DCW Polymers raises over £5,500 for local charities through popular Recycle & Raise scheme

DCW Polymers, the South West’s only specialist plastics recycling and reprocessing plant, has raised £5,736.28 for local charities by recycling plastic tubs and bottle tops donated by the general public, an initiative known as Recycle & Raise.

The funds, which have been split equally between Dartmoor Zoological Park and mental health charity Mind, were raised through DCW Polymers’ Recycle & Raise initiative. The appeal asked the general public to donate plastic tubs and bottle tops for recycling which DCW Polymers has shredded into granules.

The granules have been used in manufacturing DCW Polymers’ recycled plastic furniture range which has raised approximately 8p per tub recycled for Dartmoor Zoo and Mind.

Over 85 businesses, schools and organisations across the South West volunteered as collection points for the tubs, bottle tops and takeaway containers, with the general public donating 1,925kg of tubs and 673kg of bottle tops in a bid to support the charities. The weight of the tubs equates to 64,166 tubs recycled through this year’s Recycle and Raise campaign.

Hosted by DCW Polymers annually since 2019, the Recycle & Raise appeal has raised over £11,000 for charitable causes.

DCW Polymers Managing Director, Simon Almond, said: “The enthusiasm from the public to help us raise as much money as we can for these charities this year has been incredible. So much so that we have experienced our most successful fundraising year yet, raising over £5,500 for Dartmoor Zoo and Mind.

“These are two charities that I am personally very passionate about. As a trustee of Dartmoor Zoo, I’m invested in the incredible conservation work the team do, and Mind is a charity that we were keen to support in light of the toll the pandemic has had on mental health and wellbeing.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has donated to the scheme as without you, we couldn’t have raised these vital funds for charity. Since 2019, we’ve smashed each of our targets every year and as the initiative grows, we hope to raise even more funds during next year’s campaign which will kick-off in October 2022.”

Thanks to the enthusiasm of the public and the success of the appeal, DCW Polymers is now collecting plastic tubs and bottle tops all year round. The funds raised from this will also go towards the annual Recycle & Raise scheme, giving DCW Polymers and the general public the opportunity to support local charities either side of Recycle & Raise season.

Clean plastic tubs and bottle tops can be taken to the Recycle & Raise drop-off point outside Princesshay’s Bee Hive Information Centre, The Hive, located in Bampfylde Lane in Exeter. In addition, clean plastic tubs and bottle tops can be taken to any of DCW’s or DCW Polymers’ Exeter or Plymouth depots. Donators can locate their nearest depot by visiting www.dcwpolymers.co.uk.

For those who cannot easily access the permanent drop-off points, the Recycle & Raise seasonal appeal for plastic tubs and bottle tops will return in November 2022 and will run until February 2023. DCW Polymers encourages businesses from across Devon and Cornwall to sign-up, creating plenty of accessible drop-off points across the region. If your business would like to sign up as a drop off point to help raise funds for DCW Polymers’ chosen charities, please email [email protected].

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What Are The Benefits of Recycled Plastic Furniture?

The importance and significance of climate change needs no introduction. For years now, scientists have been warning us that the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere is having an adverse effect on the earth’s climate. This problem is worldwide and needs to be addressed immediately. One main answer to the problem of global warming could be recycling, as this puts a stop to disposing of materials in landfills which releases toxins and greenhouse gases. Instead, recycling allows us to use existing materials and transform them into an entirely different product.

One way in which plastics can be recycled is by creating recycled plastic furniture. At DCW Polymers, we hold strong values when it comes to creating new products from recycled materials. That’s why we’re a company that are proud to supply recycled plastic furniture to our customers.

So what exactly are the benefits of using recycled plastic outdoor furniture and how can it benefit you?

Benefits of Recycled Plastic Furniture

In view of the fact that recycled plastic furniture is a recent phenomenon, this means that you might not be aware of the countless benefits that it can offer. Not only is it good for our planet, but it can also offer so much more! Here are just some of the benefits that it affords:


This might be the most obvious benefit, but it’s important to not underestimate just how beneficial recycling can be to our planet. By using materials that already exist in our environment and using them for different purposes completely minimises the amount of energy we use, whilst reducing the amount of landfill waste we have. Landfills are one of the main contributors to the release of toxins, and therefore it’s essential that we keep on top of this. By doing so, having recycled plastic outdoor furniture can go a long way to benefit our natural environment.

