New recycling stream

Foiled label recycling first for Business Waste

Polymer-coated foils can be extremely difficult to recycle
Polymer-coated foils can be extremely difficult to recycle

Recycling and waste management firm has made a breakthrough in the recycling of polymer and metal foiled label waste.

Claiming credit as the first business in the UK to offer the process, Business Waste is now able to recycle labels that have been foiled and polymer coated, pulling apart each label to separate the constituent parts.

The service launched in January after an arduous development process begun in March 2023.

The Yorkshire firm collects waste reels, transports them to a recovery facility for weighing and documentation, before segregating paper for separate recycling. Remaining material is then shredded, checked for contaminants, and then recycled into new products.

Business Waste’s latest process, said Mark Hall, the company’s co-founder, has a surprising – if secretive, output.

“It’s a common product – in a nutshell, we make a recipe with a load of recycled plastics, that get mixed together, and made into a product you can find in B&Q,” he said.

While keeping the actual product under wraps for the moment in case his competition gets wind of the process, Hall said the process was a significant step up on incineration, the usual process for foils and foiled labels.

“There are a lot of printing places that create this type of waste, and now they have the opportunity to separate it and recycle – and it’s cheaper than incineration,” he said.

Business Waste, he added, has plenty more room for people wanting to take care of their foil waste: “We can handle about 1,000% more than we’re doing.

“We’re trying to be a single waste partner, and be able to say yes to everything, with one invoice, one account manager, rather than 20 different companies with 20 different bins.”

Business Waste employs around 100 at its head office in York, with around 10 staff based externally.