MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world.
EU regions call for plastics landfill ban
Politicians from Europe’s cities and regions have called for new EU measures to prohibit the dumping of plastic waste in landfill and consider banning free plastic bags.
The EU’s Committee of the Regions (CoR) said there should be a shift in attitude towards plastic which must be considered not as waste, but as an invaluable resource and a major provider of employment and innovation.
The CoR also warned that EU environmental legislation must be better enforced if its objectives were to be achieved.
The appeal came during a debate on plastic waste where CoR members unanimously approved an opinion on a European strategy on plastic waste in the environment, penned by Linda Gillham, member of Runnymede Borough Council in Surrey.
Press Release, 8 Oct
Denmark sets recycling targets
The Danish government has increased the targets for the recycling of organics waste.
The goal for household organics waste rose from 22% to 50% by 2022, while for the service sector it increased from 17% to 60% by 2018.
Environment minister Ida Auken said: “We need to stop seeing rubbish as something we just throw away and burn. Instead we need to learn to exploit the values and resources we have. We need to make biogas out of household waste, fertiliser from waste water and new metals from electronics.”
The Government has set aside 200m kroner (£22m)
to support the development
of recycling technology and assist councils in implementing recycling initiatives.
The Copenhagen Post, 7 Oct
Italy wastes £7.4bn of food annually
Italian families waste as much as e8.7bn (£7.4bn) worth of food per year, according to a report by Knowledge for Expo.
The research group found that Italian families were wasting e7 per family
per week after surveying 2,000 people across the country.
An estimated 213g of food was binned every week as households said it had “gone bad”.
Some 13% of interviewees admitted that they often cooked too much, notably in the central and southern Italian regions.
Waste was recognised as a serious problem by 90% of respondents and 79% said that it worried them.
CIWM, 10 Oct
California stops cash ban on scrap metals
California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would require scrap metal recyclers to pay for scrap via a cheque posted to the seller.
In a letter explaining his decision, Brown said he had already signed four bills in the last year to reduce the level of metals theft.
“Existing law requires that a seller wait three days before receiving payment for metal materials, a written record of the transaction, the name, driver’s licence number, licence plate number, thumbprint of the seller and a photograph or video of the seller and the material being sold. How much more do you need?” he asked.
Recycling Today, 7 Oct
Chinese firm funds US bottle recycling plant
China’s JN Fibers, a manufacturer of recycled polyester staple fibre products, has invested $45m (£28m) in a facility in the US to transform PET bottles into recycled-content polyester fibres.
The plant will be located in Richburg, South Carolina. Fibre generated will be used in home textiles, furniture and upholstery, as well as by the automotive industries.
N Fibers will operate the plastics recycling venture, and the finished products will be sold through its subsidiary Sun Fibers.
Recycling International, 7 Oct
Buy-back service for zombie phones
Sims Recycling Solutions (SRS) has launched a website called Zombie Phone offering US consumers a buy-back service for mobile phones “that are dead to you”.
The phones will be processed at SRS’s plant in West Chicago and will either be resold after secure data erasure or dismantled. Components will be recovered or recycled.
Visitors to the website enter their phone specification and receive a payment offer. If they accept, they get an envelope - dubbed ‘body bag’ - to send the phone to SRS.
Recycling International, 7 Oct
Mobile phone recycling in Mexico
Mexico’s federal authorities and telecommunications companies have rolled out a mobile phone recycling programme to reduce the amount of electronic waste in the country.
Companies including Samsung Electronics, Blackberry, Telcel, Movistar, Lusacell, Mexico Nextel,
and Nokia are involved.
The programme is expected to reach at least 1% of end-of-life mobile phones in the first year.
El Financiero, 8 Oct
Guatemala committee on chemical waste
Guatemala’s environment ministry has established a technical committee to unify procedures and standards related to chemical waste.
The committee will be composed of representatives of the ministries of environment, agriculture, communications, economics, education, energy and mines, defence, foreign affairs, health, labour and the tax authority.
It started on 9 October and will be active for five years.
PrensaLibre.com, 8 Oct
ASIA & MIDDLE EAST
US firm backs India’s ‘largest’ recycling plant
US electronic recycler E-Waste Systems has signed an agreement with Indian firm Cerebra Integrated Technologies for an e-waste facility in Bangalore.
The facility is expected to achieve at least 98% recovery of recyclable materials.
Martin Nielson, founder and chief executive of E-Waste Systems, said: “This venture is planned to create the largest and most complete state of the art recycling facility in India. “
Press Release, 8 Oct
Recycling fibres from wastewater in Israel
Israeli firm Applied CleanTech has developed a sewage mining system that picks out and recycles fibres from raw urban and industrial wastewater, increasing the efficiency of treatment plants and reducing the amount of unwanted sludge.
The company’s first commercial system, housed in a 17 tonne-shipping container, sits beneath the hillside town of Safed in northern Israel and sifts sewage before it enters the municipal treatment centre.
At the end of its conveyor belt, the device spits out pellets made from cellulose fibres, which are found in many discarded items, such as baby wipes or fruits and vegetables, said chief executive Refael Aharon.
Eco-Business, 8 Oct
Zimbabwe university to build AD plant
Zimbabwe’s Chinhoyi University of Technology plans to build an anaerobic digestion plant for its local municipality in a move to ease electricity shortages.
The plant is expected to produce 5,000kw hours per day. Power consumption in Zimbabwe is rising and the country imports electricity to supplement local production.
Dean Edson Manyumbu said the university would start a smaller project at a laboratory level and would move on to the Chinhoyi town project after it acquired sufficient funds.
He said the project was affected by financial constraints as the preliminary budget for the trial run went beyond $5,000 (£3,100).
The Herald, 9 Oct