Our recycling and sustainability mission

Here at Oxford Plastics, we are dedicated to reducing the amount of waste produced and recycling our materials where possible. We have a detailed recycling and sustainability promise for our customers and end users – which follows the notion that:

  • We aim to design out waste & pollution in our products and processes.
  • We keep products & materials in use through the ‘Right to Repair’.
  • We manufacture long-lasting innovative site safety equipment.

What we do to maintain our sustainability promise

We’re proud to contribute to the concept of a circular economy: “A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use” – Ellen MacArthur Foundation. And the best way for Oxford Plastics to contribute is by prolonging the life of the products we sell, by ensuring they withstand the test of time using rigorous testing measures.

We also have the 2021 goal of reducing our site’s carbon footprint by using low-carbon or zero-carbon energy sources to run it. This energy will then be used directly in our manufacturing process in order to power our moulding machines, and indirectly power the offices we have on site.

Sustainable safety products

When it comes to our sustainability promise, we endeavour to be as environmentally friendly as possible – which is why we source our recycled and virgin materials from the UK and Europe, and source materials locally wherever possible to reduce our carbon footprint.

All the products we design are created with recycled materials in mind. We have even partnered with Barclay’s Green Asset Finance to provide a more energy efficient solution to our creation process, purchasing more sustainable moulding machines and components.

Wherever we can, we try to provide a sustainable solution for our products. For example, our Lantis Barrier range is the only product of its type in the world – made from 85% PCR (post-consumer resin) plastic which comes from plastic bags and wrapping used by retailers and factories. However, the most important part of our environmental sustainability and recycling promise is PVC recycling.

PVC Recycling

Here at our Enstone site, we have the ability to recycle and reuse PVC where possible. This material is then reused in other products we manufacture, too. On average, we use around 23,000 tonnes of recycled PVC each year to create our products.

Which PVC products can be recycled?

Our PVC plastic safety products which can be recycled include items such as:

The ‘Right to Repair’ act

Here at Oxford Plastics, we are also proud to offer the ‘Right to Repair’. This approach ensures that when you buy a product from a company or business, said business should then provide you with the ability to repair this product if it has broken – rather than simply having to buy a new one. This means we are able to extend the product’s life and encourage our end users to repair rather than replace – creating a more sustainable safety solution.

In order to facilitate this for our customers, we sell replacement parts and features of our plastic safety products. For example, if a foot breaks on one of our pedestrian barriers, we can provide you with a new foot and instructions on how to fit it.

Need to return our products for recycling?

Returning your products for recycling purposes couldn’t be easier with Oxford Plastics.

  • Step 1: contact sales@oxfordplastics.com to confirm whether your products can be returned to our Enstone site for recycling or reuse. In this email, please include images and a description of the goods
  • Step 2: you can then arrange haulage and pay the £15 handling fee per pallet for products returned to us
  • Step 3: the products which are made of recycled PVC are then recycled on site in Enstone.

For more information on our sustainable safety products, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.

Lane Rental scheme

Lane Rental scheme: changes and how we can help

The TfL Lane Rental scheme, initially introduced in 2012, applies to the most traffic-sensitive areas and times of day in the UK – accounting for around 69% of the Transport for London Road Network. The scheme is designed to encourage behaviour change and reduce highway occupation by implementing a daily charge to utility companies that are undertaking roadworks or construction in these areas. This then encourages workers to get the job done quicker – thereby causing less disruption to traffic flow, pedestrians and noise pollution.

What is the Lane Rental scheme daily charge?

The charge of renting this space for streetworks can often be as much as £2,500 per day. However, weekends are typically charged at a lower rate than weekdays and peak times. The scheme focuses on London and its boroughs currently, but may be expanded to further areas in the future.

When work is required on highways at critical times and locations, the New Roads and Street Works Act gives highway authorities the ability to implement Permit schemes and Lane Rental Charges – which unfortunately results in large costs for utility companies. Public perception of utility organisations is then, in turn, influenced by the disruption caused when works are carried out.

This scheme affects our end users, the contractors and utility companies as they are the ones who are charged for their work, and the time it takes to complete this work. That’s why providing the most time-efficient equipment is so important, as it allows our end users to get the job done quickly and safely.

Key facts about the Lane Rental scheme

  • It is estimated that there are around 4 million excavations carried out annually by utility companies which incur costs of circa £5.5billion.
  • The majority of utility assets (pipes, cables, ducts etc.) in the UK are underground. Therefore, any installation, modification, repair or replacement of these assets will require some method of excavation.
  • There are a number of techniques that address the installation, modification, repair or replacement of assets for excavation, with some examples being open cut trenching, directional drilling, pipe bursting and impact moling.
  • Roadworks and construction can affect the public in a variety of ways, and there needs to be a particular focus on improving this for those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged.

What changes have been made to the Lane Rental scheme?

On 1st May 2021, new changes were made to the Lane Rental scheme by TfL due to feedback from utility companies. This was done in order to:

  • Reflect modern day travel demands (e.g. walking, cycling, public transport)
  • Reward those with exemplary works safety and disruption mitigation records
  • Encourage major infrastructure renewal projects
  • Provide increased opportunities to avoid charges

The changes being made to the scheme include:

  • Extending the Lane Rental scheme network from 56% to 69%
  • Increasing tidal locations (AM or PM peak periods) by 16%
  • Lane Rental only operating until 8pm latest on a weekday (changed from 10pm)
  • 65% of the calendar week is now free from charges
  • Charges for works that deliver major infrastructure improvements reduced by 50%

Learn more about the Lane Rental scheme from TfL now.

How Oxford Plastics can help alleviate Lane Rental scheme pain

Here at Oxford Plastics, we pride ourselves on the fact we are a solutions provider. We’ve listened closely to our end users and understand the problems they have, and are exposed to, with this scheme. That’s why it’s so important to provide solutions that mean workers can be in and out of the job quickly and easily – trusting the safety equipment they are working with, enabling them to get the work done in a timely, yet safe, manner.

Safety products to increase efficiency

With construction and streetworks, there’s often periods of time where work has been implemented somewhat, but hasn’t been completed – which can still cause disruption to traffic flow. For example, when pipe lane work is being done, there could be a 12-hour period where asphalt needs to be backfilled in again – but by putting something down or across the roadworks, it means people can continue to drive over the trench. Some of the products that minimise disruption during streetworks include:

  • Road plates and trench covers – by using road plates or trench covers, the road can be opened up again in between works – meaning that disruption can be minimised, as traffic can drive over this equipment safely and easily.
  • Safety barriers – here at Oxford Plastics, we provide a wide range of barriers – including the Avalon barrier, the SafeGate and the StrongWall barrier. These plastic barriers allow for areas to be cordoned off safely – providing safe access for pedestrians around areas of roadworks or construction.
  • EnduraSign QuickFit Frame – we’re proud to present one of our newest products, the EnduraSign QuickFit Frame. Compatible with 300mm drilled sign faces, this can be used to alert pedestrians and road users of ongoing construction work and activity.

For more information on Lane Rental schemes, and how Oxford Plastics can help reduce daily rental charge by providing time-efficient safety equipment, get in touch with our expert team today.