Staff at manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies, Riello UPS are fighting to cut plastic waste. The Wrexham-based business, which supplies standby power products to data centres, public sector organisations and companies across the UK, has issued every member of its 70-plus team with reusable stainless steel drinks bottles as part of its drive to eliminate single-use plastics.
The company has also changed its milk supplier to Merseyside start-up Milk In A Box. Instead of standard plastic bottles or cartons, Riello UPS now receives fresh milk in a cardboard box lined with a Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) bag.
Once used, the cardboard is recycled while the LDPE bags generate energy from waste, meaning nothing ends up in landfill. Based on the current average consumption of 12 four-pint bottles of milk a week, each weighing 50 grams, the business believes it will save roughly 600 bottles and 30 kg of plastic waste a year.
As well as slashing plastic use, the new method of milk storage also reduces milk waste. Milk stored in the specially installed chilled dispensers lasts for up to five days once opened and 11 days unopened, which is a 40% increase on the lifespan of a standard plastic container kept in the fridge.
Leo Craig, General Manager of Riello UPS, comments: “The amount of plastic waste we all generate causes huge harm to the environment. A single plastic bottle can take up to 450 years to fully decompose.
“We all share the responsibility to do something about this issue and to safeguard our planet for future generations. The steps we’ve taken with our milk supplier and eliminating single-use drinks bottles are relatively small changes in our day-to-day lives, but they have the potential to add up and make a big difference, especially if other organisations follow suit.”
The issuing of reusable drinks bottles and moving milk suppliers follow on from several other green initiatives introduced by Riello UPS in recent months to cut plastic use throughout the business.
These include replacing all disposable plastic cups at its Wrexham Industrial Estate HQ in North Wales with ceramic containers, swapping plastic water bottles for visitors with recyclable glass versions, and ditching plastic stirrers for an organic bamboo alternative.
All plastic pouches used in coffee and tea dispensers are also disposed of in dedicated bins which are then recycled in bulk.
Leo Craig adds: “Working in the energy sector we are well aware of the role we play in ensuring reliable power for a sustainable world. Our R&D teams work constantly to improve the efficiency of our products and we are at the forefront of smart grid-ready UPS and battery storage systems that help harness the power of renewable sources like wind and solar. While we were the first UPS manufacturer in Europe to rate our products by their efficiency using an Eco Energy Level that enables customers to make informed decisions based on the environmental impact of their choices.”