January is often a time of fresh starts. When you are back in the office after Christmas, it’s often the ideal time to look forward to the next 12 months and to consider how your business will meet its recycling targets for the year.
Back in December 2015, the EU proposed a target to recycle a minimum of 65% of packaging by 2025, rising to 75% in 2030. What will happen to those targets for businesses in a post-Brexit UK?
David Palmer-Jones, head of recycling giant Suez, argued in the Telegraph pre-Brexit in June 2016: “Should the UK referendum be decided in favour of a Brexit and the UK leave the EU, there is a clear risk that the current EU-led policy drives towards creating a circular economy within the UK will stall or even move back a step.”
In last year’s March Statement, the UK government decreased the statutory recycling rate for plastic in 2017 from the original rate of 57% down to 51% – with an increase every year thereafter of 2% until 2020. Although these targets are not showing a commitment to a minimum level of packaging recycling of 75% and it is unclear exactly what will happen in the aftermath of Brexit, they still present a formidable undertaking.
If your business uses large amounts of any packaging, including polythene, you need to do all you can towards reducing this.
As you will be aware current legislation is aimed at minimising the use of packaging and requires businesses to continually assess their packaging requirements to ensure minimum waste and any waste is dealt with in the most environmentally friendly way.
Applying the 3R principal is one approach i.e. reduce, re-use, recycle. There are also localised solutions which can be applied where appropriate facilities are available e.g. incineration to recover energy from some waste.
At Hanmere, we perform process audits for potential and existing customers designed specifically to address the fitness for purpose of their polythene packaging and/or where polythene may be a better alternative to other substrates currently being used. By monitoring usage closely in partnership with our customers, we can be adaptable and, over time, make those changes needed to keep costs and wastage down.
This early part of the year is a good time to review your flexible packaging specifications to configure ways of meeting your needs, whilst finding ways of bringing down the cost, both financially and to the environment. Hanmere would be happy to assist in this exercise.
To discuss how a process audit could save you money and reduce wastage, contact us on 01462 474777.