Wharington offers the furniture industry a viable, sustainable, cleaner alternative to using timber products for framing upholstered furniture, eliminating sawdust, off-cuts and minimising glues and solvents from the work place. In furniture production, moulded shapes reduce the bulk of materials like foams required in upholstery, thereby reducing costs and the volume of waste at end-of-life. From an economic aspect, waste management in the furniture manufacturing industry is estimated at costing business an average of AUS$41,000.00 per annum.
Water is not a significant resource used in the production of Recopol mouldings. The diminished quality of ground water in Australia is due in part to contamination from leachates seeping from landfill. The Meinhardt Report estimated that half a million cubic metres of waste per year from the state of Victoria goes to landfill from furniture manufacture, 79% is contaminated timber product. Avoidance of solvent and glue contaminated sawdust and timber off-cuts at the manufacturing stage and end-of-life disposal of furniture to landfill will improve the quality of water in our environment.
The management and staff at Wharington International continue to examine its internal practices to develop ways to lessen its impact on the environment. As a manufacturer and marketer of green products, Wharington International is aware of the responsibility that it has to lead by example.
Wharington recycles all its scrap metal from the engineering plant. The metals industry estimates that there is now a 30% recycled content in all steel.
Wharington re-uses all cardboard boxes and pallets from suppliers to despatch its truck parts. New cardboard packaging purchased contains between 40%and 60% recycled content.
Non -toxic cleaning materials are used in and around the factories and offices. Where it is possible, water-based paints have replaced solvent based-paints.
Recycled paper is used in the offices and for sales literature and waste paper is collected for recycling.
Looking to the future:
The recycling industry needs more designers to create products from recovered materials. Wharington mentors furniture design students in sustainable design and supports their educators to encourage young designers to seek sustainable design solutions.