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    Trees to grow from recycled plastic

    January 30, 2017
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    Trees to grow from recycled plastic

    A project to recycle thousands of surplus plastic trays is funding the planting of trees and wildflower meadows in the grounds of schools in Lancashire, Leicestershire and South Wales.

    Trees to grow from recycled plastic

    A project to recycle thousands of surplus plastic trays is funding the planting of trees and wildflower meadows in the grounds of schools in Lancashire, Leicestershire and South Wales.

    Trees to grow from recycled plastic

    A project to recycle thousands of surplus plastic trays is funding the planting of trees and wildflower meadows in the grounds of schools in Lancashire, Leicestershire and South Wales.

    • Tray recycling to grow new trees

      When 3M’s manufacturing site in Loughborough installed a new filling line complete with a different design of tray, it made 18,000 plastic trays surplus to requirements.

      The trays were put into storage and manufacturing technology engineer, Paul Eastwood, was tasked with disposing of them. Following discussions with the plastic injection moulding specialists manufacturing the new tray, he came up with a cunning plan to recycle the trays for use at 3M’s site in Gorseinon rather than sending them to landfill.

      MGS Technical Plastics - who have been supplying protective side shields for a production line at Gorseinon for several years – agreed the plan could work and the result has been an £8,000 saving that is being donated to plant trees and wild flower meadows at schools.

      “It’s a win-win all round,” said Paul, who is based at the Clitheroe site. “We wanted to avoid sending around 17 tonnes of plastic waste to landfill and to use it in another manufacturing process if possible.

      “Thanks to the expertise of MGS, we’ve managed to do just that. It’s a great solution for us, for the environment and for the schools that will be benefitting from the planting scheme.”

      Neil Garrity is manufacturing director at MGS, based at Blackburn in Lancashire. He explained: “The trays were made from a plastic polymer known as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). Our materials team is very experienced in working with ABS and we arranged for the trays to be ground down into small pellets so that we could process them into the shields.

      “As a UK manufacturer, we have a duty to work towards reducing waste and carbon emissions. That’s why we were really proud to support 3M with this waste management programme.”

      The £8,000 saving has been donated to the charity Earth Restoration Service, which runs a schools tree nurseries and wildflower meadow programme across the UK.

      Some 18 schools in the Blackburn, Clitheroe, Loughborough and Swansea areas will be receiving native tree saplings, wild plants and planting materials this year to enable pupils to improve and learn from their environment.



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