Alongside Devon based plastic recycling specialist company, Polymer Industries, Viridor recently announced an innovative collaboration that will see thousands of hard hats destined for the landfill be put to better use, protecting both the environment, and providing a practical solution in the form of reusable plastic products, such as bins.
Hard hats have always been excluded from traditional recycling due to the complexity of the plastics used to make them, but with these hats having a very short lifespan of only 2-5 years, they have previously been sent to landfills in their thousands, which is simply not an environmentally sustainable solution.
The Managing Director of Polymer Industries, Jason Goozee recently stated that the company was working alongside Viridor to provide a commercial solution where one hasn’t existed until now.
Jason also said he was confident that with the two companies working together and providing the correct infrastructure and processes that they would be able to convert conventional plastic waste into a reusable commodity.
Today, plastic products are a big part of our lives, and many plastics, like hard hats are not able to be recycled using traditional methods which is having a negative effect on the environment and even marine life.
Whilst many places are calling for the ban of plastic, it’s perhaps unrealistic to believe we can fully live without any kind of plastic, or that we can simply eliminate its use overnight, but we also have to ensure that we’re using it responsibly.
This sustainable solution offered by Viridor and Polymer Industries is more than a good start in the right direction that offers up a way to reuse plastics so they don’t end up in landfills or at the bottom of the oceans.
Of course, the project is still in its early days, but things are looking positive with 1,200 hard hats having already been recycled during an ongoing trial with Babcock International Group, and this number is expected to rise during the remainder of the trial.
Babcock Devonport’s Waste Services Manager, Laura Parry has spoken positively about the collaboration on this new project by stating that the company are always seeking new ways to be more sustainable, as well as working hard to ensure that they are managing their waste as efficiently as possible.
Although the new scheme has only been rolled out in South Wales for now, all involved have big hopes and believe there’s a real potential for bigger expansion as other companies look for ways to maximise the opportunities for more sustainable waste management.
The hard hats scheme is really just the start of an ongoing plan to maximise the use of plastics through sustainable innovative recycling methods, though it’s certainly a great start, and hopefully more companies will begin to follow suit as the benefits become more clear, not only to the environment, but also on a practical level when they see how the plastics can be reused for other purposes.