Understanding The Business Advantages of Plastic Recycling
Plastic recycling can offer great benefits to your business, and with governments increasingly putting pressure on the commercial industry to cut down on landfill and carbon emissions, there has never been a better time to tackle this issue.
Currently, a starting 100,000 and 200,000 tonnes of collectable post-use PVC waste are produced annually in the UK. The majority of this is sent to landfill, and of course we all know that the problem with plastics is that they're generally not biodegradable, meaning they cannot be broken down by natural processes.
The largest volume and most readily collectable post-use PVC waste streams come from the construction sector, such as flooring, windows, pipes, ducting, barge boards and gutters. Then there are other forms of plastics such as HDPE which is used for drainage, pipes and fixings, PP for crates and LDPE for film packaging and damp proof materials.
The following guide will outline the main benefits your business can reap from plastic recycling, plus help you get started with putting a 'Green' program firmly in place.
Advantages of Plastic Recycling
By segregating and re-using plastics, your company can save a significant amount of money when it comes to landfill costs, material purchases, performance and reputation.
Since landfill taxes are on the rise, you'll see a direct saving from any plastic waste that is recycled rather than thrown away.
Correct on-site segregation of plastic waste increases usable skip volumes and saves on collection costs.
By reclaiming plastic sheeting, piping or panelling and using it to add to virgin material, you'll also save big. Products made from reclaimed plastics, such as timber substitutes, in fact offer the equivalent quality to more expensive virgin material.
Business and reputation enhancement:
'Going Green' is seen as brand responsibility and credibility. If your company is known to re-use or recycle plastics and other waste materials, this will go a long way to enhancing your reputation, strengthening your bids for new work and making you attractive to top talent employees. In contrast, being seen as a polluter can earn you major public disapproval.
The Government's National Procurement Strategy requires authorities to build sustainability considerations into their procurement contracts. Thus, having a sustainable approach to waste, especially in the construction and demolition industries, can give you that extra edge in a competitive market.
Helping the environment:
By recycling plastics, the energy that went into forming the original plastic product is not wasted by the material ending up as landfill, which cannot even break down easily over time.
Less waste sent to landfills reduces the carbon footprint of transport and associated pollution.
Implementing a Company Plastic Recycling Program
Here are some of the top tips involved in setting up a plastics recycling program for your business:
Identify the different plastic waste types that your company generates. Your waste management contractor will be able to help you with this.
Decide on the most suitable way to store your segregated plastics to prevent them from becoming contaminated.
Calculate the volumes of each material that are generated monthly - this will help you set realistic targets as well as aid in the effectiveness of your recycling contractor. These days you can even buy waste management software which will help you plan and monitor the amounts of plastic waste your company produces and segregates.
Find a specialist waste removal company to collect the materials you segregate.
Clearly inform and educate you staff, including subcontractors, of your recycling goals and strategy.
Allocate skips which will be dedicated to segregating plastics and clearly mark these with signs describing what can and cannot go into each skip. You can download this kind of signage free at www.wascot.org.uk/construction/colourcoding.htm.
All in all, recycling plastic will deliver financial benefits to your company and help you do your bit to keep your carbon footprint down. For further advice on ways to minimise waste, achieve savings and reduce your negative environmental impact, also visit www.envirowise.org.uk.