At DCW Polymers, all of our recycled plastic furniture uses plastic waste from the South West. We know how important it is to have furniture that contributes positively to the environment but doesn’t compromise on comfort or appearance. That’s why we provide furniture that can both enhance the appearance of your garden or public space, whilst providing maximum comfort.


One of the main benefits of plastic furniture is that it is rot-free, meaning that it can out-live any wooden alternative. If you invest in recycled plastic furniture, then you know you are receiving a piece of furniture that will stand the test of time. However, if you were to have wooden furniture then you would have to worry about it rotting. The main issue with plastic left in landfills is the fact that it doesn’t degrade. Why not turn this negative into a positive by recycling the plastic so you have recycled garden furniture?

Weather Resistant

The reason why recycled plastic furniture isn’t susceptible to rots can be placed down to the fact that it is weather resistant. Wood furniture can be damaged if there are constant temperature fluctuations. If wood furniture isn’t maintained properly, then there is the possibility for the water, air and heat to force the wood to rot. When you consider the unpredictability of British weather, you want garden furniture that you can depend on throughout the year. Plastic recycled garden furniture could be the perfect solution, as it is resistant to all types of weather conditions.

Insect Resistant

As well as being resistant to weather conditions, recycled furniture is also impervious to insects. With wood, infestations can occur if beetles or larvae enter. Considering that wood can crack as a result of the changing weather conditions, this offers opportunities for insects to enter. Once these insects enter, further damage can be caused to your furniture. The possibility of this happening with plastic recycled furniture is somewhat impossible because the weather doesn’t impact plastic. As a result, bugs and insects won’t be enticed to enter.

Low Maintenance

Having plastic furniture is somewhat maintenance-free, all you have to do is set it up how you like, sit back and enjoy! As mentioned earlier, plastic furniture is rot-free so you don’t have to spend time and effort trying to continuously breathe life back into your furniture. Plastic furniture can also be known for its resilience, battling off stains and losses in colour. Not only that, but it’s much easier to clean plastic furniture when compared to other materials. Not only can plastic furniture fit perfectly in gardens at home but it’s also perfect for those who work in the hospitality industry, where spilt food and drinks are aplenty.


Comparing this type of furniture to others, you might notice just how lightweight it is. Other materials such as wood and or metal are much heavier alternatives for furniture, making it much more difficult to transport. If you’re trying to transport the furniture into your garden, then plastic furniture won’t cause you too much stress.

Safe for Children

As aforementioned, plastic furniture is easy to clean and maintain. Considering that children aren’t exactly known for holding things still with their butterfingers, you want to have furniture that is easy to clean. Furthermore, having plastic furniture completely removes the possibility of splinters, so children are safe at all times. In this instance, plastic furniture such as benches would fit perfectly into school playgrounds.

Types of Plastic Furniture

Whilst the above has just listed a few of the benefits that recycled plastic can offer, it’s important to not forget how versatile plastic can be and the different types of furniture you can make from it. Take a look at the different types of plastic furniture you can make through recycling:

Recycled Plastic Bench

Benches are just one piece of furniture that can be created through plastic recycling. Considering that plastic furniture is lightweight, this means that it is easier to move around. However, although it is lightweight this doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold back when it comes to strength and durability. This piece of furniture could fit perfectly in a garden, balcony or playground.

Recycled Plastic Chair

Similar to the bench, a recycled plastic chair would fit seamlessly into a garden, balcony or break area. At DCW Polymers, all of our recycled garden furniture products are made straight from plastic collected in the South West. By doing so, you know that you’ll be sitting on plastic that would otherwise just be sat in a landfill, so having this piece of furniture shows your commitment to the environment!

Coffee Table

Who doesn’t love a coffee table? What makes this piece of furniture unique is the fact that you can actually leave it outside because plastic furniture requires virtually no maintenance. Whereas with other furniture you would have to keep a keen eye on it to see whether there are any cracks or deformities.

Ottery Bench

This recycled plastic outdoor furniture is perfect for socialising with friends. Having a corner bench can make your area seem more inviting and improve the aesthetics of your garden. Not only that, but corner benches can offer maximum comfortability. These types of benches would best be suited in both public and home settings.

