plastic recycling

DCW Polymers raises over £3,000 for local charities through popular Recycle & Raise scheme

DCW Polymers, the South West’s only specialist plastics recycling and reprocessing plant, has raised £3,101.68 for local charities by recycling plastic tubs and bottle tops donated by the general public.

The funds, which have been split equally between Dartmoor Zoological Society and Life Chance Trust, 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 the manufacturing of DCW’s recycled plastic furniture range which has raised £1,550.84 each for Dartmoor Zoo and Life Chance Trust.

An incredible 158 businesses, schools and organisations across the South West volunteered as collection points for the tubs, bottle tops and takeaway containers, with a total of 1,643kg of tubs and 487kg of bottle tops donated in a bid to support the charities.

Hosted by DCW Polymers annually since 2019, the Recycle & Raise appeal has raised over £13,000 for charitable causes.

Simon Almond, Managing Director of DCW, said: “This might have been our fourth year of running our Recycle & Raise campaign, but the enthusiasm from the public never fails to make us smile. It’s fantastic that so many are willing to do what they can to help year after year. What better way to recycle plastics than by donating them to DCW and raising vital funds for local charities.

“These are two charities that do incredible work in the local community. Dartmoor Zoo are specialists in education and conservation of animals, while also supporting local people. The team at Life Chance Trust in Newton Abbot are working hard to help young people who have experienced trauma with mentoring and life skills training.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has donated to the scheme and the businesses who volunteered to act as drop-off points as without you, we couldn’t have raised these funds. Recycle & Raise will be back towards the end of 2023, and we hope to raise even more funds next year.”

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 plastic donated throughout the year will be weighed and totalled in February 2024 along with the donations from the annual scheme.

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 DCW Polymers in Exeter.

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 October 2023 and will run until February 2024. DCW Polymers encourages businesses from across Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset 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]

Recycle & Raise® is back

Spooky season marks the return of confectionary tubs to the supermarkets, ready for shoppers to stock up on their favourite sweet treats. Now, leading South West waste plastics recycling and reprocessing plant, DCW Polymers, is asking us to donate the empty plastic tubs to raise vital funds for charity.

Marking its fourth year, Recycle & Raise® is hosted by Exeter-based DCW Polymers in an effort to keep plastic tubs away from landfill whilst raising money for good causes. The Zero to Landfill firm is once again asking the general public to donate plastic tubs for recycling to raise funds for Dartmoor Zoological Society and new for 2022, Life Chance Trust.

Last year, the campaign by the South West’s specialist plastic recycler raised over £5,500. Since its launch in 2019, Recycle & Raise has raised over £11,000 for charity with DCW Polymers collecting the equivalent of 135,000 tubs.

It’s not just sweets and chocolates tubs DCW Polymers is asking for either. Ice cream, biscuit and cracker tubs, milk bottle tops and takeaway containers can all be recycled as part of the Recycle & Raise campaign. The materials with a number five 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, where 100% of the profits will be donated to Dartmoor Zoological Society and Life Chance Trust. All plastic donations collected will be split 50/50 between the two charities.

Dartmoor Zoo is set in 33-acres of beautiful woodland just outside of Plymouth and undertakes vital conservation work to protect a variety of species. Life Chance Trust is an award-winning organisation based in Newton Abbot that provides young people who have experienced trauma with mentoring and life skills training to help them on the pathway to employment.

More drop-off locations will be available over the next few weeks, but recyclers can start taking their empty tubs and bottle tops from November to the DCW Polymers Enviro Hub in Exeter, EX2 8NU, or the DCW Data Destruction centre in Plymouth, PL21 9UH.  The Recycle & Raise drop-off point outside Princesshay’s Bee Hive Information Centre, The Hive, located in Bampfylde Lane in Exeter, is open all year for clean plastic tubs and bottle tops. You can find your nearest drop-off location by viewing the interactive map at https://www.dcw.co.uk/about/recycle-raise/. If your business, school or organisation would like to get involved, please email [email protected].

DCW Polymers Business Support Manager, Emily Almond, said: “Sweet tubs appear on the shelves earlier and earlier each year, which is why we have launched Recycle & Raise even earlier. We want to recycle as many plastic tubs as possible, whilst raising vital funds for charity.

