EVA Industries cares deeply about the micro and macro environments in which it operates and continuously looks for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and impact on both environments. It’s accepted that the company should continuously strive to employ the three “R’s” of waste i.e., Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in its day-to-day operations. Much effort is placed on the employees of the company by Directors and Management to adopt these mindsets.
EVA Industries has started by looking for ways to “reduce” its consumption of raw materials, and thereby reduce its waste output. Wherever possible production is reduced to the bare minimum requirement of material, labour and overhead consumption. A simple gesture of switching off unused lights contributes towards lower electricity consumption. An emphasis on correct manufacturing by using efficient new moulds and energy reducing machines, makes a difference to cycle times, energy consumption and requires less material.
In terms of “reuse” and “recycling” EVA Industries has the ability through its manufacturing process to reuse certain recycled materials into batches for production. This process can utilise up to 15% of the batch weight in reusable materials provided, the specifications and colour combinations are not affected. EVA Industries consumes a fair amount of PVC material monthly and reuses 30% of the ‘waste’ materials generated in its own manufacturing processes. The balance of 70% of the waste material is processed and sold to shoe sole manufacturers, who reuse the material to produce gumboots, school shoes or military boot soles. Since 2015 EVA Industries has actively marketed its own waste as by-products (certain reusable recycled materials) to companies specialising in underfloor protection matting which makes use of the ‘shredded’ post stamping EVA / EPDM sheeting used for manufacturing Beach Thongs. This shredded material is converted into a protective shock absorption material layer used in artificial turfs used in sports and recreational facilities locally and abroad.
Of particular mention, an initiative that EVA Industries is particularly proud of – since 2019, the company has adopted the use of a biomass furnace / boiler combination which makes use of a special blend of shredded EVA by-product / waste and woodchips sourced from local sawmills to generate steam, which is used in the Millroom where most of the primary manufacturing takes place. The ash residue from the furnace is then given to a local concrete block manufacturer who uses the furnace ash as a filler for manufacturing blocks. The ash residue also has very good PH properties and has been used, by local landfill companies, as a PH balancing agent in landfill sites around the Durban area.
Furthermore, more recently, EVA Industries has partnered with several retailers, independent brands, and non-government organisations such as Sarah Ferguson’s Breathe Organisation and Plastic Oceans International to offer the consumer the opportunity to return used Beach Thongs to select stores and sites, which are then returned to EVA Industries for a constructive use as opposed to ending up in landfill sites. The company continues to look for ways of reusing, reducing and recycling materials that could benefit all stakeholders and future generations.