Gabor Kakuk, a Hella employee, sparked a recycling policy change after taking matters into his own hands to further improve the company’s green credentials.
Every month in the UK, more than a million tonnes of plastic – particularly plastic bottles and cups – from homes, industry and businesses are used and disposed of in landfill, remaining in the environment for many years, often taking up to 500 years to decompose. Despite the obvious impact of unpleasant odours from these sites, as the material begins to decay, methane gas is released into the atmosphere. As a result, the increase in this harmful gas contributes to global warming.
Therefore, recycling these plastics will provide significant benefits for society, including reduced pollution and the saving of natural resources. In addition, plastic is very versatile and can be recycled into many different items such as clothes, carpets, bags and garden products, amongst others.
Hella, an original equipment (OE) component manufacturer and system supplier to the motor industry, has made great strides over the years to be environmentally aware by encouraging recycling at its Oxfordshire distribution centre. However, Assembly Production Supervisor, Gabor noticed that plastic, especially cups from vending machines, was still the source of unnecessary waste.
He raised the matter with Managing Director, Matthew Say, who listened to Gabor’s concerns and realised something had to be done, and Hella quickly began looking at ways to become landfill-free.
The company’s Operations Manager, Jason Greenough, working alongside a sustainability company, put plans in place to provide the necessary recycling bins and waste collection; Hella is working hard to reach its target of zero landfill waste by the end of the year.
“When it was brought to my attention that we were still producing avoidable waste, it was something we had to put right,” said Matthew. “The company takes pride in valuing everybody’s ideas and opinions in how best to take Hella forward, regardless of their role, and this was an excellent example.
“By recycling everything we use instead of it going to a landfill site is what all businesses should be doing. So not only does it demonstrate Hella’s passion for a cleaner environment, but the move also emphasises the company’s willingness to give its employees a voice when crucial company decisions are made.
“Here at Hella, we strive to make our products with consideration to the environment and our headquarters should also follow this remit. We are therefore delighted we are contributing to make a greener and more sustainable future by recycling materials and avoiding landfill sites all together. Through this new approach, we hope to encourage others to help the environment in as many ways as possible.”