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Only Connect: Going Green #11 – plastic packaging

reuse-reduce-recycle.gifWelcome to another post in the series by Nick Locke, of Nicab Ltd, who has over 15 years experience in the electronics manufacturing industry specialising in interconnection cable assembly.

In the cable assembly business, much like many others, there is a great deal of waste and we work very hard to reduce the amount of waste we produce. However, I believe there is more that can be done.
The easy part of our waste recycling is cable off cuts as there is a value in the copper cables which the waste trade is interested in.

One of our biggest bug bears is the packaging that the connectors come in. Often we see a plastic bag of connectors in plastic bags and while I accept there is an argument for protectively packaging the parts sometimes it seems excessive. 

The issue is the plastic needs to be recycled. Something that I still find hard to believe is that there is no government incentive to recycle plastic. The only way we can recycle our plastic waste is by paying for a specialist waste recycling company to take away the waste at a charge.

Plastics are surely the most easily recyclable product out there so why is there no easy way to recycle? For many small companies I suspect the cost of paying outside companies to deal with the waste is too much and probably just send off the waste to land fill.

I think this is wrong and as an example some time ago we had a bag of plastic bags and went to three different recycling centres and none would take it. One even suggested we put it in the land fill container.

Unless I am wrong there must be a better way of recycling, I know that the WEEE Directive says we the manufacturer have a responsibility for the waste disposal of our branded products but what about the byproducts of manufacture?

I hope that in the future we can all recycle as much as possible and easily. If we want to hand the planet on to our children I want them to think we were responsible when we knew the impact of our actions.

Previous Only Connect entries:

* Only Connect: Top ten connector manufacturers

* Only Connect: On good use of multimedia

* Only Connect: On innovation in Electronics

* Only Connect: On new technology (II)

* Only Connect: On new technology

* Only Connect: Only Connect: On branded manufacturers using multimedia

* Only Connect: Tin plating on contacts

* Only Connect: Marketing to the electronics manufacturing industry

* Going Green #10 – electronics sections

* Only Connect: New product design – InfiniBand CXP 12x QDR standard

* Only Connect: HDMI Connections a simple guide

* Only Connect: New investment in the motor industry’s high-end

* Only Connect: My personal connector top ten

* Only Connet: Marine manufacturing and growth

Only Connect: The RS Connector zone

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