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A milestone in environmental commitment
Image of trees and ISO 14001 logo

Elite are proud to announce that we have recently obtained ISO 14001 registration for our Environmental Management Systems (EMS). This remarkable achievement reflects our unwavering dedication to sustainable practices and responsible environmental stewardship. The ISO 14001 certification recognises our commitment to reducing our ecological footprint, improving operational efficiency, and delivering superior environmental performance.

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Why ISO 14001 matters?
The ISO 14001 certification is an internationally recognised standard that sets the benchmark for effective environmental management systems. It ensures that organisations like Elite adhere to rigorous environmental standards and continuously strive for improvement. By obtaining this registration, we demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, regulatory compliance, and the preservation of natural resources.  

Benefits to Elite

  • Enhanced environmental performance: ISO 14001 certification empowers us to identify and address potential environmental risks, improving our overall performance. This includes the reduction of waste, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, we minimize our ecological impact and contribute to the global fight against climate change.
  • Streamlined operations: The ISO 14001 standard encourages the adoption of efficient and sustainable processes throughout our organisation. By identifying opportunities for resource optimisation and waste reduction, we can enhance productivity, reduce costs, and strengthen our competitive advantage.
  • Regulatory compliance: With ISO 14001 registration, we ensure strict compliance with environmental laws, regulations, and industry standards. This not only protects our business from legal liabilities but also fosters trust and credibility among our stakeholders.

Benefits to our clients

  • Sustainable partner: Clients can be confident that by choosing Elite, they are partnering with an environmentally responsible organisation. We are committed to helping our clients achieve their sustainability goals and meet their own environmental targets.
  • Enhanced reputation: By aligning with an ISO 14001-certified company, clients can enhance their own corporate image and reputation. It demonstrates their commitment to social responsibility and sustainability, which resonates positively with customers, investors, and the wider community.
  • Supply chain advantages: Many organisations require their suppliers to have ISO 14001 certification as part of their procurement process. Our accreditation opens doors to new business opportunities, helping clients gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.  

The importance of environmental benefits
The acquisition of ISO 14001 certification is not just about achieving regulatory compliance and reaping business benefits; it underscores the crucial role businesses play in protecting our planet. By adopting sustainable practices, we contribute to environmental conservation, mitigate climate change impacts, and foster a healthier and more sustainable future for generations to come.    

Chris Smits, Elite Managing Director commented: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have gained another globally-recognised certification, ISO 14001. At Elite, we’re committed to continuously improving our standards and efficiency in delivering for our customers. This achievement reflects our dedication to improving efficiencies, minimising waste, and ensuring a sustainable future for ours and our clients’ operations as well as the environment.’  

To sum it up
Obtaining ISO 14001 registration is a significant milestone for Elite. This achievement reinforces our teams commitment to environmental excellence, sustainable operations, and customer satisfaction. Through our dedication to responsible environmental management, we aim to inspire other businesses to follow suit and create a collective impact that will safeguard our planet's future. Together, let's embrace sustainability and forge a greener path forward.

To find out more, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01920 872 221 or email

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The takeaway is, you can no longer take it away in plastic
Picture of plastic cutlery

From October 2023, people in England won’t be able to buy any single-use plastic cutlery products from any business – this includes retailers, takeaways, food vendors and the hospitality industry. Similar bans are already in place in Scotland and Wales.  

Introducing the ban, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)1 said the ban will also cover single-use plastic bowls, trays and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers.

Why plastic is off the menu

Recent estimates suggest that people in England use 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — and 721 million single-use plates per year. Sadly, only 10% of these items are recycled. If that many pieces of plastic cutlery were lined up they would go round the world over eight and a half times.  

This kind of pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage on our seas, rivers and land. What’s more, it’s a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s right from the production and manufacturing processes of the items themselves to the way they’re eventually disposed of.  

According to research, plastic items relating to takeaway food and drink, including food containers and cutlery, make up the largest share of litter in the world’s oceans.

An international problem with local impact

But the devastation plastic pollution causes touches us much nearer home, too. Plastic was in the top 15 most littered items found on land in England by count in 2020.

Little wonder that around 95% of those that responded to a survey on the subject approved of a ban on single-use plastics.

Businesses will have to serve us without plastic

If consumers cannot buy these newly banned items anywhere in England it’s clearly going to impact those businesses that produce, supply and use them. The most visible of those businesses to most of us will be retailers, takeaways, food vendors and hospitality outlets.

