• Quarry Mining extracts value from waste

    Quarry Mining provides a wide range of quality products, service and support to the construction and extractive industries. Through its operations, Quarry Mining is committed to responsible environmental management and minimising waste to landfill. This includes participating in the Plastic Police® program to collect and recycle soft plastics at its Hunter branch. Central to the Plastic Police® program is identifying opportunities to reduce single-use soft plastic use where possible. Quarry Mining recently implemented a solution to significantly reduce its use of bubble wrap packaging with innovative equipment, provided by Mastershred, creating a reuse solution by transforming waste cardboard into sustainable packaging. This is circular economy in action and highlights the opportunity to reuse and extend the life of valuable resources.

    Reinventing Packaging

     

    Quarry Mining’s Hunter branch manufactures and distributes steel products which require protection during storage and transport. Historically, this protection has been provided by plastic bubble wrap. To reduce the need for bubble wrap, Quarry Mining purchased a Mastershred cardboard perforating machine (HSM ProfiPack 425). The machine turns waste cardboard into a flexible and high-quality packaging material.

    This has allowed Quarry Mining to substitute a material made from virgin resources and with limited end market recycling opportunities, with perforated cardboard sheets made from cardboard that is readily available onsite.

     

    The ProfiPack 425 perforates waste cardboard into padded packaging material

    Outcomes

    The business has saved costs by reducing bubble wrap purchases and eliminating the need for a cardboard collection and recycling service onsite. This new practice also extends the life of the cardboard keeping it in the productive economy for longer. Unlike bubble wrap, the perforated cardboard packaging can be more easily recycled by Quarry Mining customers.

    Previously, the branch would buy approximately 100 metres of bubble wrap per month. The new solution provides a commercial cost saving and avoids generating approximately 84kg of soft plastic waste from ending up in landfill. This is the equivalent weight of 21,000 plastic bags.

    The Quarry Mining team has seen fantastic results through this transition away from bubble wrap, with a higher quality reuse product that is used for multiple purposes, including padding mats, padded packaging and filling empty spaces, at a lower cost to the business and environment.

    Quarry Mining aim to eliminate the need to purchase bubble wrap across all operations once the transition to the new perforating equipment is complete.

    Soft Plastic Reduction and Recycling

    Through its participation in the Plastic Police® program, Quarry Mining has saved 869kg of soft plastic form landfill in the last 12 months. These soft plastics will be reformed into a 100% recycled plastic table setting to showcase the recycling efforts of staff and ‘close the loop’ on what they’ve collected.

     

    Plastic Police® soft plastic bins are available in the workshops and offices, and staff are encouraged to bring their own soft plastic waste into work for recycling. Not only is this keeping more plastic out of landfill, the program educates and engages staff to reduce their use of single-use soft plastics, reuse where possible and recycle the rest through Plastic  Police®.

    Thanks to the shift to perforated cardboard packing, Quarry Mining is expecting their soft  plastic consumption to drop significantly.

    Plastic Police® founder and Director Samantha Cross

    Multifaceted Sustainability Focus

    In addition to reducing and recycling soft plastics, Quarry Mining also recycles scrap metal, steel swarfs, paper and co-mingled recyclables. The workshops have alsynite ceiling panels which reduce the need for electric lighting in many areas, and LED globes have replaced heater lights where electric light is necessary. All Quarry Mining buildings in the Hunter have solar panels, reducing electricity costs and emissions.

    Well done to Quarry Mining for their efforts in minimising waste to landfill through its  recycling and waste reduction initiatives – another fantastic success story of a Plastic  Police® participant.