Carlisle Brass declares war on single-use plastics

War has been declared on single-use plastics by a leading Carlisle ironmongery firm.

Carlisle Brass is banishing plastic packaging materials and tape as well as drinking cups.

Instead, it has introduced cost-effective measures which will make its processes environmentally friendly.

The man behind the initiative is Paul McConnell, health, safety, environment and quality manager with the firm which employs 120 people at its site on Parkhouse Road, Kingstown.

The company also has bases across the UK and worldwide.

Mr McConnell said: "So far we are looking to remove all plastic void fill which is used in packaging, plastic tape and the 18,000 plastic water cups used by our staff every year.

"In 2017 we used more than 2.2 tonnes of plastic void fill and tape. Our main environmental objective this year is to reduce this as much as possible.

"Plastic is the number one on everyone's hit list particularly if it is single-use.

"As part of our annual plan and to satisfy specific licences, we have set ourselves this environmental objective.

"While we were monitoring our use of plastic void fill, tape and water cups, it came to light that these are things over which we have ultimate control so we looked at reducing his usage down without spending a fortune."

Mr McConnell said a three-point plan was devised looking at the areas of single-use plastic.

"As a result we have introduced new plastic tape and void fill machinery. They also speed up production and are cost-effective," he said.

"Last year we bought in around 1.9 tonnes of plastic tape , one tonne of void fill and around 18,000 plastic cups which are used once then go straight in the bin.

"Although we have recycling points in all offices we want to cut out single-use plastic at source."

The result is that Carlisle Brass - which has bases across the world - now uses paper-based gummed tape and crumpled paper filling material in its packaging after buying in new machinery from MacFarlane Packaging.

It is replacing its plastic drinking cups with cardboard vessels which don't use any form of plastic laminate.

"Looking at the figures it looks like we will break even on the packaging materials but the process is faster as well as being friendly to the environment," he said.

"All this from concept through trialling to implementation has been achieved in under three months which is great."

Mr McConnell said the company was embarking on a series of training workshops to increase staff awareness of the initiative.

Carlisle Brass is the UK’s largest specialised developer of door and window furniture for residential and commercial properties, with a turnover of £46m a year.

Crawford, S. (2018). Carlisle Brass declares war on single-use plastics . Available: Last accessed 30th of May 2018.