Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP) has begun the second phase of its Love Recycling study with a survey investigating what impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on commercial recycling so far in Europe and its potential ramifications. The initial survey, conducted at the start of 2020, found that businesses were engaged in improving their recycling practices. With the disruption caused by national lockdowns, the furloughing of staff and the ceasing of all but the most essential businesses, the survey asks businesses to assess the pandemic’s effect.
Commercial recycling is continually developing. As scientists increasingly consolidate the link between large scale human activity and the declining state of climate and ecology, commercial industry (as a prime factor in these changes) must be vigilant.
Global conditions in 2020 have driven a huge increase in PPE production. In April, the number of PPE items committed to the NHS in the UK topped 1 billion items. Scaling this value to encompass the healthcare facilities of Europe, as well as commercial and private needs in the region demonstrates that, even in a pandemic, waste does not go away. Nor does the responsibility for the safe disposal of that waste.
As businesses continue to audit their waste and recycling processes to minimise their ecological impact, RCP will continue researching the state and progress of commercial recycling in Europe, the challenges businesses face and their successes. To that end, the survey examines the existing recycling policies and provisions of businesses and the impact of the pandemic:
- Has recycling provision increased or decreased as part of return-to-work planning?
- Has implementation of new policies been accelerated or delayed?
- Has the importance of commercial recycling been eclipsed by new health concerns?
A spokesperson for RCP said: “Recycling is not a policy that you look at once, set a course and then stick to unceasingly. When new evidence comes to light, or situations change, re-evaluation is important. Commercial recycling culture constantly progresses with the emergence of fresh information, the development of new products and the growing importance customers place on commercial sustainability. Businesses need to periodically audit their waste management policies, assess their effectiveness and decide what refinements can be made. During lockdown, many of the businesses we have spoken to have used this time to re-evaluate and redefine their cleaning, waste and recycling policies. In order to understand the affect the pandemic has had on commercial recycling, we’re conducting this survey to find out how the continental outlook has shifted.”
The survey can be completed via the loverecycling.com website.