Bench For Wheelchair User Green Hive

Nairn social enterprise thinks big over plastic waste

Published: 05/03/2024

New machine boosts income opportunities

Green Hive staff in front of ne machine

A community-focused social enterprise in Nairn is set to boost its recycled plastics production thanks to a new one-of-a-kind in the Highlands piece of machinery.

Green Hive is a dynamic local organisation which puts people, sustainability and protecting the environment at the heart of its work. The team and its many local volunteers deliver a range of services, including everything from beach litter picks, recycling plastics and textiles, invasive species management, e-bikes, to creating a wide range of re and upcycled custom hand-finished products.

They own and manage the Seaman’s Hall, an Enterprise Workshop in Balmakeith and the Viewfield Orchard on behalf of the community.

We have supported their growth plans with a grant of almost £4,500, towards a new 1.5m2 plastics hot press machine. It’s believed to be the first of this particular size and kind in the Highlands, and enables them to increase the variety of recycled plastic items which can be made at their workshop.

The machine transforms a variety of plastics to sheets of colour matched welded rods. These can then be sold to other manufacturers, or used in the Green Hive workshop. They have a broad range of uses from signage, to worktops, and Green Hive themselves build bespoke outdoor furniture.

As well as increasing their trading figures ever sheet pressed diverts 25 kilos of waste from landfill.

Green Hive chief executive Matthew Whithey, said: “We’ve had great success with our upcycled products and this machine will be a game changer for the workshop in delivering bigger projects inhouse.

“We take many end-of-life plastics and transform them into unique, functional products built to last.  Clocks, coasters, craft tiles, bird boxes, and bespoke outdoor furniture, are all crafted and all hand-finished by project volunteers.

“This project will support volunteers to gain confidence and new skills such as: operating tools and machinery, product development and recycling waste plastic into design items for retail.”

HIE’s development manager Gabbi Heaton-Armstrong said: “The investment in this project will expand volunteering opportunities for local people, the Workshop will be able to tackle more complex orders supporting their financial sustainability, and their work reuses and reduces waste. Green Hive is moving into new and exciting territory for a Scottish community enterprise.”

For more about Green Hive see our feature

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