Closing the Loop

Stories of Caring

Closing the Loop

Closing the Loop

Johnson & Johnson continues to find new ways to produce the products our customers need while using fewer raw materials and reducing waste. We accomplish both when we find innovative ways to put waste to use instead of using more raw materials, an approach referred to as “closing the loop.” Closing the loop in this way helps to protect our natural resources and the ecosystems from which they are sourced, while meeting the needs of a population that now exceeds 7 billion.

Andre Narcizo, Marcelo Francisco, Leonardo Caneppele, and Vicente Marins are members of a team manufacturing BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages at our Sao Jose dos Campos site in Brazil. The team has implemented a project to reuse manufacturing scrap as a raw material.

The adhesive strip material comes to the facility on large rolls (see above) with a protective backing. In the past, the protective backing was discarded as a waste.

As a result of a recent process innovation, the protective backing is now used as the raw material for the pull tabs in BAND-AID® Brand products (see above). A further innovation aims to redesign the pull tabs

…which will help to optimize machine throughput by increasing the amount of product that can be produced.

So far, these efforts have annually reduced raw material use by 150 tons and eliminated 150 tons of paper waste. Greenhouse gas emissions have also been cut as a result of the reduced number of shipments of raw materials to the site.

These efforts continue the brand’s closed loop journey and build upon previous steps to incorporate post-consumer recycled material into its carton boxes and to support local recycling co-operatives in Brazil. In 2013, with support from Johnson & Johnson, a recycling cooperative in São José dos Campos, Brazil called Futura, became the first recycling co-operative in the world to achieve SA8000 certification for its workplace labor and safety practices. SA8000 is a global social accountability standard for ethical working conditions developed by Social Accountability International. Today, this co-operative supplies valuable post-consumer material that is incorporated into BAND-AID® Brand cartons. A second recycling cooperative is anticipated to gain certification in 2015.