A scuba diver in Wales has transformed his own company’s plastic use – all because of the horrors he has witnessed while diving in the world’s oceans.
Welshpool-based businessman Stuart Grimshaw, Managing Director of EuroChem, began scuba diving fours years ago and has visited diving hotspots such as the Great Barrier Reef and Sharm El Sheikh.
EuroChem manufactures and distributes products worldwide, supplying major organisations like the Ministry of Defence and Formula One teams, but it’s his diving hobby that has played a part in the environmental strategy shake-up for his business.
“All the things you read about turtles being trapped in plastic packaging and whales eating plastic bags, I have seen with my own eyes and it is heartbreaking and appalling,” Stuart, told MyWelshpool.co.uk.
“It is awful out there and getting a lot worse with every dive that I do. Cans lying on the ocean beds at 30-40 metres, plastic bags floating like ghosts in the water and plastic bottles floating everywhere. It is crazy destruction of our oceans and as the MD of a chemicals company I was appalled at what we are collectively doing,” he explained to the publication.
Compelled to take action, Grimshaw, according to the report, has ‘altered ingredients like removing microbeads from his cosmetics products, and has undertaken an extensive overhaul of his operations to ensure that he is recycling as much of his plastics as possible.’
Beginning this year, the company has set up a cash deposit scheme on all plastic bottles sold via its global distribution network. Bottles will now be bailed and shipped back, then granulated for creating new bottles.
The businessman has also pledged to reduce plastic packaging materials by 90% in ‘favour’ of recycled cardboard and paper.
“We all have to take responsibility,” he told MyWelshpool. “My company is responsible for shipping around 50,000 plastic bottles of products a week with many previously ending up in the ocean. This can’t happen anymore so we are working with our clients and distributors to make sure everyone is a winner financially as well by recycling.”
Now Grimshaw is encouraging larger companies in the UK to cut down on plastic, especially as he estimates that his new operations could make potential savings of £250,000 per year.
“My message is clear to them: You are killing the oceans with plastic,” he said. “The Tescos, Sainsburys and Morrisons of this world need to go and have a look for themselves.”
Main image: Stock shot