NYK recycles old vehicle lashing belts into solid fuel

On April 6, NYK Line, NYK Trading Corporation (NYKT), Azbil Yamatake Friendly, and Kayama Kogyo began recycling well-worn vehicle lashing belts on NYK-operated car carriers that had passed their expiration dates.

Azbil Yamatake Friendly will collect and separate the lashing belts into metal parts and belts. Kayama Kogyo will then produce refuse-derived paper and plastics densified fuel (RPF fuel) from the plastic belts (solid fuel made mainly from recovered paper and waste plastics that are difficult to recycle, among other industrial waste. RPF fuel has a high calorific value and is used as a substitute for fossil fuels such as coal and coke.)

Approximately 200,000 lashing belts are disposed of annually in the entire NYK-operated car carrier fleet. If all those belts are recycled, they can be converted into approximately 20 tons of RPF fuel.

When recycling started on April 6, about 27,000 used lashing belts were collected from the car carrier Sagittarius Leader at the port of Nagoya.

Previously, lashing belts that had passed their useful life based on NYK’s own safety standards were disposed of as industrial waste or sold as used products. From now on, specified discarded lashing belts will be recycled into RPF fuel and reused as an energy resource. Kayama Kogyo will contribute to further GHG emission reductions by using renewable energy sources for all electricity used in fuel production.

In addition to consideration for the natural environment, this initiative incorporates a process that welcomes diverse human resources. Employees with intellectual disabilities separate the metal and belts at Azbil Yamatake Friendly, and foreign technical interns are involved in RPF fuel production at Kayama Kogyo. To create a place where everyone can work with peace of mind, we have developed specialized cutting machines, promoted smooth communication through Japanese language education, and expanded prior training on work content.

The four companies will continue to promote corporate activities that respect the global environment and realize an inclusive society, that recognizes diversity in terms of gender, age, disability, nationality, religion, and culture, in which people from various backgrounds can play an active role without distinction.

Photo credit: iStock/ Sansert Sangsakawrat

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