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Recycling Plastic: Can Businesses Do It Effectively at a Low Cost?

plastic art

It is becoming increasingly important for businesses that produce plastic waste to recycle it effectively. This not only helps protect the planet, but it improves various aspects of the business as well.

2017 was a big year for opening the nation’s eyes to the damage plastic is doing to the world’s oceans. The BBC’s highly acclaimed documentary, Blue Planet II highlighted the incredible amount of plastic that gets dumped in oceans across the world. Plastic takes many, many years to biodegrade and will be contaminating our waters for generations. Sea life is also under threat. The program showed creatures confusing plastic for food and examples of plastic becoming tangled around their bodies. It was a real eye opener for the government and the general public.

The UK’s Plans

The UK government aims to ban all avoidable waste plastic by 2042 under its 25-year Environmental Plan. This includes creating plastic free aisles in supermarkets and creating a tax on single-use plastic containers. We, as a nation, also need to improve our morals on plastic recycling and we should not have to wait for the government to tell us what needs to be done. There are options out there for businesses to recycle plastic effectively and it can be done at a low cost.


Most Eco-Friendly and Cost Effective Way to Recycle Plastic

The most eco-friendly way to recycle plastic in the UK is to compact it into easy to handle bales. Baling plastic keeps it altogether in one place so no loose pieces can blow away or overflow into the general waste stream. Bales are easily stackable as well, so they do not look messy and can be stored inside or outside. Lastly and most importantly, the bales will be collected by a recycler rather than a bin collection from a waste management company. QCR, a leading manufacturer of these balers, strongly believes the most efficient way for any business to manage their waste is this method. They state it would mean less bins, a tidier and safer workplace, and of course reduced waste costs.

The process of swapping bins for a baler is key here. Whilst the majority of businesses that produce plastic will use recycling bins, these are problematic and do not guarantee the waste will be 100% recycled. They are also expensive to have emptied, are voluminous and require time consuming flat-packing and tearing to fit as much waste in the bins as possible. Most balers have a small footprint and a business can pay a low cost weekly rental or purchase the machine outright. After this there are no additional costs as recyclers will, in most areas of the UK, collect the bales free of charge. Bin collections are charged per bin, whether the bin is full or not. This can become very expensive, especially if there are several on site. Landfill tax increases are now occurring every April, this hits waste management companies and the cost gets passed on to its customers meaning collection costs are always liable to rise. Bins are always likely to overflow as well, which creates a poor image if they are in public view and plastic may have to be stored in a general waste bin if there is no room left in a recycling bin. Loose, overflowing waste can also blow away in windy conditions, creating a litter problem.

Get Rebates for Recycling

In addition to a baler, plastic bag stands are an excellent way of segregating plastics and generally storing loose plastic. Once a bag is full it can be placed straight into the baler so no mess occurs. Segregating plastic gives a business the best chance of receiving rebates from its recycler. The reason most recyclers offer free collections is because bales are ready made so no labour hours are required back at the recycling depot. Some recyclers will even offer rebates if businesses can produce and store large, high quality bales. Clear plastic has a high rebate value compared to coloured plastics which is why segregation in bag stands is important. Compare this scenario to having several, expensive and overflowing bins and the two could not be any more different.

The answer to the title of this article is a resounding yes. In life you mostly get what you pay for but, as things stand with recycling, it is the polar opposite. The low cost option is to install a baler which comes with a host of benefits like saving space, labour time and being very eco-friendly. The expensive option is to have voluminous, messy bins which cannot guarantee a 100% recycling rate. Businesses can really help themselves with an effective and low cost baler solution. Baling plastic ticks all the right green boxes and you can be sure you are not one of the millions of contributors to the world’s massive plastic problem.

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