Achieving Recycling Goals

Plastic Expert is working with UK manufacturer EBC Brakes to provide an effective and affordable waste management service, helping the business ‘achieve their recycling goals’. We asked EBC a few questions on how they have improved the management of their cardboard and plastic, and how Covid-19 has affected them.

EBC Brakes - Who Are They?

EBC Brakes is an independently owned and managed manufacturer employing over 400 people across the UK and US, and produces the world’s largest range of brake pads and discs. Over 35,000 part numbers are catalogued for every conceivable type of moving vehicle, with continuous research and development ensuring that this figure is always growing to suit consumer demand. The majority of EBC’s braking products are made in the UK, the range extends from cars, bikes, and trains to tanks, wind turbines, and industrial machinery – wherever friction material is required, you’ll find EBC operating with class-leading efficiency. Established in 1983, the firm’s global headquarters are based in Northampton, UK, with its EFI organic friction material plant 100 miles south west in Bristol. EBC’s US operations largely take place from its Las Vegas DC and manufacturing plant, along with a state-of-the-art sintering plant based in Cleveland, Ohio.

We are keen to find out how Covid-19 has impacted your company / what changes you have introduced?

We are very fortunate to have a large facility at Northampton that affords our 115 employees plenty of space whilst at work. We have introduced the fundamental control measures as issued in the HM Government Guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid - 19 whilst being able to adopt a sensible approach. This includes; Mandatory temperature checks upon entering the site, automatic and manual hand sanitising stations at all entrance/exit points as well as in the workplace including canteens, we’ve introduced departmental bubbles, extra cleaning processes, reduced occupancy for offices, canteens and lifts, staggered break and lunch times, sanitising of work equipment, company vehicles, and machinery, identification of vulnerable employees, mandatory visitor/contractor questionnaire prior to entry, reduced our visitor/contractor site attendance to essential requirement only, conduct any meetings or interviews via telephone, zoom or teams etc. We constantly review the Government guidelines and our Company Covid – 19 Risk Assessment to enable us to keep our employees and business safe. All information updates are communicated via text, email, and notice boards.

Did you create less or more cardboard and plastic waste during the first lockdown?

We created slightly more waste cardboard/plastic initially, due mainly to increased production levels as a result of larger order volumes, this has leveled out now so our waste has returned to more normal quantities.

What were you doing before baling the cardboard and what encouraged you to make this change?

Before baling our cardboard and plastic waste, we sent everything to landfill. (All our recyclable cardboard and plastic is now baled). This was approximately 10 years ago, then when the owner Andy Freeman made the decision to relocate from Countess Road and build the site here at Pineham, one of the many changes we made at that time was to review how we managed our waste streams. Initially, we hired a small baler but soon realised this was not as cost effective as we’d hoped so in 2016 we purchased our own. The change was two fold, improving our commitment to help protect the environment and, from the summer of 2021, we will start to realise a financial benefit which we will use to offset some of our original packaging purchasing costs. Plastic Expert helps us to achieve some of our recycling goals and we are very happy with the service they provide us with.