Marking the 19th annual Recycle Week (20th – 26th September 2021), a South West business has revealed just how much plastic waste from the region gets transformed into new products, diverting it away from landfill and achieving a more circular economy.

DCW, the South West’s leading independent waste management company, collects waste from over 6,000 regional businesses. It is the only waste plastics processor in the South West that collects waste from business premises and takes it full circle through processing and manufacturing, turning it back into new products. Capable of recycling 100 tonnes of waste plastic a week, much of the region’s unwanted plastics are manufactured by the Exeter-based firm into recycled outdoor furniture.

To encourage more businesses to give waste a new lease of life this Recycle Week, DCW has revealed at least 51kgs of plastic waste goes into the making of a piece from its outdoor furniture range. There are three different styles of benches available. Approximately 292kg of plastic goes into the making of the Exeter table and twin bench set, 104kg goes into the Plymouth picnic table and 51kg goes into the Torbay sleek flat bench.

Putting this into perspective, the amount of waste plastic that goes into the making of the Plymouth bench is equivalent to 7.5 wheelie bins or approximately 69,335 milk bottle caps.

The family run business processes plastic waste at its specialist plastics reprocessing plant in Exeter, DCW Polymers. The modern site with state-of-the-art recycling technology recycles specialist plastics as well as common industrial packaging, turning waste plastics back into plastic granules, which go back into the manufacturing industry or are used by DCW for their outdoor furniture range.

A sustainable alternative to timber, the recycled plastic furniture range includes picnic benches, tables, chairs, fence posts and decking which are maintenance free, will not rot, splinter or corrode and will not require painting or creosoting. The innovative furniture and products are made using 100% plastic waste collected from South West businesses such as buckets tubs, crates, DVD cases, bottle tops and even kayaks and old wheelie bins.

DCW has raised over £4,000 for Dartmoor Zoological Park and mental health charity Mind through the manufacturing of its outdoor furniture. Known as Recycle & Raise, this scheme is an annual initiative which asks the public to donate unwanted confectionary tubs, ice cream tubs, cracker tubs and takeaway containers to DCW. The material is then shredded at DCW Polymers and goes into the making of the outdoor plastic furniture range with the profits being donated to the charities. DCW has recently extended its Recycle & Raise scheme to run all year round in a bid to collect more bottle tops. Bottle top donations can be dropped off at any DCW depot. The bottle tops will then be collected and processed at DCW Polymers, contributing to the manufacturing of the furniture range and raising vital funds for charity.

Simon Almond, DCW Managing Director, hopes that Recycle Week will encourage businesses to consider what more they can do to divert waste away from landfill, creating a more circular economy.

Simon commented: “Revealing how much plastic waste goes into the making of our outdoor furniture range demonstrates the quantity of plastic waste being diverted away from landfill sites. We hope this will inspire businesses in the South West to think about how much plastic waste they produce on a regular basis and if they could help achieve a circular economy by contributing to the making of our furniture.

“Processes like ours prove that a circular economy really can be achieved, and that plastic waste doesn’t have to pollute our water ways, oceans and land. Instead, it can be put to some use and it doesn’t even have to leave the region to be made into something great.”

DCW empties in excess of 16,000 containers every week from over 6,000 businesses across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. It was the first company in the South West to offer a Zero to Landfill solution, meaning that all materials that can be recycled, are, and the solution helps support the waste management and recycling industry by providing materials for onward processing, recycling and manufacturing. As well as its Zero to Landfill service for mixed commercial waste, DCW also provides specialist waste management services such as data destruction, chemical and WEEE disposal and site clearances.

For more information about DCW’s services and recycled furniture range, or to order, please call 01392 361300 or visit www.dcw.co.uk.