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Global news - 1 March 2013

MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world.

North America

Network discusses car and parts recycling

General Motors (GM) has brought together car makers, suppliers, recycling partners and government officials to discuss waste-reduction challenges, recycling opportunities and capabilities in a new forum.

The Suppliers’ Partnership for the Environment Southern Network is part of GM’s plan to increase the number of its landfill-free facilities from 104 to 125 by 2020.

The company is crediting its waste reduction leadership to a strong network of partners and suppliers.

Recycling Today, 20 Feb

Nebraska offers grants to cut litter

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) has awarded more than $1.7m (£1.15m) through 55 grants for litter clean up, recycling and public education programmes and activities.

Funds for the Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant Program are generated from a fee charged to certain manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of products that commonly contribute to litter.

NDEQ director Mike Linder said: “These grants to local programmes and commun-ities will help us all meet our goal of protecting natural resources in our state.”

Recycling Today, 19 Feb

New York to recycle fast food containers

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) said it is willing to explore the possibilities of developing an effective polystyrene foam recycling scheme in New York city.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s had called for restrictions on the use of polystyrene foam.

Steve Russell, ACC vice- president of plastics, said: “The technology exists to recycle [it] right now. California is making this work - 22% of households there can recycle polystyrene foam food service cups, plates, bowls, clamshells and other containers at kerbside.”

Recycling Today, 18 Feb

Funding to support renewable fuels

A number of waste to renewable transport fuel companies are to benefit from more than $17m (£11m) of funding from the California Energy Commission.

According to Commission chair Robert B. Weisenmiller, the awards will help support the expansion of alternative fuels and zero-emission vehicles in the state. The awards were made through the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.

The Commission said the scheme was essential to fulfilling the state’s climate change policies, as well as developing new transpor-tation technologies, and alternative and renewable fuels.

Waste Management World, 19 Feb

 Asia

Locals complain about piles of plastic waste

People surrounding the West Hill Industrial Estate in Kozhikode, Kerala, India, have said they will not allow the city to commission a new plastic recycling unit at the estate unless it clears up piles of waste from the compound.

They said they are not against the recycling unit but were critical of the authorities’ reluctance to remove around 1,500 loads of plastic waste at the industrial estate.

A series of protests are being planned if the issue is not addressed.

A trial run of the plastic recycling plant, capable of recycling one tonne of plastic waste per day, has been carried out. The waste will be converted into granules and pellets.

Times of India, 13 February

Ships being scrapped are not so old

Cash-strapped ship owners will scrap younger and younger ships this year as the dry bulk market wallows in the doldrums, according to Drewry Maritime Research.

A vessel as young as 15 years has already been sold for scrap in recent months, while the average scrapping age of Chinese-built capesizes was 21 years in 2012.

Drewry does not expect an improvement in the freight market in 2013, predicting that the number of bulk shipping companies getting into financial difficulty will rise during the course of the year.

Recycling International, 20 Feb

Europe

Europe sends more toxic ships to Asia

A record-breaking number of 365 toxic material-laden ships were sent for breaking by European owners to the beaches of south Asia in 2012, according to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

This represents a 75% increase from 2011, when 210 EU-owned ships were sent for breaking in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, it stated.

According to the NGO, Greece once again led the way in 2012 by shipping 167 vessels to south Asian beaches, nearly half of all ships sent by European ship owners in 2012.

Germany was next with 48 vessels, followed by ship owners from the UK (30 vessels), Norway (23 vessels), Cyprus (13 vessels), Bulgaria (eight vessels), Denmark (six vessels) and the Netherlands (five vessels).

Recycling International, 14 Feb

Battery Congress to open in Croatia

The International Congress for Battery Recycling will take place on 11-13 September at the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace on the Croatian coast.

More than 200 industry, authority and academia representatives are expected to attend the event.

Presentations will include: battery legislation; the success of Li-ion battery technologies; emerging recycling processes; recycling efficiency and experiences spanning multiple countries; safety issues; and transportation.

Recycling International, 19 Feb

South America

Recycling plant replaces open dump

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID has opened a recycling plant in Managua, Nicaragua.

The La Chureca project included not only sealing the previously open-air dump, but also the construction of a recycling plant where refuse collectors work, as well as homes and a school for the more than 250 families living in the area.

The project consisted of ridding Nicaragua of its biggest uncovered, open-air rubbish dump, and building a modern recycling plant for solid refuse. It began operating partially at the end of last year.

AECID director Juan Lopez-Doriga said: “This is the largest project we have done in Nicaragua. We have invested, between the agency itself and the community of Andalusia, some e40m (£35m).”

Latin American Herald Tribune, 20 Feb

Australasia

Soft plastics can be recycled in stores

South Australia is set to introduce the nation’s first recycling scheme for soft plastics, particularly food wrappers and plastic bags.

The state government has provided AUS$50,000 (£33,650) to help fund the scheme, which allows shoppers to take soft plastics into any of 42 Coles supermarkets. They will then be recycled into furniture for kindergartens and schools, keeping the waste out of landfill.

Environment minister Ian Hunter said South Australia had a strong tradition of embracing recycling, and he was confident that consumers would make good use of the new scheme.

He said previous measures to place a deposit on drink containers and ban single-use plastic shopping bags had proved highly successful.

“The state has a proven record in leading the nation when it comes to recycling,” he added.

Australian Associated Press, 13 Feb

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