In a hobby like Warhammer, you’re always going to end up with more plastic than you reasonably know what to do with. Whether it’s a sea of grey models you never got around to doing anything with, or the sprues all those models came on, any complete project is always going to come with a lot of waste — and Games Workshop wants to do something about it.
The tabletop wargaming company today announced a limited trial for the Warhammer Recycling Program. Although the plastic sprues (the plastic “frame” that model pieces are attached to) have long been recyclable, the initiative is the first time the company itself has brought a recycling program in-house. Participating Warhammer stores across the UK, 28 in all, will be rolling out recycling collection bins by the end of March for hobbyists to drop off used-up sprues, old plastic models, and empty paint pots. “The ‘why’ is obvious–looking after Terra is everyone’s responsibility, us included, and this is a small thing that we can do to help the effort,” the announcement post reads in part.
There are some limitations to the trial beyond the small number of stores involved (there are over 130 Warhammer stores in the UK alone). Firstly, the program will only accept plastic sprues and miniatures — none of the diecast metal or resin products Games Workshop has produced. It will also only accept Games Workshop-made items for recycling, citing that the company can’t be responsible for sprues and paint pots it doesn’t explicitly know the chemical makeup of. Warhammer fans also won’t see a “return” on their recycling in the form of new models made from old plastic, but that could change if the program develops. “The plastic used in Citadel miniatures is of a very high quality and purity, so there are loads of uses for the recycled material elsewhere in the plastic chain, including garden planters, playground equipment, or even table tennis tables,” the announcement continues. “Because Citadel miniatures require such high-quality materials, we’re not yet able to turn old sprues collected from stores back into new models–though we are investigating that for the future.”
But even with those caveats, the program is a major step forward, and one worth supporting. Hopefully, as Games Workshop attests, the program will eventually roll out across more and more of its stores around the world — and hobbyists will able to play a small part in making the worlds of Warhammer a little greener beyond the presence of Orks and Goblins.