What is the biggest cause of waste in shopping centres?

There is an ever growing pressure on the retail industry when it comes to the way in which their waste is both managed and disposed of. With shopping centres being such large spaces with a high capacity of people and a range of different shops, it is no surprise that in the UK the retail sector is responsible for around 12% of all industrial and commercial waste. When it comes to generating waste in shopping centres it, sadly, is unavoidable which is why the push for correct waste management is important now more than ever. So, we can see that a large capacity of waste is constantly being generated but what is the biggest cause of waste in shopping centres?

The types of waste generated in shopping centres

You can probably take a guess at what some of the most common waste is just from either visiting a shopping centre or working in retail. Retailers are handling various products each and every single day; every type of waste created will be different depending on the store and their products. Some deal with clothing whereas others will be dealing with food related products. It simply depends on the type and size of the business. One thing that they will all have in common is the amount of packaging generated everyday which ultimately ends up as waste. Some other examples of waste in shopping centres can also be general waste, fabric waste, e-waste, glass and, of course, plastic and paper. Yet, what is being done about this?

Why retail waste management plans are important 

This is something that every single business – big or small – should have in place. A waste management plan in retail is vital; it is simply a way to ensure that businesses can plan how the waste produced will be managed. It will cover what can be recycled, reused and disposed of. Not only will this ensure that waste is disposed of, but it means that it will be done in the correct and most efficient way. 

What type of waste management solutions are used?

With such a large excess of waste being produced by retailers, business owners and the general public, there of course has to be a solution. Shopping centres, depending on size, use waste management equipment  such as recycling bins, balers, compactors and general waste bins to keep what’s being produced under control. Things like general waste and recycling bins can be used by the general public to ensure they are also doing their part to help manage waste.

General waste bins

I am sure you can think of a time when you have rolled your eyes and made a comment at the amount of rubbish that has been left on the floor; sadly, as the general public a lot of us are guilty of this. This is exactly why general waste bins are almost everywhere you go; they are where the majority of day to day rubbish can be disposed of. By having these placed in shopping centres, it means any waste created can be disposed of straight away. 

Recycling bins

Of course no matter where you go, recycling will always be encouraged which is exactly why recycling bins have been introduced in most shopping centres. When we recycle, we can  help reduce the amount of pollution created by waste. Recycling bins within shopping centres make it easy for anyone and everyone to dispose of things like drinks cans, bottles, glass, plastic and food waste at the source. 


When it comes to shops and the overall waste generated in a shopping centre, bigger machinery is needed to manage this waste. One way in which this is done is through the use of balers. A baler is used to compact waste efficiently and then becomes a part of the recycling process. They help to manage things such as cardboard, polythene, plastics and other paper products. Not only is this a popular choice within retail but industries such as schools, manufacturing, recycling facilities and other businesses choose this type of waste management – it’s no surprise that they do if it means the workplace can stay tidy, no matter the amount of waste. 


Another type of equipment used is compactors. Places like retail shops, restaurants and other businesses need a more robust solution that fits both the area they work in and the volume and type of waste. This waste management solution works by firstly collecting waste into a container.  Eventually that waste will then be crushed or compacted. It is a simple process that means the volume and footprint of waste can be reduced which will result in a larger quantity and weight of waste being hauled away less frequently. 

When it comes to the biggest cause of waste in shopping centres, there is no one thing to blame; it is a constant mix of packaging, the general public’s waste and an awful lot of plastic. As this is something that is unavoidable, it is vital that the correct waste management solutions are always being put in place. This of course is relevant to more than just shopping centres. Waste management solutions not only help to protect our environment from any harm, but they are also an excellent way to help save money when it comes to your business. 
Here at PDE Waste Technologies we are proud to offer a range of different and practical waste management solutions. Whether it is for retail purposes or something completely different, our services have got you covered. Our equipment ranges from compactors and balers all the way to wheeled containers. For more information you can contact our expert team today on 01386860023 or email us at sales@pde.uk.com.

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