Fastenal & Trex: Turning Plastic for Outdoor Products
Fastenal Company has embraced a multifaceted approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, and a standout objective is the reduction of consumption and environmental impact across its operations while also extending sustainable solutions to its clientele.
An instrumental step in fulfilling this mission involves Fastenal's strategic collaboration with Trex Company, Inc., a globally renowned innovator in crafting wood-alternative composite decking, railing, and outdoor construction materials derived from recycled sources.
The entirety of Trex's composite decking lineup is a product of 95% reclaimed and repurposed materials, including a dynamic blend of polyethylene (PE) film and industrial wood remnants.
In a concerted effort to champion this objective, Fastenal has forged a pioneering scrap supply agreement with Trex. This transformative partnership centres around the collection of used PE film from Fastenal's expansive network of distribution centres, branches, and specialised Onsite locations.
These collected materials are then seamlessly transported to Trex for integration into the production of their composite decking solutions. Notably recognised as "pallet wrap" within the distribution realm, PE film serves as a pivotal element in securing packaging to pallets for shipping purposes.
Dave Olson, the Director of EHS & Sustainability at Fastenal, underlines the significance of this venture: "While pallet wrap is essential to our daily operations, its usefulness diminishes once the packaging is unwrapped. Collaborating with Trex to ingeniously transform this latent waste into sustainable outdoor construction materials represents a mutual triumph for our organisations."
To facilitate the programme's success, Fastenal has made a substantial investment exceeding $300,000 to enhance equipment and infrastructure within its United States distribution centres. This augmentation enables the efficient baling and consolidation of used PE film, preparing it for Trex's recycling process.
Forecasts for the programme's inaugural year predict the diversion of an impressive 600,000 pounds of plastic away from landfills. This is accomplished through the collection of materials primarily from Fastenal's distribution centres, where substantial quantities of pallet wrap are received through inbound shipments from suppliers.
Furthermore, over 2,500 Fastenal branches and Onsite locations are poised to participate, leveraging Fastenal's established truck routes to seamlessly transport used materials to nearby distribution centres. Subsequently, these materials are baled, consolidated, and readied for shipment to Trex.
An annual spectacle, Trex repurposes an excess of one billion pounds of reclaimed materials in its production endeavours, including a noteworthy 400 million pounds of plastic film.
The magnitude of this effort positions Trex as one of North America's foremost recyclers of PE film. Through its innovative NexTrex® Recycling Programme, Trex actively collaborates with commercial entities and community organisations across the nation. These partnerships facilitate the collection and transport of recycled plastic materials to Trex's state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities situated in Winchester, Virginia, and Fernley, Nevada.
Dave Heglas, Senior Director of Supply Chain Excellence at Trex, applauds Fastenal's unwavering commitment to sustainable practices: "Fastenal's resolute engagement in the NexTrex Recycling Programme exemplifies their dedication to fostering a more sustainable business paradigm. Collaborators with an eco-conscious ethos, such as Fastenal, play an indispensable role not only in our manufacturing operations but also in confronting the escalating plastic waste predicament faced by our nation."
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