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Showing the way on plastics

 
Created on 18/01/2018 @ 16:31
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A Welshpool businessman says the country’s big firms need to “get their acts together” after transforming his own company’s plastic use due to the horrors he has seen first-hand in the world’s oceans.

Stuart Grimshaw is the Managing Director of EuroChem, a company based in the town’s Dragon Works that manufactures and distributes products worldwide.

Four years ago he was bitten by the SCUBA diving bug which has taken him to some of the world’s leading diving destinations from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.

Sadly, it has also led to him witnessing the destruction that plastic use is causing our oceans, a situation he has called “heartbreaking”.

“All the things you read about turtles being trapped in plastic packaging and whales eating plastic bags, I have seen with my own eyes and it is heartbreaking and appalling,” said Stuart, who provides products to major institutions like the Ministry of Defence, Formula One teams and aircraft manufacturers from his Welshpool and North East bases.

“It is awful out there and getting a lot worse with every dive that I do. Cans lying on the ocean beds at 30-40 metres, plastic bags floating like ghosts in the water and plastic bottles floating everywhere. It is crazy destruction of our oceans and as the MD of a chemicals company I was appalled at what we are collectively doing.”

Stuart has taken strong action. He immediately set about altering ingredients like removing microbeads from his cosmetics products, and has undertaken an extensive overhaul of his operations to ensure that he is recycling as much of his plastics as possible.

“Starting this year, we have set up a cash deposit scheme on all of our plastic bottles that we sell via our global distribution network,” he explained. “Bottles will be bailed and shipped back to us and granulated for making new bottles.

“Plastic packaging materials will also be reduced by 90% in favour of recycled cardboard and paper.

“We all have to take responsibility. My company is responsible for shipping around 50,000 plastic bottles of products a week with many previously ending up in the ocean. This can’t happen anymore so we are working with our clients and distributors to make sure everyone is a winner financially as well by recycling.”

Stuart estimates that his new operations could make savings of up to £250,000 a year and is urging the bigger companies of the UK to get serious about cutting down on plastic.

“My message is clear to them: You are killing the oceans with plastic,” he said. “The Tescos, Sainsburys and Morrisons of this world need to go and have a look for themselves.”

Earlier this week, Welsh-based supermarket giant Iceland said it will be banishing plastic use in its products within the next five years.

PICTURE: Taking action... Stuart Grimshaw says more needs to be done to protect our oceans from plastic.

 

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