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Fespa UK issues eco plea

Fespa UK is launching the second phase of its waste programme tomorrow (22 February) and making a plea for more suppliers to get involved.

The association is asking that those with - or willing to get - a waste licence to make contact, and that after dropping off kit or consumables to PSPs they collect their waste materials, bail it and store it ready for collection.

The move comes on the back of what Fespa UK MD Suzi Wilkinson said had been “a fantastic response to the initial campaign”, which saw the association and Prismm Environmental asking for printers to register their interest in sending their waste PVC banner and Polypropylene to be recycled rather than sending it to landfill or incineration.

Wilkinson said that after contacting all the printers who registered for the initial project and discussing their waste management needs, it became clear very quickly that a large amount of printers have smaller amounts of the low-grade plastics to dispose of in a cost effective way. The upshot is that Fespa UK and Prismm have agreed a possible solution in trying to create a localised infrastructure, whereby neighbouring PSPs can dispose of their waste as a collectiv.

“This, however, comes with its challenges,” said Wilkinson. “The first is finding a local printer or supplier with big enough premises to house a bailer, the second is the sorting of the materials and how time consuming this can be. The third is logistically how to collect or transport the materials from each printer to a central location.”

Jon Hutton of Prismm has investigated the possibility of boxes or bags being used to collect the waste from each printer making it easier to transport to the central drop off point. From this idea came help from Mark Mashiter at Soyang Europe, which offered to trial a take-back system - if there is an empty truck coming back from a printer who had waste material to collect, he would collect the waste (no matter which supplier had provided the substate), bail it and store it ready for collection. Soyang has had a bailer and cage system installed at its premises to this end.  

Mashiter said: “We are currently offering a collection service to customers whereby our own transport delivers new materials and collects waste. It is returned to Soyang Europe acting as a central collection point.  We are just trying to give customers a solution to a problem”. 

Wilkinson added: “Making a change is never easy, and now more than ever as an industry we have to pull together and overcome the challenges printers face when trying to do the right thing. We need to roll up our sleeves and solve this problem as one industry, and I believe that Fespa UK and Prismm can make an actual difference to this problem if we all work together.”

The ‘Future of Print ‘event at Hatfield House on 10 March will be a chance to find out more about the project and to have your say as to how it progresses.

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