Environmental and Sustainability Policy
We believe that regard for the environment is an Important part of our companies’ culture. Our staff are constantly looking to reduce waste, conserve energy and recycle as many materials as possible. This approach has positive effects for the environment and also financial benefits to all concerned.
Recycling and minimising waste
Efficient recycling is big business in our industry. Quite simply polythene waste is valuable. All waste, scrap off cuts etc. created in the manufacturing process are conserved and recycled into such products as refuse sacks and protective builders sheeting.
Refining our production process is a great way to reduce waste and save money, this is an ongoing practice. Basically, can we make the product using less energy and reducing material waste? Yes, without getting into the technical side of things using modern technology, equipment, materials and techniques savings on energy and materials are achieved.
Modern materials (polymers) and blends thereof are mechanically stronger than ever. It is quite possible that by using these hi-bred polymers we can reduce the material used (making thinner gauge film) but still maintaining the physical strength of the product. These aspects of our operation are not a gimmick they are sound financial sense.
Environmentally friendly products – Are our products recyclable?
Yes, all our polythene and polypropylene products are fully recyclable, except for those that are degradable.
Why are bio-degradable and degradable products not recyclable?
Degradable and bio degradable polythene films contain additives that when exposed to light, air, heat and water over time will break down the molecular structure of the material to a biomass. This material is detrimental to the recycling process. It has been found that where degradable materials find their way into the recycling chain, the end products (bin liners and builders sheeting etc.) are compromised having no reliable shelf life and degrade quickly.
Can my product be degradable?
In essence yes, but there are key points to consider:
- There would be minimum production quantities/runs of the product.
- Would you use and dispose of the product within the 6-month shelf life?
- The product may discolour and look less attractive over time.
Is paper and board better for the environment than polythene?
Research and evidence says not…
- Polyethylene is a bi product of gas and oil production, so as long as we need oil and gas for heating, lighting and transport etc. it is a sustainable and efficient resource.
- Polythene packaging consumes far fewer fossil fuels to produce and recycle than paper.
- Transport, polythene being light and efficient means it is less bulky and heavy to transport.
- Approximately 1 pallet of polythene bags equates to 6-8 pallets of the paper equivalent. This means less truck fuels, air pollution and traffic congestion etc.
What products are or can be made from recycled polythene?
Common products that are made using recycled materials are:
- Refuse sacks
- Bin liners
- Protective sheeting (for builders etc.),
- Pallet covers
- Heavy waste bags
The pros are primarily the financial savings and recycling is of course good from the environment (There is no need to let this valuable resource go to waste.) The cons are that the polymer will lose strength and clarity and would therefore need to be made of thicker film and appear cloudy or discoloured.
When should you not use recycled polythene?
- Food contact – Recycled polymers are not suitable for food contact.
- Textiles /Clothing – It may cause discolouration of the textile or even produce an odour.
- Film clarity- Where the film clarity (being translucent) is important.
- Colour – Where a constant uniform film colour is important.
- Self-adhesive bags – We have found recycled polymers may contain high levels of chemicals that compromise the effectiveness of the adhesives used for peel and seal bags.
For all matters relating to the environment, recycling and degradable products we are always happy to speak with and advise customers of the options available. Call us on +44 (0)20 8469 3969 for more information.