Note that the ban will not apply to the plates, trays and bowls used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items. These are to be included in the government’s plans for an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme, which will incentivize producers to use packaging that can be recycled and meet higher recycling targets.

Do such bans work?

Bans in recent years have impacted the microbeads used in personal hygiene products as well as plastic straws, stirrers, cotton buds and carrier bags.  

According to government figures, before plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds were banned they collectively contributed to around 5.7% of marine litter. After the ban, the Great British Beach Clean 2021 reported cotton bud sticks had moved out of the UK’s top ten most common beach litter items.

Similarly, the charge for plastic carrier bags levied in supermarkets has successfully cut their sale by over 97%.
Plans being considered to further reduce the use of environmentally damaging products include a deposit-return scheme for drinks containers and a renewed focus on wet wipes, tobacco filters and sachets.

At Elite, we take both business and sustainability seriously

Chris Smits, Elite Recycling Solution’s Managing Director, commented, ‘The best way of protecting our planet and any business is to not use polluting plastics in the first place, so we welcome this new legislation. But we can help improve a business’s environmental footprint further still by converting their waste into reusable resources while helping them implement sustainable supply chains to improve productivity, efficiency, cost reduction and revenue growth through responsible recycling and waste removal.’

So is that a wrap for the use of plastics in business?

Richard Swannell, interim CEO of Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), said, ‘We are in full support of this announcement by Defra, which marks important progress in the wholesale removal of problematic and unnecessary plastics that can end up as plastic pollution.’

Richard went on to comment on WRAP’s work with the nation’s businesses, ‘WRAP is working with UK businesses to meet ambitious targets in this important area, and our latest results show an 84% reduction in problematic and unnecessary single use plastics by our UK Plastics Pact members since 2018.’1

If you’d like to know more about this new single-use plastics regulation and how it might affect your business, simply call us on 01920 872 221, send a message through our contact form or email

1 Defra press release

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Are you ready for the new EPR regulations?
Bottle packaging processing plant

UK-based organisations are subject to a new regulation that impacts the way they manage their packaging.

The new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulation – which enhances the current producer responsibility regulation – changes the way you account for the type and volume of packaging you use and the way you recycle it.

Crucially, under this new regulation you will need to collect the required packaging data from 1 January 2023, so you can submit it between 1 Jan 2024 and 30 April 2024.

A wide-ranging regulation
The new regulation applies to all UK organisations that handle and supply packaging to consumers and businesses.

Essentially, if you’re an individual business, subsidiary or group; have an annual turnover of £1 million or more; are responsible for over 25 tonnes of packaging in a calendar year and carry out any of the ‘packaging activities’ mentioned below, you must take action to comply with this new regulation.

Those ‘packaging activities’ include:

  • supplying packaging under your own brand or for another UK organisation,
  • using ‘transit packaging’ to protect goods on the move,
  • importing goods in packaging,
  • selling, loaning or hiring out packaging, or
  • owning an online marketplace.

Be aware, be ready – we can help
As with most regulations, there are a number of variables at play. These range from the size of your organisation, the type of materials you use and whether they go abroad, to buying packaging waste recovery notes (PRNs) or packaging waste export recovery notes (PERNs) to prove your packaging waste has been recycled correctly.

So you have to record and submit the right data about what’s happened to your packaging and pay the right fees to prove you’ve met the right recycling obligations. And as is often the case, non-compliance can lead to fines.

Make the process easier and more straightforward
Why not talk to the Elite Recycling team about accurate, timely reporting on your waste – including packaging – streams, so you can focus on more important aspects of your business.  

As Elite’s managing director, Chris Smits, comments, ‘We’ve worked in partnership with a wide range of clients, to successfully create and deliver customised, cost-efficient, and sustainable waste collection, disposal and recycling services since 2007, so we’re ideally positioned to help you with effective reporting on all your waste streams. As a result, we can help you stay compliant with the new EPR regulation.’  

To find out more, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01920 872 221 or email

1 Government EPR Guidance

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Ready for take-off

After some time spent beavering away behind the scenes – well, we wanted it to be ‘just so’ – we’re proud and delighted to launch our new client portal.

From our website and with just a user name and password, our clients can get fast, simple, streamlined but, of course, secure access to a wide range of useful resources relating to their business. These include duty of care and financial documents, as well as new and improved bespoke reporting. These include duty of care and financial documents, as well as new and improved bespoke reporting.  

