Hot on the heels of signing the UK Plastics Pact, Viridor has launched what is believed to be the industry’s first hard hat recycling schemes which aims to divert thousands of complex plastic away from landfill.
Old hard hats will go from protecting heads to protecting the environment, taking on new life as a range of plastic products, such as bins.
The Taunton based waste management company has teamed up with Devon plastic recycling specialists, Polymer Industries, to provide the solution at the drop of a hat.
Ian Poyser, Viridor’s Account Manager responsible for the offering, said: “Hard hats aren’t accepted for commercial recycling due to their complex plastic composition but we know our customers want us to identify a Circular Economy solution.
“This new service is the result of two companies coming together in a mutual mission to take complex plastic items away from the general waste stream. It is just one of the many ways we are working to target specific plastic items this year.”
Jason Goozée, Managing Director at Polymer Industries in South Brent, said: “We are working with Viridor in a way where I believe there has been no real commercial solution to date.
“Along with Viridor, we see that with the correct infrastructure and process capabilities in place, we can convert conventional waste into a reusable commodity.
“In the current climate where there is scrutiny over the use of plastics, we hope to show that it is not always necessary to design plastics out of our lives, but instead to design the best appropriate means of recovering and recycling them.”
A trial has been successfully rolled out with Babcock International Group, resulting in 1,200 hat hats recycled to date, with more anticipated as the trial progresses.
Laura Parry, Waste Services Manager, Babcock Devonport, said: “Babcock is always looking at ways to become more sustainable and we work hard to manage our waste as efficiently as possible.
“It has been a positive experience working in partnership with Viridor and we hope that the programme will be rolled out more widely in the future.’’
The life-span of a hard-hat is just two to five years.
The new scheme is currently available in the South West with potential for further expansion for other companies looking to maximise sustainable waste management opportunities.