London Billingsgate Fish Market is turning waste into revenue
- The fish box market is the largest packaging application of expanded polystyrene (EPS) in Europe.
- The material protects the 657,000 tonnes of fish landed at UK ports and fish farms every year.
- On-site recycling of fish boxes at Billingsgate Fish Market in London has proven to be a viable commercial enterprise for a local waste and recycling company.
London’s Billingsgate Fish Market, owned by the City of London Corporation, is the largest inland fish market in the UK. Regent Hill, a waste management and recycling company, takes advantage of the large amount of used fish boxes occurring at the market place.
In Billingsgate market, the compaction element is located centrally and is easily accessible for all fish traders. The compacted material blocks are passed on to companies that convert the recyclable material to a usable compound. The new material is then used for manufacturing new products – in the case of the material sourced in Billingsgate, its insulation boards.
Recycling works because the outlay for the machines is more than covered by the savings in disposal costs and by generated revenue.
Contribution to a circular economy
On-site recycling at the fish market not only saves resources for collection and transportation of waste material, but also provides a closed-loop system to produce recycled material for the construction industry.
- Regent Hill
- London Billingsgate Fish Market
“By introducing innovative and dedicated EPS recycling technology at the source of the waste, we have been able to increase our recycling rates and remove EPS from the landfill route. Developing new sustainable markets for the recyclate has generated increased revenues and, combined with landfill savings, results in a cost-positive and eco-friendly solution.”
Superintendent, Billingsgate Fish Market
- EPS recycling – the facts
- Environment facts
- Recycling post-packaging EPS
- Recycling post-construction EPS
- Environmental performance
- BRE Green Guide
- Seafish: Alternative disposal of polystyrene fish boxes (pdf)
- Practicalities, Managing Waste & Energy Recovery
- Recycling Machinery Suppliers
- Links to companies that sell recycled plastic products
- Uptake and effects of orally ingested polystyrene microplastic particles in vitro and in vivo
EPS and the environment
- Currys PC World Collection of Customers’ White Goods Packaging
- John Lewis Collection of Customers’ White Goods Packaging
- Recycling at Billingsgate Fish Market