A steer on your recycling from your dashboard
With user-friendly design, multiple logins able to be accessed simultaneously and easy navigation, clients can gain access to:

  • landfill diversion statistics and CO2 highlights
  • recycling performance
  • information on service success rates and any collection, delivery, driver or wasted journey issues
  • breakdowns of the different waste streams for which we provide services, and
  • news updates, developments and announcements from us.

Reports, documents and useful historical detail
Isn’t it always the case that when you want a document, it proves elusive? So from the dashboard, clients can also view and download a variety of reports and useful documents. These include:

  • reports on all volumes and values for completed services
  • reports on financials for rebateable recyclables
  • container and collection information, so clients can quickly see what containers they’re holding and where (such as skips, roros and bins) on site, and request services, and
  • any uploaded documents, such as machinery agreements (for rentals, service and maintenance, for example) and duty of care documents, like the annual WTNS.

Doing a little bit more for our clients and the planet
By providing our clients with a fast and easy to use portal, we help them to keep track of, and improve, their environmental, waste disposal, recycling and sustainability commitments. This benefits their business and, of course, the planet.  

If you’re a client of ours and would like any assistance in using the new portal, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Simply call us 01920 872 221 or send a message to

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Cardboard – the packaging material that goes around in circles
Large green automatic baler machine

As we all know, cardboard is a popular packaging material. It’s highly versatile, light but strong, comes in a wide range of roll and box sizes, is way more durable than you’d think and is easy for a business to brand. Of course, the growth in online shopping has boosted cardboard packaging’s popularity further still in recent years.

Little wonder then that more than 15% of the money we spend on products pays for packaging, some of which can end up in the bin.  

However, cardboard – particularly boxes – does have two key advantages over alternative packaging materials. Firstly, it’s reusable in its original form if handled correctly. Secondly, it’s simple to recycle as art of what’s known as the ‘circular economy’ or ‘paper loop'.

A virtuous circle
Figures vary but it’s reckoned that although we use more than 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard here in the UK every year, over 70% of the fibre used to manufacture it is from recovered materials.  

That virtuous circle is good but we could do better. Around five million tonnes of waste paper is still sent to landfill or incineration each year.  

The benefits of recycling cardboard
The more we recycle cardboard:

  • less goes to landfill,
  • fewer trees are cut down (17 trees are saved per tonne of recycled cardboard),
  • less energy gets used (as much as 4000kW of electricity is saved per tonne of cardboard recycled)
  • less greenhouse gas emissions are created, and
  • less water is wasted (about 7000 tonnes of water is saved per tonne of cardboard recycled).

A Fully Automatic Channel baling machine for one of Britain’s finest family-run food service businesses
As part of our sustainable business and environmentally-friendly practices – and as defined by the principles of the waste hierarchy: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Recover – we’re keen on utilising technology to help our clients reduce the their impact and the amount that ends up as waste.  

And as we already collect and supply a significant volume of all grades of paper and cardboard waste for recycling, we were well positioned to help a national food service client source the right fully automatic baling machine to meet their cardboard recycling needs, and then install their new resource.  

Our client’s new fully automatic baling machine enables them to quickly, easily and cost effectively compact and bale loose cardboard boxes, reducing the amount of space their waste takes up while awaiting recycling. Baling also reduces their need for stand-alone recycling bins, which can also take up a lot of valuable space on site.

The many benefits of a baling machine
The fully automatic baler we specified for our client was sourced from Witham Mills Engineering, one of the UK’s leading baler suppliers of waste management equipment and a company Elite have a close working partnership with.  

First and foremost, baling waste cardboard with a fully automatic machine actually enables our client to recycle even more cardboard. It gives them the opportunity to back haul cardboard from their other sites and customers for baling, as the process is now far faster and easier than they’d previously experienced. This helps generate increased revenue form cardboard waste.  

What’s more, having chosen a fully automatic machine that can process four tonnes an hour, their baling machine is well suited to 24 hour operation, should demand require it.  

Further labour savings are gained from the baling machine’s fully automated conveyor feed and self-tying, so reducing the need for hands-on effort. It also maximises bale volume and density and, therefore, revenue from their waste cardboard.  

And with the specialist equipment from Witham Mills Engineering having a well-earned reputation for being robust, reliable and built to last with safety in mind: we were delighted to recommend their solution.

Last but far from least – and crucial to an environmentally conscious enterprise like Elite – the Witham Engineering automatic balers offer low power consumption.

The perfect partnership
Commenting on the installation of the new baling machine, Elite’s Managing Director, Chris Smits, said, ‘As our client has a number of depots around the UK, is highly innovative and is a fourth generation family run business that puts a premium on personal customer service, the Elite and Witham Engineering teams were a perfect fit partner for them in their search for a baling solution'.  

