Recycling in the UK has become a common discussion point amongst the population, parliament, and businesses. While it’s prevalence as an important limiter for climate change and environmental damage is obvious, many still fail to recycle effectively. In fact, 60% of the waste that is sent to the landfill yearly could be recycled. This article will explore some shocking facts about the UK’s recycling habits, delve into how businesses could do more to recycle their waste, and how Collect and Recycle can help.
Some shocking facts about UK recycling and waste
In 2019, the UK missed their Environmental Agency (EA) target for recycling batteries by 258 tonnes, which is the equivalent of 150 standard sized cars. In addition, batteries are hugely inefficient, taking fifty times more energy to make than the end product produces.
Last year in the UK, authorities dealt with over 1 million fly-tipping incidents, a lot of which could’ve fit in a recycling bin.
Only 15% of electronic waste (e-waste) in the UK is recycled. Much of this could not be classified as real “waste,” rather, whole electronic parts that could be reused. The United Nations (UN) is expecting e-waste to grow globally every year by at least 8%. Globally, we currently throw away 50 million tonnes annually to landfill sites. Therefore, by 2025, we will be sending around 80 million tonnes of e-waste to the landfill globally. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK.
UK households throw away 6.6 million tonnes of food waste annually. Three quarters of this sum is food that could have been eaten.
26% of the waste in landfills is paper waste. Recycling paper is hugely beneficial for the environment. Recycling just one tonne of paper waste saves 682.5 gallons of oil, 17 trees, and 265,00 litres of water.
Less than a third of waste oil produced by motorcyclists is recycled per year, despite it being recyclable. This means that 13 million litres of waste oil are being leaked into the environment annually. Motor oil has detrimental effects on wildlife and the atmosphere.
Household waste, however, does not make up the entirety of UK’s national waste produced. Businesses also contribute to this.
Recycling in your business serves more purpose than one. The most commonly known is the personal reduction of carbon footprint on the environment. The businesses in the uk recycled 100 recyclable items a day, the reduction in waste sent to landfill would be huge. The UK sends 27 million tonnes of plastic waste to landfill sites, which makes up 19.2% of landfill capacity. Much of this came from households through plastic bottles, however a great deal came from business too through plastic packaging.
Excess waste in landfills produces an excess of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gase which is 25 times more potent than CO2. These gases cause damage to the Ozone Layer, resulting in extreme weather, respiratory diseases, and water pollution causing a reduction in biodiversity.
However, it is important to realise that recycling in your business isn’t just important for the planet but for your business too. Increasing your recycling rate in your business saves time and money, frees up space, and improves your reputation too.
Time and Money
Recycling your business waste saves you time and money as many recycling businesses, such as Collect and Recycle, take the waste off your hands, and buy it from you. Thus, recycling not only generates profit, but requires little work on your behalf.
In addition, internally, a focus on recycling waste can hugely benefit your budget. You don’t always need your waste to be collected and recycled, as some products can be reused right there in your building. Recycled paper can be used as note or scrap paper. Recycled plastic packaging can be used to re-package items, especially shrink wrap, bags, and other LDPE single use plastics. By reusing within your business, you save money on purchasing new raw materials.
By saving money, you can focus on gaining more clients. Perhaps by reducing prices, or keeping them low, you’ll keep customers happy and obtain more.
Frees Up Space
Recycling, and in particular using a recycling company, has another benefit for your business. It frees up space. Particularly in industrial companies, warehouses can be full of piles of cardboards, plastic, metal waste, and more. Space is valuable for businesses, and utilising these spaces for an alternative purpose could be hugely beneficial for your business.
These freed up spaces could be used to increase production, putting more equipment (perhaps using the money you saved from recycling), to increase output and sales. Alternatively, you could create a space for employees to have their breaks. Increasing morale is frequently overlooked as valuable in the workplace, however, it is proven that happy employees can increase productivity two fold.
A good reputation is make or break for businesses. A good reputation results in more customers, then more sales, and therefore more profits.
Now more than ever, being able to market yourself as an environmentally friendly brand makes you stand out significantly. As businesses globally begin to take on eco-friendly policies, within this is the assertion that they work with other like minded businesses. If you can claim your own role as an eco-friendly company contributing to the reduction of landfill waste, your target audience can expand significantly.
How can Collect and Recycle help
Collect and Recycle can collect a huge variety of waste from your business, taking tonnes of waste off your hands. We process your waste in a recycling centre, and send it off to be transformed into new, useable recycled materials.
Get in touch with us today for more information on how we can help you.