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Packaging With 100 Percent Recycled Material? This Is BMW's Target for 2024
Aspects such as global warming, pollution, recycling, and sustainability are matters that the automotive industry has taken seriously for some time now, all trying to be worthy examples to follow. For instance, BMW now chooses to improve the packaging section of its business by using recycled materials, reducing its overall carbon footprint.

Packaging With 100 Percent Recycled Material? This Is BMW's Target for 2024

BMW i3BMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics; use of recycled material in EPP packagingBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics using of recycled material in EPP packaging and so called small load carriersBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics. Using so-called small load carriers with recycled contentBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics; use of recycled material in EPP packagingBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics, introducing folding large load carriersBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics, introducing folding large load carriersBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics using covers with recycled contentBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics; use of recycled material in EPP packaging and coversBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics, introducing folding large load carriersBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics, introducing folding large load carriersBMW Group backs sustainable packaging in its logistics, introducing folding large load carriers
Until recently, climate change was not a discussed topic as it is now. We heard from time to time stuff about global warming. Still, because its effects didn't seem immediate and didn't affect us directly, we moved on without taking responsible action. Then, at some point, media began to show images of melted glaciers, sea turtles drowning in plastic, and destroyed natural habitats, and we, as humans, started to experience extreme temperatures or found ourselves unable to distinguish the seasons anymore. That was when we all realized that things were getting real, and we had to act immediately.

How did we end up in this situation? Pollution, of course. How so? Introducing contaminants into the natural environment that were causing adverse changes. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States was and still is burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation. The same source revealed that in 2020, the mobility field still ranked first as a polluter, with a rate of 27 percent, followed by electric power (24%), industry (24%), commercial and residential (13%), and agriculture (11%).

On a macro level, the pollution generated by the car industry is not limited only to fuel consumption, air pollution, and greenhouse gases but to the entire process by which a car comes to life, even after its exit from the circuit. Vehicles are being produced in factories, and like any factory, elements such as steel, rubber, glass, plastics, paints, and many more leave a giant footprint from the moment of assembly to the moment of delivery.

With a history in the field of sustainability dating back to the 70s, BMW is now focusing its attention on the micro levels of its business through which it can reduce pollution, more precisely, at the seemingly insignificant level of packaging. Their main goal is to reduce CO2 emissions in the supply chain by 20 percent per vehicle, applying the principle of the three "R's": 'Reduce-Reuse-Recycle,' thus encouraging the circular economy.

Their plan requires using more recycled and alternative sustainable materials in their packaging, reducing single-use packaging, introducing lightweight packaging in certain areas, and reducing transport volumes, to reduce carbon emissions. To have a more precise record, the BMW Group uses a CO2 calculator for packaging, monitoring the impact of individual measures, and implementing changes where needed.

In a more specific way, BMW management is guided by the principle of Reuse, rather than that of Waste, through their newly developed EPP (EPP = expanded polypropylene) packaging, which contains 25 percent recycled material, thus reducing pollution by 280 tons of CO2. This material is used annually in approximately 360,000 special containers for its adaptability and safety in packaging while transporting components.

They also focus on using covers and so-called small load carriers with 50 percent recycled contents, saving the earth from 680 tons of carbon emissions. Finally, they intend to replace the pallet cages made of steel with folding plastic alternatives made from over 90 percent recycled material. Due to the ease of handling, these foldable large load carriers will save 3000 tons of CO2 annually.

And they don't stop there. BMW is already conducting tests for the scenario in which their packaging department aims to use recycled material in a 100 percent proportion. It is scheduled that from 2024 this will be the new order. They also plan to use bio-based materials to replace oil-based substances polyethylene and polypropylene (PE and PP) for a more "healthy" packaging.

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