Welcome to February’s blog post!
2017 has been an important and exciting year for us here at WRC Recycling. With us moving to our new site, building on said site and increasing our operations – we’ve truly expanded the business into the global operating business that it is today.
Since it’s the beginning of the year and all, let’s take a look back to see how far we’ve come…
Before: Johnstone Site
After: Inchinnan Site
Now, bearing in mind that the Inchinnan site is still under construction, that’s some difference! This purpose built site increased our operations capacity, as well as ensuring enough space for further expansion. We are now able to process vast amounts of recycling every single day and the new concrete storage bays, that are under construction, will allow us to store larger items for recycling.
Not only that, but our office staff have a brand new, efficient building. This new office space includes 3 floors of spacious offices for our staff; a boardroom/meeting room for visitors; a welcoming reception and spacious car park. Take a look below:
WRC Recycling are proud of the growth we’ve experienced over the past couple of years and are happy to now match our operating site to that growth. We hope 2018 is filled with more positive experiences and we welcome anyone in for a chat!
Get in touch now to arrange a meeting with one of our experienced brokers: 0141 812 1587 or info@
Forests cover approximately 30% of the planet and they play an essential role in supporting life of all shapes and sizes. However, forests are rapidly disappearing due to a number of factors and it is estimated that if this rate continues; the world’s rain forests could completely disappear within 100 years.
Deforestation occurs via natural causes such as wildfires and over-grazing by animals, which stunts the growth of replacement plants. However, most deforestation is caused by humans. The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture, as farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Increasing urbanisation also results in reduced green space to make more housing etc, to keep up with growing populations. Logging operations, which provide raw materials for the world’s paper and cardboard needs, cut trees on a huge scale. Some of these operations are illegal and are done carelessly, creating more damage than necessary.
Effects of Deforestation
Deforestation can have a negative impact on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species. 80% of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests and many cannot survive outwith this environment – leading to endangerment and extinction of species.
Trees provide essential shade for the soil in many forests and without them, the land quickly turns barren as the soil dries up. With less trees, there is also less greenhouse gases absorbed from the atmosphere, which results in faster global warming.
The only way to prevent more deforestation or reduce the level of trees being cut; is to carefully monitor and control forests – disallowing logging and the rapid spreading of agriculture land. Logging can be reduced by increased recycling of paper and cardboard – which means raw materials (trees) are not needed in such vast amounts, as materials that already exist are being used instead.
It is vital we protect our forests and prevent the extinction of many plants and animals. The planet is not infinite and we must make changes to protect it and the resources it has.
Easy Changes to become Eco-friendly
Changing your habits is a daunting task, especially when you’re being pressured due to bigger issues such as climate change and pollution. However, being more eco-friendly need not be difficult! Here are some tips on how to make simple changes to your life that can make a big difference.
Do you really need to use your car for that 10-minute walk? Consider swapping your car ride to a nice walk or even cycle, if possible. Using your car less reduces air pollution, saves you money and also helps you get fit – what’s not to love?
Even if walking is not a viable option, consider public transport use to lower the number of cars causing congestion on the roads
In this part of the world, water seems endless and therefore, we are often wasteful with it. Ways to conserve water include: turning the tap off when brushing your teeth; taking shorter showers and; using rain water to feed plants etc.
Avoid products which contain micro-beads
These tiny bits of plastic designed to help exfoliate your skin cause huge damage to our oceans and sea-life because they are not biodegradable. Exfoliation is important and can make you feel great, but you can get these same results by using natural sources such as salt.
Everybody knows how great it feels to wind down at the end of the working day and ‘switch off’. But how many of us leave our computers running all night? Stand-by doesn’t mean your electronics are off – merely ‘sleeping’ (and still using power). Give your electronics a chance to wind down too and switch them off for the night.
Switching off lights when you leave a room is also another easy change to save energy. Swapping your traditional light-bulbs for energy efficient ones can also save up to £55/year on your energy bills!
Carpool (Optional Karaoke…)
Instead of driving alone and being stuck in traffic with no one to talk to – why not carpool with a colleague or person who works nearby to you? You will save energy and may even arrive earlier (if carpool lanes are in use where you live). Not to mention, you could reenact James Corden’s famous karaoke show to brighten your morning…
The waste we generate every day doesn’t just disappear. Whether you put it in the bin, throw it away, or leave it behind after a day out – it sticks around. The rate of recycling in the UK is approximately 44%, which is poor compared to other countries such as Germany, where the rate of recycling sits at ~66%.
