Handling of packaging

Different procedures for handling packaging materials exist for different types of products. While tyres are sold without packaging materials, steel cord and particulate filters are sold in specific containers. It should be pointed out that tyre sales accounted for 99% of all Group sales in 2011.

In order to reduce the packaging materials used for making product sales, the Steel Cord business unit manages and streamlines the use of packaging materials, in collaboration with its own customers. The purpose of these actions is to increase the quantities of reusable packaging materials, both through their being returned to production sites and through replacement of certain types of packaging with more resistant models that are less subject to wear and tear and thus having a longer useful life. More specifically, attention has been focused on replacing traditional wood pallets with new plastic or metal pallets, which are highly reusable. A plastic pallet can be reused about ten times, as opposed to the possibility of using a traditional wood pallet once or at most twice. Reducing waste generates obvious benefits.

At December 31, 2011 about 90% of pallets are returned by customers to steel cord production sites, and all the pallets transiting in these flows are made of plastic or metal. The remaining 10% is comprised of wood pallets. Assessments are currently underway to identify the most sustainable solutions for the types of flows in which they are used.