An environmental Odyssey for Wright Plastics
When it comes to recycling, plastic does not have a very green image in the UK, but one Midlands manufacturer is determined to change public perceptions and lead the way when it comes to reducing waste and increasing recycling in the plastics sector.
Wrights Plastics, based in West Bromwich,has been a leading acrylic manufacturer since 1969 and supplies plastic components to a wide variety of industries, as well as retail displays and POS to both retailers and retail design agencies.
Explaining that the company’s commitment to green values was originally inspired by a trip to Marks and Spencer, Mike WrightManaging Director of Wrights Plastics, said: “When it comes to plastic recycling, the UK is one of Europe’s worst offenders. The UK was ranked a lowly 23rd out of 27 countries for the amount of packaging recovered and is one of just six EU countries that send over two thirds of its plastic waste to landfill. If the objective of ‘zero plastics to landfill’ is to be achievedby 2020,significant improvements need to be made in term of both recycling rates and the volume of plastics used for energy recovery.”
He continued: “It was when, as a trusted supplier, we received an invitation to a Marks and Spencer environmental conference in 2011 that we first felt inspired to develop a radical plan to reduce the environmental impact of the products we produce. Firstly, wechanged the materials and processes we used to create those products,and then went on to reduce waste, energy consumption and to improve our levels of recycling. The journey will be a long one, but we are pleased we have already reached some major targets.”
The company’s notable achievements to date include the improved segregation and recycling of waste,which has enabled it to divert 30 tonnes of waste from landfill in the past three years, the use of recycled foam in the manufacture of a number of products and the specification of the same whenever possible, plus the use of 100 percent recycled material for the productsit has supplied to Land Rover.
In addition, it has achieved accreditation to the Forest Stewardship Council standards, which promotes responsible management of the world’s forests and installed energy efficient production equipment and lighting that will reduce the emission of CO2 by 17 tonnes per annum andsent 40 tonnes of scrap material for recycling in the past year.
Mike Wright concluded: “As part of our environmental journey it has become clear that improving awareness of environmental issues and then taking positive action to address them makes good business sense as well as being good for the environment. Increasingly, customers want to know that the products they are buying are produced as responsibly as possible and by offering greener alternatives companies can help to ensure that they become the supplier of choice.If every company within the industry was willing to take a similar approach, then the UK would not come so far down the European environmental league tables and significant reductions in landfill could also be achieved.”
To discover more about Wrights Plastics’ environmental commitment and to download its White Paper, entitled: “Recycling Plastics: Is the UK behind the rest of Europe?”
For further information on Wrights Plastics visit: www.gpxgroup.com