Sustainability and sound environmental management are at the core of OSI Group operational philosophy. The food processing giant company based in Aurora, Illinois, has received world recognition and numerous awards for the strenuous efforts is has undertaken to reduce waste, save energy and conserve water.A classic example of an innovative way OSI is reducing negative environmental impacts is an initiative undertaken at the OSI Group facility in Blacktown, Australia.In 2014, the management at the Blacktown site approached its food packaging suppliers and challenged them with finding ways to reduce the amount of cardboard and plastic used in shipping OSI beef products.
An OSI expert ledership team came up with the idea to find a different board composition for cardboard boxes. The product still needed to be shipped safely and securely — but could it be done with lighter packaging?After a lot of testing an alternative material found and it was introduced into all levels of about OSI Group shipping.Plastics are another component of shipping containers. OSI Group officials worked with plastics supplier to find a different kind of polyliner — one that would reduce the film gauge of the plastic while maintaining the same strength. This was done.The results were amazing. The OSI Blackburn facility was able to reduce its cardboard packaging material by an incredible 63 metric tons!
Furthermore, a whopping 19 metric tons of plastic were prevented from entering landfills at the same time.Two more OSI business facilities in Queensland found a way to recycle waste plastic generated by those two plants. This was a considerable challenge in the case of plastics that are used as meatliners. There has never been a good way to recycle this kind of plastic. Plastics used for outer wrapping purposes have been recycled for years. But plastics that touch food directly are another matter.Nevertheless, persistence paid off and a business solution was found. The meat-liner plastics are now taken to a facility where they are washed, dried and shredded. The plastics can then be used to manufacture other non-food related products. Once again, the result is the reduction of waste by many tons.