DCW Polymers, Supplying Recycled Garden Furniture You Can Rely On

If you are convinced that recycled plastic outdoor furniture would be a welcomed addition to your space, then look no further than DCW Polymers. We are a company that create bespoke furniture pieces, ensuring that you receive furniture that is perfectly tailored to you and your needs. Having recycled garden furniture can not only benefit you, but it’s also a huge positive towards caring for the environment. Supplying a range of recycled furniture including benches and tables, we’re proud to supply products that are durable, weather-resistant and low maintenance. Not only that, but we can also provide recycled plastic fencing and decking too! To find out more about the products and services that we offer, then enquire today or give us a call on 01392 535 353.

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DCW Polymers Announces Tree Planting Scheme

DCW Polymers are proud to announce that for every single item of recycled plastic furniture we sell, we will plant one tree in Devon!

This means that not only does our furniture save trees, but we’re giving more back to the world too.

We’ve kickstarted the planting with 100 Oak trees planted near Crediton by our Purchase Ledger & Marketing teams this March! In partnership with OakOffset on land kindly donated by a local landowner. These 100 trees are estimated to sequester up to 100 tonnes of CO2 over their lifetime!

There are numerous schemes available for people to donate money to plant trees, but at DCW Polymers we decided to go the extra mile and plant the trees ourselves. Rather than just donating the money to a charity, we got our boots & gloves on and planted our 100 trees in one afternoon!

The team had a fantastic time in great March weather planting the first 100 DCW Polymers trees which will provide a lasting legacy to the local area for hundreds of years to come!

What a fabulous honour to be planting trees that people will appreciate for hundreds of years to come! Not only does it help to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere but it promotes local wildlife too. Our recycled furniture is as eco-friendly as they come – our production is powered by solar energy, the furniture is made from 100% recycled plastic from local businesses, and now we plant a tree for every item we sell too!

Emily Almond, Business Support Manager

OakOffset is a not-for-profit who focus on the tree, not the money. The English Oak supports more species than any other UK tree and thrive along side all other native species, so it is a perfect choice.

If you’re thinking of purchasing some of our recycled plastic furniture this year, remember that not only are you saving trees, you’re giving more trees back to the world too!

Tree planting

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‘Shop and drop’ to recycle and raise funds for charity

Visitors to Exeter city centre can now recycle plastic bottle tops and tubs at a brand-new drop-off point in Princesshay Shopping Centre and help contribute to a more circular economy.

Leading South West plastics recycling and reprocessing plant, DCW Polymers, has partnered with the popular shopping destination to run its Recycle & Raise scheme all year round. The plastic recycling scheme which asks the public to donate plastic tubs and bottle tops to raise funds for Dartmoor Zoo and mental health charity mind, was previously operated by DCW Polymers only over the festive period.

Now, shoppers can take their plastic tubs and bottle tops throughout the year to the new Recycle & Raise drop-off point stationed outside Princesshay’s Bee Hive Information Centre, The Hive. Located in Bampfylde Lane between Superdry and Chandos Deli, donations can be placed in the Recycle & Raise collection bin 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The most popular items donated are plastic confectionary tubs, but keen recyclers can also donate ice cream, biscuit and cracker tubs, milk bottle tops and takeaway containers. The materials with a number five or PP symbol on the container that are donated to Recycle & Raise will be sent to the DCW Polymers recycling plant in Exeter where they will be shredded into granules. The granules will then be used in manufacturing DCW Polymers’ recycled plastic furniture range, which will raise approximately 8p per tub recycled for Dartmoor Zoo and Mind.

Trevor Gomm, Operations Manager at Princesshay, said: “We are really pleased to partner with DCW Polymers on the Recycle and Raise project in the Centre.”

Last year, the campaign raised over £4,000 for Dartmoor Zoo and Mind. Since its launch in 2019, Recycle & Raise has raised over £5,200 for charity with DCW Polymers collecting the equivalent of 65,000 tubs.

DCW Polymers Business Support Manager, Emily Almond, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Princesshay Shopping Centre on board as our latest Recycle & Raise partner. With 13.4 million people visiting Princesshay every year, we hope the new drop-off point will be inundated with donations, ensuring that we can raise vital funds for charity all year round and not just over the festive period.

