The UK will miss its recycling targets and the reason is close to home

15 April 2019

The UK will miss its recycling targets and the reason is close to home

Recovered Fibre News reported this month that the UK will fall short of its recycling targets by a decade according to new research. This shortfall is being attributed to the sharp increase in packages being sent to homes and businesses from e-commerce purchases.

“The UK is now the third largest B2C e-commerce market in the world, with around 18% of all retail sales in the UK now made online” reports RFN.

1.9 billion parcels are now delivered in the UK annually as a result of purchases made online, and this is set to increase by over 50% in the next ten years.

Meanwhile infrastructure from a pre-e-commerce era is still in place and an increase in waste packaging from online purchases could tip an already strained system over the edge.

There are some behavioural issues that may contribute to a failure to recycle materials; for instance, it has been reported that a third of people in the home are sceptical about where their recycling ends up and fear it will go to landfill which could negatively affect the importance people place on recycling their waste.

Solutions proposed by DS Smith, the commissioner of the research in conjunction with Central Saint Martins UAL, are improvements to recycling policies, methods to help consumers such as better labelling, and a stronger focus on the circular economy.

A circular economy aims to minimise waste and make the most of the resources we have, so rather than a system that produces, uses and then disposes of a product, it is a system that attempts to reuse as much as possible to avoid any unnecessary waste of energy and resources.

For Sadlers this is reflected in our ethos – if a cardboard box can be reused, let’s reuse it! For the consumer, whether a small or large business, second hand cardboard boxes are cheaper than new boxes and more often than not, fit the purpose of the business. For producers of large volumes of cardboard boxes, there is more revenue in selling a used box for reuse than there is for recycling it. It’s a win-win situation.

To talk to Sadlers about your packaging needs, call or email now.