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Komatsu recycled plastics continue sustainable practices


Komatsu has introduced a sustainable packaging initiative to ensure the plastic bottles for its oil wear analysis samples contribute as little as possible to landfill.

The initiative will also employ workers with disabilities through Brisbane’s Endeavour Foundation, as the company strives to improve its corporate responsibility credentials.

Komatsu Australia’s executive general manager for supply chain Russell Hodson said the Komatsu Oil Wear Analysis (KOWA) sample bottles made up more than 30 per cent of the company’s plastic waste, and this initiative would have a great impact.

“From July 2021 the yellow outer plastic bottles used for collecting KOWA oil samples from our Australian east coast customers will be made from 100 per cent recycled plastic,” Hodson said.

“As well, the sample registration card and delivery boxes will be of 100 per cent recycled paper/cardboard.

“In addition, our new recycled plastic bottles can be cleaned and re-used up to six times, further reducing the unnecessary use of resources,” Hodson added.

“And once bottles can no longer be re-used, the plastic can be recycled again.”

The Endeavour Foundation provides people with intellectual disabilities the support they need in-home, at work and in life.

Hodson said the company was excited to partner with such a respectable organisation.

Apprentices from the Endeavour Foundation will be involved in the collection of the KOWA recyclable bottles.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with the Endeavour Foundation, in a move which will provide its employees with meaningful and sustainable work,” Hodson said.

“This provides us with the opportunity to enhance our community engagement and CSR (corporate social responsibility) commitment by not only helping to benefit the environment but also supporting a local industry that gainfully employs workers with disabilities.”

Komatsu’s east coast customers use around 100,000 sample kits every year – about 60 per cent of the kits collected by Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.

By moving to recycled plastics and packaging, Komatsu will be removing nearly 10 tonnes of packaging materials each year.

At the same time, a move away from producing the bottles in Western Australia will remove transport costs and emissions.

“Previously, our sample bottles were supplied out of Western Australia, from where we will continue to source them for WA, and we will continue to supply our specialty oil sample bottles from there as well,” Hodson said.

“Our new recycled plastic sample bottles are also lighter, and allow for smaller dimension packaging, so more kits can be stacked on a pallet – further reducing our transport costs.”

Sustainability all-round

The initiative only adds to Komatsu’s efforts in becoming environmentally sustainable.

The OEM has a range of technologies in the market and in development to aid the reduction of carbon emissions.

“Komatsu’s products are designed to be as sustainable as possible, and our technology innovations such as autonomous haulage systems, intelligent Machine Control, hybrid excavators and Smart Construction are contributing to more productive and fuel-efficient operations around the world,” Hodson said.

“Initiatives such as our recycled, reusable KOWA bottles are another step on this journey.

“And we hope our partnership with the Endeavour Foundation will provide further opportunities with them in future – and also that this initiative encourages other large businesses to also engage with them.”


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