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37 – A Skilled Workforce Transforming Used Tarpaulins Into New Products: A Facilitated Symbiosis Exchange In Northern Ireland, UK

37 – A skilled workforce transforming used tarpaulins into new products: a facilitated symbiosis exchange in Northern Ireland, UK

The National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) in the UK acted for several years as a facilitator to create several symbiotic exchanges across the whole Country. In this specific case, and in collaboration with the Industrial Symbiosis Service in Northern Ireland, it helped the implementation of a profitable symbiotic exchange between an aluminium alloy technology solutions provider and a manufacturer of bespoke products for the boating, banner and trailer market. The latter started in fact to reuse the PVC tarpaulins used by the first to protect the aluminium raw material during transportation and storage as a raw material for new products creation.

The challenge that led to the creation of the symbiotic exchange was the need of the aluminium alloy technology solutions provider to find an alternative, more sustainable and cheaper solution do dispose of the tarpaulins, which were usually sent to landfill.

The main barrier that the electricity producer had to face in the Industrial Symbiosis implementation process was to identify and contact a suitable partner for the exchange.

The approach the company used to overcome this barrier was to ask the local Industrial Symbiosis Service to facilitate the creation of the exchange by contacting companies within its network.

The discovery process, led by the facilitators, started with the identification of a potential partner and a potential reuse for tarpaulins. After that, the two companies were put into communication and a technical solution was identified with the help of skilled workforce of the manufacturer of bespoke products for the boating, banner and trailer market.

The main preconditions that allowed to successfully start this symbiotic exchange were the fact that the aluminium alloy technology solutions provider was already aware of environmental issues due to the company’s policy, and that the manufacturer of bespoke products for the boating, banner and trailer market had already the know-how needed for the creation of new, recycled products.

Source: Invest Northern Ireland. “Industrial Symbiosis – Improving productivity through efficient resource management – Guide for Businesses in Northern Ireland”.

The source contains the description of a fully implemented IS case.
ID:3 You can use the source ID to identify exchanges taken from this source in the Exchanges Database. To find out more, check out the Instructions for use in the Exchanges Database.


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