MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world
China pays Germans well for paper grades
Some recovered paper grades in Germany have been buoyed by higher export demand. Large volumes of paper, board and corrugated board are being sold to China at higher prices than in October.
Observers had initially expected no changes on the German recovered paper market in November because of the expiry of numerous contracts for supermarket paper and board and corrugated board waste. But prices of these grades turned out to be higher than in the month before.
In the case of supermarket paper and board, this is mainly due to continuing demand from the Far East.
First push in Europe for Lebanese recycler
Lebanon-based recycling and waste management company Averda has invested e15m investment (£12m) into Dublin-based The City Bin Co.
The partnership is Averda’s first entry into Europe. It will result in the rollout of a major European expansion in the next few years, with Ireland as the company’s European base.
Metso paper division plans to cut 400 jobs
Metso, a technology firm servicing the processing industries, including paper reprocessing, has finalised negotiations with employee representatives to cut 400 jobs in its paper division.
Metso, which has its group head offices in Finland, said it was reacting to structural changes within the industry by restructuring the group’s paper operations to improve its competitiveness and profitability.
Redundancy and outsourcing measures were expected to result in savings of around e25m in annual operational costs.
Waste rubber process helps modify plastics
German researchers are using recycled scrap rubber to modify plastics. The aim of the process is to provide plastics with qualities such as hardness or elasticity, or to apply a tactile sensation that can be used in computer applications.
The research focuses on technical rubber products, such as profiles, sealing rings and rubber mats.
The process, developed by researchers from Fraunhofer Umsicht in Oberhausen, uses recycled rubber and plastics in a ratio of 60-80% as a modifier for plastics.
Ferrous cargoes to Turkey go cheap
Ferrous scrap export prices from the US to Turkey could be under fresh pressure after a bulk sale last week indicated a weakness in the market. US and Turkish sources questioned an intransigent sentiment in the wake of Hurricaine Sandy, after two bulk US deals were concluded recently at levels lower than expected.
A cargo of about 25,000 tonnes of an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt, shredded, and plate and structural scrap was sold off the east coast to a Turkish mill at $410 (£300), $415 and $420 per tonne cost and freight, respectively.
People buy a lot of turkey but do not eat it
During the Thanksgiving holiday, Americans buy 334,000 tonnes of turkey but throw away $282m-worth of uneaten meat. This contributes to the $165bn-worth of food waste in the US annually.
This waste turkey meat is enough to provide 11 extra portions to each US household that is ‘food insecure’. US Department of Agriculture figures say that 35% of turkey meat does not get eaten by consumers after it is purchased, compared with 15% for chicken meat.
Cigarette waste used for plastic pellets
A nationwide initiative has been launched in the US so that cigarette waste can be turned into pellets to make items such as plastic shipping pallets, railroad ties and park benches.
Cigarette butts are one of the most littered items in the US, with 60,000 tonnes discarded annually. Cigarette waste accounted for 38% of all roadside litter, according to a 2009 study.
The programme is being funded by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of Reynolds American, the US’ second largest cigarette company.
Guam ready to set first recycling targets
The tiny Pacific island of Guam has measured its recycling rate for the first time and concluded it is 17% of total waste. Recycled materials include paper, metals, e-waste, plastics and compostable materials.
More than 29,000 tonnes of material were recycled during 2011, according to Guam Environmental Protection Agency data.
“Recycling is becoming a way of life as we increasingly recognise the importance of saving space in the landfill and protecting our natural resources,” said Guam EPA administrator Eric M Palacios.
“Now that the recycling rate has been measured we can set recycling goals for the island.”
Unwashed scrap ban affects Chinese firms
Asian plastics recyclers have seen a fall in imports as a result of China imposing an import ban on unwashed, post-consumer scrap since 1 October (MRW.co.uk/ 8636885.article).
Chinese recycler Shenzhen New Rainbow Recycled Materials Technology has seen imports of HDPE drop by 20%, while Hong Kong-based Lung Shing International Group has had imports of recycled plastic drop by one-third through the port of Guangzhou.
Alex Xie, general manager of Lung Shing’s Guangzhou factory, said the company considered itself lucky considering the 50% overall drop across the port.
Chinese regional governments are trying to cut back on what they say is pollution from an industry that sometimes operates without proper waste water treatment and other poor environmental controls.
Kerala success with its 100 biogas plants
Kidagamparambu in Kerala, India, is being held up as a good example of waste disposal by building more than 100 biogas plants, which service 300 households.
The biogas is produced from food waste, except onion peelings, and lemon and tamarind juice. The biogas is used for cooking and the slurry from the process can be used as a fertiliser.
The Kidagamparambu scheme also includes provision for plastics recycling.
Printer cartridges rescued from landfill
South African office automation company Itec is joining printer maker Lexmark in its cartridge collection scheme. Itec claims this will help to divert hundreds of thousands of used ink and toner cartridges from landfill.
Itec’s 46 branches have installed recycling boxes so that used cartridges can be collected, stripped down and either reused or recycled.
Around 11 million cartridges are thrown into scrap heaps each year in South Africa, leaching inks and powders into the soil and water.
Lexmark country manager Mark Hiller said: “We have a zero landfill policy, so we want to get the cartridges returned to strip out the components and make sure they are reused or disposed of in a safe way.”