Think Circular
Award

Celebrating the circularity successes of our customers

Think Circular Award winner

Shining a light on circularity

Reconomy’s ‘Think Circular Award’ seeks to showcase the achievements of organisations that are making proactive and innovative strides towards a more sustainable future. Each month, Reconomy representatives nominate customers who they have witnessed showing remarkable dedication and progress towards circularity.

This might be based on consistent achievement or tangible progress towards sustainability goals, a specific project that has delivered environmental benefits, an innovative way of doing things or an inspirational individual who has driven change.

This month's winner: McDonald's

As part of their reimaging store refurbishment works, McDonald's is making huge strides in preventing waste, promoting reuse, and uplifting communities. In 2023, Reconomy first facilitated the reuse of surplus-to-requirements McDonald's furniture from a newly refurbished restaurant in Lymm (Warrington). The furniture was donated to YMCA, demonstrating how commercial-grade restaurant furniture can avoid becoming waste and instead add value socially, environmentally, and commercially.

The scalability of the project and the potential for national impact has seen it expand in 2024, with furniture from Bromley and, most recently, Droitwich restaurants also going to support community projects/charities. Stools from Droitwich found a new home at One Vision School of Arts, aiding their rehearsals and performance space, and creating both circularity and social value.

Mcdonalds 1

McDonald's is making huge strides in preventing waste

Mcdonalds 3

Promoting reuse and uplifting communities

Mcdonalds 2

A circular approach to furniture waste

Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey established a Biodiversity Net Gain and nature enhancement project on a housebuilding site within Shropshire, which included hedgehog highways, bird and bat boxes and bug hotels. This initiative involved a partnership with Shrewsbury’s Severndale Academy Futures program.

Aimed at 16–18-year-olds, the program focuses on practical skills like landscaping, hospitality, catering, and technology, rather than traditional academics. As part of the project, Reconomy delivered used pallets to the academy, where students repurposed the timber into bird boxes, which were then returned to Taylor Wimpey for installation around the site.

This provided a closed-loop solution to reduce waste and support sustainability goals, as well as invaluable hands-on experience for the students. It also enabled Reconomy to educate them on environmental benefits, fostering a new generation of sustainability champions. The success of this project sets the stage for expanding this initiative across the wider Taylor Wimpey portfolio.

KiK

As the founding member of Reconomy’s first Textile Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) in Italy, KiK is pioneering efforts to adapt to upcoming Textile Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation with Reconomy brands RLG and ReBound. This proactive approach ensures that KiK is not just compliant, but also leading the way in sustainability and environmental responsibility in the textile industry. This vital partnership marks a significant milestone not only for KiK but for the entire textile sector in Italy.

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo has been recognised for its dedicated commitment to circularity, involving a comprehensive review of existing waste operations as part of Reconomy brand ACM’s Greener Path Programme. By pioneering innovative ways to reduce waste, improve reuse and recycling, and embed sustainable practices, Chester Zoo is setting a benchmark for what sustainability efforts should look like on its journey towards zero waste.

M&S

We were delighted to celebrate the innovative thinking of M&S to introduce EcoVend Reverse Vending Machines across 20 flagship stores, a pioneering step ahead of Ireland’s inaugural Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). With the support of Reconomy brands ACM and EcoVend, M&S is leading by example, showcasing a commitment to sustainability that goes beyond expectations. The introduction of EcoVend machines are not just a testament to M&S’s dedication to reducing waste and promoting recycling; they’re a beacon of change, encouraging us all to think and act more sustainably.

HP Latin America

HP Latin America, demonstrated the social benefits that can be harnessed alongside environmental protections when increasing circularity. Reconomy brand, RLG, worked with HP to develop an innovative process to collect and ship HP toner cartridges collected across seven countries to Colombia for recycling. Developing this process, the toners are then dismantled, and the materials separated before the plastics are turned into pellets.

These recovered plastics are then used in social project called “Recupera tu silla” – or “Recover your chair” – which aims to restore chairs and tables in primary schools in poor, rural areas in Colombia.

“Donating to charities such as the YMCA aligns with our commitment to reducing waste. We’re proud to see our old furniture repurposed, given a new lease of life, and supporting local communities and the environment.”

Dominic Murphy, Restaurant Manager

McDonald’s Lymm (Warrington)

“We’re committed to reducing waste and enhancing nature across the business and this work with Reconomy contributes to both, while helping young people gain valuable sustainability related skills. We are delighted to win this award for a very rewarding project and look forward to the next exciting initiative.”

Ian Heasman, Director of Sustainability,
Taylor Wimpey

“We’re delighted to have won the Reconomy Think Circular Award, celebrating our work towards zero waste. Right now, we’re facing a global biodiversity and climate crisis. Never before has nature been in need of more urgent help. That’s why it’s vitally important that, as a global conservation and education charity that’s striving to create a better world where nature can survive and thrive, we lift our efforts on sustainability to new heights and showcase what’s possible. We’re proud to be a leader in this area that’s inspiring others to do the same – the future of our planet depends on it.”

Jennifer Kelly, Head of Sustainability,
Chester Zoo

“We are delighted to be the recipient of this award. Our priority is to help our Irish customers to navigate the Deposit Return Scheme confidently and our relationship with EcoVend supports this through the innovative and user-friendly design of their reverse vending machines”.

Eddie Murphy, Country Director for Ireland and Northern Ireland,
M&S

Our Think Circular Award spotlights the remarkable efforts of our customers as they pursue a more efficient, circular future. I am continually bowled over by the lengths to which businesses are willing to innovate in order to create positive social and environmental impacts. This monthly award seeks to recognise the real change – not just the rhetoric – that our customers across the world are driving in pursuit of greater sustainability.

Guy Wakeley, Reconomy Chief Executive