A blue box used for beach cleaning from Surfers Against Sewage with a sticker on the side that reads 'Beach Clean Box'

Reducing and recycling plastic

At the Met Office head office, we have separate streams for different types of waste and separate out our plastic waste for recycling.

Reducing use of plastic

The Met Office has signed a pledge as part of Plastic Free Exeter through the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities initiative. We are committed to reducing single-use plastic waste by 2020 through:

  • replacing plastic cups with paper ones;
  • replacing plastic cutlery with wooden ones; and
  • removing plastic straws.

We promote reusable cups that are on sale at a discounted price. Our head office café and coffee shop offer a 10p reduction on each beverage purchased using a reusable cup. A mini-dishwasher has been installed so staff can wash their re-useable cups. We encourage the use of china cups rather than using a takeaway cardboard cup at our café and coffee shop. We provide reusable cups for water in our restaurant.

Recycling plastic

Our plastic waste is processed at a local depot. Mixed plastics (not cups) are separated into a range of grades.

Plastic water bottles (PET bottles) are sent for:

  • shredding;
  • washing;
  • pelletizing; and also
  • made into fleeces, carpets, duvet stuffing and pillows.

Plastic milk bottles are:

  • melted into pellets;
  • sterilised; and
  • made into more milk bottles.

At our head office, we now use Simply Cups, a collection and recycling service which separates the plastic and paper elements and turns the cups into second-life materials such as outdoor furniture.

All waste streams are weighed so we can monitor our waste.

Plastic bottles and mixed plastics

            FY15/16            ~7,500 kg

            FY16/17            ~7,400 kg

            FY17/18            ~6,500 kg