A clutch of new eco projects have showcased the UK’s leading role in promoting the circular economy.
The circular economy – long championed by The Workers Union – is a model of production and consumption that specialises in the reuse of resources – either through repair, refurbishment or recycling. Now several sites around the country are set to benefit from plans that include green loans from a major bank and investment from regional governments.
In Scotland, Hamilton Waste and Recycling has pumped the £1.3 million green loan it received from HSBC UK into developing its facility at Loanhead. The funding has paid for cutting-edge machinery that picks through construction waste, looking for material such as wood and stone to remove, clean, then sell back to the building trade.
The recycling process is designed to reduce the need to produce more raw materials. Speaking about the investment, Hamilton Waste & Recycling’s managing director, Robin Stevenson said: ‘This new, sophisticated aggregate recycling plant will stand us in good stead for achieving our circular economy ambitions.’
Meanwhile, over the Irish Sea in County Antrim, Ardagh Metal Packaging (AMP) has announced its intention to build a £150 million drinks canning plant. With their high proportion of recyclable materials, the metal in drinks cans are a large contributor to the circular economy.
The project – which has been approved by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council – is projected to create nearly 200 jobs.
The chief executive of AMP Europe, David Spratt, said: “We are delighted to be granted planning permission to deliver a new innovative manufacturing facility in Newtownabbey and progress closer to the creation of nearly 200 new jobs for the local employment market whilst also supporting circular economy growth.’
The Workers Union Says…
These innovations – and others like them – form an important part of the strategic requirement to reduce waste and end our reliance on resources from distant countries. With the recent publication of its ‘Critical Minerals Strategy’, the government has already acknowledged the importance of recycling tech minerals as well as the development of more robust, sustainable supply chains. This will be essential as we strive to add another chapter to the long history of British mercantile success.
It would be an order of magnitude more difficult to achieve these noble aims if corporates were unwilling to invest here. But we are fortunate that they spend their money on our shores because they know that the UK is a great place to do business. We have a centuries long tradition of creating successful enterprises that have changed the face of the world, delivering manifest benefits to this country and many others. At the root of this success is the hard-work, commitment and ingenuity of British workers.
As the country frets about how to deal with the climate crisis, the need to use this native genius to meet the many technical, social and economic challenges of transition is pressing.
British workers are ready to help deliver solutions – now it’s up to decision makers to ensure they have the right skills and experience to do the job.