“As a Zero to Landfill company with a passion for creating a more sustainable environment, we like to partner with like-minded businesses. It feels like a natural fit for us to collect Recycle & Raise donations from The Hive which was built in 2012 as part of Princesshay’s ongoing commitment to sustainability. So, please bring your clean, empty tubs and tops with you next time you head into the city centre and help us Recycle plastic and Raise money for charity.”

Donations can also be taken to temporary Recycle and Raise drop-off locations across Devon until Monday 28th February 2022. Visit www.dcw.co.uk/about/recycle-raise to locate your nearest drop-off point.

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What more can the South West be doing to create a circular economy this Plastic Free July?

With Plastic Free July well underway, DCW Polymers Managing Director Simon Almond reveals why he thinks a circular economy is so important in the fight against plastic waste, and the steps DCW Polymers is taking as one of the South West’s leading plastics and recycling processing plant…

Plastic Free July is a fantastic awareness campaign which gets everyone thinking about how they can eliminate single-use plastic from their day-to-day lives, or at least cut down on the amount they send to landfill.

This global movement is an annual event and every year we are faced with even more devastating plastic waste facts. Currently, nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced each year with 1 million marine animals dying due to plastic pollution (source: Seed Scientific). Plastic Free July aims to make an impact by encouraging households, schools and workplaces to think about what sustainable swaps can be made to eliminate single use plastic, and it works! According to the leaders of the campaign, participants reduce their household waste and recycling by 21kg per person and contribute to a total saving of 940 million kg of plastic waste each year (source: Plastic Free July). It’s great to see that the campaign can make such an impact, and really heartens me, as personally I am invested in fighting back against plastic pollution.

I’ve always been passionate about creating a circular economy and have never wanted anything to go to waste, even from a young age. I used to rescue unwanted bikes from skips so that I could repair them and sell them on to my school friends! I adopted a similar approach when I founded DCW Polymers. We strive to help our customers become Zero to Landfill companies but sometimes, this is challenging due to the specialist waste some businesses may produce. When situations like this occur, we work with customers to find an alternative solution to ensure we keep those materials away from landfill and give them a new lease of life.

Plastic has often been considered as hard to recycle. Many plastic products are made out of several different materials, including chemicals, making it difficult for local authorities, for example, to recycle as the materials need to be separated. Globally 91% of plastic is not recycled and 75% of all plastic produced becomes waste (source: Seed Scientific). We want to change this at DCW Polymers and that is why we have researched and invested in processes which turn plastic waste into new products.

Waste one-minute, stylish outdoor furniture the next

We’ve invested in a new machine at our specialist plastics recycling centre, DCW Polymers in Exeter, which melts bulky plastic waste down and moulds it into large posts and planks. After weeks of trialling this new process and ironing out the kinks, we launched our outdoor furniture range in May 2021. Plastic waste from South West businesses processed by DCW Polymers is now being made into a range of picnic benches, tables, chairs, fence posts and decking for individuals to buy for their household or business. It’s an excellent sustainable alternative to timber as the plastic products are maintenance free, will not rot, splinter or corrode and will not require painting or creosoting. Bulky plastic waste such as pallets, kayaks, buckets, fuel tanks and wheelie bins make ideal sources of plastic for this type of process. You can find out more here.

Striving for a circular economy

In addition to being an authorised distributor of Storm Board product, we also provide the material that goes into the making of this weatherproof plywood alternative. What material is that? You guessed it. Waste plastic! This is the definition of a circular economy. Taking waste plastic and recycling it back into the manufacturing process reduces the need for virgin plastic products to be made and in turn, reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

We also run our own charity fundraising campaign every year which keeps plastics away from landfill. We’re all very familiar with the plastic confectionary tubs that feature as part of our Christmas celebrations every year, but did you know many of these end up in landfill? We launched Recycle & Raise in an attempt to put hundreds of these tubs to good use. Every year, we collect these empty plastic tubs from across the South West and shred them into plastic granules. This material then gets sold back into the manufacturing industry and we donate the funds to charity! This year, the campaign raised an incredible £4,096.60 for Dartmoor Zoo and Mind and we look forward to raising even more funds this winter. It’s just another example of how DCW Polymers is striving for a circular economy, and with this campaign, also helping those in need.

