— Who is the Plastic Expert? The United Kingdom’s leading plastic recycling company! Find out what makes Plastic Expert the best in the business by reading our exclusive interview.
Plastic Expert is a business that is filling an essential need, but how did your particular concept and business begin?
What a great question! We spotted a problem in the market; waste management and skip hires companies were having difficulty disposing of fridges, TVs and other redundant electrical items. We put together a national collection service using haulage partners and authorised recycling facilities. After building a client base of around 150 companies, the founders were constantly being asked what to do with plastic material. We put together a standardized way of dealing with plastic waste at waste transfer station level, or recycling facility level. Crucial to this was ensuring that the end markets for scrap plastic were sustainable and reliable. Through collecting plastic waste, at over 150 different sites, our business was able to supply end users with a waste plastic product that was usable and desirable. In summary, our buying power and ground floor level expertise assisted both the factories and our customers.
What are some of the specific qualities that have allowed Plastic Expert to become a leader in the industry?
Empathy is a big one, what we mean by this is an understanding of the situation that the waste producers are in and how they need to overcome obstacles in order to recycle more material. Understanding the requirements each plastic recycling factory requires, and supplying a regular and quality controlled stream of material.
Reliability and trust are paramount to the waste producers implementing a recycling strategy that is efficient in the long run and never over-promising on what we can do. For our end users, the factories, they know that the material provided will meet their required specification. We employ 6 full time people who support these activities out in the field. This is also backed up by a really good admin department and efficient technology.
Plastic Expert has over 250 collection sites in the UK to divert plastic from the landfill. How do you go about acquiring new sites and are there plans for expansion outside of the United Kingdom?
We have invested heavily into digital marketing and our company’s awareness within the b2b sector, through PR and building relationships with similar businesses. Ultimately our company is about solving problems, and we are completely focused on delivering cost and environmental savings, whilst growing our business, with people who care about our company’s mission.
In the UK, most recycled material is sent for export, rather than domestic use, simply because the demand is much higher. We do, however, have strong relationships with factories in other EU companies, such as Holland and Germany. Over the next few years, our intention is to strategically grow our business both in Europe and the Far East.
There are the obvious environmental benefits of keeping plastic from ending up in the landfill, but what are some other advantages businesses receive by partnering with Plastic Expert?
Plastic Expert has helped those working with us to find not only a Greener alternative to landfill, but an alternative that brings financial reward. We look to achieve rebates for material where possible and by avoiding landfill, and the rising costs of landfill taxes, we help our partners make a saving.
Businesses are required by law to separate their waste materials, record recycling activities and show an audit trail for the onward movement of recycling and waste. By providing this information we can free up admin time so that our partners can focus on their main business activites.
How can your business benefit dumpster rental or skip hire businesses specifically?
We realised this is where we could make the biggest environmental and cost saving, by going for the businesses with the largest amount of waste. Material will arrive at the facility mixed and we provide guidance on separation and compaction for different material types. It’s a mix of education, reliability and fast collection turnaround. We have sustainable end markets, and while the end market is really down because of the oil prices, we can still facilitate the movement of reasonable quality of materials. To make sure these businesses are well looked after, they are given a dedicated account manager.
Are dumpsters or skips as heavily relied upon for waste removal as they are in the United States?
I’d say so yeah, absolutely. Although when we work with businesses, we often encourage sorting at source. If a business is producing a lot of waste packaging, we look to replace their regular skip emptying with a baler that can help them produce a revenue.
What does Plastic Expert suggest to businesses that need to start efficiently removing plastic?
Just do it, begin with a waste audit. Look at what is being thrown away, what method, and how much of it. Speak to a professional recycling company who can create an analysis and provide a package.
With such a diverse portfolio of clients is there any type of business or industry Plastic Expert would like to move into?
That would be telling wouldn’t it! We are working with up and coming technologies to deal with problematic or contaminated material. One such technology is Pyrolysis.
Americans don’t tend to use the words ‘rubbish’ or ‘skip.’ Are there any waste removal words that you guys find odd or funny that Americans use?
I don’t think you’d find many British people who say Trash, Garbage or Dumpster, as they are what we consider to be quite Americanised. We would call the outside bin at our home a ‘Wheelie Bin’, which can provoke the joke ‘No, where have you Wheelie Bin?’.