Soft plastic recycling with Astron

What was once considered rubbish

Going circular requires businesses to take a good hard look at what they’re doing, and see how that could be improved.

And that’s exactly what we’ve done through our partnership with Astron, the largest recycler of post-industrial plastic in the Southern Hemisphere.

Before this packaging overhaul project started, APL used to wrap the aluminium that was sent from our warehouse to our nationwide manufacturer network in cases made from single use cardboard.

A lot of APL’s externally sourced resources arrived at the factory in soft plastic packaging, so rather than continue to send it all to landfill, we decided to repurpose it. Now, every single piece of soft plastic is bundled up at the warehouse and taken to Astron’s factory on APL Direct trucks.

A significant difference

Since we started working with Astron in March 2022, we’ve repurposed 7,525kg of soft plastic, and 36,375kg of TPV/rubber. That’s nearly 44,000kg of plastic that has remained in our circular economy, as opposed to ending up in landfill and being replaced with virgin plastic.

Astron melts the soft plastic down and turns it into pellets. PPL, another Profile Group business unit, then uses those pellets to create new reusable cases.

These cases are used to transport the aluminium, replacing the need for single use cardboard. This innovative packaging method is infinitely reusable, and if they become damaged the plastic is melted down to pellets, which are remoulded into a brand new case.