Embracing circularity: Ragn-Sells’ commitment to sustainable plastic waste management

On World Environment Day, the environmental company and Race to Zero member, Ragn-Sells, joins the global call for solutions to plastic pollution. With a focus on circular practices, Ragn-Sells is dedicated to tackling this environmental challenge and working towards a sustainable future. By Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability, Ragn-Sells | June 5, 2023

As the global challenge of plastic pollution continues to escalate, non-state actors play a vital role in driving sustainable practices and embracing circularity. Ragn-Sells, a prominent player in the waste management industry, has emerged as a leading force in tackling plastic pollution and promoting the circular economy. Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability at Ragn-Sells, sheds light on their transformative initiatives, showcasing the impact of collaboration and innovation. As a member of the Exponential Roadmap Initiative (ERI)-convened 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders, Ragn-Sells is driving change and promoting sustainable practices. The company also backs ERI’s 1.5°C Business Playbook for companies seeking to align with 1.5°C which recommends action on circularity and is used by some of the most influential companies in the world representing 1 trillion USD in combined annual revenue.

Ragn-Sells leads by example, mandating the use of recycled materials in all internal procurement processes. Larshans emphasizes the company’s commitment to the circular economy, stating, “We believe in promoting the use of recycled materials throughout our operations.” Ragn-Sells actively seeks reuse possibilities to minimize waste and promote resource efficiency. Clear targets have been set, guiding their actions and driving tangible results.

Collaboration lies at the core of Ragn-Sells’ approach to reducing plastic waste and promoting circular practices. Larshans highlights key partnerships and initiatives undertaken by the company. Ragn-Sells actively participates in a workgroup under the Danish environmental department, focusing on recycling plastic from supermarkets and building stores.

Collaboration with the retail sector also involves developing a design guide for packaging that encourages circularity throughout the supply chain. Through partnerships with stakeholders like PWS/ESE, the Ocean Plastic Forum, and the PVC organization WUPPI, Ragn-Sells demonstrates their commitment to collective action and driving systemic change.

Today, the production of plastic material is primarily driven by the cost of extracting oil. This approach does not take into account any negative consequences associated with plastic waste. However, transitioning to a circular plastic waste management system presents challenges, especially in terms of pricing dynamics that heavily rely on the use of virgin plastic. Larshans recognizes this as a significant obstacle and emphasizes that the market’s interest and ability to operate in a circular manner are largely determined by the prices of virgin plastic. In response to this challenge, Ragn-Sells actively engages in lobbying efforts with local decision-makers and European Union members to raise awareness about the crucial role of circular plastic economies. Through their advocacy, they strive to promote supportive policies and pricing mechanisms that encourage circular practices and expedite the transition towards a more sustainable plastic economy.

Setting targets for plastic waste management and circularity is an integral part of Ragn-Sells’ strategy. Larshans highlights their commitment to market leadership and specific tonnage handling targets. Ragn-Sells also employs strategies to minimize waste transportation distances, prioritize local waste management solutions, and emphasize upcycling and the most sustainable recycling methods. Regular follow-ups during monthly leader meetings and comprehensive reporting structures ensure effective progress tracking.

Ragn-Sells views their current initiatives as the starting point for making a meaningful impact in the industry. Larshans envisions scaling up projects as market conditions and legislation allow. The company integrates sustainable practices into their sales activity, actively encouraging customers to join their sustainability journey. Ragn-Sells also aims to forge more green partnerships to drive the transition towards a circular plastic economy, amplifying their positive impact on the industry.

Ragn-Sells stands at the forefront of embracing circularity and promoting sustainable plastic waste management. By incorporating recycled materials, fostering collaborations, overcoming challenges, setting targets, and pursuing scalable impact, Ragn-Sells illustrates the crucial role of non-state actors in driving positive change. Their dedication to circular practices and a sustainable future sets an example for the industry, inspiring others to join the race to beat plastic pollution.

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