Miniature manufacturer Games Workshop has announced that 28 of its Warhammer stores will accept customers’ plastic waste, starting this March, as a trial for a wider recycling scheme. The firm announced the initiative to recycle empty plastic sprues and paint pots via a post on the Warhammer Community website on Tuesday.
GW says that the scheme is simple for customers: “bring in your used sprues and empty paint pots, deposit them in the sprue bin at one of the participating stores, and we’ll take care of the rest”. Unwanted plastic models will also be accepted.
Some restrictions will apply: GW says “we can only accept items whose chemical composition we are sure of”, and therefore sprues from other companies’ kits won’t be accepted. Paint pots should not contain liquid, but you can deposit them if they contain dry paint residue. The firm will only accept polystyrene plastic waste, not metal or resin, even if it comes from a GW or Forge World mini.
GW’s article lists 28 UK stores that will take part in the trial. It says that “all going well, we plan to roll the scheme out to more stores and regions soon”.
The polystyrene from model kits is a recyclable hard plastic but isn’t accepted in domestic recycling. GW’s initiative should make it easier for customers to recycle the waste from their Warhammer kits, rather than send them to landfill.
If you’ve been painting miniatures for a while, you’ll know just how much plastic waste is generated from building a model kit – a Warhammer 40k combat patrol box has about ten sprues in it, and a whole army for your favourite Warhammer 40k faction will be spread over dozens of sprues.
GW acknowledges in the article that “many Warhammer fans have already reached out to ask about the best way to recycle their old sprues”. Some fans have gotten quite creative at disposing of their waste, turning sprues into terrain.
During the 20th century the disposal of defunct consumer goods and the waste associated with them was considered the responsibility of consumers rather than manufacturers. This created a financial incentive for wasteful and polluting behaviour, but is not environmentally sustainable.