Interview with Niko Kumar, Valtex: Slovenian waste cycle of beverage cartons


Niko Kumar, Director of Valtex & Co., explains about the pilot system “Municipal material flow cycle of Beverage Cartons of Novo mesto" :

VALTEX is among the founding members of a joint project that created the first Slovenian waste cycle. “Municipal material flow cycle of Beverage Cartons of Novo mesto" is a pilot system that purposely collects used beverage cartons from the region of Novo mesto, manages and transports the beverage cartons through the packaging waste management companies to one of the production plant of LUCART Group (main project partner), where it is transformed to hygiene paper thanks to an exclusive industrial process and finally delivered through VALTEX back to the municipality of Novo mesto to meet their municipal needs of sanitary paper over the long term.

Do separate collection of waste and innovation play a role in closing the material loop and optimising waste management processes?

Wherever the separate waste collection systems exist there seems to be a comparable way of managing and trading with waste. Consequently, such models of circular economy can be widely applied within a relatively short time. National legislation on the management of packaging waste varies from country to country, but at the same time follows similar goals and principles. Relevant factors are also the already established production and distribution networks for the production, processing and distribution, in our case of hygiene paper, which enables the quick implementation.

The innovation lies in linking something which appears unlinkable at the first glance. In VALTEX we simply realized our position within the circular waste flow and decided to codify it and share it with the rest of the stakeholders.

What are your future plans?

By early 2017 the citizens of Novo mesto managed to collect and contribute enough used beverage cartons to account for 35% (currently: 44%) of the demand for sanitary paper products in their municipality. We hope the project will achieve its full effect this year with 60% of local demand for sanitary paper products covered. Our goal is to reach 100% of available used beverage cartons in Slovenia for further utilisation. If we are 100% efficient, this will cover 24% of all demand for hygiene paper for professional use in Slovenian market.

This article has been published in the ACE Newsletter Autumn 2018