Switch Framework: How SYR Reduces Plastic Waste

The world’s plastic production has reached unsustainable levels. Find out how SYR are cutting our reliance on virgin plastic with the Switch Framework scheme.

The Problem of Plastic

The environmental impact of plastic production has been a key concern for businesses and consumers alike in recent years. At every stage of a plastic product’s lifecycle the material has the potential to harm the environment – from the consumption of finite natural resources in the manufacturing process, to the chemicals and pollution it releases over time upon being landfilled after use.

Despite the worrying side effects of plastic, all industries are still heavily reliant on this material. This is equally true for the cleaning industry, which uses plastic for everything from packaging and disposable hygiene products, to cleaning chemicals and mop handles. Plastic production is also continuing to increase at an alarming rate. In 2022, the world produced more than 390 million metric tonnes of plastic. For 2023, this amount is likely to be exceeded.

Earlier this year it was reported that the amount of plastic produced globally had exceeded what could be managed sustainably. Global Plastic Overshoot Day on 28th July 2023 was a landmark day to mark the point at which global waste management systems could no longer effectively handle the amount of plastic produced this year. As these systems struggle to meet demand, mismanagement of waste and dangerous leakages become more and more likely.

An estimated 43% of all plastic waste produced this year will be mismanaged at the end of its life. This is equivalent to more than 68.5 million tonnes of plastic left to pollute the environment.

As plastic production increases, so does plastic pollution, but at an even faster rate. While plastic production is set to double by 2040, plastic pollution is expected to triple.

At SYR we recognise that as a manufacturer of plastic products, we have a duty to responsibly manage our plastic. We are doing this in a number of different ways. By making changes to our production methods, we are making our manufacturing system more energy efficient. We are constantly seeking product alternatives wherever possible to help ourselves and our customers reduce our respective carbon footprints.

The polypropylene SYR uses for our buckets is 100% recyclable

SYR’s buckets are made from polypropylene, a highly versatile plastic. This type of plastic is known for its durability. It is also one of the most recyclable plastics, able to retain its strength after being repurposed. This has allowed SYR to reuse the materials we still have in circulation with many of our most popular buckets, including the LTS and TC20 mopping combos.

With SYR Switch, we are ensuring that we are not a part of the problem of unsustainable plastic production. As a result of advanced tooling and manufacturing processes, the creation of SYR products already generates very little scrap. Even this small amount (less than 1% of the total plastic after moulding) though isn’t wasted.

SYR have created a manufacturing system that produces 0% waste within the factory environment. We take materials previously destined for landfill and give them a new life. Recycled components and regrind plastics are repurposed in the SYR Switch range, a collection of cleaning products made specifically to minimise waste production, by recreating some of our most popular products with recycled materials.

Reusing recycled materials is a more sustainable solution compared to manufacturing virgin plastic. Requiring less energy and saving still usable materials from ending up in landfill, SYR uses thoughtful design to allow you to be kinder to the environment, without compromising on performance or cost.

SYR's buckets are manufactured in the UK

Reducing our carbon footprint even further, SYR’s buckets are made in UK. Not only does this support our local economy, but it also results in lower emissions and costs for transportation. We also recycle our products within the UK. According to current estimates, the UK only recycles less than half of our total waste generated every year. With SYR Switch, we are hoping that we can play our part in making this country more sustainable.

The TC20-R and LTS-R, part of the SYR Switch range, are SYR’s premium mopping combos made using recycled plastic. Compared to similar virgin plastic solutions, these innovative tools reduce plastic by more than 90% over their expected lifetime. Each product saves 9-10kg of virgin plastic from being manufactured for every one sold. Aside from preventing large amounts of waste plastic, this also leads to eco benefits in other areas.

Each TC20-R saves:

  • 27.5kg of CO2 
  • 53khw of energy
  • 24.5 litres of crude oil

Switch Framework

SYR’s Switch range already results in significant eco-friendly benefits for both SYR and our customers. With our recently launched Switch Framework scheme, a new system for plastic recycling, we are taking this one step further.

The latest stage in SYR’s sustainable development, Switch Framework reduces waste at all levels of our business. Once, after many years of service, SYR tools need replacing, customers have a new sustainable option for their waste. Our customers can now return their would-be waste back to us, preventing still-usable materials from ending up in landfill. With these materials SYR has created a closed loop recycling system. Old cleaning buckets are transformed into brand new products.

By keeping usable plastic in circulation, Switch Framework helps to stop the progression of products to landfill. As SYR’s recycling systems are so advanced, the plastic loses none of its durability after it is repurposed. Our sustainable products are built with the same quality construction as virgin plastic solutions, with the same long lifespan. This reduces our reliance on manufacturing virgin plastic, saving energy and finite resources.

Switch Framework is how we create a more sustainable future.

What makes Switch Framework special is that it is mutually beneficial for all parties involved. It creates a circular economy, with environmental benefits at every level, from manufacturing to end use. For SYR, Switch Framework helps us towards our goal of a sustainable manufacturing environment. For our customers, Switch Framework will also minimise the impact that their business has on the environment, reducing their carbon footprint and waste production.

Several leading brands and cleaning providers have already gotten involved in Switch Framework.

SYR recently embarked on a new partnership with Jangro to bring sustainable solutions to customers around the UK. Sharing our commitment to supporting the environment, Jangro (the UK’s largest network for janitorial distributors) has joined with Switch Framework as part of their new Jangro Circular programme for reducing waste. Together, we will save thousands of kilogrammes of waste from ending up in landfill, giving old, used products a new life.

Part of the Jangro group, Avica is a supplier of cleaning, hygiene, catering and hospitality products. Champions of eco-friendly solutions solutions since the beginning, Avica are now utilising Switch Framework to make their business more sustainable. They can now supply their customers, like the contract cleaning service Kindred, with high quality, green cleaning tools. With Switch Framework, both businesses can fulfil their commitment to the environment.

When SYR plastic cleaning tools used by Kindred need to be replaced, Avica deploys their own low-carbon transport fleet to collect the products and deliver them to SYR for recycling. Kindred’s cleaning teams will subsequently be supplied with sustainable alternatives – like the TC20-R and LTS-R. These innovative products deliver an exceptional standard of cleaning, with the added bonus of each bucket cutting plastic production by 90% compared to a similar size mopping system.

Switch Framework is available for all SYR customers

Getting involved in Switch Framework is a simple and stress-free process. Instead of throwing away your business’ old SYR buckets at end of life, save them. Using the video below as a guide, fill a pallet with your old SYR products, separating the buckets from the wringers. Once the pallet is filled, contact your SYR representative to arrange a time to collect your recycled products, at no extra charge to you or your business.