29 May 2018 by letsrecycle

Small Steps in a Giant Pound

Ever since China announced significant changes to policies surrounding ‘imported  waste’ the world has been frantically looking for alternative ways to overcome the dilemma, not to mention the growing alarm of the degree to which our oceans are filling with plastic materials.

Undoubtedly, there has been much ‘noise’ regarding the topics from the influential bodies that have the power to rectify this situation. However, when assessing some of the measures that have been identified to date, it would be arguable to conclude that the issue isn’t being treated with the seriousness that it demands.

Sanctions and tariffs have been introduced on some single-use plastics, such as straws, coffee cups and plastic bags, and while the reasoning is understandable, let’s not kid ourselves that this is going to solve our problems, or the wider issues involved.

Sure, reducing the use of single-use plastic is a start, but it’s most certainly not the answer. Especially when you consider that much of this waste is not readily-recyclable and should therefore actually be placed for ‘general-waste’ disposal anyway.

Rather than putting more pressure on mechanisms for alleviating the poorly sorted and mixed plastic waste streams, the focus from Government, NGOs, Defra and the Environment Agency has been searching for substitute channels to distribute these materials too – which those of a more cynical nature could debate is purely aimed at achieving recycling targets.

As such, there is no getting away from it – exported plastics are a large contributor to our ocean dilemma and that is only likely to exasperate with China’s new regulations.

Despite the efforts in the last 6 months, the reality is that exported waste has only reduced by 9,000 tonnes compared with this time last year according to research. This suggests a new-home has been located and while on the face of it that may seem appropriate for meeting targets, the likelihood is that we’re actually contributing more harmfully to the problem with our oceans.

Flooding countries that don’t have adequate capacity to reprocess low-grade mixed plastic is only likely to have one outcome, and that is probably going to see much of the material end its journey in landfill, rivers and eventually, oceans.

Now is the time to act and take a firmer stance.

No longer should we be concentrated on collecting difficult-to-recycle plastics. The only way we’re going to positively contribute to the escalating problems is by sorting waste in to separate polymers and formats to facilitate reprocessing back in to reusable pellets, and more importantly, on our home shores, wherever feasible.


For further information, please contact:

Sean Feeley, Mick George: marketing@mickgeorge.co.uk
Tel. 01480 499 134


About Mick George:

  • Mick George has grown to become one of the leading suppliers to the construction industry in East Anglia and the East Midlands with a commercial fleet size in excess of 400 HGV vehicles.
  • They specialise in bulk excavation, demolition & earthmoving services, ready mixed concrete, a wide range of skip hire and waste management services, commercial waste service and aggregate supply.
  • Mick George has an extensive network of operating sites strategically located across their operating region including quarries, landfill, transfer stations, concrete batching plants, state-of-the-art recycling centres and soil washing facilities.
  • They have added a new Retail range aimed at the residential audience, with more the 40,000 products available to order online, for delivery
  • The rapid growth of Mick George over the years has led to the creation of 100’s of new jobs within the local area, and Mick George Ltd now employs over 1000 staff.
  • Award winners of Tipper Haulier of the Year Award 2016, CIWM Sustainability & Resource Winners 2016, 2015 Cambridge Business Award for Growth and ranked in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table 2015 & 2016, as well as making the London Stock Exchange Top 1000 UK Inspiring Businesses 2017.
  • One of the company’s main priorities is support within the local community. Mick George is heavily involved in sponsorship of grass root, academy and professional sports clubs, such as Peterborough United and Cambridge United FC.
  • The company donates up to £900,000 annually to community developments and projects within the companies operating regions, as well as supporting multiple Charities of the Year, which for 2017 include British Heart Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Support.
  • For further information, please visit: http://www.mickgeorge.co.uk

To post your comment, please login or signup.

Login Sign up