Caribbean Containers Incorporated Pioneering The Paper Recycling Industry In CARICOM

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As the 21st Century beckoned, there were stark reminders of the need for attention to be placed on environmental management and protection. It therefore called for innovative and environmentally friendly ways to live and conduct business. Recycling, reducing and reusing (The Three R’s of Recycling) materials was identified by scientists and researchers as one of the systems which can be employed to save energy and conserve the environment.
Caribbean Containers Incorporated, located at Farm, East Bank Demerara, Guyana, is the pioneer in the recycling industry within the Caribbean Community. The company operates the only Paper Recycling Mill in CARICOM. It manufactures linerboard and fluting medium, using waste paper as feedstock. The company’s total collection of waste removes from the local landfills approximately 1,200 cubic meters monthly.
The process starts when Old Corrugated Cartons (OCC) are purchased from local and foreign suppliers. The locally purchased product is shredded and baled to facilitate easy handling and weighing. However, the imported OCC is stored automatically for processing.
CCI recycles approximately 4,000 metric tonnes of old corrugated cartons per year. The company produces a wide variety of carton boxes. There is the RSC-LFM model which is a regular slotted carton where the long flaps meet. The RSC-LFOL is also a regular box where the long flaps over lap.
In the event that someone wishes to package furniture, flowers and seafood, the company makes a 2-Piece Interlocking Telescopic (Body and Lid) carton which makes for easy assembly and requires no glue or staples to hold together.
Persons desirous of packaging fillet fish or cakes can also have their needs met since 1-Piece interlocking Carton facilitates these items.
The packaging done by the company is well received all over the Caribbean. Forty per cent of its products are exported to regional customers.
The company began in 1983 under the name SAPIL through its Box Plant. In 1999, the business was rebranded and renamed Caribbean Container Inc. It had been privatised in 1992 and in January 2007 the majority shareholder “Demerara Holdings Inc.” was bought over by Technology Investments and Management Inc. The company then restructured.
A total of 145 persons are employed in a number of fields by the recycling giant. These include indirect employment for about 100 persons who provide resource services such as paper collection.
In February 2015, CCI had signalled its intention to work along with local exporters on high quality packaging.
According to CCI Managing Director, Patricia Bacchus, the company’s ventures were confined to corrugated out-packaging and fibre board fitments, developed to meet the needs of new and emerging Guyanese businesses.
The industries which were targeted included packaging for fresh produce of fruits and vegetables and seafood. The boxes are made in such a way that they can be kept in cold storage. Additionally, to accommodate the packaging of ware bottles, separators were also installed into the cartons.
According to Bacchus, CCI has the capability to create customised cartons to suit the needs of its customers. In doing this, small businesses can have access to feasible yet suitable packaging for their products.
The boxes can be made with or without print for companies who are unable to make large orders of customised boxes.
The company is not just business oriented but has been a part of a number of initiatives to improve the standard and state of the physical environment around Guyana. In July 2012 it had partnered with the University of Guyana in an exercise to recycle disposable waste. The idea was described as a bold one by then Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Robert Persaud.
He had said that the move to have a recycling industry developed in Guyana is an important method of dealing effectively with waste management.
In May 2003, the company commissioned its Tetra-Pak recycling plant which signalled the extension of the company’s interest to consume more recyclable items inclusive of cardboard waste. The fibre yield from the new plant is expected to bolster any shortage of cardboard material locally.
Tetra Pak is an overseas-based company which provided the essential equipment for the plant whilst CCI provided the assembly components which included pumps, pipes and electrical panels.
Tetra Pak is one of three companies in the Tetra Laval Group which began in Sweden. Tetra-Pak focuses mainly on the packaging and distribution of liquid products, but also provides packaging solutions for fruit, vegetables, ice cream and pet food.
The Tetra-Pak plant provides CCI with the aptitude to recycle Tetra-Pak aseptic packaging waste. This material comprises of poly-aluminium usually used in packaging for juice and milk.
The company is known for also being a major donor to Non-governmental Organisations and sporting activities. In January 2015, the company approved substantial financial corporate sponsorship for the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (RYHT&SC) who was celebrating its Silver Jubilee year.
Recently in August of this year, the Guyana Foundation received a donation of folding tables from the company at the organisation’s recently opened Sunrise Centre at Zorg-En-Vlygt Essequibo Coast.
The tables are intended to enhance the operations of the Centre. The Sunrise Centre offers four skills-training courses, mental health support services and holistic wellness activities to improve the mental well-being of residents of the Essequibo Coast.
CCI believes that a balanced environment is essential to a healthy life and the survival of humanity. Embracing the principle of sustainable development, the company understands that the preservation of nature is crucial to its own existence and the progression of its business.

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