Here at Prolojik, we’ve always been concerned with the environmental impact of our products, not least the packaging they arrive in. This is why the government’s recent publishing of draft legislation for plastic packaging tax comes as such welcome news.
The packaging tax plans were originally announced during 2018’s Budget. Following on from that, the government launched a consultation in the early part of 2019 to look at initial proposals with a summary of responses published in July of the same year. Key features of the tax include it being costed at £200 per tonne for plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic and a registration threshold of 10 tonnes of plastic packaging produced in or imported into the UK per annum, with exemption for producers and importers of small quantities of packaging. This tax will come into effect from April 2022.
One of the aims of the tax is to provide an economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material when producing plastic packaging. This in turn will encourage greater demand for this type of material which will then have a follow-on effect of increasing the levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, making sure it avoids going to landfill or being incinerated. It’s interesting to note that recycled plastic has a carbon footprint than can be up to four times lower than that of virgin plastic. For our part, we have always used non-bleached recyclable packaging since Prolojik’s inception over twenty years ago and avoid the use of single use plastics or EPS polystyrene in our packaging.
We like to keep things local, sourcing packaging from a supplier located within 10 miles of our facilities and, being based in the UK, our production to client miles are minimal. Our plastics are manufactured in the UK and we use recycled ABS wherever possible with all of our suppliers’ factories being located within 50 miles of our HQ in High Wycombe.
As specialists in lighting control systems, we conform to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive which covers things like computers, TVs, fridges and mobile phones. It is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU. Because of the complex and sometimes hazardous nature of the components in products like ours and other electrical and electronic items, it’s crucial to manage their disposal properly to avoid environmental damage and health problems. We also comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, which also deals with certain hazardous materials.
We have also incorporated a number of environmentally friendly measures in our manufacturing process. We are lead free and, because we use galvanized metalwork, this eliminates the need for aerosol-based painting. Plus, we avoid the use of PVC in our production.
With our commitment to designing, manufacturing and delivering our products in a more sustainable way, we hope that the government announcement regarding the packaging tax encourages not just electronic and electrical producers but business as a whole to take a greener approach to packaging.