News round-up December 2022 | MRW

Rail link cuts packaging firm’s carbon; Online activity ‘increases food waste’ – claim; Heroes sought for Global Recycling Day; Cuts force centre closure

Rail link cuts packaging firm’s carbon

Ball Beverage Packaging EMEA has reduced its inbound supply chain carbon emissions by 82% following a partnership with Woodland Group, which has initiated a new rail route for Ball at its Doncaster facility.

It said this had resulted in 4.35 times less emissions across its rail freight containers, which equated to 886 tonnes of carbon less than if all the containers travelled by road.

Jack Harrison, Ball’s logistics development manager, said: “This is a great step forward to ensure our supply chain offers a competitive advantage to our customer base by offering a smarter and greener supply chain.” 

Press release

Online activity thought to ‘increase food waste’

Food waste management company, Warrens, part of the Bio Capital Group has said there may be a significant connection between social media and an increase in unnecessary food waste.

It said; “From pumpkin patches at Halloween to flaming Christmas puddings destined for the bin, the public’s obsession with aesthetic is having a negative impact on landfills.”

Online searches for pumpkin patches have in the last decade increased from almost none to more than two million while television programmes such as Man vs Food “sparked a public interest in taking on meals of gargantuan proportions, usually with the aim of getting it for free if they manage to finish it but very few can, and the leftovers sadly end up in the bin”.

Richard Skelton, a food waste specialist at Warrens, said: “For restaurateurs, it’s important to adjust demands with the supplier, if possible, to account for fewer diners. 

“If that’s not possible, apps to distribute edible surplus food have become increasingly popular amongst supermarkets, restaurants and cafes. It’s important that everyone understands that something positive can be done with food waste.”

Press release

Heroes sought for Global Recycling Day

‘Creative innovation’ will be the theme of Global Recycling Day’s search for Recycling Heroes 2023.

Nominations can come from individuals, businesses and local authorities. 

The winning entrants will receive $1,000 (£813), and their ideas will be publicised on Global Recycling Day’s social media channels. 

There will be an additional 10 prizes of $250 (£203) for those who produce the most innovative re-use of everyday items. 

Entries for both competitions closes on 3 March 2023, and the winners will be announced on Global Recycling Day on 18 March. 

Ranjit Baxi, president of the Global Recycling Foundation, said: “The whole world is going through difficult economic times and many countries are suffering the consequences of climate change. It is vital that everyone should play their part, and recycling is an important element in the struggle against global warming. In past years our Recycling Heroes have demonstrated that every individual and business great or small can have a positive impact.” 

Entries to: [email protected] 

Press release

Cuts force centre closure

Plans to close a recycling centre have been approved by North Somerset Council as part of measures to close a £17m budget gap.

Closing Backwell Recycling Centre would save £300,000 and councillors said alternatives were available within a reasonable distance.

Residents will not have to take their waste to Weston-super-Mare or Portishead, with council members telling the BBC the choice was between ‘five minutes extra in the car’ or having less people in social care.

“We don’t want to be doing it but there’s got to be some perspective that its not the end of the world,” council leader Steve Bridger told the BBC.

Consultations and final budget approval will be needed before the plans go into effect.


Norse tries out safety system

Norse Group has unveiled what it called a high-tech, ultra-safe and fully connected fleet as part of its new eight-year contract with Rochford District Council for waste and street cleansing.

There are 10 Dennis Eagle 26 tonnes rear steer refuse collection vehicles and one 18 tonnes vehicle all fitted with electric Terberg bin lifts and Fleetclear safety technology.

Norse is trying out Fleetclear Connect in Rochford, a web-based software platform that consolidates all the information from the fleet’s safety technologies onto one system. 

Chris Davison, group fleet manager, Norse Group, said: “We don’t want to be operating multiple systems anymore. It’s inefficient and time-consuming. “Fleetclear Connect consolidates the huge amounts of information produced by our vehicle camera systems and safety technologies on one platform, which we can view live and see the whole picture.”

Press release

Apple encourages repair to reduce WEEE

Apple has introduced self service repairs in a bid to cut electronic waste.

It will provide repair manuals, parts and tools for customers who wish to complete their own repairs on iPhone 12 and 13 and Mac notebooks.

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said: “When a repair is needed, we want customers to have many options for safe, reliable, and secure repair.”

