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Global news - 22 February 2013

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

Europe

Plastics processor opens up in UK

Hahn Plastics, the biggest European manufacturer of products made from mixed plastic waste, has made an investment in a production and warehousing facility in Salford, Manchester.

The Germany-based firm’s products are substitutes for concrete or timber in the construction, agricultural and industrial sectors.

UK sales and marketing director Paul Harris said: “The local investment in stock, production facilities and jobs here mean that we are best placed to serve today’s market demands and continue innovating the next generation of construction materials.”

Last year the company reprocessed 30,000 tonnes of plastic waste that would have otherwise gone to landfill.

Press release, 14 Feb

BIR warns of more theft from containers

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) has warned of an increase in members reporting the theft of material from export shipments.

The BIR noted that there have been several cases of containers being tampered with en route, often on their way to and from the terminals, with growing evidence of organised crime involvement. Sophisticated theft techniques of containers while leaving the seals intact are becoming more commonplace.

Reported cargo losses due to theft and fraud have been estimated at up to $200bn (£130bn).

Recycling Today, 12 Feb

 Australasia

Call for introduction of can/bottle refunds

West Australians dump more and recycle less than anywhere else in the country, prompting conservationists to call for a 10¢ (7p) refund on the state’s bottles and cans.

The Boomerang Alliance and the Conservation Council of Western Australia released a report showing the state generates more than 500kg of waste per head above the national average but has a recycling rate 39% lower than the national average.

Boomerang’s Jeff Angel called on the election parties to consider following the Northern Territory, where people already receive a 10¢ refund on a wide range of cans, bottles and cartons under a Cash for Containers scheme.

News.com.au, 4 Feb

Advanced paper recycling from Amcor

Amcor Australasia has unveiled a AUS$500m (£335m) recycled paper machine in its Botany Paper Mill in Sydney.

Packaging distribution managing director Nigel Garrard said the investment has brought advanced technology to the Australasian market.

Amcor’s machine, which produces 1.6km of paper a minute, annually produces 400,000 tonnes of paper when operational at full capacity.

According to the company, the ability to bring down the paper’s weight over time, while maintaining its strength, affords it opportunities to partner with its customers to create new packaging styles such as boxes.

Packaging-gateway.com, 1 Feb

North America

Pennsylvania offers recycling grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has awarded $17.8m (£11.5m) in grants for developing and implementing recycling programmes to 131 municipalities and counties across the state.

The grants are for up to 90% funding for approved costs. Municipalities that are designated financially distressed are eligible to receive funding for an additional 10% of costs.

Examples of eligible projects include compost facilities; developing web-based programmes for consumers on recycling; expanding recycling processing facilities; installing data collection systems on vehicles; kerbside recycling schemes; and educational materials.

Recycling Today, 8 Feb

Georgia turns waste oils into biofuel

Georgia-based waste cooking oil to biofuel specialist Fogfuels has entered a partnership with the City of Atlanta to transform fats, oils and grease (FOG) into usable B100 biodiesel.

The city will use the fuel to power school buses, council vehicles and machinery.

Under the partnership, Fogfuels will work with independent hauliers in the metro Atlanta area to receive trap grease generated by restaurants and institutional sources. The waste will be taken to the company’s processing centre where it will be converted to fuel.

The inner city processing centre will provide a convenient location for independent haulers.

Waste Management World, 12 Feb

Ship that ran aground to be taken apart

The US Navy has determined that the 23-year old USS Guardian, which ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef National Park near the Philippines, can be safely dismantled and removed from the reef in sections.

Naval architecture and salvage experts have made the assessment that attempts to remove the Guardian intact, such as by towing or pulling it off the reef, could possibly cause more damage to the reef and the ship’s hull, and most likely result in the vessel breaking up or sinking.

Nav.mil, 1 Feb

Africa

Joint venture launches recycling plant

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and private investors have concluded plans to build a recycling factory in Abuja through a joint waste to wealth business venture.

The tripartite business venture is aimed at creating jobs, managing the huge waste generated in the FCT and generating profit for the stakeholders.

Chairman of NLC, FCT council, Yahaya Abdullahi disclosed that the Labour Congress would own 40% equity in the joint business venture, while the FCT administration and private investors would take up 60% equity in the venture.

Vanguard, 7 Feb

Technology extracts wire and oil from tyres

Innovative recycling technology that extracts steel wire and industrial oil from waste tyres is poised to open job-creation and business opportunities for South Africa’s black entrepreneurs.

The country’s 60 million old tyres could soon be recycled, creating much-needed jobs and removing a serious environmental and health hazard.

The technology has been imported by Vaal businessman Han-Yu Huang, whose long-term plan is to convert industrial oil from the waste tyres to petrol to be sold to petroleum companies.

Sunday World, 4 Feb

Asia

Despite ban, plastic bags blight capital

Despite there being a ban on plastic carrier bags of less than 40 micron thickness, plastic waste still constitutes 10% of total solid waste in Bhubaneswar, capital of the Indian state of Orissa.

According to sources, manufacturers and shops are violating the plastic waste (management and handling) rules, notified by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. They are still selling and manufacturing lightweight polythene bags of less than 40 micron, which are banned because they are not recyclable.

Senior environmental scientist at Orissa State Pollution Control Board Dilip Kumar Behera said: “White polythene of more than 40 micron is allowed because it is virgin plastic, which can be reused after recycling.

“But many manufacturers are violating the guidelines and making less than 40 micron thin bags, [which results in clogged drains].”

Times of India, 11 Feb

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