With the initiative, ceramic companies annually replace 10,000 tons of clay in their production process
Paraná, – Transforming byproducts of the manufacturing process into new products, promoting the circular economy and preventing their disposal in landfills: this is the result of yet another sustainable project implemented by the Technology Center of Klabin, Brazil’s largest producer and exporter of packaging paper and the leading producer of paper packaging. The process, which is being developed in a few cities in the Campos Gerais region in Paraná, and in Pernambuco, where the company has plants, consists of the production of ceramic bricks from byproducts of industrial activities. The initiative, launched in partnership with the Núcleo de Tecnologia Cerâmica (NTC), a consulting firm specializing in the development of red ceramic industries, has already helped replace 10,000 tons of clay per year in the production of bricks.
In its pilot stage, the project has so far been implemented in four cities: Sapopema, Curiúva and Arapoti in Paraná, and Goiana in Pernambuco. A total of 95,000 bricks have been produced, benefiting government works and local institutions. With support from the municipal government of Arapoti, bricks were supplied to the municipal school of the Program for Support to Children and Youth in Arapoti (PACAA) to complete a wall. The municipal government of Sapopema has allocated the bricks donated to public works, such as renovation and improvement of a wall at the Association of Parents and Friends of Persons with Disabilities (APAE). In Goiana, the donations benefited the Casa do Caminho Christian Support Center (NACCA) in the construction of Instituto Alma, which will assist vulnerable children, youth and families served by the institution.
Various lab tests were conducted prior to brick production, such as verification of the maximum percentage of byproducts that can be used in the bricks, as well as compliance with applicable regulatory standards. After the assessment, the bricks were deemed appropriate in accordance with the NBR 15,270/2015 standard, which specifies the dimension requirements, as well as physical and mechanical properties of ceramic blocks and bricks used in construction with or without a structural function.
“Klabin has a public commitment to zero the disposal of industrial byproducts in industrial landfills by 2030, optimizing their return to the value chain. We are extremely satisfied with the results obtained so far in this project and others across Brazil which, thanks to important partnerships, enable us to use byproducts in new ways as part of our production process,” explained Júlio Nogueira, Sustainability and Environment manager at Klabin. The company’s commitment to the theme is part of the Klabin Sustainable Development Goals (KODS), which are a set of short-, medium- and long-term targets that organize and guide the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) milestones of the company in relation to its strategic growth plan.
Arildo Silva do Prado, owner of Cerâmica Prado, a brick producer in Sapopema, says that with the industrial byproduct supplied by Klabin, clay consumption can be reduced by up to 7%. The volume supplied enables us to produce 270,000 bricks per month, which is sufficient to build 30 houses measuring approximately 70 m2. “Through this project, we have considerably reduced clay consumption, which is an important step towards making our entire value chain more sustainable,” he said.
João Clóvis de Medeiros, owner of Cerâmica Curiúva (Paraná), agrees. “It is important to engage society in finding more sustainable methods of production and consumption, thereby preserving nature,” he added. The partnership with Klabin helped him achieve one of his goals: to make his company increasingly more modern that is capable of supplying a high-quality product while also helping to preserve the planet.