Conversation around plastic waste is certainly loud this month and I hope this encourages you to think about what more you or your business could be doing to recycle plastic waste and to contribute to a more circular economy. Myself and my team are always looking at ways in which we can improve our own processes and I hope you will join us and do the same.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can recycle your bulky plastic waste with DCW Polymers, give my team a call on 01392 535353 or email [email protected].

All the best,
Simon Almond

What more can the South West be doing to create a circular economy this Plastic Free July? Read More »

Recycle & Raise fundraising announcement!

Recycle & Raise 2020/21 fundraising success!

Having raised over £1,200 for Dartmoor Zoo in our first year of Recycle & Raise, we weren’t sure what to expect when lockdown 3.0 was announced in the middle of the 2020/21 collection…

However, our worries and fears can be forgotten, as we are so pleased and proud to announce that the 2020/21 collection has raised… *drumroll please*


This is a wonderful donation, being split 50/50 between Dartmoor Zoological Park and Mind! This money will make a huge difference for both charities.

Thank you to each and every one of the 100+ businesses, schools and organisations who have accepted donations on our behalf throughout November 2020 through to March 2021. From the amazing people who have had mountains of tubs stacked in their garages (and front rooms!), to the people who saved their tubs and donated in the wind & rain of winter, to those of you who shared the adverts with your friends – THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! We really couldn’t do it without you.

When we had this brainwave back in 2019, seeing stacks of tubs in the supermarkets and wondering if we could do something amazing with the plastic, we never expected to be here 18 months later having raised over £5,300 to date and counting!

We’re so pleased to let you know that Recycle & Raise is back – this time all year round! You can now donate your plastic bottle tops to any DCW Polymers depot throughout the year! You can find out more here: Recycle & Raise is back – all year round!

Of course, from the end of 2021, you will be able to donate your empty plastic tubs to a huge variety of drop-off points across the South West through our amazing collection partners. From November to February, over 100 local businesses join forces to accept your donations! Keep an eye out at the end of the year to see where you can take your confectionery tubs! If you’d like to sign up as a collection partner, just email [email protected] 

Since 2019, Recycle & Raise has been running with the aim of recycling huge quantities of plastic and raise money for charity!

Recycle & Raise your clean milk bottle tops throughout the year!

What happens to the tubs now?

Even more excitingly for this year, we are pleased to say that the PP and HDPE plastic from the tubs and bottle tops will go directly into our Polymers manufacturing centre, where we will use the plastic to make our NEW Recycled Plastic Furniture! We’re so proud that plastic collected in the South West will now be made into benches sold in the South West. Who knows – you may end up sitting on a bench made with tubs you once ate sweets from!

The Exeter Bench & Table Set
The Exeter Bench & Table Set

Recycle & Raise 2020/21 Charities

Dartmoor Zoological Park

Dartmoor Zoological Park is a unique zoo set in 33 acres of beautiful parkland on the outskirts of Plymouth. The Zoo’s CEO Benjamin Mee wrote a book about buying the zoo called We Bought A Zoo, which was later became the subject of a major Hollywood film starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johannson! The Zoo registered as a charity in 2014 which has strengthened it’s future and opened up new and exciting opportunities. DCW Polymers has worked closely with Dartmoor Zoo since our MD became a trustee of the charity, and we partnered with them for our 2019 Recycle & Raise campaign! With the Covid-19 restrictions affecting visitor numbers this year, Dartmoor Zoo need our help!


Mind is a mental health charity who provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Covid-19 restrictions have affected everyone in different ways this year,  it’s still very uncertain times which is why it is so important to shine the light on mental health and provide support to those who may be struggling.

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The damage plastic does to the environment and the importance of plastic recycling

Plastic pollution has been at the forefront of our minds for years now. It’s an issue that’s rife in every country but it’s emerged recently that Britain is the second biggest per capita producer of plastic waste in the world (source: The Guardian). The tide needs to turn and a big push on plastic recycling in the UK could help save our planet. You may already be aware of DCW Polymers, a leading plastics recycling and reprocessing plant in Exeter, Devon. We collect waste plastic, turn it back into high-quality plastic granules and sell it back into the manufacturing industry. Materials that end up at DCW Polymers never go to landfill so if you are on the hunt for ‘plastic recycling near me’, do bear us in mind. In this blog, we explore just some of the reasons why we need to do more to recycle plastic and what the future for this waste stream currently looks like…

How does plastic harm the environment?

Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about? Why is plastic so harmful to the environment and what’s the worst that can happen if we don’t reduce the amount of plastic waste we generate?

It all begins with the sheer amount of plastic waste that is produced. Since polypropylene was invented in 1951, plastic has been widely used throughout the manufacturing industry. Popular due to its resistance to chemicals, high flexibility, durability and low cost, polypropylene is ideal for a variety of packaging and products. As a result of its popularity, the UK generates an incredible 2.2 million metric tons of plastic packaging waste each year (source: Statista). So, where does all of that plastic waste go? After China introduced a ban on foreign waste in 2018, Malaysia has become the UK’s main plastic waste export destination. The practice of shipping plastic waste abroad brings with it a host of problems for the environment.

Dr. Kevin Bridgen, Senior Scientist from Greenpeace Research Laboratories, said: “When plastics are exported from one country to another, they can bring with them a wide range of hazardous chemicals. Improper storage and treatment can later release these chemicals into the local environment and burning can even generate new hazardous chemicals” (source: Greenpeace).

Plastic waste not only has a detrimental effect on the earth’s atmosphere, it has a serious impact on marine life too. You’re probably familiar with the harrowing images of underwater creatures eating or getting trapped in plastic. It’s something the production team of Blue Planet II experienced first-hand back in 2018. “For years, we thought that the oceans were so vast that nothing we could do could have an effect upon them. But now we know that was wrong” said David Attenborough in the last episode of the award-winning series.

An incredible 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year where it can be lethal (source: YouTube). Creatures such as fish, sea turtles and whales can become entangled in plastic waste or ingest it which can cause suffocation, starvation and drowning. Research has shown that half of sea turtles worldwide have ingested plastic and the waste kills up to a million seabirds each year (source: PEW).

You may wonder how plastic waste ends up in the ocean when you don’t directly put it there. When you throw something into your general waste bin, it begins its journey to a landfill site. With plastic being such a light wight material, it can easily be blown away and end up down the drain or in a river where it will eventually be dumped in the ocean. Littering is another culprit. Drop a plastic bag or wrapper on the street and rainwater will wash it away, into the drain and you guessed it, into the ocean (source: WWF).

Plastic is extremely hard to break down as it doesn’t biodegrade like other materials. The organisms that break down organic materials such as food and garden waste have evolved to attack certain types of bonds that are common in nature. The bonds in polypropylene are so complex that organisms simply don’t recognise this material (source: LiveScience). Plastic will decompose eventually, but it can take up to 1,000 years for it to decompose at landfill sites with plastic bottles alone taking 450 years or more (source: Daily Sabah).

So, what can we do to stop the damage plastic waste causes?

The future of plastic recycling

There’s a strong appetite in the UK for change when it comes to plastic pollution. As mentioned, Malaysia is the UK’s main plastic waste export destination but a recent survey showed that 85% of respondents believed that the UK should deal with its own plastic waste rather than shipping it abroad (source: Statista). It is also hoped that the UK Government will take some responsibility for turning the tide on plastic waste. In November 2020, Lord Goldsmith revealed that Britain will throw its weight behind a new global agreement which will seek to tackle the plastic pollution crisis. As the Minister for Pacific and the Environment, Lord Goldsmith has said that a UN treaty on plastics is needed similar to the Paris agreement on the climate crisis (source: The Guardian). It’s a promising step in the right direction and we hope that it will lead to an eventual end to plastic pollution.

We adopt a circular approach to plastic waste at DCW Polymers. As the only plastics recycling plant south of Bridgewater, we provide a plastic waste recycling service to South West businesses, collecting a variety of waste products. From plastic pallets to wheelie bins, fuel tanks to kayaks, we recycle bulky plastics at our specialist plant in Exeter. Our state-of-the-art machinery is capable of processing in excess of 100 tonnes of plastic a week. It turns waste plastic back into high quality plastic granules which go back into the manufacturing process and reduce the need for virgin plastic products to be manufactured.