Rubbish finds its way into our oceans via a number of ways such as: sewage waste; lost fishing equipment; litter left at beaches; poor managed waste facilities near water sources and; general litter dropped in towns and cities. Because of this, it’s been discovered that plastic makes up 60%-90% of marine debris.
Plastic bottles can survive in the ocean for approximately 450 years, slowly breaking down into smaller pieces, eventually leaving microscopic pieces of plastic floating in our oceans. This plastic is dangerous to marine wildlife who often ingest plastic accidentally, or mistaking it for food. Not only does this kill and injure wildlife – but can go on to affect humans due to the seafood we eat being contaminated with plastic.
Plastic pollution is a huge problem and it is not going to disappear without active change in society’s attitudes towards single-use plastic and towards disposing of rubbish appropriately. Change must happen to protect our oceans and save our sea-life from a life of suffering.
Image courtesy of: https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/plastic-pollution/plastic-pollution-facts-figures/
If you haven’t heard of ‘upcycling’ – where have you been? The (kinda) new way of reusing old products, rather than throwing them out, is to re-invent them and turn them into your new statement piece. You can upcycle items for new uses or just simply update it to fit in with the trends this season.
Benefits of upcycling? Well, you’ll get a unique product that you can add your own special touches to, completely tailoring it to what you like. Also, it is a lot cheaper than buying the new ‘vintage’ statement pieces that are in fashion these days. So rather then going to designer shops; just have a rummage through your grans garage, or have a gander in the local charity shops – you’re likely to find similar items that don’t cost an arm and a leg!
Provided you’re willing to put in some elbow grease, upcycling is the perfect way to update your home without breaking the bank.
Take a look at some of these upcycled items, what’s your favourite?
Resist the materialist…
Since the mad rush of Christmas (and let’s face it, over-consumption on many fronts!) has died down. How about a blog on consumption habits? Since most of us have spent the last month or so doing exactly that, this week’s blog seems appropriate!
Consumer behaviour is widely studied throughout the globe – what people consume and why. The ‘whys’ tend to relate to personal and social needs i.e. needing clothes but wanting a certain brand to fit in socially. It is generally accepted that consumers can be segmented into different groups, dependent on a number of factors such as age, income and likes/dislikes.
All this chat about consumerism and materialistic, wasteful lifestyles; means that the alternative consumer is forgotten about. Not all consumers go along willingly with the current trends and there is a rising number of consumers who are beginning to ‘misbehave’ and resist modern consumerism, in a bid to re-gain control of the marketplace. Anti-consumerist movements are those which reject the ideals of current consumerism i.e. all new, all now. Examples of this are green consumerism and ethical consumption.
Although the strongest form of resistance is non-consumption, it can also come in other forms such as extending product life cycles and buying second-hand items. These movements are intertwined with the recycling industry as this is where products eventually go to be ‘disposed’ of, responsibly. So, it can be argued that the recycling industry is, in itself, a form of resistance to modern day consumerism.
People are beginning to realise that something has got to give as we cannot continue to consume at the rate we have been and the recycling industry is here to assist that change. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle – that is the motto. Making people more aware of the impact of their consumption habits, encouraging them to change and finally, changing the way we all dispose of waste; is vital for us to become a more sustainable society.
It is interesting that this necessary change is considered, by many marketers and businesses, to be consumers misbehaving and resisting marketing efforts. Almost as if businesses just want us to consume endlessly and not care about the impact on our world… Attitudes are changing and ‘misbehaving’ is becoming more acceptable than following the norm.
Tis the Season to…Save Energy!
We’re getting into the Christmas spirit here at WRC Recycling! So, here’s a themed blog post for you all…
People in the UK spend the most per household at Christmas time when compared with other European countries! It is no surprise then, that the amount of waste generated at Christmas time is 30% more than usual. Take a look at some facts in this picture below:
Waste at this time of year is unnecessarily high, with many recyclable items winding up in landfill such as; cards, wrapping paper and packaging.