If you’d like to know more about the various ways we can help you reduce your packaging waste and achieve your environmental objectives, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01920 872 221 or send a message

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Unwrapping the WRAP food waste reduction roadmap
Labelling fruit in packing warehouse

Back in 2018, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) reported that some 1.6 billion tonnes of food, worth approximately $1.2 trillion, went to waste every year around the world – about one third of all the food the planet produces.

If that figure was not staggering and shameful enough, the same report also stated that around 815 million of the 7.6 billion people in the world (or nearly 11% of the population) were suffering from chronic undernourishment.

However, the reality was actually worse. A more recent publication of major new studies on global food loss and waste – which included the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Food Waste Index Report 20211, developed in collaboration with WRAP, and Driven to Waste: Global Food Loss on Farms, from the WWF and Tesco – suggests that over 40% of food produced globally may be going to waste, even higher than previously feared.

When thought for food is no longer enough
WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) is a British registered charity launched in 2000. It works with local and national governments, businesses, communities and people to reduce waste, develop sustainable products and use resources more efficiently.

WRAP’s food waste reduction roadmap has grown in renown and stature across the world and now they work internationally, having recently partnered with UNEP and UNFAO to develop the ‘Think, Eat, Save’ global food waste guidance tool.

The organisation’s most recent report, published in September 2021, was able to report very positive progress in the war to reduce food waste.

The WRAP Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Progress Report1
With the aim of helping the UK to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3, as part of the nation’s strategy to reach net zero, an increasing number of businesses are committing to the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and implementing a ‘Target, Measure, Act’ policy to improve their efficiency and resilience.

Just by achieving SDG 12.3 it’s reckoned that the UK would deliver an annual reduction in farm to fork food waste of 3.5 million tonnes by 2030, saving food worth £10 billion a year. That’s a halving of all UK food waste.

The good news is that in the past year (from September 2020 to September 2021) the number of businesses joining WRAP’s scheme has increased from 261 to 314.

It’s important to note that the roadmap includes all main food sectors from production and manufacture to retail and hospitality and service.

These numbers add up to major improvements in food waste
The roadmap report’s many positives include:

  • 21% growth in the number of businesses implementing ‘Target, Measure, Act’ and providing data to support it,
  • one-third of the UK’s large food businesses (with over 60% of sector turnover) now measuring performance,
  • around 140 businesses providing year-on-year data have reported a 17% reduction in food waste, worth £365m or £1m per day,
  • this equates to a 13 to 15% reduction in waste per tonne of food handled,
  • an estimated 670,000 tonnes of green house gas emissions have been saved through 251,000 tonnes less food being wasted,
  • some 60,000 tonnes of food was redistributed by businesses committed to the initiative, providing around 145 million meals.

Embedding ‘Target, Measure, Act’ into enterprise culture and operations is seen as an increasingly important way to help food businesses manage their resources as efficiently as possible – minimising waste and cost, maximising profitability and environmental benefit.

This not only helps businesses to increase their resilience and better meet their statutory obligations, but also ensures that any food surplus is put to good use rather than ending up as landfill.

We never let a recycling opportunity go to waste
Since our launch in 2007, the team here at Elite has developed proven expertise in creating and delivering innovative ways for some of the UK’s leading fresh produce suppliers and food processing businesses to reduce waste and recycle. We manage all types of organic waste streams and by segregating and reducing, helping our customers to meet their environmental targets and much more besides.

Our aim is to work in partnership with clients to determine the best way to segregate and reduce food waste in line with WRAP’s goals and the UK’s net zero ambitions, hence reducing the amount that ends up in landfill.

Where food waste is unavoidable we work to the principles of the waste hierarchy: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Recover. In addition, we’ll also work closely with our clients on recycling solutions for food contaminated packaging.

Commenting on the latest WRAP Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Progress Report, Elite’s Managing Director, Chris Smits, said, ‘My own background was originally in supplying fresh produce to some of the UK’s leading retailers. In fact, other members of our senior team also have agri-food and horticultural backgrounds. So we’re passionate about leading our customers on a path to reduce food waste in line with WRAP’s goals.’

Chris continued, ‘This latest roadmap report from WRAP not only provides clear and actionable solutions to what is a complex problem but it also makes really encouraging reading. It’s fantastic to see the increasing number of organisations committing to the roadmap, with an impressive 30 to 40% of the UK’s food and drink businesses (representing over 60% of the sector’s turnover) now measuring performance and taking action.’

