The scourge on plastic has shot to the top of the political agenda recently, with many retailers and manufacturers talking about “the Blue Planet effect”. When the BBC series screened in October 2017, many viewers were reminded of the catastrophic impact our use of plastic is having on the world’s oceans. But it appears now progress is finally being made. Not only did more than 40 companies sign the UK Plastics Pact in April 2018, but the UK government has also earmarked £60m from the public purse to tackle ocean pollution, research and waste management.
Of that money allocated by the government, £16.4 million will be devoted to waste management. Recycling is the best way we know of tackling plastic pollution large-scale, and we’re all agreed that our throwaway culture of taking, making, and disposing of plastic needs to be re-evaluated. The way forward, it seems, is to create a circular economy for plastics. The government has announced a bottle and metal can deposit return scheme, but some companies are going one step further with creative solutions. For example, the company MacRebur is killing two birds with one stone. They are filling in potholes on the road with waste plastic, and demonstrating how plastic can be used to increase asphalt resistance.
Our blue planet is in need of smart thinking when it comes to recycling, because plastic isn’t an issue that is just going to go away. When it comes to recycling, it’s clear the waste management industry will play a vital role, as will the local authorities responsible for collecting it. It’s important to remember, then, that the job of a refuse collector doesn’t come without hazards, and that intelligent risk management procedures will become ever more critical as they deal with ever-rising volumes of recycling.
For guidance on how to manage the risks around waste collection, click here.
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Risk Management Partners Limited is authorised and regulated
by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Registered office: The Walbrook Building 25 Walbrook, London EC4N 8AW.
Registered in England and Wales. Company no. 2989025.