Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

What More UK: How we became a zero to landfill company

Published: 23 June 2021 - James Mead

Zero to landfill is a tall order, but with careful planning and organisation it's possible. In just one day the What More manages to repurpose 40 tonnes of ‘single use' plastic per day. Here's how they do it.

 

Sending waste to landfill is like sweeping dirt under the carpet, but on a national scale. It hides the problem rather than fixing it. That's a state of affairs that doesn't sit well with What More UK.

"Businesses exist to solve problems, not to hide them away" says company Director Tony Grimshaw OBE.

"Becoming a zero to landfill company was a necessity for us. We manufacture long lasting, durable plastic housewares. Our products can be reused over and over again, then they can be recycled. There's never any reason why they should end up in landfill."

The best way to stop materials going to landfill is to avoid creating waste in the first place. What More does this through efficient factory design and investment in brand-new machinery. Modern equipment is more efficient. By investing in the latest technology they've managed to reduce waste on several counts.

The next step is to look at reusing items as much as possible. What More products are designed to be reused over and over again. They're made of strong and durable materials which makes them long lasting. A Wham toolbox might last your entire career, and then it can be passed on to the next generation.

The biggest contributor to What More's zero to landfill status is its recycling. This is a company that recycles as much as it can. It's led them to create several ranges of products made almost entirely from recycled materials. There's the award winning Upcycled range made from recycled ‘single use' plastic, and there's the Recycled range made from post-industrial scrap. These two product ranges have proven so popular that What More has started bringing in scrap from other companies.

Manufacturing Director Rob Walker: "Our products are designed with the circular economy in mind. That's true for metal and plastic items. The new bakeware machines have magnetic conveyors which transport scrap metal straight to recycling. On the plastic side, we reuse up to 40 tonnes of single use plastic in a day."

"Any company can replicate what we've done. It makes sense because that's what the public wants. That's what our customers want, and it's what we want too."

What More is the UK market leader in the housewares sector. They created the popular brand, Wham which is stocked in all major UK supermarkets, DIY shops, and a further 1600 independent retailers in the UK. They also export their products to a further 75 countries around the world.

The Accrington based company makes housewares of all kinds from storage boxes, around the sink items, bakeware and cookware, through to plant pots and troughs.

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