Recycling Post-consumer Plastics – Yorkshire-based MD in Upcycling Success Story
We’re in the midst of a global waste crisis, and it’s up to us to clean up our act. Gary Lyons, Managing Director at Yorkshire-based Plastic Box Shop, discusses how businesses can repurpose post-consumer waste to make innovative new products, and shares his own upcycling success story…
Our planet is currently overwhelmed by environmentally damaging plastic waste and, despite the push to get us all recycling, we’re still throwing away up to 91% of all plastic goods (National Geographic). The current rate of waste is unsustainable, so we need to act fast if we want to make a difference.
When it comes to cleaning up our oceans, reducing the plastic in landfills, and preventing needless waste, we all have a part to play. Here, I’ve shared how my business was able to help reduce post-consumer plastic waste click here, and what you can do to help.
Our success story: an innovative upcycled product
At Plastic Box Shop, we knew we had a part to play in reducing plastic waste. Alongside our sister company WhatmoreUK, we started working closely with a UK recycling company on getting the recycled plastic material to a consistent level of quality. From this research, we were able to produce a range of plastic storage boxes made from 95% post-consumer plastics — the first of their kind in the UK. By making storage boxes from waste plastics, we are reducing the amount of plastic that would have ended up in landfills, the ocean, or incinerators.
Not only were these upcycled boxes much more eco-friendly, but they’re also very durable and long-lasting — meaning they’re great for consumers, as well as the environment.
What is post-consumer plastic, and how can we recycle it?
Post-consumer plastic is composed of single-use packaging products such as bottles, caps, yoghurt pots, seed trays, and food packaging. Until a recent ban by China on importing used consumer plastic waste, a lot of our post-consumer plastic used to be baled up and shipped overseas to be sorted and recycled. However, recent new optical sorting technology has allowed all plastic types to be separated into their different material types, making it much more cost effective to sort recycled plastic waste and upcycle it into better quality products.
Businesses who don’t actively manufacture plastic products can still play their part by committing to buy, use and sell items that are made from upcycled plastics.
We’ve seen great success with our range of upcycled plastic boxes, and I’d recommend that other businesses try recycling post-consumer plastics, too — we all have a duty to do our bit for our planet, after all.