To find out more about the ways in which we could help you reduce your food waste and achieve your environmental objectives, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01920 872 221 or visit Contact Us on this site and send us a message.

See the full WRAP Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Progress Report for 2021

1 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Food Waste Index Report 2021

2 The WRAP Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Progress Report

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Maximising recycling opportunities and efficiencies to minimise waste and cost
Picture of Enda

Here at Elite we work closely with businesses across the UK to help them efficiently, safely and cost-effectively dispose of their waste, via the principles of the waste hierarchy: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Recover.

It’s how we enable organisations to meet their environmental targets today while guiding them to achieve the evolving obligations of tomorrow.

Because we offer innovative, tailored, uniquely designed and sustainable recycling solutions for our business partners – all delivered with unparalleled, highly personal customer service – we know how important it is to listen closely to every customer requirement.

And to give us additional ears and eyes out there in this vibrant industry, we’re proud and delighted to announce that Enda Browne has joined the Elite team as our newest Business Development Manager.

Introducing Enda Browne
Enda comes to us with over 20 years of experience in various customer service roles across a wide range of industry sectors; most recently in Anaerobic Digestion feedstock waste procurement and site management.

Enda also brings to the table FMCG packaging purchasing and contract negotiation experience, as well as the knowledge he gained in pub and restaurant management earlier in his career.

We’re all looking forward to Enda utilising his experience, expertise and capabilities to ensure all our clients receive the very best advice, service and economical solutions to their waste disposal requirements, while helping them to adhere to current Duty of Care obligations and apply UK waste hierarchy criteria to all their waste streams for optimal efficiency.

Enda’s knowledge and skills have been honed with professional qualifications in a range of subjects, from a Level 4 in Anaerobic Digestion from Wamitab and the Complete Skilled Negotiator via The GAP Partnership to a CIPS Certificate in Purchasing & Supply.

A key part of our growing team
Enda’s appointment is all part of our continued and planned growth and he will be working closely with our operations and account management teams to continue to put our customers’ evolving needs first.

To find out more about this new appointment or how our services might benefit your operations, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01920 872 221 or contact us on this site.

If you’d like to contact Enda directly, simply call him on either (mobile) 07942 959 697 or (office) 01920 872 221. Alternatively, please send an e-mail to

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Expanding the operations team
Layla and Kurtis in the office

Improving our operational and process efficiency for the benefit of our customers

Operations management professionals are often seen as the glue that holds a business together.

However, here at Elite Recycling we’re constantly looking for ways to do things differently and better. And, in an industry where change is the only constant, our ops team don’t just help us to maintain the high operational standards we’ve set ourselves, they help us push those standards forward.

Now to further enhance and evolve the processes that are the foundation of the service we deliver for our customers, we’re excited and delighted to announce a couple of new additions to our operations management team.

Kurtis Hall, Operations Manager
Kurtis has spent most of his career in operations management in industries as diverse as home improvements and transport, so we’re really looking forward to him bringing his wide range of hard-earned skills, expertise and experience to our team.

Kurtis loves the fact that no two days are the same in operations management. In fact, it’s that variety, interacting with people and overcoming the challenges which are part and parcel of the role that he enjoys most.

Outside of work Kurtis spends his time cooking, socialising and trying – and often failing - to train an adorable but frustratingly disobedient German Shepherd puppy!

Layla El-Shafi, Operations Coordinator
With two years spent studying politics at the University of Westminster, followed by working in the hustle and bustle of the hospitality industry, Layla brings wide-ranging knowledge and talent to our operations management team.

Here at Elite, she’s going to be focused on and working hard to deliver our bespoke client services.

When not wrestling with the complexities of operations management for a busy recycling business, Layla enjoys visiting art galleries and museums and learning about different cultures. As an avid foodie, she also loves to cook!

The new faces and voices of the Elite Recycling team
A lot of what Kurtis and Layla will be doing goes on behind the scenes, as they work to enhance and evolve the efficient day-to-day operations and logistics at Elite.

However, they’ll also be working closely with our business development and account management teams, to continue to put our customers’ changing needs first.

So if you’re a client or supplier of Elite you’re likely to experience Kurtis and Layla putting their professional, patient and friendly approach and timely, attentive and effective communication capabilities to good use as the part of the ‘face and voice’ of our business.

To find out more about these new appointments or how our services might benefit your operations, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01920 872 221 or Contact us and ping us a message.