The UK has made progress in its recycling efforts with a number of new reforms designed to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. However, there is still a long way to go before the necessary sustainability targets are met. A key area that needs improvement is the recycling of office furniture with many businesses struggling to find environmentally friendly methods of disposing of unwanted desks, chairs and storage solutions.
Here we look at recycling in the UK and how The Office Crowd is enabling businesses to recycle office furniture by creating a circular economy.
Recycling in the UK
In 2020, the UK saw a household recycling rate of 44.4%, which was a drop of 1.6% on the previous year. This reduction has been attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on services as many collections were interrupted and recycling centres were forced to close.
However provisional data for 2021 suggests that there was a slight increase in the amount of UK packaging waste that was recycled with 574,000 tonnes of metal, 1,112,000 tonnes of glass and 3,802,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard recycled.
While some materials, such as metal, paper, cardboard and glass, are recycled within the UK, others are exported around the world. For example, it is reported that two thirds of the UK's plastic recycling is sent overseas to countries including Malaysia, Turkey and Poland to be processed. Reports show that 105,000 tonnes of plastic was exported to Malaysia alone between 2017 and 2018 owing to a lack of domestic recycling capability.
Recycling Office Furniture
From metals and plastics to wood, foam and textiles, the materials used in the production of office furniture vary significantly according to the individual product, brand and price point. However, despite this variety of materials, it is still possible for the majority of furnishings and their components to be reused or recycled. At The Office Crowd, we refurbish or upcycle second hand office furniture so that it can be diverted from landfill and used again. While the majority of pieces we receive can be given a new lease of life, some items are unsuitable for refurbishment and these are disassembled into their component parts. These individual items then become part of the circular economy and will be reused as our team of experts repair and rebuild other used office chairs, desks and storage.
Any remaining parts or materials that cannot be repaired or used again are then sent to recycling centres for processing. The majority of the items that are sent on for recycling are made of metal and include aluminium bases and castors. This rigorous process ensures that nothing goes to landfill and enables The Office Crowd to support businesses to make sustainable choices that have a tangible impact on the environment.
The Office Crowd Mission
The Office Crowd is leading the way in creating a sustainable model for recycling office furniture that enables businesses to reduce their environmental impact and contribute to the circular economy. We believe that recycling should be easy and accessible for everyone, and we are committed to setting a new standard in the second-hand office furniture sector.
We have developed a tried and tested refurbishment process that navigates the difficulties associated with upcycling second-hand office furniture. Starting with an assessment and a thorough clean using environmentally-friendly products, our 10 step process has been carefully designed to guarantee that every item is in the best possible condition before it is resold. As well as repairing common damages such as broken castors, arm caps and gas cylinders, we give each chair a complete service to ensure both peak performance and ultimate comfort.
We also reupholster around 95% of fabric covered chairs and each chair and desk is polished or resprayed to guarantee customer satisfaction. Using this rigorous approach we are able to refurbish up to 900 chairs and 400 desks each week and prevent thousands of tons of office furniture from going into landfill.
Whether you’re searching for the perfect chair for your home office or designing a commercial workspace, contact our friendly team of experts to find out how you can join the circular economy.
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