Shopping Centres: How You Can Recycle More
In the UK, the retail sector is responsible for around 12% of all industrial and commercial waste. In 2018 the total amount of industrial and commercial waste produced in the UK was 37.2 million tonnes. With more pressures on Governments all around the world to reduce their negative impact on the environment, as well as the overall effects of climate change, it is more important than ever retail stores reduce their waste. With the ice sheets shrinking and the ocean’s temperatures warming, there is growing pressure on retailing businesses to act responsibly and comprehensively manage their waste in a sustainable way.
Please keep reading to take a look at the ways in which retail businesses can reduce their waste and make a positive impact on the environment. One of the simplest ways for shopping centres to implement change is to adopt the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ recycling guide.
‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’
There is much debate over when the recycling movement was first introduced. It may feel like a relatively modern concept; however, during the second world war, everyone had to do what they could to conserve their resources. Their efforts were never explicitly labelled as recycling, but their efforts were the same.
The environmental movement is believed to have started in the 1970s, with the establishment of Earth Day. Similarly, the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ slogan cannot be traced back to a specific date, although it was around this time that the phrase was used.
The Three Rs, as they are also known, was a practice that emerged to encourage more people and organisations to get involved with the environmental movement and to, ultimately, protect the Earth.
Implementing the Three Rs
By altering the way shopping centres carry out their practices, the amount of waste they produce can be reduced. If a shopping complex minimises the amount of packaging it uses for distributing goods and wrapping orders, then theu can reduce the amount of plastic wrap and cardboard boxes that inevitably end up in the bin.
Before an order is sent out, individual shops can ensure the correct sized boxes are used for packaging customer’s goods. If a larger box is used, more loose fill is needed to secure the products, causing more polystyrene and cardboard to end up as waste. Also, if a shopping complex swaps the use of plastic wrap to wrapping materials from recycled or biodegradable sources, their impact on the environment can be reduced too.
Shopping centes can also reuse the packaging that comes into their shops and stores. By holding onto the packaging that comes with new products, this can be used again when sending out orders to customers. In most cases, this packaging has only been used once and, therefore, it would be wasteful to send it to the bin so quickly. Recycling this packaging for further use, would save money on purchasing packaging as well..
With any surplus packaging or packaging that has been recycled a few too many times, the best thing to do is to ensure this makes it into a recycling bin or recycling container. At Fresco Environmental, we offer plastic rebates and can also supply the necessary polythene collection services, front end loaders (FEL), wheelie bins, compactors and balers depending on your business needs. If you think a zero-waste approach is unachievable and one step too far for a shopping centre, think again.
St Johns Market Liverpool
St Johns Market is the largest covered shopping centre in the city of Liverpool, located in the heart of the city since 1969 and home to more than 100 retailers. More importantly, though, this shopping centre has a zero-waste to landfill initiative and recycling efforts. Working alongside Fresco Environmental, they were recently awarded the Green Apple Award, proving that any shopping centre can take the steps towards achieving zero-waste to landfill sites.
The challenges that shopping centres face and those which St Johns Market has managed to overcome is that their waste is not solely limited to recycling packaging. They also recycle their food waste and electrical waste caused by certain stores and restaurant services.
UK Restaurants produce 199,100 tonnes of food waste each year; 51% of this figure is believed to be recycled. However, the majority of this figure is due to recycling food packaging. The amount of food waste being composted is extremely low, but these shocking figures are easy to change.
There are many different sustainable options for recycling food waste and food surplus. At Fresco Environment, we guarantee that commercial food waste and the excess is completely diverted from landfill sites. Once the waste has been collected, the food surplus is treated and instead converted into a source of renewable energy or animal feed.
When wasted food ends up in landfill sites, it starts to rot and break down. In this process, methane is released into our atmosphere as a by-product. Like carbon dioxide, methane is a greenhouse gas that harms our environment. Unlike CO2, however, methane is 84 times more potent.
All of our team works hard to reduce waste diverted to landfills, replicating our zero waste to landfill mantra, to limit this negative environmental impact. If shopping centres adopt our methods, turning their food waste into renewable energy, together with our advanced recycling technologies, we could help protect the environment from negative human impact.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is classified as hazardous waste. In WEEE the danger lies in the containment of polychlorinated biphenyls in capacitors used to store electrical charge, as well as ozone-depleting substances known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), found in fridges and freezers.
The WEEE Derivative was introduced to reduce the amount of electrical waste that ends up in our landfill sites. Your business must follow the proper processes of WEEE when ensuring safe and legal disposal. You need to have involvement with your local Government, as well as being a member of the Producer Compliance Scheme. These connections are to establish the necessary links to the environmental agencies.
Here at Fresco Environment, as a Total Waste Management (TWM) provider, we will take care of all the complexities of WEEE; managing, distributing and disposing of your electronic waste sustainably.
Check out our website to learn more about Fresco Environmental and how we can help shopping centres meet your waste needs this year. Be more sustainable with our plastic, cardboard, WEEE and food waste recycling methods, as well as many more.