“Glasswells have adopted a positive stance with regard to recycling,” comments Bob Allen, their Distribution Manager. “We are very pleased with the results of our association with Chase Plastics for the recycling of our waste polythene sheeting.”
As East Anglia's leading furniture retailers, with half a dozen branches throughout the region, Glasswells moved some six years ago to an impressive warehouse in Bury St Edmunds. Here product is received and stored. In view of the large size of many pieces of furniture, their warehouse is designed to house bespoke 2 metre square pallets, with 3 metre wide aisles to take the reach trucks and pallets. This storage and handling process has .led to a substantial reduction in product damage.
Sofas, chairs and the like arrive encased in polythene sheeting, but much of this is removed prior to despatch to customers. Many items such as sofas are delivered in Glasswells' own furniture covers, which are removed on arrival at the customer's home. Thus Glasswells generate a substantial quantity of waste polythene sheeting.
Originally they burnt their waste polythene, and then they switched to landfill. But with a wish to be more environmentally aware, about a year ago they started recycling it.
“At first we thought we had found a solution,” said Bob Allen. “But what we thought was a local recycling firm, turned out to be a company that simply exported the waste to China for processing.”
However, as Glasswells are always keen to work with local firms, they then appointed Chase Plastics of Brandon, who genuinely reprocess in East Anglia, to handle their polythene waste.
As a demonstration of their commitment, Glasswells purchased a baler outright specially for collecting waste polythene. All polythene sheeting is fed into the baler where it is compressed into bales, with a full bale weighing around half a tonne. Compacted bales are then stored outside until there are sufficient to make a load. Then Bob just rings up Chase Plastics and a truck comes to take it away and recycle it.
“I like dealing with Chase”, he says, “because they are a straight-forward, reliable family firm like Glasswells, and they actually recycle the waste polythene locally. The whole process meets the criteria for our environmental policy and our wish to recycle without shipping our waste to the Far East.”
Chase Plastics convert the waste polythene sheeting into pellets which are then used to manufacture carrier bags, bin liners and drain pipes among other things. A family business established some 40 years ago, Chase specialises in buying all types of used and unused polythene waste from companies throughout the country.
“We have recently identified a number of major UK companies who want to recycle their waste locally and we are delighted to work with firms such as Glasswells,” comments MD Stephen Chase.