Safely recycling and reusing FIBCs

Posted on 17 July 2020

Big Bags have the potential to make a positive impact on the environment when used in the right way. Some FIBCs can be used multiple times or even recycled. Want to know more about how to minimize your carbon footprint with Big Bags? Read on!

Reusing bulk bags

In previous blogs, we discussed how to safely use Big Bags, according to their safety factor ratio (SFR) and safe working load (SWL). A standard FIBC has a safety factor of 5:1, meaning it can hold 5 times the amount of its safe working load. These bags are classified as single-use bags. If you wish to reuse a bag, you will need one with a higher safety factor ratio of 6:1. These are suitable for multiple uses and therefore add to the sustainability of your supply chain.

How can you safely reuse an FIBC, without endangering the product that is being carried, or the people handling the FIBC? Big Bags with the right SFR should only be reused within a “Closed Loop” system, where the bag is cleaned, reconditioned, and qualified for reuse. If necessary, liners could be replaced, as well as web ties, labels, and other crucial parts of the bag. Bags should then only handle the same product in the same application for which the bag was originally designed. There should always be a record of origin, and of previous products used in the bag, and of course a record of the number of uses.

Another way of reusing a Big Bag, is by using it as a ‘’trash bag’’ elsewhere on the production site.

When there is any doubt about the condition of the bag, the FIBC could be rejected for reuse. This could be mold, dampness of contamination, but also something as small as a wood splinter.

Recycling bulk bags

Want to take your environmental responsibility a step further? Look into using FIBCs that can be recycled. As we’ve explained in a previous blog, most bags are made from virgin polypropylene, a common plastic. This means it has the potential to be re-purposed into other plastic products. Even if bags have carried construction materials, chemicals, fertilizers, or anything else seemingly harmful, there is a good chance they can safely be recycled. For this purpose, bags are classified into different recycling grades.

  • Grade A: Clean and bright white. Colored stitching and handles allowed.
  • Grade B: Not as clean, but still predominantly white. Minimal coloring.
  • Grade C: Dirty and/or colored.

Because of the way bags are collected and processed, recycling FIBCs is often only feasible for organizations that use a lot of Big Bags or store many of them over time.

Want to know more about how Masterpack can help you run a more environmentally friendly operation with FIBCs? Our team of experts is there to answer all your questions. Contact us today!

 

Want to work towards sustainable supply chain management?

At Masterpack, we are continuously working towards better ways to pack and protect products. We proudly present our newest solution: Modified Atmosphere for FIBC’s. Download our latest whitepapers:

Testing and improving your packaging (1,6MB)
Modified Atmosphere in FIBC's (6,4MB)
Pest prevention and control in bulk packaging (2,8MB)

Subscribe here