Jacob Nilsson, President and CEO of Axjo Group.
End of Waste, i.e., finding solutions to turn previously unusable waste into a resource, effectively reduces material consumption and climate footprint and is becoming increasingly popular in circular business models. Companies that have recycling as their core business are subject to a certain regulatory framework, as are manufacturing companies that start using former waste to create new products. Such a company is then also classified as a recycler. To use a waste in a product, you must ensure and be able to demonstrate that the waste has ceased to be waste according to the criteria in the Environmental Code.
- “Taking care of a resource that was previously waste is good. What you need to be aware of are the regulations that apply to recyclers and ensure that what you do does not have negative environmental and health effects. At Axjo, I did an investigation that could show that the legal requirements for waste that ceases to be waste are met, which meant that the company could get the municipality's approval for waste management.", says Nicklas Gustavsson, Senior Consultant at Ramboll.
Prysmian Group in Sweden is one of the companies that in cooperation with Axjo can recycle their process waste and generate a positive circularity. Prysmian collects extruded XLPE which is then received by Axjo. The waste then follows a developed process and method to become a high-quality raw material, from which Axjo can manufacture cable drums. These drums are then purchased by Prysmian Group in Norway, Finland and the Netherlands and end up, to some extent, at Prysmian in Nässjö again as they receive drums with cable and sell on to other players.
- “The process creates a sustainable circularity that benefits the environmental impact in a positive way.”, says Anders Sjöland, HSE Manager Prysmian Group Scandinavia. "It is also important to collaborate on these issues so that a sustainable flow meets the requirements that exist. In this case, both Prysmian and Axjo felt that expertise was needed and therefore Ramboll was also brought into the collaboration.", says Anders.
There are requirements that must be met for a waste to no longer be considered a waste. These are clear and presented in chapter 15. 9 a-c §§ Environmental Code;
- The substance or object must be used for a specific purpose,
- there is a market for or demand for such substances or objects,
- the substance or object fulfills applicable requirements in legislation and other regulations, and,
- the use of the substance or object does not result in general adverse effects on human health or the environment.
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