Plastic Expert are pleased to introduce Green Warehouse Ltd for a Sustainable Business Interview…
Hello Green Warehouse, would you like to introduce yourself to our audience?
William Hayes set up Green Warehouse over 10 years ago. Will initially wanted to design a push powered lawn mower, but found that it had already been done by a German company. After six years of retailing ‘green, eco products’ he saw a gap in the market for a stylish recycling bin that made use of the tonnes of recycled plastic that was being collected in the UK. Will has a background in product manufacture, so he leapt to the challenge and designed the uBin. It took 3 years to develop. In 2013 the uBin won Best Recycled Product of the year, beating over 250 applicants from the global plastics manufacturing industry.
How do your products help people to recycle?
It’s not unsurprising that when people find out that our bins are made from post-consumer plastic (that’s the plastic that has been made into a product and then recycled) people ask the question “and others aren’t?” it’s seems logical that the bins that people use to recycle should be made from the plastic they recycle. So by using our recycle bins you are supporting recycling and the closed loop philosophy on two counts: 1) the bin is facilitating the recycling of your waste and 2) you are using a recycle bin that is made from recycled materials.
The 70ltr uBin is especially impressive, being made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. How important is it to have products made from recycled plastic?
Virgin plastic is a finite resource as it is made from oil. Extracting oil and turning it into plastic is generally considered to be not very environmentally friendly. Many of the cheaper bins that you will buy have been imported, and their shipping further adds to their total carbon foot print. The uBin is made in the UK from UK waste plastic and so the product has a much smaller carbon footprint. It also means waste is diverted from landfill. The concept of simply burying waste is quite primitive in my opinion.
As a consumer the more recycled plastic items you choose to buy, the more demand is created on manufacturers to supply it. It is largely up to consumers to make those demands. But as in our case it is also up to the manufacturers and retailers to take responsibility and drive a solution to put these choices in front of consumers.
How versatile are the bins that you sell for different recycled materials?
We have gone with the modular approach; by selling our bins as individual bins rather than set stations. This enables customers to tailor a solution to suit their recycling requirements, and easily change it in the future if need be. Each of our uBins comes with a sticker sheet with 6 of the most popular waste stream labels, this makes it very easy to separate your waste. Our stickers are WRAP (Waste Resource Action Program) compatible. So the colouring and iconography is essentially ‘UK standard’. We also produce a range of coloured and shaped inserts that clip into the bin lids, to help make putting the correct waste into the correct bins as intuitive as possible.
Do you think businesses like waste management companies and plastic recycling businesses should have recycled plastic bins in their offices?
Definitely! now they know where to come for them!
How important do you think it is for business to practice sustainability, and what are your efforts?
I think it is vital to practice sustainability. Our premises are low carbon with super insulation, energy saving automatic lighting and plumbing. We have chosen a carbon neutral delivery service, we encourage recycling by having our award winning bins in our office, warehouse and kitchen area. We also have a secure bike lockup, to encourage our staff to ditch the car and get fit coming to work.
Where do you see Green Warehouse in five years time?
We would like to continue our path of being a recycle solution innovator and intend to keep that as our core focus. We hope to increase our product offering and customer base but at the same time not necessarily limiting ourselves to just recycling bins. We also have a few ambitious projects proposed so watch this space!. In the medium term though it will all be about growing our client base and would urge resellers that might be interested in selling our products to get in touch.
Thanks Green Warehouse, and best of luck!