The topic this month was all about how can businesses work together to tackle the terrible waste issues we’re facing, with the sea full of plastic and China closing down on accepting recyclable materials.
Charlie Orr & Anna Francis, FTC - Photo by Mervyn at TakingPictures
Charlie Orr and Anna Francis from Frome Town Council kicked off with asking how can the council facilitate and support local businesses to share (and lower) the cost of buying more environmentally-friendly materials which, granted, can seem unreasonably expensive but must be invested in now due to our situation getting critical.
“Frome is fantastic as an example of businesses coming together”, says Charlie, “and we’re now launching a plastic-free initiative; offering alternatives to plastic straws, bags and cartons etc.”
Suitable products and suppliers are still being researched and one size won’t fit all but the hope is that the load can be shared and non-recyclable waste will be greatly reduced as there are 900million tonnes of plastic in the sea now and a plastic straw can last for 600 years.
When ready, FTC will email a list of products available and businesses can easily select what they want/need/afford. This is open to any sector in Frome so please contact Frome Town Council if you’re not on their email list.
Pete Lister from JW Waste - Photo by Mervyn at TakingPictures
There's also the matter of waste contractors. Thirteen different contractors are visiting Frome currently(!) so stream-lining to about two would be the ideal.
Cue Pete Lister from JW Waste, an 8 year old business waste management company, previously offering services mainly in the Bath area, but now moved to Coleford so are looking forward to being a bigger part of the waste disposal solution in Frome.
“We’re here for you and we just want to try our best for all of you and for the ocean.” – says Pete, “It’s a terrible situation and I am really proud to be a part of JW Waste who are trying to make a difference.”
JW Waste are a “100% diversion from landfill” company, currently burning most of the waste collected, which is not ideal but initially stops it going into landfill and the ocean, whilst recycling solutions can be further developed.
Pete reminded us of the fact that if we all put our waste into the correct bins, materials can be recycled but if waste gets mixed-up, the process back at the plant makes it incredibly complex and costly to sort through so the materials just get burned.
Working Together - Photo by Mervyn at TakingPictures
Food waste does, however, go to nearby Warminster to be turned into gas used for energy, but paper and cardboard have to be exported because there are just not many recycling plants within the UK.
Plastic is also very difficult to recycle especially now that China has stopped accepting it and there is a massive deficit of millions of tonnes each year, forcing the world to try and find alternative solutions.
But contrary to popular belief, business recycling is actually quite simple and cost-effective if we club together with neighbouring businesses and purchase recycling bags directly from our waste contractor.
“We can recycle everything that every business produces and arrange a collection point.”, says Pete so let’s get cracking and do our bit for this beautiful world, ourselves and the next generation.
Contact JW Waste here.