We’re always looking at ways in which we can encourage businesses and individuals to recycle their plastic waste. Recently, we launched our Recycle & Raise appeal which asks the public to donate plastic tubs, such as the confectionary tubs many households have at Christmas, for recycling to raise funds for Dartmoor Zoo and mental health charity, Mind. Last year, the campaign raised over £1,200 for Dartmoor Zoo after recycling over 15,000 confectionary tubs and selling the plastic granules back into the manufacturing industry. We hope to smash that record this year. Click here to find out more about this year’s campaign and where you can donate your plastic tubs.

If you’d like to know more about how we manage and recycle plastics at DCW Polymers, click here or call 01392 535353.

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Plastic recyclers from around the world: How innovators are dealing with plastic pollution

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Plastic pollution is a huge problem which is seriously damaging the planet and in particular, our marine landscape. Plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of all sea turtle species as they mistake plastic for food (source: Ocean Conservancy). This is something that’s close to our hearts at DCW Polymers. We make it our mission to recycle as much of the South West’s plastic waste as we can, processing in excess of 100 tonnes of plastic a week. Thankfully, business leaders from around the world are starting to tackle the plastic problem too, becoming plastic recyclers that aim to inspire others to take action. Here, we round up the projects and businesses tackling plastic waste that stood out to us:

Surf’s up for wooden body board initiative

Plastic Free North Devon (PFND), a charity which aims to reduce the impact of plastic pollution along the North Devon coast and beyond, has started renting out wooden body boards to beach goers. After more than 500 polystyrene boards were collected from Croyde beach in 2019, PFND was keen to launch an initiative which will help combat the amount of polystyrene left on the coastline. The cheap polystyrene body boards can break down easily after a few waves have been ridden, but the sustainable wooden boards are expected to last for decades.

The charity was concerned that polystyrene body boards were becoming a single-use item with Keep Britain Tidy estimating that more than 14,500 plastic boards would be sent to landfill this summer. It’s not just the disposal of these boards that’s a problem. It’s how they get to the UK too. According to PFND, the average body board is manufactured in China and travels over 5,000 miles just to be used a couple of times before it breaks down and gets sent to landfill. About 99% of all plastic comes from fossil fuels which are refined, manufactured and transported. Every stage of this process is damaging to the environment (source: PFND). By renting out wooden body boards, the charity hopes to change people’s attitudes towards using cheap polystyrene boards.

PFND member Andy Clee told BBC Spotlight: “We really have got to start thinking long term about the impact that our lifestyles and choices are having and make some serious changes. It’s fantastic to think that something that our grandparents’ generation enjoyed can still be enjoyed by their grandchildren” (source: BBC News).

Next time you’re enjoying the North Devon coastline, head to Saunton Surf Hire where you can rent a wooden body board. You’ll also be helping the community as the profits will be split between local charities.

Don’t throw your water bottle away. Eat it!  

Now this is seriously cool. In 2013, London-based Skipping Rocks Lab developed an edible and biodegradable alternative to plastic in order to reduce the amount of plastic waste the human race creates. Named Ooho, the flexible packaging is made from Notpla, a material which combines seaweed and plants. As the world’s first entirely edible water “bottle”, Ooho can hold water, flavoured drinks and even cocktails, enabling Skipping Rocks Lab to launch its product at sporting events and festivals. The “bottles” look like squidgy orbs and you simply eat it whole, leaving you with absolutely nothing to throw away. The team have also developed sachets for condiments which can be composted with the rest of your food waste (source: Notpla).

Skipping Rocks Lab continue to look into how else Ooho can be used to combat plastic pollution but in the meantime, consumers can try it for themselves at Selfridges’ London store. If you are an organiser of a sporting event, festival or an owner of a take-away restaurant, you can order Oohos to ensure you offer a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging. Last year, over 30,000 Oohos were handed out to runners who were participating in the London Marathon.

You really need to see it to believe it. Click here to watch a quick YouTube video which gives a demonstration of Oohos.

A bag that animals CAN eat

Unfortunately, plastic packaging is regularly consumed by animals who mistake the material for food. Indian company EnviGreen has completely turned this concept on its head by developing a biodegradable storage bag that can actually become food for animals. EnviGreen’s products are made from natural starch, vegetable oil derivatives and vegetable waste which are 100% biodegradable. The bags dissolve in hot water or you can even eat it if you really want to! If animals come across any non-degraded EnviGreen bags, they can eat them with no adverse effects (source: One Green Planet).

