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Supporting the circular economy – shredders built to last

Talk continues in the waste and recycling industry about the importance of the circular economy and the role it plays in driving greater resource and economic security. But to what extent do we each support its progress? UNTHA UK’s managing director Chris Oldfield shares his thoughts…

“If we were to thoroughly debate the level of commitment we each show to upholding the principles of the circular economy, we could talk for hours. This is because the concept, whilst widely referenced by many on a daily basis, is in fact quite complex.

Some people think very carefully about their purchasing and resource consumption habits in the home, for example, but in the workplace there is much less regard for the circular economy. Other people display the complete opposite behaviour. There’s also the argument that people may think meticulously about reusing and recycling as many household or workplace items as they can. However, as soon as the latest smart phone or tablet is announced, for example, many dash to the shops to make their next purchase, leaving their old, fully functional device redundant in their desks. Surely that’s a little contradictory…

It’s true we’ve come some way in the development of closed loop approaches that guide the way we live our lives. And, in business, circular enterprise models are taking shape too. Yet they need some refinement and there’s still a long way to go.

The important thing to note, however, is that we are making some progress. What’s more, taking a mental note of what we are (or are not) doing to support the circular economy, is an important exercise in itself. It helps to focus our minds on the positives, and identify where greater efforts may be required.

This week, I’m therefore encouraging everyone to think of one key way that they’re helping to improve the economic security of our society, with circular thinking. By each sharing our behaviours – especially in an industry that places such value on knowledge-transfer – there’s a chance other people may follow suit.

The example I’d like to put forward is on behalf of the whole UNTHA organisation, and is a credit to everyone involved – we engineer shredders that are built to last.

A large number of the shredders that we installed over 30 years ago – which have worked tirelessly, day in day out, within clients’ waste and recycling facilities – are still in perfect working order. Such a bold statement cannot be said for many pieces of equipment and technologies from the same era.

This also means that, if a client’s shredding requirements change, a used shredder, after a long and successful ‘first life’ in one plant, can be refurbished, reconfigured and re-commissioned for use in another operation. Even our shredder cutters can be refurbished thanks to our investment in additional machinery and tooling.

By procuring a quality, long-lasting product in the first place, organisations are future-proofing their investment and thinking circular. Of course our shredders achieve a number of wider efficiency, throughput and precision benefits too, for that added ‘icing on the cake’.

We even realise that some companies are leaning towards the ‘product as a service’ procurement concept, meaning they lease a specific shredder for a defined period of time and, when their needs change, they upgrade/downgrade according to their requirements. This means the fully functional machine is returned for use by another firm. If this is of interest to you, talk to UNTHA Finance.

UNTHA does not profess to be perfect of course, and when it comes to the circular economy we acknowledge there is more work to be done within our organisation, just as there are in many other UK companies. But whilst it is important that we evaluate our position and look for ways to improve, it also doesn’t hurt to give each other a pat on the back for the incredibly important achievements that we’ve already made.”

If you are interested in investing in a new waste shredder from UNTHA UK, or if a used or refurbished waste shredder appeals to you, then please contact our team of consultants on 0845 450 5388, email or complete our short enquiry form, and we’ll be in touch.

Or, if cutter refurbishment has caught your attention, please contact our aftersales team on 0845 450 5388, email

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UNTHA UK is the country’s leading supplier of innovative waste shredding technology and waste management expertise. Combining unparalleled technological manufacturing capabilities with decades of UK marketplace and shredding application expertise, UNTHA UK delivers an insightful, personable and value-adding service which has cemented the company’s position as the number one waste machinery provider in the country. ISOQAR Registered
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