what's it all about
First it is important to find ways to minimise packaging. here are some tips:
Dealing with your packaging waste effectively can save you money as well as generate an income. This page details types of packaging waste and ways to handle and make best use of them.
Packaging waste can be subdivided into the following main categories. Other wastes main be produced by your business see the Waste Management Plan for further information on how to deal with these:
This is likely to be mainly transit cardboard boxes.
Depending on quantity this material can either be baled, palletised, compacted or put loose in skips. To achieve maximum revenue bale your cardboard into mill size bales.
If your site produces more than 50 tonnes of cardboard per year it may be worth investing in machinery to bale cardboard. Sites producing less than 50 tonnes per year of paper packaging may find it most cost effective to either compact or fill skips with the material. Depending on your geographical location you may have to pay to have this material removed. Generally speaking, card will get recycled into new cardboard.
Plastic packaging usually comes in the form of a film such as shrink wrap or plastic bags.
Clear film is much more valuable than coloured (jazz) film, so where possible you should try to segregate your film into clear and coloured streams. Maximise your revenues by baling your film into mill size bales.
Where sufficient quantities do not exist a small baler may be cost effective in handling your plastic films
Plastic films will get recycled into new film, synthetic clothing, bin bags etc.
You may find that you have hard plastic packaging waste. Whilst generally lower value and harder to recycle, many waste management companies in the UK can source end markets for this type of material. As hard plastics are often mixed polymer streams, it is difficult to recognise a revenue from this material but recycling should be more cost effective than landfill.
Wood packaging most commonly comes in the form of pallets. Used pallets have a second hand value in the re-use market. Local pallet merchants may be able to give value on some types of pallets, whilst packaging re-use companies such as Returnable Packaging Service Ltd will be able to recondition and reuse your pallets and pay revenue for this.
Any pallets which are broken beyond repair may be taken away in skips to be chipped and recycled into man-made wood (such as MDF or chip board) or used for animal bedding. There will be a charge for disposing of your wood if it can't be reused as pallets.
Most companies have insufficient quantities of glass to be able to get any value from it. The cost of recycling glass means that it is a low value commodity; therefore most people find that recycling glass in wheelie bins is the most cost effective method of recycling.
Companies who have significant quantities of glass (300 tonnes+ per year) may find that bulking glass can provide a small revenue stream. The majority of glass will either be used in construction (as an aggregate replacement) or re-melt for new glass bottles.
Metal packaging waste usually comes in the form of steel or aluminium. Companies who have sufficient quantities may find that creating small briquettes (bales) will provide a good revenue stream.
Companies who have small volumes of metal (for example drinks containers) may find it most cost effective to put this material in a mixed recycling container. Metals can be melted down to be used in replacement of virgin ore.
Materials Recovery / Reclamation Facility (MRF)
Sites with insufficient quantities of individual materials may find it most cost effective to use a mixed recycling bin for their card, plastic and metal. A waste management company will sort the materials at their Materials Recycling Facility (MRF).
Source separated or mixed waste (dirty MRF) is separated mechanically and in some instances by hand into different recyclable fractions e.g. glass, paper, plastic, and metals. Depending on the quality of the separated materials it is likely that a viable market would be found for the products.