Why Brits still don’t know how to recycle

We have to admit – the world’s efforts towards recycling have never been better. Major companies are contributing towards the issue, for example, Adidas, who manufacture shoes from ocean plastic that has been recycled. The bad news: it’s still not enough. Recycling goals are difficult, but many of the issues are extremely easy to overcome. For the UK, there are two significant problems that stand in our way: a lack of education and being too stuck in our ways.

Recycling in the UK

When asked, 60% of Brits said that they make an effort to buy products that have been packaged using recycled materials. So, what’s going wrong?
For one, a study in 2019 discovered that 86% of London citizens want to recycle, but don’t know how.

When the UK first started recycling, all materials were separated. Eventually, recycling became easier, and a system was put in place where people could put everything in a single bin. This would then be separated by members of staff at the recycling centre. However, instead of deciding whether something could be recycled before they tossed it in the bin, people became lazy, meaning lots of recyclable materials were ruined.

Common confusions 

In general, people are unsure as to what plastics are recyclable. This can also be said for wood and metal. An unexpected addition to this list is crisp packets, which are not actually able to be put in a recycling bin. To make matters more confusing, you can actually recycle crisp packets, but you’ll have to find a collection point near your home. Luckily, most UK residents have a collection point within four miles of their address.

But a crisp packet is only small, right? Surely it can’t do that much damage to a recycling bin. However, statistics show that 93% of UK households buy and consume crisps. This is a pretty impressive figure, but one that can cause some serious recycling issues.

Brit’s bad habits

For some reason, many of us assume that magazines can’t be recycled. Just because they’re glossy, they’re still made of paper, meaning this assumption is wrong.

Another classic habit is to recycle our plastic bags. Even if it’s a bag for life, the whole point is to utilise these a number of times, not just to throw them in recycling.

Shredded paper is a no – this will definitely end up at a landfill if it finds itself in one of your recycling bins.

We’ve all seen the battery collection boxes in supermarkets, but how many of us use them? Batteries are not designed to be thrown in the bin, recycling or otherwise. They’re full of lots of harmful chemicals, so make the effort to take them to a collection point or supermarket.

Finally, if you think you’re helping the environment by recycling old clothes, you’re probably wrong. While the sentiment is good, they’ll a quarter of clothes in the UK end up in landfills. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives for old clothes, Depop being a good one. There are also numerous charities that will take your clothes, and this way, you’re helping someone in need at the same time.

Recycling will always be a tough job and a big one. If you cut back on these small and easily-amended habits, you can contribute to a great cause. Tell your family and friends, and help to combat any recycling mistakes in the UK.


Bread4Scrap has been partnering with scrap metal recyclers in the UK since 2016, and we are here for you, whatever the situation may be. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for guidance.


The growth of metal waste industry and what to expect by 2024

According to a metal waste and recycling market analysis, the sector is showing impressive growth rates by 2024. This report utilises primary data, vendor briefing, the scope of the product and surveys to conduct a detailed study of the industry and its movements.

It also takes into account the effect of Covid-19, which is drastically changing global economies.

The recycling and metal waste market

Metal scrap refers to scrap that is both ferrous and non-ferrous, with ferrous scrap (irons and steels) being generated from old products or manufacturing processes. Non-ferrous scrap, however, usually comes from household appliances, railroad tracks automobiles, and more. These include copper, zinc, lead, and others, and aren’t affected through the process of recycling, meaning they can be recycled again and again without an issue. The research in question focuses on four key examples: iron, copper, aluminium, and lead.

The scope of the report

Metals have high densities meaning they can be efficiently transported, making them one of the first materials to be utilised in the recycling process. In 2018, the scrap recycling industry was worth $26.83 billion in the US, amounting to 120 million tonnes of recycles materials on a yearly basis.

The report summarises that the recycling industry is expected to reach 688044K MT by 2025, meaning it will have grown at a CAGR of 1.46% since 2017’s statistics.

The metal waste and recycling market worldwide is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 2.9% by 2025, meaning the industry will hit figures of £340,600 million. This is a significant increase from today’s figures.

The report largely focuses on the global market in areas such as South America, Middle East, Europe, North American and Africa, distinguishing between different aspects of the market using applications, types, manufacturers and regions. More specifically, the analysis covers:

• Mexico, Canada and the US for North America
• Russia, Italy, France, Germany and the UK for Europe
• Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, India and China for Asia-Pacific
• Colombia, Brazil and Argentina for South America
• Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE for the Middle East and Africa

As mentioned above, the market is divided into segments. These are packaging, battery, shipbuilding, equipment manufacturing, building and construction, automotive, customer appliances, and others.

Questions the report addresses

This metal waste and recycling analysis is detailed and thorough, answering some of the industry’s major questions, such as:

• What manufacturing technologies does metal waste and recycling make use of?
• How are these technologies developing?
• Which companies are the key players in the recycling and metal waste market?
• What is the current status of the metal waste and recycling market, and what is its competition?
• What is the industry’s estimated cost and profit looking into the future?
• What is the economic impact on the industry?
• How should we strategise to combat these economic impacts?

