A WASTE management and civil engineering firm is reaping the benefits from increased awareness around plastic and waste recycling.

MJ Church, which operates a haulage and waste company across the south west and has a depot by the Greenbridge Retail Park, said high-profile campaigns like the BBC series Blue Planet has helped revenues pass the £50m mark for the first time in the company's history.

In the year to 30th September 2018 the family-owned business saw turnover increase some 10.5 per cent and pass the £50m milestone, from £47.6m in 2017 to £53.2m in 2018.

Ben Staff, group managing director, said: "David Attenborough’s campaign has very much brought the issue of plastic waste to the fore. We have well established supply chains for the processing of waste and plastics.

"We have a team in place that explore innovative end markets for the waste we process such as ‘waste to energy’, where waste that cannot be recycled back into a supply chain in converted to a fuel source.

"Significant investment in technologically advanced processing facilities is planned in 2019 to support these processes."

This includes the addition of the first 50-tonne waste transporters to the firms fleet of vehicles.

The other side of the business is in civil engineering which has also kept the firm busy with large projects, including infrastructure for the Hinkley C power plant to be built in Bridgewater, Somerset, and the removal of the toll booths on the M4 bridge over to Wales.

Mr staff added: “We have secured principal contracts with clients including Dyson, Bloor Homes, Crest Nicholson, Countryside Properties and Highways England and continue to be able to engage the services of our Plant & Transport division with this work providing a much greater degree of control.

“We continue to secure large subcontract works, predominantly in the earthworks and highways sector on major projects such as a new junction on the M49 north of Bristol.

But despite the strong growth the firm has its doubts about the future prosperity of the UK and skills shortages.

"Uncertainty and instability are big issues for all businesses," he added. "for us we continue to monitor bulk material and fuel prices along with commodity prices for waste which have a significant impact on our business.

"There are some real uncertainties ahead, like many in the industry, MJ Church are feeling the effects of the skills shortages."