Forterra celebrates progress towards net-zero future for Recycling Week

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As part of its ongoing mission to achieve net zero business practices, Northampton based building products manufacturer Forterra marks Recycling Week, 16th-22nd October, by celebrating the efforts to recycle PPE in the last year.

Forterra first teamed up with textiles disposal company Avena in August 2022 to develop a workwear recycling programme across its UK sites. Kings Dyke brickworks in Peterborough has seen an especially impressive 90% clothing and 70% gloves and masks returned to be recycled.

Carrie Taylor, Materials Controller at Forterra’s Kings Dyke Brickworks, has been championing the programme and encouraging the workers to get involved. The scheme has enabled the 240 workers on site to swap old uniform for new, with the old being sent for recycling, including work boots. There are also localised bins round site, placed at convenient and visible locations, that workers can use to recycle used gloves and masks. Bins are sorted once a week, with two 1200L bins, supplied by Avena, filled every eight weeks.

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As well as current uniform being recycled, workers have been encouraged to bring in old PPE that they may have accumulated over the years.

Forterra staff in their recyclable uniformsForterra staff in their recyclable uniforms
Forterra staff in their recyclable uniforms

Forterra looks to build on this success by raising more awareness at its sites through visual aids such as informative posters. Further measures include more paper recycling, a laundry service and providing additional bins to continue the good work, with a site visit from Avena set to take place to assess what other measures can be implemented.

Avena’s 0% landfill policy provides a sustainable end of life process for all textiles and PPE, and as the only company in the UK that offers shredding as an alternative to incineration and landfill they are ideal for Forterra to align with.

The old uniforms and PPE are also recycled in the most effective way, this includes the material being reused, turned into insulation or made into chips for energy generation.

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Carrie said, “It’s been fantastic to see everyone so eager to get on board with the scheme. I’m passionate about recycling and making others aware of the huge benefits not only to our immediate business but to our communities too. 350,000 tonnes of textiles are sent to landfill each year, and we’re delighted that Forterra do not need to contribute to that figure.”