circular economy and pigging

“Take, make, waste”, otherwise known as linear economy, has long been the standard for goods production, with products designed to end up in landfill as waste. The raw materials used to manufacture these products are rarely used to their full potential and contribute to an unsustainable depletion of natural resources and excess wastage.

As sustainability becomes more important for governments, businesses, and consumers, there has been a move towards implementing a circular economy into goods production. While manufacturers are making strides to enhance the environmental impact of their operations, there remains a continuous call for further action and innovation.

HPS Advanced Liquid Product Recovery (Pigging) Technology is an environmental solution implemented into manufacturing operations. Pigging systems enable manufacturers to recover and use up to 99.5% of liquid product from pipelines, rather than sending it to waste.

What is Circular Economy?

Circular economy is an alternative model of production to the linear economy. Rather than manufacturing products for use and disposal, circular economy practices extend the product’s lifespan through sharing, leasing, repairing, and recycling.

For example, the UK throws away over 240 million slices of bread each year. However, using an adapted technique, brewers can make beer from bread. They use breadcrumbs to replace a portion of the malts used in brewing, allowing the starch in bread to break down into sugars and ferment into alcohol. In some of these beers, one slice of bread can be found in every pint!

Circular economy encourages manufacturers to use natural resources and waste products to their full extent, extending their lifespan. It also encourages them to make products that are easily recycled or repaired.

The ability to maximise how raw materials are used varies according to the product. For example, once toothpaste has been used it can’t be reused. However, a phone can be repaired and recycled for parts once the consumer has finished using it.

For manufacturers of short-lifespan products, such as toothpaste, optimising production enables them to contribute to the circular economy by reducing manufacturing waste.

Why is Circular Economy Important?

Circular economy offers a pathway to a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future for governments, businesses, and consumers.

The circular economy model enables waste minimisation through recycling materials into other applications than the one they were first intended for. The productive reuse of these materials extends their life cycle and creates further value.

Circular economy does more than benefit the environment. Economically, there is a boost in competitiveness and innovation and a reduced reliance on imported materials. This leads to business growth and greater economic stability. Additionally, job creation reduces unemployment and increases consumers’ expendable income.

Socially, circular economy encourages resource equity across communities and improves public health by reducing pollution. Customer satisfaction increases as products become repairable and durable. Reducing the need for replacement products also increases the quantity of expendable income available.

How Pigging Contributes to Creating a Circular Economy

The benefits of pigging systems play a crucial role in contributing to circular economy practices within the liquid manufacturing industry.

Primarily used for liquid product recovery, pigging systems not only minimise waste but also contribute to a reduction in chemical consumption and water usage.

By recovering and utilising product residue, these systems ensure that raw materials are fully optimised for their intended application, rather than being discarded as waste. This not only conserves natural resources but also facilitates supply chain stability.

Driving Efficiency and Sustainability Through Pigging Technology

Pigging also contributes to the circular economy by enhancing efficiency. Pigging technology makes changeover times quicker and enhances CIP processes, resulting in decreased energy consumption and minimised contamination risks.

Energy is one of the largest consumers of natural resources, with over 75% of the world’s energy sourced from unsustainable sources, such as coal and oil, which are not readily replenished.

Actions aimed at reducing energy consumption, such as speeding up changeovers facilitated by pigging technology, not only enable energy price stability but also pave the way for increased investment in renewable energy generation.

Liquid transfer solutions that are compatible with pigging technology, such as the HPS Rotomatrix and the HPS Automatrix, also enhance efficiency by enabling flexible product distribution between multiple sources and destinations. Customisable to the space and with secure connection interlock feedback, these solutions prevent product misdirection and increase employee safety.

What Types of Pigging Systems Contribute to Circular Economy?

Automated pigging systems contribute to the circular economy in ways that manual systems don’t.

Manual systems require extensive amounts of maintenance and commitment to operate.

Automated systems are fully integrated into PLCs and HMI/SCADA panels, providing quick and easy operation. They also come with predictive maintenance software, such as the , which is installed to ensure optimal pig performance without compromising efficiency or quality.

Hygienic Automated Pigging Systems and the Circular Economy

Hygienic automated pigging systems also contribute to circular economy. For manufacturers of products such as food, beverages, personal care, and more, maintaining high standards of hygiene and product quality is imperative.

HPS Advanced Liquid Product Recovery (Pigging) Technology is designed to be hygienic, from specialist valves to sanitary pipeline pig.

Pigging recovers up to 99.5% of product from pipelines, reducing the risk of cross-contamination between batches to almost zero (when pigging is used with appropriate CIP procedures). This not only preserves product integrity but also extends shelf-life, minimising waste and the likelihood of product recalls.

Using hygienic pigging systems also allows flush water to be used cyclically. One HPS client now recycles their flush water into production, cutting their water consumption and improving their sustainability. For more insights on the positive impact of pigging systems, delve into our case study on how these systems improve paint processing and production.

Pigging technology is easily integrated into existing and new factories, allowing manufacturers to embrace and benefit from the circular economy model with ease.

Find Out More

Find out more about pigging and circular economy by getting in touch with HPS. You can send us an email, fill in our contact form, or give us a ring – we’re always happy to chat!

HPS Product Recovery Solutions is the world’s leading expert in liquid product recovery. We help manufacturers across the world recover products, cut waste, and improve their operations with our hygienic and sanitary liquid product recovery technology.