What products can be destroyed?

We have shredding and secure destruction enquiries about a huge range of products. What products can you destroy? Can you destroy bulk volumes of mixed materials? Should I destroy branded products? What should I do with recalled stock? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article.

At Shred Station, we can destroy almost anything. Whether it’s one bag of misprinted t-shirts or a thousand boxes of outdated packaging items, we can ensure its secure destruction and disposal. We can destroy single-material items or mixed materials and can do this on-site at your premises or off-site at our secure facilities. But let’s talk specifics.

Illustration of many different product types including a mug, a teddy bear, food and drink packaging, textiles, data storage devices, clothes, ID cards, electronics and jewellery.

How to destroy faulty products and recalled goods?

You must destroy faulty products and recalls to prevent them from accidentally entering the market. If faulty or recalled goods did enter or re-enter the market, this could pose a potential risk to public health and safety – especially in the case of electronics. It could also damage your brand’s reputation because your customers are receiving a product that doesn’t work. Destruction will prevent the products from being lost, stolen, or sold.

What should I do with unwanted prototypes and pre-production samples?

If you’re wondering what you should do with unwanted product prototypes and pre-production samples, we have a solution. You guessed it – shred them! Prototypes and pre-production samples could be disastrous in the hands of your competitors. If pre-production designs and prototypes were leaked, your competitors could pip you to the post and gain a competitive advantage. Shredding any unwanted prototypes and pre-production samples will help to prevent this from happening.

How should I dispose of official merchandise or branded goods?

When disposing of official merchandise or branded goods, businesses need to be careful to protect their brand image and the image of any brands they stock. Simply throwing these items away could be harmful to the environment, result in reputational damage, and put a strain on the relationship you have with the brands you stock. You could try to sell these items at a discount or donate them. Another option is to recycle the materials. Shred Station offers secure recycling services if this is an option you want to take. You can also shred the items. You should use a sustainable waste management supplier who can do this securely and in an environmentally responsible manner. At Shred Station, nothing we shred goes to landfill and we recycle all materials possible.

What should my company do with old fashion accessories, jewellery items, handbags and shoes?

With fashion items, most brands will reduce the price to sell out-of-season stock or items that aren’t selling well at full price. However, if there are accessories, jewellery or other items that are not likely to sell even at discount stores, donation is a great option. So is recycling.

For high-end fashion retailers, you may also need to consider destruction. Discounting high-value items can erode the value of the brand and make your products more accessible to counterfeiters. By shredding your items, you reduce the risk of this happening and also open up potential recycling solutions for the unrecognisable shredded fragments. This can give your old designer goods a new, sustainable lease of life.

Destruction is also the only suitable solution for old uniforms. If someone not employed by your company had access to your waste uniforms, they could use them to impersonate an employee. This could have devastating impacts on your business. By shredding old uniforms with Shred Station, you can safeguard your company’s reputation and avoid landfill at the same time.

What should be done with counterfeit goods, seized items, and lost items?

The UK government estimates that counterfeiting and piracy costs the UK economy £9 billion each year, plus 80,500 job losses. It is a huge problem. As well as economic damage, it can damage the public perception of a brand and can fund other types of crime. It is important to ensure that counterfeit products do not find their way back into circulation, and the best way to do this is through secure destruction.

Illustration to demonstrate the subtleties of counterfeit goods

For seized and lost items, your options are a bit more flexible. It may be possible for you to return lost items to the original owner. If they are unclaimed, lost items, like seized goods, can be donated to non-profit organisations or charities provided they are safe and meet quality standards. You could also sell the items at auction. For seized or lost goods unsuitable for donation or resale, shredding and recycling is a good option. At Shred Station, we have destroyed all sorts of lost and seized goods including weaponry, counterfeit products and currency, mobile phones, and much more.

What should I do with old data storage devices?

As technology evolves, businesses often find themselves with old data storage devices that are no longer needed or usable. It is imperative that businesses dispose of these devices properly to ensure no sensitive information is compromised. The best option to ensure the safety of data stored on these devices is destruction. This applies to hard drives, digital media, data tapes, microfiche, floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, USBs, and memory cards. For magnetic media like hard drives, degaussing is also a good option.

It is important to ensure all materials are properly destroyed in line with EN 15713 security shredding standards and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Businesses should also maintain accurate disposal records to demonstrate compliance with GDPR. When you destroy your data storage devices with us (and anything else with us, for that matter), we will provide a Waste Transfer Note and Certificate of Destruction after every collection. These documents provide proof of responsible disposal for your audit trail.

Can I destroy food and drink packaging?

You certainly can destroy your unwanted food and drink packaging! We work with many manufacturers that create things like confectionary wrappers or drinks bottles, for example. These packaging items and product labels often need to be destroyed. For example, after Easter, we may receive an influx of branded Easter egg boxes and chocolate wrappers that are no longer needed but must be destroyed to prevent the risk of misuse. Another example of when labels might have to be destroyed is when drinks companies host competitions. With these competitions, a customer may be able to visit the company’s website and enter a code printed on the bottle’s neck or label for an opportunity to win a prize. These would have to be destroyed once the competition ends. Fortunately, our industrial shredders can handle these items with ease.

What can I do with items that still contain food/drinks or animal byproducts?

Animal byproducts (ABPs), liquids, non-ABP material? All can be destroyed but with the added benefit of producing energy. Shred Station has a network of specialist food waste plants that can take in your food waste, even if it is in packaging. In this process, the material is taken into a reception area and blended with other food waste. It is then passed through a de-packaging machine that separates the packaging from the food. The packaging is collected in a sealed waste container and is then sent to Energy from Waste where it will be securely incinerated to produce energy for the National Grid.

The leftover food is also used to make energy. The food mix passes through various tanks where, in the rotting process, it produces methane. This methane is captured (rather than being pumped into the atmosphere) and used to power turbines. These turbines produce electricity which is also supplied to the National Grid. The leftover food “sludge” (known as liquor) is then sent to farmers to be used for land spreading.

This incredible process means that, with Shred Station, your food waste and ABP are disposed of securely, generate energy, do not contribute to landfill, and are even used as fertiliser!

A Certificate of Destruction and video/photo evidence can even be obtained to give you total peace of mind that your materials have been securely destroyed.

Everything else

We could list every type of product on earth, but for unwanted products, the best options are generally, donation (if suitable), secure recycling, or secure destruction.

There are certain items, however, where destruction is the only suitable option. These products can include ID cards, bank cards, X-rays, or any other commercially or personally sensitive items. Items that are unsafe or illegal to possess or sell should also be destroyed.

At Shred Station, we can destroy pretty much anything. If you have products you need to destroy, get in touch. Our shredding experts will be able to advise the best option for your business and provide a bespoke quote.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive alerts about new blog articles, data protection advice, and Shred Station news.