MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world.
Largest fuel from waste facility opens
Spain’s biofuel producer Abengoa has inaugurated the world’s largest plant turning waste into bioethanol.
The facility, which was built in Babilafuente, central Spain, can treat up to 22,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste using enzymes to generate as much as 1.5 million litres of bioethanol per year.
Abengoa said the plant can prevent more than 80% of waste from ending up into landfill while also being a source of clean energy.
Abengoa also plans to build a $110m (£72m) energy-from-waste facility in Arizona, US.
Bloomberg, 27 June
Norway first to ratify convention on ship recycling
Norway has become the first country to ratify the Hong Kong Convention, an international agreement on ship recycling.
The convention aims at ensuring that ship recycling is carried out without posing risks to human health and safety or to the environment.
It was adopted in 2009, but it will come into force only 24 months after its text is ratified by 15 states, representing 40% of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage.
World Maritime News, 27 June
Malta consults citizens on waste management
Malta’s government has launched a public consultation on waste ahead of the formulation of the country’s waste management plan for 2014-2020.
The aim of the consultation is to gather public concerns and expectation on the issue of waste, and to involve all stakeholders in the process of drafting a national plan at an early stage, said environment minister Leo Brincat.
The minister also pointed out that Malta needs to manage waste in accordance with the waste hierarchy and to promote waste reduction and producer responsibility, as mandated by EU waste directives.
Malta Today, 1 July
Australians set World Record for WEEE collection
Australian recycler TechCollect entered the Guinnes World Records for collecting the highest amount of e-waste in one week.
According World Record Academy, an affiliate of Google News, Australians participating in a week long campaign organised by TechCollect in late April collected more than 474 tonnes of old TVs, computers, and printers.
TechCollect chief executive Carmel Dollisson said that setting a world record was a very positive achievement, especially because it happened within the first year of the launch of the National Television and Computers Recycling Scheme, a plan that involves a combination of government regulation and industry action to tackle the WEEE problem in Australia.
CIWM Journal, 3 July
Tetra Pak pilots renewable packaging in Brazil
Tetra Pak has partnered with Brazilian firm Braskem to pilot a packaging production method that uses up to 82% of renewables.
The packaging giant will use Braskem’s sugar cane-based material to produce its 13bn unit of packaging product.
Braskem said that the bio-based low-density polyethylene (LDPE) will significantly reduce the carbon impact of packaging.
LDPE is inert, resistant, and recyclable as the fossil fuel-based material that is traditionally used for packaging, but it will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emission by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the sugar cane growth process, according to Braskem president Carlos Fadigas.
Business Green, 28 June
Nulife Glass to expand in the US
UK recycler Nulife Glass will open its first facility in the US state of New York.
The company will invest $3.7m (£2.4m) in the renovation of a manufacturing plant in the Chautauqua County.
Nulife recycles cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, the glass components commonly found in televisions and computers that contain toxic substances such as lead oxide.
The company’s furnace technology extracts the toxic lead from the material, making the glass safe to recycled and re-use.
The facility is expected to be operational by summer 2014.
The Post-Journal, 1 July
California reduces landfill waste to record low
The amount of waste sent to landfill last year in California has reached the lowest level in over 15 years.
Volumes of waste landfilled decreased from 31m tonnes in 1995 to 27m tonnes in 2012, according to figures from The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
Improved kerbside collection programmes, declines in consumption and construction waste following the burst of the state’s housing bubble in 2007 were the main reasons for the decrease, the department said.
In 2012, a bill mandating California to reduce, recycle, or compost 75% of its waste by 2020 also came into effect.
Southern California Public Radio, 29 June
Hong Kong mulls recycling subsidies
The Hong Kong government is assessing whether to subsidise the city’s waste recycling industry, according to environment minister Wong Kam-sing.
A committee will consider subsidies and the setting up of a recycling fund as part of a review on waste management in the island.
The announcement was made shortly after the authorities approved proposals for the expansion of two landfills, for a total cost of HK$35 m (£2.9m).
Hong Kong is experiencing rising waste levels, with landfills set to reach capacity by 2020.
South China Morning Post, 3 July
Ups and downs in Dubai waste trends
A study on waste levels in Dubai has shown fluctuating trends in collection and recycling in the last three years.
Waste collection decreased from 2010 to 2011, but came back up in 2012. In contrast recycling rates increased from 2010 to 2011, but decreased in 2012, according to facility management provider Imdaad, which led the study.
Ali Hassan, director of environment services at Imdaad, said that the fluctuating levels did not represent waste disposal habits in Dubai, but a growth in commercial real estate. “With a natural increase in the population occupying new buildings it is impossible to keep reducing waste levels year on year,” he said.
Trade Arabia, 28 June
Zimbabwean firm urges to invest in recycling
Zimbabwe’s plastic recycler Plastix Incorporated has called for an increase in private and public sector investments in plastic recycling.
“There is raw material generation and employment creation in recycling,” said Plastix Incorporated managing director Mary Wazara. “The government should invest more in recycling by assisting small players in the sector with equipment.”
The company has launched a system of colour-coded binds to facilitate the separated collection of waste.
It also established a network of “poly-harvesters”, people that collect plastic bottles to sell them to recyclers.
The Zimbabwean, 17 June
Public-private partnership to promote recycling education in Kenya
East Africa’s largest retailer has partnered with the Kenyan environmental agency and a manufacturers’ association to launch a plastic recycling educational programme.
Students of 20 secondary schools in Nairobi will attend workshops on the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling plastic bags.
At the programme inauguration, Geoffrey Wahugu, director general at Kenya’s National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) said that public education on environmental conservation needs the support of the private sector.
Capital FM, 28 June