Visy adapts to supply chain challenges

Visy is known for its aspirations of recycling, whether it be by sorting through used paper, plastics, aluminium, steel or glass from households and businesses. Of course this brings with it different challenges in its daily operations which the business must find solutions.

Visy goes through recyclable material on a daily basis to re-manufacture it into new sustainable packaging products, saving it from going to landfill. Visy CEO, Mark De Wit, said this is very important for two reasons.

“Firstly, as organic material decomposes in landfill, it emits methane, one of the most potent climate-warming gases. By keeping material out of landfill we can limit harmful greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change,” said De Wit.

“Secondly, by keeping this recyclable material in the economy – and reusing it for a practical purpose – we reduce our communities’ reliance on natural resources. We are seeing a massive focus across the industry on increasing the use of packaging that is both recyclable and made of recycled materials, locally.”

De Wit explained that in the past couple of years, Visy has experienced many challenging conditions in their daily operation, causing them to refocus their attention to these needs.

“Supply chains have been majorly impacted by Covid-19 and, more recently, by the Russia-Ukraine crisis,” he said.

“Our focus over the past couple of years has been on ensuring steady supply to our customers, as clearly packaging is a fundamental requirement in the food supply chain.”

Visy is also aiming to help its customers in moving to recyclable packaging options made from recycled material. As a result, De Wit and his team have established innovative work across the business model. These include their Smithfield rPET and RHDPE plant, where PET thermoforms including pots, tubs trays and coloured PET bottles can now be recycled.

Visy’s glass teams are also increasing recycled content in their glass bottles and jars, aiming for an average of 70 per cent recycled glass. The teams are also working on ‘light weight’ glass packaging, which results in lower greenhouse gas emissions for every glass bottle and jar produced.

“I’m proud to lead a company that is constantly investing and innovating to find better ways to rethink waste and to re-manufacture packaging from materials that are recycled and recyclable,” said De Wit.

In other news, Visy invests in a unique Performance-Based Standards (PBS) A-double combinations design spec’d for carrying an ‘awkward’ commodity.