Britain's Plastic: Where Does It Go?

8th Apr 2022

We have all become aware of the crisis that the planet is facing and the importance of preserving the earth’s natural balance. A big part of this crisis is related to the amount of waste that is produced which cannot be recycled, and a great deal of this waste is plastic waste.

There are two ways that we can reduce the amount of environment-damaging plastic waste produced – either by exchanging plastic for a different material that is recyclable – such as cardboard or glass, or by changing the plastic to recyclable plastic.

Going forward, it is essential for businesses to use product packaging that can be recycled.

Where Does the UK’s Plastic Go?

The UK generated 35.52 kg per capita of plastic packaging waste in 2017. This number seems remarkably high, but it has fallen over the past few years as we have become more aware of the impact it has on the environment. More viable alternatives are becoming increasingly popular.

A great deal of the waste that cannot be recycled is usually either burned, sent to landfills, or even dumped in waterways. According to Last Beach Clean Up, the UK shipped 7,133 metric tonnes of waste to non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries just in September 2020. Once this waste has been sent to other countries, it can be difficult for us to have any control over what happens to this waste. Unfortunately, it often ends up in our oceans, having a disastrous effect on the environment.

One of the biggest producers of plastic waste is businesses. Plastic is used for many reasons, from the packaging of raw materials to manufacturing waste. This is why it is so important for businesses to do what they can to reduce the plastic waste that they are creating. This not only includes the packaging of parts and materials that they are using themselves, but also in the packaging of their own products.

Plastic Waste Recycling

There are many reasons why businesses should recycle as much of their plastic waste as possible. But most importantly, is the effect that it can have on the environment. We all understand the need to reduce the non-perishable waste that we are creating, and recycling is one of the best ways to do this.

However, there are other reasons why recycling your plastic waste can be such a good idea for businesses. Some of these reasons include:

It can save you money

There are several ways that recycling your plastic waste can save you money. Instead of paying expensive landfill and waste collection fees, recycling companies can collect your waste, which is often cheaper. With plastic waste, you have the option of baling it using a plastic baler, meaning that your plastic is compacted and bound, costing you less to have it collected as it has a lower volume.

Baling plastic packaging waste such as shrink wrap, film, PET bottles, and farm plastics is the most effective and low-cost method of recycling such waste.

Compacted plastic bales are easier to store before it is collected, enabling you to reduce the number of collections that you require.

It is great for your reputation

Consumers are increasingly looking to support businesses that match their own morals and ethics. As everybody becomes more concerned with the environment, it is important to people that they can give their business to organisations that are as ‘eco-friendly’ as they themselves are. By employing a good environmental policy such as recycling as much as you can, you can not only satisfy your existing customers but also start to attract new ones. It is important, however, to promote what you are doing to become ‘greener.’

It boosts staff morale

Good staff morale is essential for a successful business. By showing that you care about the environment and your surroundings, you are showing that you have a conscience and that you are a caring organisation. It is important for staff to feel that they work for a caring organisation who they are proud of, and an excellent environmental policy is a great place to start.


Reducing the amount of non-recyclable plastic that we are producing as a nation is imperative for the future of our planet. Businesses can help with by using plastic that can be recycled, not only in their own packaging but ensure that they recycle their own plastic waste. This is so important for the climate, but it is also a very positive step for your business.

If you would like to learn more about recycling for your business you can view our Ultimate Guide to Recycling by clicking here

If you would like to see how we can save you time and money on your waste – give QCR a call and we can arrange a free site survey.




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