Company marks Recycling Week by celebrating efforts to recycle personal protective equipment
THIS week, Forterra are marking Recycling Week (16–22 October) by celebrating their efforts to recycle personal protective equipment (PPE) in the last year.
Having first teamed up with textiles disposal company Avena in August 2022 to develop a workwear recycling programme across their UK sites, Forterra’s Kings Dyke brickworks, in Peterborough, has seen an impressive 90% clothing and 70% gloves and masks returned to be recycled.
Carrie Taylor, materials controller at Forterra’s Kings Dyke, has been championing the programme and encouraging the workers to get involved. The scheme has enabled the 240 workers on site to swap old uniform for new, with the old being sent for recycling, including work boots.
There are also bins placed in convenient and visible locations around the site, that workers can use to recycle used gloves and masks. The bins are sorted once a week, with two 1,200-litre bins, supplied by Avena, filled every eight weeks.
As well as current uniform being recycled, workers have been encouraged to bring in old PPE that they may have accumulated over the years.
Forterra are now looking to build on this success by raising more awareness at their sites through visual aids such as informative posters. Further measures include more paper recycling, a laundry service, and providing additional bins to continue the good work, with a site visit from Avena set to take place to assess what other measures can be implemented.
Avena’s zero-percent landfill policy provides a sustainable end-of-life process for all textiles and PPE, and as the only company in the UK that offers shredding as an alternative to incineration and landfill, Forterra say they made the ideal partner to align with.
The old uniforms and PPE are also recycled in the most effective way; this includes the material being reused, turned into insulation, or made into chips for energy generation.
Ms Taylor said: ‘It’s been fantastic to see everyone so eager to get on board with the scheme. I’m passionate about recycling and making others aware of the huge benefits, not only to our immediate business, but also to our communities too. Some 350,000 tonnes of textiles are sent to landfill each year, and we’re delighted that Forterra do not need to contribute to that figure.’