Customers can send replaced parts back to Apple for refurbishment and recycling, and in many cases receive a credit by doing so.

Press release

FCC in solar park project

FCC Environment is working with Infinis, which generates power from captured methane, to develop a solar park at Winterton, Lincolnshire. 

The 18 acre park is due to start working in April and to generate some 4,300 MWh of energy each year.

Chris Ellis, director of operations at FCC Environment, said: “We are delighted to be working with Infinis to repurpose the Winterton landfill site and excited about the pipeline of similar projects on our sites which are currently progressing through the planning process. These projects play an important role in supporting the UK achieving its net zero ambition.”

Press release

Authority assesses London plastics problem

North London residents throw away more than 46m pieces of plastic a week, research for North London Waste Authority (NLWA).

NLWA worked with Everyday Plastic to gain a greater understanding of the scale of plastic packaging waste and found in one week, 191,710 pieces of plastic were discarded many of which could have been recycled.

Low value or composite materials like chocolate wrappers and plastic film covering fresh produce are difficult to recycle and accounted for 56% of pieces thrown away by participants, the authority said.

Its recycling working group chair Adam Harrison said: “Residents are forced to throw away a staggering amount of plastic waste each week, as much of it is flexible plastic. How can bananas in plastic bags still be on supermarket shelves?

“NLWA has been campaigning and undertaking a wide range of initiatives to reduce this blight for many years. However, many residents in north London rely on small ‘local’ branches of the big supermarkets, where it’s incredibly difficult to find loose produce. These companies must get rid of this packaging.”

Press release

PepsiCo to increase reuse

Soft drinks and snacks manufacturer PepsiCo has said it intends to increase the proportion of drinks it sells through reusable models from 10 to 20% by 2030.

The company also plans to reduce virgin plastic per container by 50% by 2030 and to become net zero by 2040. It said it has more than 80 markets around the world offering reusable packaging.

Press release

Amcor in polyethylene deal

Switzerland-based packaging firm Amcor has struck a five-year deal with ExxonMobil to buy certified-circular polyethylene in support of its target to achieve 30% recycled material by 2030. 

The volume will increase each year, and is expected to reach 100,000 metric tonnes annually at the end of the five-year period.

Amcor said it intended to use this material with a particular focus on the healthcare and food industries, as these must meet stringent safety requirements for recycled plastic. 

Chief executive Ron Delia said: “We are committed to a future of more sustainable packaging and are excited to strengthen our ability to meet increasing customer demand for recycled content.”

Press release

Glasgow depot ‘falling apart’

Workers at a Glasgow City Council recycling unit should be given temporary accommodation until a new depot can be built, as unions bosses have said the Queenslie Depot in Polmadie is “falling apart”. Staff have complained about holes in the roof letting in rain water, which trips the electrics. 

GMB trade union convenor Chris Mitchell said: “It’s 40 years old, the toilets are vile and there are holes in the roof which means the water pees in through the roof when it rains in the winter. Food waste buckets are being used to try and catch the water but the electricity continues to trip all the time which means it is constantly freezing.”

Glasgow City Council said it was committed to developing a new facility at Queenslie.

Glasgow Live

Welsh plastic vote ‘leaves England behind’

The Welsh Senedd is to vote on Stage 3 of The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Bill that will see single-use plastics such as plates, plastic cutlery and thin single-use plastic bags banned.

Campaign group City to Sea’s policy manager Steve Hynd said: “Although it’s welcome that the ban is finally coming into place, it is far too late, and more still needs to be done. 

“Equally this legislation only further embarrasses Defra as it leaves England as now the only country in Europe to not have banned some of these items like single-use plastic cutlery. This is despite Defra consulting to do so over a year ago.”

Press release

WSG gives detox to old steel site

Industrial services specialist Well Services Group (WSG), has completed the removal of dangerous and hazardous materials from the former Redcar Steelworks.

It said this had required new methods of product and waste removal to safely handle toxic substances which for the last seven years have remained undisturbed in tanks and piping systems.

Project Manager, Mark Loades, said: “The Redcar site was shut down more than seven years ago with all of the COMAH products being left in the tanks and pipework, making this project unique within the industrial services industry.”

