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CEMEX building products business reduces plastic packaging

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

CEMEX’s key building products plant at Northfleet in Kent has made significant inroads over the last 12 months. This follows on from the recent launch of ReadyBlock Zero, the UK’s first zero carbon concrete block, as CEMEX’s Urbanisation Solutions business continues to improve the sustainability of its operations in line with the company’s global Future In Action strategy, which is committed to Net Zero CO2 in concrete by 2050.

Production equipment at Northfleet has been upgraded through a £100 000 CAPEX investment to enable increased supply and ongoing maintenance. The new high-strength banding process means that plastic hoods are no longer required on dense and lightweight bricks and concrete blocks. As a result, Northfleet has eradicated 6.1 t of plastic, or the equivalent of over 65 000 plastic water bottles, per year from its traditional plastic packaging process.

In addition to plastic reduction, Northfleet is continuing to make environmental savings in timber by increasing the volume of void packs which reduces the volume of timber palleted products. Over 100 t of timber – roughly the equivalent of 100 ten foot high oak trees – was saved in 2021 and it is expected this figure will increase further in 2022. The programme is further supported by CEMEX’s pallet recovery scheme which works with merchants and distributors to recycle and reduce timber waste across the supply chain to make greater environmental efficiencies.

Damien Allen, Business Manager, Building Products UK, CEMEX, comments: “We have been pushing a more sustainable approach to our packaging in Concrete Products. At our Northfleet plant, our results so far are very encouraging. We expect our usage of plastic and timber to reduce further dramatically in 2022 due to the upgraded process.”

“Our equipment meets the highest quality requirements. It is extremely reliable, requires little maintenance, and is highly energy-efficient as well. We are looking at lots of different options to continuously improve our packaging, without compromising product quality. This includes a constant watching eye on recycled materials and our approach to repair and re-use across the plant, in line with the circular economy mindset.”

CEMEX’s Climate Action strategy aims to lead the way in the construction industry and has an overall global ambition of delivering net zero carbon emissions in concrete by 2050. CEMEX Urbanisation Solutions is constantly innovating to provide customers with a broad range of sustainable solutions for the challenges of urbanisation, with a central focus at all times on the Future In Action strategy – committed to Net Zero CO2.

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