Tabletop hobbies create a lot of waste, and the plastic sprues containing the various bits and bobs for miniature-based titles such as Warhammer can often be among the worst offenders. Games Workshop wants to reduce their contribution to the carbon footprint by introducing a partnership that will recycle leftover and discarded plastic from their products.
The Warhammer Recycling Programme is a partnership between Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar maker Games Workshop and Terracycle, a private recycling business based in the US, that is rolling out a trial in 28 UK Warhammer store locations. By the end of March, players will see “sprue bins” popping up inside the hobby shops where materials that would otherwise be trashed is collected and ostensibly shipped off for a second life.
In its announcement blog, Games Workshop claims Citadel’s “very high quality and purity” plastic means that it can be repurposed into plenty of objects that regularly make use of recycled plastics, including garden planters, playground equipment and table tennis tables. So, no, your old Space Marines will not be theme-appropriately transformed into a new Tyranid miniature or anything, but imagine youngsters sliding down a tube composed of Chaos minions. Tzeentch would approve.
Here’s what you can put in the sprue bins: sprues, obviously (even if they still have some bits attached), old and unwanted plastic Warhammer miniatures and paint pots with no liquid in them. Games Workshop said the acrylic paints inside the pots are also recyclable. What should not be tossed in are metal or resin minis or non-Games Workshop miniatures or other plastic materials. The sprue bins are reportedly not general-use recycling receptacles.
The pilot programme won’t extend past the UK for the moment, and though Games Workshop claimed it wanted to expand into other regions as soon as possible no timeline was provided.
It should be noted that recycling programmes have a history of greenwashing companies in the eyes of consumers, providing both private businesses a benefit without making any substantive difference. In fact, public trust in the entire practice of recycling has been eroding for years under mounting evidence that the plastics and oil industries in several countries misled governments and consumers of recycling’s efficacy - in short, if people believe recycling works, they continue to buy plastic guilt-free.
Check Games Workshop's official website for a complete list of locations in the pilot programme. Dicebreaker has reached out to TerraCycle and Games Workshop for more information.