National Recycling Week 2021

Between the 20th and 26th of September, the nation celebrates Recycling Week.

‘Now in its 18th year, it’s the one week of the year where retailers, brands, waste management companies, trade associations, governments and the media come together to achieve one goal. That goal being to galvanise the public into recycling more of the right things, more often.’

Now, as a business, here at SED HQ we’re ever conscious that we work in a plastic-heavy environment. And we feel the pain of that, trust us. So, we figured this event on the calendar gave us a good excuse to talk a bit about what we do to offset the nature of our business. And to have a little look at a couple of initiatives in the 3D printing world, here in the UK and overseas. As the recycling week website says:

‘We know environmental concerns are still on the increase, so we need to do more. We need to do it now. And we need to act together. It’s time to join the fight against climate change. Step It Up this Recycle Week.

SED’s recycling efforts

At SED HQ we:

1. Re-use cardboard from all our boxes.

2. We re-use Jiffy bags and poly-bags for packaging.

3. Either give surplus cutters to playgroups or sell them off for charities. Damaged cutters go in our recycling.

4. Where possible we re-use filament drums in our workshop.

Should you have an intersest in buying recycled filament for your own 3D printing projects then do check out

What others are doing

In the UKLancashire 3D

A Lancashire business, with the apt name of Lancashire3D, is busy recycling filament to make new products. The aim is of course to combat wastage in material extrusion processes. Their range comprises two sources of recycled plastic:

1. Unwanted parts
2. Waste filament/supports

The company expects to reclaim over 165 kg of waste each year and hopes to integrate a circular production process. They say: ‘We know that the planet has a finite amount of resources and that we all need to take more responsibility. Governments are making plans to take action. Consumers are vowing to change their behaviour, and businesses like ours are stepping up to help.’

Overseas – Protoprint

Based in the Indian city of Pune, home to over 3 million residents, the Protoprint Project (TPP) is a collaborative initiative. It’s transforming the informal recycling sector through the gradual implementation of a circular, waste plastic recycling model.

The project pays a fair wage to the people of Pune. Now, thanks to Protoprint, instead of picking out plastic from landfill and selling it to a middle-man for next to nothing instead they either sell to, or work for, Protoprint. And Protoprint turn the plastic into filament.

And locally

Not recycling specific but fitting bigger climate change picture, here in Swindon, home of SED HQ, Swindon Borough Council have instigated a Be the Change programme.

Swindonians are being encouraged to support a borough-wide campaign aimed at putting climate change at the heart of their daily lives. As the campaign points out:

‘Even the smallest lifestyle change or shift in behaviour can have a positive effect on climate change. Things such as reducing energy usage and bills in the home, leaving the car at home or opting to invest in ‘ethical banks’ which don’t put money in funds associated with fossil fuel companies.

Businesses can also introduce energy-efficient measures including switching to LED bulbs, introducing cycle to work schemes, electrifying their vehicle fleet or minimising the waste from products and packaging.’

And that brings us back to SED’s efforts to recycle as much as we can in the business. Every week – not only in national recycling week.

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