WSG said multiple storage tanks, and more than 7,000 metres of system pipework were decontaminated with the removal of materials including heavy fuel oil, pyrophoric coke oven gas dropouts, petroleum oil, tar thinners, creosote oil, benzol absorbing oil, naphthalene, phlegm oil, virgin ammonia liquor, and liquor tar.

Press release

Tesco puts surplus and shortage together

More than 3,500 Tesco suppliers can now sell or donate surplus stock to other suppliers through the Tesco Exchange service, an online marketplace that matches suppliers with excesses of products with those that need them.

One of the first listings was made by food manufacturer, G’s Group, which supplies pickled beetroot to Tesco. The manufacturing process leaves them with tonnes of beetroot peelings that could be used by a livestock farm as cattle feed.

Sarah Bradbury, Tesco’s quality director, said: “Excess stock or waste for one supplier could be a valuable commodity to another. By linking different farmers, producers and manufacturers together, our suppliers can find new ways to trim their bills, reduce waste, and keep delivering great value for our customers.”

Press release

Veolia opens catalyst service

Veolia has launched an industrial catalyst management service in the UK to meet the demand for services in petrochemical, ammonia, hydrogen and steel plants. The services cover catalyst change-outs for different types of petrochemical reactors, single or multibed, tubular reactors and primary reformer type units.

John Abraham, chief operating officer, Veolia  UK & Ireland for  industrial, water and energy, said: “The new service will increase the effectiveness of catalyst reloading operations and deliver real benefits to manufacturing processes using our specially trained teams.”

Press release

Ecobat partners with CarTakeBack

UK scrap car recycling network CarTakeBack has partnered with electric battery recyclers Ecobat Solutions to help dispose of end-of-life electric vehicles.

“Ecobat is the world’s biggest recycler of batteries, and the world’s largest producer of lead from the 99% recycling rate of traditional batteries,” said Tom Seward, EU key accounts director at Ecobat.

“We aim to bring the same sustainability and circularity to support EV adoption, and offer a full service from collection, through repurposing into final recycling.”

Dismantlers at CarTakeBack remove components which can then be re-used, with batteries themselves safely removed and packaged up for their onward journey to Ecobat Solutions.

Press release

Trivium backs Alupro recycling initiative

Trivium Packaging is to fund the UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative launched by Alupro.

This is designed to increase awareness and uptake of aerosol recycling and includes a three-phase approach – educating consumers around best practice, establishing a baseline recycling rate and developing a roadmap for higher rates of recycling.

Tom Giddings, executive director at Alupro, added: “The partnership will help drive change in the aluminium packaging industry, working towards a more sustainable future and allowing us to take an important step towards the industry goal of exceeding a 50% aerosol recycling rate by 2030.”

Press release

ABB delivers EfW expansion

Contractor ABB has delivered an expansion project for London Energy’s energy-from-waste (EfW) facility to improve the plant’s resilience and enable the connection of an additional steam turbine, which will increase annual production to 1,000 megawatt-hours.

“By upgrading our existing EfW plant, we have renewed confidence in our ability to keep waste out of landfill and minimise our carbon footprint”, said Charles Bell, London Energy’s manager. 

“The new system allows us to monitor, control and automate the entire EfW plant’s electrical assets from one touch-screen user interface.” 

The project required upgrading of four original generators and interfacing them with a modern digital control system, as well as adding a new generator.

Press release

‘Difficult year’ forecast for paper

Bury-based Genus Recycling has warned that 2023 looks a difficult year for the recycled paper market.

It grew turnover from £7.6m in 2020 to £17.7m in 2021, but director Rick Waterson said: “With people paying more for energy and their mortgages across the world, we would expect weaker demand for paper-based packaging as they cut-back on spending.”

High prices were seen in much of 2021 and 2022, but the company said it would be unrealistic to expect material to stay at these levels in Europe and the second half of 2022 had already seen price reductions, although Far East buyers had re-entered the market.”

Press release

Suez helps councils towards ‘reuse centres’

Suez has launched a guide to support local authorities in integrating reuse at household waste recycling centres.

It expects these to evolve to become ‘reuse and recycling’ centres where items are collected for upcycling, repair and re-sale.

The guide Putting Reuse at the Heart of Your Household Waste Recycling Centre offers local authorities practical steps for conversion.

Recommendations include gaining the support fo staff, visible drop-off point for the public and a clear process for capturing and analysing data.

Press release

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