Every day in the UK we recycle household products that include packaging, cardboard, glass and plastic. Over the last 10 years, recycling in the home has doubled as people have become more aware and conscientious about what they are throwing away and what they can recycle. However, compared to some other European countries, the UK is not recycling enough. Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in landfills could still be recycled.
Waste Disposal from Businesses
Businesses are responsible for their own waste disposal and many use waste management companies to collect recyclable waste from their premises. Waste disposal has changed for businesses over time, where it was once only ever sent to the landfill, the development of recycling technology has thankfully increased the amount of waste now recycled. Government regulations and environmental concerns means that businesses need to take responsibility for the waste they are generating. Most waste management companies operate a zero waste to landfill policy meaning that waste can instead be used as a valuable resource. Landfills are now seen as a last resort in business waste management. The European Union has given the UK a target that by 2020 at least 50% of waste must be recycled. The UK produces around 200 million metric tonnes of waste each year. Around 23% of this amount goes to landfill but 44% is recoverable, so the UK still needs to improve recycling and look at ways to draw more businesses towards recycling to the maximise. Not all forms of waste are recyclable but we now have the technology that is advanced enough to deal with most of it.
The recycling market offers businesses and waste companies the opportunity to buy and sell large amounts of recycled materials to manufacture new products and packaging. For example, a company who makes plastic bottles of drink will buy the recycled plastic so that they can manufacture more products, thus creating a recycle chain. But what happens on a larger scale? Companies are buying recycled materials in bulk through waste management companies and manufacturing plastic products, paper and metal items making their products near enough 100% recycled. Companies who may make products made out of metal are buying recycled metals on a grand scale, instead of buying their raw materials from scratch. Companies should be investing in larger recycling opportunities to ensure that their packaging, products and goods are made from completely recycled products. It also begs to question that consumers and B2B businesses are more likely to buy from or work with, a company which values the environment and takes recycling seriously. Recycled products can pretty much be anything, from a bottle opener to a piece of clothing, recycled toilet paper and eco-friendly bathroom products.
What Are Industries Recycling?
Businesses who choose to manufacture their products from recycled materials have improved their reputation to other businesses and consumers. Recycled materials such as fabrics, plastic, metal, wood and glass are all being bought by businesses to manufacture new products. In fact, the European Union has made a law that by 2015 at least 95% of a car’s material must be recyclable. Over the last decade, the manufacturing industry has dedicated it’s time to minimising production waste and focused on being more resource efficient. Industries have seen a massive reduction in plastic waste and waste has been used as surplus scrap or off-cuts. Many large manufacturing companies are also now operating onsite recycling facilities to ensure they keep any valuable materials that would otherwise be disposed. Nearly half of the plastic used in the UK is surprisingly packaging and a quarter of that comes from households, while the rest is industrial and commercial companies. Most of the waste that comes of commercial industries is made up of the stretch-wrap film used to cover bulk goods during transit and shipping. Recycled products made from this film include fencing and garden furniture, refuge sacks and damp-proof membranes. However, there is increasing pressure for recyclers in the UK to invest in more technology to enable more commercial and household films to be retrieved and recycled.