If you operate a business, warehouse, or distribution center, one of the largest sources of trash is plastic waste. For distribution centers and warehouses, this may be plastic wraps and stretch films used to protect and secure pallets. When you remove these recyclables from your waste stream, it will almost immediately reduce your waste management costs.
Whether you're just getting started or looking to improve your plastic recycling program, learning the top recycling best practices can help save money and reduce waste management costs, improve employee morale, bolster your brand and raise public awareness, and protect the environment.
Fortunately, the team at AAA Polymer offers decades of experience in helping facilities of all sizes save money and time by reducing waste management costs and improving their recycling process. Let's take a closer look at some of the top commercial recycling best practices we've seen from our highest-performing warehouses, distribution centers, and businesses.
Plastic Waste Collection Tips for Recycling Plastic Film Packaging
The success of your commercial plastic recycling program greatly hinges on the collection strategies and techniques you use. Here are some of the top recycling best practices we've seen across the waste management and recycling industry for collecting plastic stretch film packaging.
Location, Location, Location Can Help Plastics Recovery
Make sure you situate every recycling bin for stretch film packaging and stretch wrap packaging in a convenient location. Ideally, the recycling bin should be near the point of operations, such as pallet unloading, pallet unwrapping, or pallet wrapping stations. In addition, the stretch film packaging should be removed from pallets as soon as possible and promptly deposited in the proper bin to be recycled.
Use Labels to Raise Employee Awareness on Proper Plastics
In addition to having collection bins in the most convenient location, you should also have them labeled. Use brightly colored signs to delineate bins for stretch film recyclable materials and recycling bins for other items.
Make sure all stretch film recycling bins are properly labeled. This can prevent employees from depositing waste items that don't belong, such as plastic bottles, cardboard, plastic bags, biodegradable food waste, reusable containers, glass bottles, and other random plastics.
All of these items are post-consumer plastic waste, and they should be kept separate from post-commercial or post-industrial plastic stretch films.
Use Distinctly Colored Bins to Raise Public Awareness on Proper Plastics
Make sure all stretch film bins are one distinct color. If you use bright orange in one station for collecting recyclable stretch film scraps, it should be bright orange across the facility. The goal is to help your employees associate one color with the program.
Again, it can help prevent cross-contamination from other materials that don't belong in your plastic stretch film recycling bin, such as cardboard, biodegradable food waste, plastic bottles, reusable containers, glass bottles, paper bags, and other random plastic waste and trash.
Your Employees Are Your First and Last Line of Defense
Engaged employees are one of your most powerful resources. Your employees are your first and last line of defense for your recycling plan. It's of the utmost importance your team understands how plastic recycling works, the importance of the initiative, and why it's key to keep certain plastic recyclables separate from others.
Stretch film and stretch wraps are recognized as post-industrial and post-commercial plastics. These are the cleanest and will usually result in the highest return. When your employees discard trash in the recyclable bin for post-commercial or post-industrial plastics, it can slash the impact and effectiveness of your program.
At the same time, it can lower your overall savings. As such, it makes dollars and sense to use the following recycling best practices to help your employees stick to the recycling plan:
Strongly discourage using recycling containers as trash cans or receptacles. This can be especially important for those who aren't directly involved with receiving or shipping pallets wrapped with stretch film.
Inform your team of the significance of the stretch film recycling program for the local economy, local environment, and the company's bottom line.
Motivate and inspire your employees by showing them how their efforts make a bigger impact.
Remind them to remove paper labels and tape before placing the recyclable film in the bin.
Make recycling a cultural event by promoting more sustainable practices throughout the organization.
Help engage your employees by offering an incentive for hitting recovery goals.
Recycling Best Practices for Quality Control
In addition to engaging your employees, one of the recycling best practices is to engage your vendors. Stretch film recycling best practices should start before the pallet arrives at your receiving dock.
Enlist the assistance of your vendors and discuss the specifications of your stretch film recycling program.
Partner with vendors and request they keep labels and tape off of the stretch wrap.
Ask your vendors to avoid using tinted film
Communicate the success of your stretch film recycling program and the important role they play in making a difference.
Posting Results and Continuous Improvement Are Recycling Best Practices
When it comes to your commercial plastic recycling program, it's about progress, not perfection. Why? Because perfection is almost impossible. You can, however, effectively measure collection rates and set feasible improvement goals.
At the same time, you should always let your team know how well they are doing in recovering plastic stretch film in volume and quality. In doing so, you can find innovative ways to challenge and inspire your employees to improve.
Partner with the Best Plastic Recycling Company
Your commercial plastic recycling program is only as good as the commercial recycling company you partner with. As such, it's imperative to partner with a company that has experience, expertise, and can offer you valuable insight and guidance on commercial recycling best practices.
At AAA Polymer, we are a leading commercial plastic recycling firm. We regularly partner with warehouses, distribution centers, and other facilities to save them time and money on waste management costs. Best of all, we make starting a commercial recycling program easy. Here's how it works:
Our commercial recycling specialists will conduct a free onsite survey of your warehouse, distribution center, or business to help capture all recyclable materials.
If necessary, we will help in the installation of a suitable baling machine.
We will schedule pickups of the recyclable materials
We transport the plastic materials back to our facility for processing and weighing.
Best of all, we will pick up your recyclables and help you save money at no additional charge. And depending on the market, we may even pay you for your plastic recyclable stretch film and wraps.
Partner with AAA Polymer to Recycle Plastic Stretch Film & Save
Since 1974, AAA Polymer has been the premier name in plastic stretch film recycling. We work with warehouses, distribution centers, and businesses to help them generate waste management savings and positively impact the environment with a commercial stretch film recycling program.
Contact AAA Polymer today to learn more about how we can help.