Here are some tips to reduce your waste this Christmas:
- Save space at home by dropping items at your local recycling centre
- Flatten cardboard boxes before recycling to save room in the recycling container
- Remove ribbons, bows and other adornments before recycling wrapping paper
- Make sure all food is out of card and paper packaging before recycling
- Keep card or paper packaging with glitter out of the recycling container
- Remember the scrunch test*!
*The Scrunch Test:
Shiny metallic wrapping paper is made from metallised plastic film and this type of material is not currently recycled. The scrunch test is a simple way to determine whether wrapping paper is made from metallised plastic film.
Simply scrunch the item in your hand – if it remains ‘scrunched’ it can be recycled; if it springs back it is probably metallised plastic film and not recyclable.
Christmas Jumper Chaos!
So on Friday 15th we had our christmas jumper day in aid of Save the Children UK and although this day is for a great cause, there is some worry with the trend for christmas jumpers – which get more ridiculous every year!
It’s estimated that most jumpers only get worn once and are then thrown away, with most people buying a new one every year. 24% of people say they would be too embarrassed to wear the same jumper as they did the year before…. what??? Isn’t the whole point of christmas jumpers to be tacky and, well, ugly?
However, christmas jumpers are just a small part of the problem, with the overall issue being fast fashion in general. The constant change of trends and keeping products at such a low cost to facilitate this, is extremely bad for the environment. Encouraging this wasteful attitude results in greenhouse emissions of 1.2 billion tonnes per year from the industry!
Christmas jumpers are a fun tradition, but they needn’t become part of the fast fashion problem. WRC Recycling are supporting the model of ‘re-duce, re-use, recycle’ by encouraging everybody not to throw away their christmas jumpers after the festive season this year. Instead, why not swap with a friend for next year, or donate your old one to charity so that somebody else may benefit from it? You could also try a little bit of DIY and customise your jumper year after year, making it different, and more outrageous than the last!
Operation: Reduce Contamination
Contamination of recycling means the presence of unwanted materials in designated recycling bins. This can be either non-recyclable items or recyclable items in the wrong bin i.e. glass bottles in a paper only bin. Contamination can lead to whole truck loads of recycling being rejected, with no market available for the mixed waste.
Local authorities have been trying to save money by collecting recycling in mixed loads, however, this often makes people complacent with recycling and they often end up contaminating loads with non-recyclables. Contamination results in low-quality recyclables which are of little benefit to anyone. High-quality recycling is a must in this day and age, otherwise the loads face being scrutinised and rejected – closing markets and losing clients.
It would be unfair to suggest that contamination comes purely from complacent people when in fact, a lot of people suffer from confusion when it comes to what they can and can’t recycle. This is why better education, and easier to understand labels on packaging and on bins.
Here are some tips on how to reduce the contamination levels of your recycling waste:
- Look for recycling labels on packaging, which describes what is recyclable and what is not, from a product.
- Leave metal caps and lids on glass jars and bottles
- Empty and rinse all containers
- Don’t forget to recycle items from all rooms in the home i.e. shampoo bottles in bathrooms!
- If in doubt, check with your local recycling plant on what they accept and what they don’t
New Road in Town
Innovation is at the forefront of the recycling/plastics industry and a new ‘plastic road’ prototype is being tested in the UK. Plastic is being made into pellets which are being mixed into asphalt as a binding agent – making up ~0.5% of the mixture. Using the recycled plastic material involved the equivalent of offsetting 500,000 plastic bottles and more than 800,000 one-use plastic carrier bags!
These new roads take plastic, which would otherwise most likely end up in landfill, and reuse it to produce sturdy, long-lasting roads. These roads will need less maintenance compared to the roads we have at the moment, thus, reducing the cost of the road overall – both for constructing and maintaining. The use of plastic replaces the need for fossil fuels to be used in the production of roads – making them more environmentally friendly as well.
Studies have been carried out to assess the suitability of these roads and it is suggested that using plastic as a modified binding agent in the construction of roads is a promising alternative to current methods. It is also suggested that using plastics this way is a good alternative recycling method for plastics.
Of course, time will tell if these roads are a viable replacement, and of any problems that might arise by using plastic in this way. However, this is a step in the right direction of phasing out fossil fuels and creating a more ‘green’ world to live in.