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It’s Recycle Week! So what does that mean for us, you and the UK as a whole? Recycle week is a week (20-26 September) which raises awareness for recycling, in the hope that the UK will become more eco-aware of the consequences of not recycling. As well as this, Recycle Week aims to create awareness around the topic and hopefully give consumers and businesses a nudge in the right direction to make recycling common practise in the workplace and at home.

What is recycling?

Recycling is the process of converting waste into new, reusable materials. There are a multitude of different items which can be recycled into new life forms very easily through your local council’s recycling network. Glass, Cardboard, Paper and Plastic are all widely recycled in the UK through household collections, or drop-offs at your local supermarket or recycling centre. 

Why do people or companies recycle?

The main aim of recycling is to help the environment. Sourcing and processing raw materials (such as wood for cardboard) often takes a vast amount of energy; much more than converting already extracted materials into reusable ones. The reduction of energy also coincides with a reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions – the biggest contributor to global warming.

Does Schott Packaging recycle?

The simple answer is yes. As a major UK Packaging Supplier, we often find ourselves with spare or damaged cardboard, plastic wrapping and other materials which without recycling would likely have ended up in landfill. If you’ve ever visited us on-site, you won’t have missed the gigantic metal bins outside! We separate our recyclable materials for collection by a local recycling company. 

Last year, we’re proud to say that we diverted 100% of our waste away from landfill, meaning everything was recycled or composted. We can’t beat a 100% diversion, but we’re making sure that we keep our recycling standards high for 2021!

What do I need to know about recycling? 

An important, but often overlooked element of recycling is that your goods need to be separated and clean when they enter the recycling stream. It adds an extra small step to the recycling process, but it is vital in ensuring that your products do actually enter a recycling stream, and don’t end up in landfill. As all products are made from different raw materials; not all goods are recyclable or may only be recyclable in certain areas. There are seven types of plastics, all of which have relative symbols which outlines their recyclable potential. This is often found on the bottom of the packaging and is paramount in ensuring the goods are disposed of responsibly.

All cardboard and paper is recyclable as long as it is not heavily contaminated. When it comes to recycling, glass is the real winner! 100% of glass can be recycled without loss of quality. Sometimes glass may need separating into clear, green and brown bottles to ensure they reach the correct processing plant!  

What else are Schott Packaging doing to help the environment?

After our 100% waste diversion in 2020, we wanted to do more to reduce our impact on the environment. At the start of 2021, we signed up to Ecologi – a scheme to plant trees to offset our carbon footprint and contribute positively to the environment. So far, Schott Packaging and its employees have been climate-positive for 7 months. We’ve planted over 1700 trees with Ecologi, meaning we’ve removed approximately 54 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of 42 long-haul flights or 135,000 miles in a car! 

Another major step we’ve taken is to introduce more environmentally friendly product lines. In 2021, we’ve increased our offering of environmentally-friendly products by 500%. One of our favourites that we’ve brought in has to be our corrugated cardboard rolls. They get a 5/5 from us for sustainability. They’re made from recycled content, are recyclable, compostable, biodegradable and made from a renewable resource. They’re a great bubble wrap alternative.

So… what can I do to be more eco-friendly?

We think the easiest way to become more eco-friendly is to create better habits. You can buy organisational bins for your household or business waste to ensure your recycled items make it into the appropriate waste stream and are separated from the start. Once you get into the habit of recycling, it really is easy!

Try to shop without plastic. Many major supermarkets overload their products unnecessarily with plastic and quite often, this plastic is not recyclable. The good news is, there is often an alternative. Buy the broccoli without the plastic wrap!

Reuse items. We often find ourselves throwing away things when they have been used once, but in reality they could be used time and time again. Although they are satisfying to pop, our Opus Bio Air Pillows can be used multiple times, so if you happen to receive them in your parcel, keep them for your own shipments!

If you’re an e-commerce business or send things in the post, choose your packaging wisely! There are so many excellent, high quality alternatives available on the market to make the switch to recyclable. We can buy items which are recyclable, but you can’t always be sure that the recipient will dispose of it responsibly. This is why we LOVE all things cardboard – it’s sustainable, compostable and recyclable. Choose cardboard if you can! 

Some facts about recycling:

  • The average UK consumer throws away 400kg of waste every year
  • Recycling one plastic bottle can save enough energy to power a lightbulb for around three hours
  • The average family in the UK throws away six trees worth of paper annually
  • It takes 60% less energy to recycle paper than to source and extract the raw materials

Above facts found here – https://www.recyclingbins.co.uk/recycling-facts/

We offset our carbon footprint via Ecologi