“We are so proud to have raised over £11,000 since we launched Recycle & Raise and hope that with the support from the public, we can raise even more this year. By manufacturing the plastic granules into our recycled plastic furniture range, we can donate ten times the amount per tub than if we just sold the granules to the manufacturing industry. Please spread the word and save us your clean, empty tubs and tops and help us Recycle plastic and Raise money for charity.”

Empty and clean donations need to be taken to drop-off locations by Wednesday 15th February 2023. If your business, school or organisation would like to become a drop-off point, please email [email protected].

From Beach to Bench: DCW Polymers transforms beach clean litter into recycled plastic bench for Kenn C of E Primary School

Year five and six pupils from Kenn C of E Primary School collected over several bags of litter during a beach clean which will now be transformed into a recycled plastic bench for their playground.

DCW Polymers partnered with Keep Britain Tidy’s Ocean Recovery Project, supported by South West Water, to organise the beach clean in Exmouth. The clean was set-up to give local school children a valuable lesson in recycling and the dangers plastic litter can have on the coastal landscape and its wildlife.

After a short talk on safety and ocean plastic by Ocean Recovery Project Manager Neil Hembrow, the children grabbed their beach cleaning kits and set off to collect as much litter as possible from Exmouth’s famous golden sands.

By lunchtime, the young environmentalists had collected several bags of litter from the popular East Devon beach which welcomes thousands of visitors every year. Helping the pupils understand the value of a circular loop when it comes to waste, DCW Polymers has taken the collection to its specialist plastics reprocessing plant in Exeter.

Over 20kgs of marine plastic waste, which includes the children’s collection, will go into the making of a DCW Polymers’ recycled bench alongside other recycled plastic waste. The material will be shredded into granules and melted and moulded into posts and planks to create the Torbay bench style. This backless contemporary bench will be donated by the Ocean Recovery Project and DCW Polymers to Kenn C of E Primary School as a thank you for the pupils’ hard work in cleaning up their local coastline.

Neil Hembrow, Ocean Recovery Project Manager, commented: “It was a pleasure to partner with DCW Polymers to invite the children of Kenn C of E Primary School on a beach clean. We started our recycling adventures with DCW Polymers over seven years ago and it’s fantastic to be involved in a new innovative project that gives back to the community.

“Exmouth is one of the most popular beaches in our region thanks to miles of golden sand and its glistening waters, perfect for swimming and a whole host of watersports. It’s wonderful that the children were so enthusiastic about helping us clean up the beach and learn about the circular economy.

“I was very impressed with their positive attitude and enthusiasm for the task ahead. It’s this generation that can have a huge positive impact on our planet. We hope the children enjoy their new recycled plastic bench!”

DCW Polymers has a historic link with Kenn C of E Primary School as the Managing Director’s daughters both attended the primary school. DCW Polymers hope to partner with even more schools in the future to clean up the South West’s coastline.

Jason Goozee, Head of DCW Polymers, commented: “As a Zero to Landfill recycling company which strives to encourage others to protect the environment in which they live and operate in, it’s important to us to participate in community projects like this one. Educating and inspiring the next generation is the key to ensuring our environment doesn’t suffer any more damage in the years to come.

“We were keen to use the plastic waste the children collected in the making of one of our Torbay benches to show the pupils how waste can be given a new lease of life. The potential waste has is incredible and that’s what we aim to prove, diverting as much waste away from landfill as we possibly can and turning it into new products.”

DCW Polymers, leading South West plastics recycling and reprocessing plant, partnered with Keep Britain Tidy’s Ocean Recovery Project to run this beach clean. Launched  by Keep Britain Tidy, the Ocean Recovery Project was launched to help volunteer groups to recycle beach litter after it completed 1,200 beach cleans of its own. To date, the Project has recycled over 60 tonnes of material from the South West.

For more information on the Ocean Recovery Project, visit www.keepbritaintidy.org and for more information on DCW Polymers, including its recycled furniture range, visit www.dcwpolymers.co.uk or call 01392 535353.

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

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