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If you're a regular reader of my leaders you'll be well aware that my commitment to making things last - and also to recycling - goes back decades. I keep a couple of drawers at home for things I feel may come in handy one day and these bits and pieces have often been used for some Heath Robinson repair that's lasted way longer than the original item did. And while my 'hoarding' (well I don't call it that!) has sometimes caused frustration at home, everyone's grateful when we don't have to throw out something we love, since I've been able to save it, using something I wouldn't have thought about going out and buying, but which just happened to be tucked away in a drawer.
I've often amalgamated bits of vacuum cleaners which has caused some laughter when people have seen my machines - especially as many of us can be more concerned about the aesthetics of an appliance than we are its functionality. Not me!
As you might imagine, it really made my day to learn that European Cleaning Machines & Materials Recycling (www.ecmr.nu) has just passed something of a milestone by managing to recycle a total of 1,000 tonnes (1,000,000Kg) of cleaning machines and materials since it launched in 2013. What a marvellous achievement!
ECMR set out to be a forerunner in the field of sustainability - especially in the cleaning industry. "We look beyond the production line: we are focused on closing the recycling loop, collecting machines and materials from throughout the industry with the aim of achieving 100% recycling," it says. "By closing the loop, we prevent e-waste." The organisation collects not only machines but also other products from our industry, such as dispensers, so that materials such as aluminium, iron and plastics are returned to the production process. What were previously thought of as 'end-of-life' materials can be given a second chance through recycling, reusing or refurbishing.
"The urgency for a climate-friendly industry has never been as high as it is today," it says. "Raw materials are running out, resources are being exhausted - and, on the other hand, e-waste is piling up. We believe that sustainability is also a form of hygiene. By looking beyond the production line, we are aiming for a sustainable, closed economy."
Well done EMCR and here's to the next 1,000 tonnes of materials you save from entering landfill!
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11th July 2019