Not All Plastic is Created Equal
Sustainability. It’s been the big buzzword over the past few years. No matter what industry you’re in, everyone is increasingly aware of its importance. And with heightened media attention surrounding the undeniable problems with plastic waste, the temptation to scapegoat all plastic as an irredeemable environmental ill is, for many, all too natural.
But a simplistic view of all plastic as environmentally damaging is not only misguided, it can end up causing more environmental harm than good. Plastic does, after all, offer a huge number of benefits. Its durability and light weight make it ideal for a huge range of applications from food packaging to construction materials.
And not all plastic is created equal. The production process matters, and at Brett Martin (Booth C9046) we have a number of objectives, in order to minimize the impact that our production process and finished products have on the environment.
- Reduce consumption of energy and materials
- Use electricity from renewable energy sources
- Ensure all recyclable waste materials are recycled
- Promote sound environmental practices to our employees, suppliers, partners, and customers
Manufacturing thermoplastics requires significant amounts of energy to produce the heat essential for the extrusion process. We can’t avoid this, but what we can do is ensure that as much of this energy as possible comes from renewable sources.
Following a period of sustained investment, our Northern Ireland site has now converted 50% of our energy intake to sustainable sources.
Situated on a hillside above Mallusk, near Belfast, our 6.42MWp solar installation feeds directly into our manufacturing site. This produces enough clean solar energy to power the equivalent of more than 1,600 homes, and saves us 3,700 tons of carbon emission a year. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,800 cars off the road.
Then there’s our on-site wind turbine. Particularly productive in the winter months, when the solar farm is least active — it ensures a reliable year-round supply of renewable energy.
Additionally, we maintain high product yields and efficient materials handling to minimize waste, all packaging we use is 100% recyclable, and our vehicles are being converted to hybrid or electric where possible.