25 years of recycling at Liniar

Recycling-4

 

With growing consumer awareness of the impact that plastic can have on our natural environment, there’s no doubt that the industry is starting to step up and address this; recycled uPVC systems and products are being developed and launched, and this can only be a good thing.

Martin Thurley, Managing Director at Liniar, explains how the innovative systems house has been leading the way in this area. HL Plastics, Liniar’s trading company, has been recycling all of its scrap uPVC and using it within its outdoor ranges for the last 25 years.

Liniar profile“We applaud the current push towards recycling that we’re seeing in the trade press at the moment, and can see this will only increase – not only to protect our planet, but for commercial reasons too.

“We know uPVC waste can be a real problem for the environment if not disposed of correctly, therefore finding new ways to utilise any waste generated through the manufacturing process is always going to be a winner. With the continuing volatility of raw material prices, it also makes commercial sense to look at recycling uPVC back into our products where we can.

“That’s one of the reasons we developed our outdoor range, starting all the way back in 1993. Our scrap levels have always been exceedingly low (they currently run at less than 3%) but there would still have been a significant amount of uPVC to send to landfill unless we used it in other ways.

“Our factory in Denby has a purpose built recycling plant, where all scrap is taken and re-granulated, ready to create the products in our outdoor range. Liniar’s plastic piling is made from 100% recycled uPVC materials, and our deckboards and fencing range are made from part-recycled uPVC, with a virgin skin applied on the surface of each for cosmetic appearance.

Liniar fencing

“Interestingly, our biggest customers for piling are environmental organisations such as the National Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and the Environment Agency! They love the product as it’s lighter to carry than traditional timber or steel piles, so can be carried to site by hand and installed manually – and it will never rust or rot.

“They use it to facilitate the re-wetting of moorlands to promote the growth of diverse species, and also to slow the flow of water into reservoirs. The latter saves money for water utility companies, which would otherwise had to filter out peat from fast flowing water.

“Once it’s in place, Liniar’s recycled plastic piling will do its job year after year. And of course, it’s more cost effective for them too.”

Successful recycling can also see additional benefits for customers, Martin comments:

“Our part-recycled decking range has seen tremendous success – particularly since we began offering it in kit format last year. This growth, combined with tight operational efficiencies, means demand is outstripping supply of the recycled uPVC we produce in house.

Liniar decking

“Our next step is to start looking at working with our customers to bring back the scrap Liniar lead-free uPVC off-cuts generated at the fabrication stage, and investing in even better recycling facilities to process it. This is a win/win – our customers won’t have to pay for expensive waste disposal, and we can continue to feed more recycled materials into our outdoor range. It’s very early days but initial feedback is really positive.”
Continually rising raw material costs mean systems companies have to work harder and smarter than ever to absorb costs, maintain efficiencies and remain highly competitive.
Martin ThurleyMartin continues:

“In line with the rest of the industry, we’ve had no option but to notify customers of a price increase; however this was only after extensive work internally to make sure we’re operating as efficiently as possible – we’ve been able to pass on less than a third of the levels of increase we’ve been hit with.

“Our constant investment in the latest energy efficient machinery not only saves energy costs, but means our overall Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) is a fantastic 60% ahead of the target for our site, and we’re creating a CO² surplus of thousands of tonnes.

“These efficiencies, combined with 25 years of recycling our waste, mean we’re already in a great position to minimise the impact our operations have on the environment. The fact our products can also be recycled again at the end of their useful life means our lead-free uPVC need never end up in landfill.

“And our new customer recycling initiative will only serve to improve our environmental credentials even further!”

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