If you are interested in the growth of metal waste industries, this report is an excellent read. You can purchase or request a free sample here

Bread4Scrap has been partnering with scrap metal recyclers in the UK since 2016, and we are here for you, whatever the situation may be. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for guidance.


Bread4 Scrap Case Study: Chase Metal Recycling

How one of Bread4Scrap’s longest-standing clients, Chase Metal Recycling use prepaid cards for scrap metal payments.

Chase Metal Recycling one of the Midlands leading scrap metal recyclers, established 13 years ago, became a client of Bread4Scrap back in 2013, and haven’t looked back since. The company are very happy with their prepaid card system and have noticed demonstrable advantages.

Chase Metal Recycling

The company are based in Cannock and specialise in scrap metal services for commercial, industrial and domestic sectors. They have a great reputation and are known for providing environmentally friendly recycling with no hidden surprises. Chase Metal Recycling buy all kinds of metal, including ferrous and non-ferrous, and also provide free collections. 

Choosing Bread4Scrap

Previously, Chase Metal Recycling were making payment via BACS or cheque. While they found that these payment solutions worked well, they wanted to offer customers a better, quicker payment method to choose from. As a company, their aim was to always provide customers with the best service possible and being able to pay them quicker. Offering a prepaid card option with Bread4Scrap have helped them to achieve this.

New laws mean new solutions

In 2012, it became illegal to buy scrap metal and cars using cash. This meant that scrap metal dealers could no longer use cash to buy metal and instead could only use electronic payment or cheque. Chase Metal Recycling new that this law would affect their business, so contacted Bread4Scrap to bring in a new cashless option.

Bread4Scrap prepaid cards

The company introduced Bread4Scrap prepaid cards, offering customers a safer way to pay. Working with Bread4Scrap was simple and easy. Chase Metal Recycling first signed up to the card scheme, where they were taken through security checks to ensure Home Office Compliance. Their account was set up on the payment management platform.

Once these security checks were completed, the company were sent the cards to be held on-site. Chase Metal Recycling then loaded their float for making payments to cardholders and started adding cardholders and issuing cards. They were able to start making payments right away. Plus, there were no setup and loading fees.

Happy customers

Chase Metal Recycling has been incredibly pleased with their prepaid cards from Bread4Scrap. They have offered customers a safe way to pay while avoiding legal issues and complying with the Home Office. Chase Metal Recycling has said:

“Bread is an easy system to use, payments can be made within minutes and if an error is made on the system, we are able to unload cards instantly. We have a very good working relationship with the company who are always kind, helpful and friendly.”

Since using the prepaid cards, Chase Metal Recycling have noticed great benefits. They are issuing fewer cheques, so they are not charged as much in fees from their bank. Also, their customers can access their money from the cashpoint a lot faster, rather than having to wait for a bank transfer to clear.


How Covid-19 is affecting the scrap metal shredder market

With the coronavirus pandemic affecting all aspects of the UK economy, the metal shredder market is no exception. With trade changing across a multitude of countries, the recycling market is near the top of the list of those to be affected. As the scrap market’s functionality is dependent on the prices of metal, a country’s economic position is a key component in its potential growth and success. Here we discuss how Covid-19 is taking a toll on the scrap sector and its businesses:

Changing currency values

Quite simply, if the currency value changes, the price of metal scrap will inevitably be affected and the general metal industry will take a hit. It goes without saying that the global economy is in disarray, and it’ll most likely take time for the value of currencies to be evaluated correctly. Plus, the situation is constantly changing, which makes this even harder to work out. However, the results of this will be crucial for the scrap industry and have the potential to determine the success of its future. This will then have a direct impact on any scrap metal shredders in the market.

Restricted movement

As the Government continues to encourage restricted movement where possible in an attempt to keep the spread of the virus to a minimum, the scrap sector is being hindered. If people are unable or unwilling to move between cities, their metal scrap will stay put along with them.

This means that scrap dealers are more inclined to shut down during the pandemic, which will further affect the scrap metal shredding market, as its revenue growth is limited.

There are small rays of hope, as can be expected with such a regularly changing situation. For example, since China has recently lifted its lockdown, they can now continue to drive the metal scrap market, offering hope for growth in the near future. However, we have seen countries lift their lockdowns only to reinstate it weeks later when cases begin to rise, meaning the situation is extremely precarious.

Shortage of workforce

As mentioned above, many scrap yards have made the decision to close throughout the pandemic. Even those that haven’t are now suffering from a shortage of workforce, meaning they are likely to follow suit. Businesses may be short on money and therefore cannot afford to pay every member of staff, and many people are still afraid to return to work, particularly those who fall in the at-risk category if they were to contract the virus. The Government approach to the scrap metal sector looks to be fairly lenient, with them being more focussed on safety and ensuring essential businesses are able to continue functioning to some degree of normality.

Less demand

As the economy slows to a stop, it is expected that the demand for the scrap market will decrease, meaning production levels will fall. Overall, the changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic leaves the scrap metal shredder market in a state of uncertainty for the foreseeable future.

However, all is not lost!

Bread4Scrap has been partnering with scrap metal recyclers in the UK since 2016, and we are here for you, whatever the situation may be. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for guidance.