Mailbox Products - Environmental procedures
Our company policy
Ref SPL-POL-005 ISSUE 008: Release date 17/01/2019
We sincerely care about how what we do impacts on our planet and proudly announce that we are fully accredited to the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system.
Ref GB16/871587 covers allour production elements and operational processes: Manufacture of specialist thermoplastic compound and powder and injection/rotational moulded plastic products, metal fabrications, healthcare furniture and distribution.
The company is committed to the prevention of pollution and minimising the impact of its operations on the environment by a programme of continuous improvement.
As a responsible plastics manufacturer, great care is taken throughout all our processes to ensure we surpass our defined strategic environmental targets.
Our local activities are supported nationally by the British Plastics Federation (BPF), with whom we work closely to affect continued improvements throughout our processes and supply chain.
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, RECOVER
At Mailbox, our waste hierarchy plan is entrenched in our psyche, with a 0% process scrap rate for plastics due to recycling and reuse of waste and non-conforming products - this benefits our customers, our planet and us.
Recycling products for reuse allows us to offer not only our own proprietary recycled ranges of pallets, tanks, trucks and boxes but also offer to recycling as a service to our customers. When plastic items reach the end of their life, chipping to re-cycle enables an element of pre-used plastic to be added to the virgin plastic to re-mould.
Preventing the waste of potentially useful materials to reduce energy usage, air pollution and water pollution is an integral part of the company ethos and this is just one example of the many environmental measures Mailbox implements across its factory and entire supply chain.
Single v Multi-use plastics
All Mailbox products are multi-use, standing in stark contrast to the single use, throwaway culture – many of our crates are in operation for more than ten years! No only are our products are designed and manufactured to offer years of use, but they are also recyclable at the end of life.
Return trip packaging (RTP) reduces the costs of cardboard disposal, and offer much stronger protection for contents than cardboard alternatives. Crates are stackable when full and nest at 77% of their total height when empty, allowing you to pack more in on both outward and inbound journeys, meaning fewer journeys are needed and the carbon footprint is reduced.
In addition to recycling products that have reached the end of their lifecycle, the moulding processes Mailbox uses during production have been fine-tuned by the manufacturing team to ensure there is as little wastage as possible. Any surplus material or rejected items are collected and passed over to a specialist contractor to be reclaimed and reground. After being sorted according to density, the material is reprocessed into a black granulate, which is supplied to other commercial manufacturers to produce items such as plant pots and thus reintroduced back into the material feed. It may even end up as a compost bin or litter bin, further supporting recycling and waste reduction – an apt next stage for a recycled product.
Implementing ISO 14001 has allowed us to reflect on who our stakeholders are and assess the impact our business activities have on them.
By reviewing all elements of our business, we have been able to identify what we can do to reduce our environmental footprint, waste and energy consumption. We have focused our efforts on reducing waste, both material and natural resources, by designing out wastage, optimising machine usage, reducing the causes of scrappage and the reutilisation of non-conforming products.
To enable this, we:
- Constantly review environmental legislation to ensure that we are compliant and that our machinery and ancillary equipment is functioning correctly, with any emissions controlled and minimised.
- Carry out continual monitoring of energy consumption so we can identify areas of concern - the use of more energy efficient machinery and processes has allowed us to implement substantial cost savings.
- Focus on the waste hierarchy - we have implemented controlled waste streams that are effectively re-used or recycled by licenced contractors.
- Commit to the prevention of pollution from our business activities and have introduced controls to prevent or contain and manage spills.
Plastics and the Environment
In line with the BPF, we believe that plastic is a versatile material, suitable for a wide range of uses. Replacing plastic with alternatives would have a massive environmental cost.
Plastic has many benefits in terms of sustainability, for example:
- It’s lightweight, so its use in, for example, car parts, helps to reduce fuel usage
- It’s durable, for example plastic pipes are designed to last more than 100 years
- It helps to protect food products and prevent food waste
- It can be recycled
In fact, according to the BPF, plastic only uses 4% of the world's oil production - the rest is used for transport, energy, heat or is burnt