Claiming to be the first company to develop a biodegradable alternative to plastic packaging in India, EnviGreen’s products include carrier bags, rubbish bags, oil and grease sachets, bin liners, packaging films, aprons, wrapping covers and laundry bags (source: EnviGreen). Let’s hope that more supermarkets across the world embrace products such as EnviGreen’s in a bid to go plastic-free.

We contribute to developing a plywood alternative

The recycled plastics that we process at our plastics reprocessing plant, DCW Polymers, contribute to the making of Storm Board, a plywood alternative. The UK imports about 1.4 million m3 of plywood every year from across the globe. Many of these boards are used temporarily for applications such as site hoardings and then head straight to landfill. Furthermore, plywood is often coated with paint, varnish or wood preservative thus adding to the cost and becoming unsustainable.

Storm Board turns waste plastic into a weatherproof and 100% recycled plastic alternative. As well as being the authorised distribution partner for Storm Board across Devon and Cornwall, DCW Polymers also contributes to the making of the product. We can process in excess of 100 tonnes of plastic per week from South West businesses. Waste plastic gets turned into plastic granules which go back into the manufacturing process and contribute to the making of products such as Storm Board.

DCW Polymers offers a plastic recycling service, collecting items from businesses such as plastic bins, playground equipment, garden furniture, plastic pallet crates and even larger items such as kayaks and fuel tanks. If you’d like to know more about how we manage and recycle plastics at DCW Polymers, click here or call 01392 535353.

Plastic recyclers from around the world: How innovators are dealing with plastic pollution Read More »

Tackling Plastic Pollution in Manufacturing

Tackling the plastic pollution problem
Tackling the plastic pollution problem

There is a groundswell of opinion that says we should all be worried about where unwanted plastic ends up and the damage that it can do if it is not managed correctly. For those of us in an industry which works with plastic every day, it is therefore imperative that we try to act positively to improve the use and disposal of plastics.

Two Devon based companies have joined forces to try and do their bit to tackle this problem.

Teignmouth-based Product Design Consultancy, Hillside Design Ltd (HPDL) develop products from the first sketch concept all the way through to manufacture for a plethora of clients including large multi-national companies and individual private inventors, Director Chris Howsam and his team responsibly source all materials they specify and they ensure those materials meet the highest standards of quality.

Chris says, “It has always been a challenge to specify high quality, second use plastics because of their limited availability and the perceived risks from contamination. Many plastic users such as injection moulding companies will not risk damage to an expensive moulding press and this is a hurdle to specifying second use plastics instead of virgin plastic stock”.

The good news for Hillside is that now help is at hand thanks to Devon Contract Waste (DCW) who have invested heavily in acquiring a plastics reprocessing business, now operating as DCW Polymers, in Wrangaton. The plant is equipped with a range of shredders and granulators, turning waste plastics back into top quality granulated plastics, which go back into the manufacturing process and reduce the need for virgin plastic in the manufacturing system. DCW Polymers have recently purchased a brand new shredder and granulation line which has significantly increased their capacity, and the plant is now capable of processing over 50 tonnes of quality recycled plastics per week. Later this year the whole operation is due to relocate to DCW’s new premises in Marsh Barton, Exeter.

Simon Almond, MD of DCW Polymers commented “We were excited to acquire the plastics recycling business in 2019, and with additional investment and support we see that this will be a major part of DCW Polymers business overall. As a nation, we need to do more to proactively encourage the recycling of plastics, and we hope that we can play our part in this. We want to encourage the take up of recycled plastics by more UK manufacturers, and by working alongside Chris and the team at HPDL we hope that we can encourage more product designers and manufacturers to replace virgin polymers with high quality recycled plastics”.

Chris added, “I’m delighted about having this facility, especially as it sits quite literally on our doorstep here in Devon. HPDL and our supply partners are very conscious of the part we play in tackling the environmental costs of launching new products and now in collaboration with DCW Polymers we can all contribute more positively to reducing the burden of unwanted plastic in Devon.”

Tackling Plastic Pollution in Manufacturing Read More »

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