As part of our commitment to operating sustainably and to identify areas that we can make improvements, we continuously review plastic usage and product/packaging waste on site. 2023 has seen us make the improvements shown below.
Recycled Worktop Protection
We have changed our worktop protection to a new recycled plastic material called ProlexRE®. This new material is manufactured using 60% recycled content from post-consumer waste and has half the embodied carbon of typical 2mm sheets.
ProplexRE® is manufactured in grey so it is easily identifiable as the Closed Loop remanufactured sheet.
We have introduced a new 15mm roll of unit protection, to be used alongside our current 10m roll. This means we can optimise the amount of material we send out where more than 10m is required. At the same time we are reducing the amount of tape we supply with the protection material.
We will no longer supply buffer pads unless a whole kitchen is ordered. They will remain available to order separately if required. This change will help us reduce both plastic and cardboard waste on site.
Packaging and waste have been important topics in our business for many years now. We’ve already implemented improved sustainable packaging elements into our operation which are easily recycled at the end of use. These include –
Pulp Corner Protectors
When packaging of products is required, we do so by using cardboard boxes that are made from 100% recycled material. By replacing our plastic corner protectors with recycled pulp on individual doors and panels, we save approximately 4.5 million plastic corner protectors from use a year.
To safely move our product around the country, we reuse protective blankets on all our deliveries. This protects the products and has negated the need for us to use other packaging materials such as shrink wrap and bubble wrap.
Reusable blankets have been part of the Symphony model for over 40 years. We were founded in 1971, and by the time we were large enough to warrant our own delivery fleet, blankets have been used in loading boxes.
Pallet Return Scheme
We never deliver a pallet to site. We operate a ‘pallet return scheme’ with a handful of our larger suppliers. When product is offloaded on pallets at our site, they are taken back on the empty wagons for our supplier to use again.
There are situations where pallets of product are delivered to our Barnsley HQ. We work closely with a local pallet yard situated only 5 miles away from our facility to dispose of them in a sustainable manner.
- Pallets are taken away, fixed and reused.
- If the pallet is past the point of repair, it is chipped and used in the pallet yards biomass boiler to power their site.
- Pallets are also chipped and put into a bricking machine, where small briquettes are made and sold and used for fuel.
Our efforts and innovation earned us the chance to speak in the 2023 ‘Packaging Optimisation in the Housebuilding Sector’ seminar, run by the Supply Chain Sustainability School with major UK housebuilders and manufacturers in attendance.
Click the report to read up on our improvements and to see what other manufacturers are implementing throughout the industry.
We have an ongoing desire to reduce waste even further in our operation and on site. 2024 will see us review our products and packaging and implement more changes. To read more about our sustainable initiatives, please take a look at our Sustainability Brochure.