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Global news - 28 September 2013

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

NORTH AMERICA

Walmart tackles recycling

Global retail giant Walmart is to increase the use of recycled materials in its products as part of a series of measures to increase its sustainability index.

New standards to decrease the environmental impact of its products will apply to Walmart stores in the US and around the world. The standards have been applied to 200 product categories and to more than 1,000 suppliers.

Walmart president and chief executive Mike Duke said: “This is about trust and value. Using less energy, greener chemicals, fewer fertilizers and more recycled materials – all of this – is the right thing to do for the planet and it’s right for our customers and our business.”

Environment News Service, 16 Sep

Paper firm invests in Indiana recycling

A paper and packaging company will invest $260m (£160m) to build a recycling facility in the US state of Indiana. It is expected to create up to 137 new jobs by 2018.

Pratt Paper/Pratt Industries will put the facility next to its existing box-making plant in the city of Valparaiso. Once up and running, the mill will produce 360,000 tons of recycled paper per year.

Fox 59, 17 Sep

NYC tackles food waste

New York City passed legislation to expand organic waste collections. The bill ensures the expansion of residential organic collection pilot program. It also would help extend the recently launched public school food waste collection pilot projects.

The legislation upon final approval by the Mayor would commence not later than 1 October will run through July 2015.

Scrap Monster, 18 Sep

 

SOUTH AMERICA

Chileans sue Swedish company over toxic waste claims

A group of 707 Chileans are suing Swedish mining company Boliden in compensation for health problems allegedly caused by toxic waste the company dumped in northern Chile.

The lawsuit filed with a Swedish district court claims Boliden exported 20,000 tons of mining waste to the Chilean town of Arica in the mid-1980s, despite knowing it was highly toxic and could not be handled safely at the site. The claimants are demanding 91 million kronor (£8.9m).

Global Post, 17 Sept

 

 

ASIA

Battery ‘hoarding’ in Japan

Around 589,000 a year of waste batteries will be collected in Japan as new recycling laws come into effect, according to Mike Takao, Panasonic Corporation councillor and member of the Battery Association of Japan.

Speaking at the International Congress on Battery Recycling in Croatia, Takao said Japan had recently enforced the Small Home Appliance Recycling Law that requires small batteries to be labelled with a recycling logo.

In 2012 collections of small rechargeable batteries totalled 1 tonne in Japan, along with around 180 tonnes of primary batteries and three tons of button batteries.

Recycling International, 17 Sep

Hong Kong targets food waste recycling

A plan to handle food waste in Hong Kong will be rolled out by the end of the year with ambitious targets to cut the amount now being dumped in landfills, according to undersecretary for the environment Christine Loh Kung-wai.

The move is intended to tackle public concerns about alternative ways to dispose of food when the Environment Bureau introduces charges for the disposal of household waste by 2016.

Food takes up the most space in landfills - about 40%. Only a negligible amount is recycled as animal feed or compost. Loh said the plan would cover separating food waste, collection and treatment.

South China Morning Post, 17 Sep

Scrap metal imports hit sponge iron makers hard

India’s sponge iron or direct reduced iron industry has been severely impacted by rising imports of steel melting scrap.

India is the largest producer of sponge iron in the world, with a total capacity of 42 million tonnes per annum. But a number of production units have closed or are operating at reduced capacity.  

In Karnataka, out of 70 units with a combined installed capacity of five mtpa, 40 units have shut down operations, while the remaining units are operating at less than 50% capacities.

Scrap Monster, 16 Sep

China recycling energy companies partner up

China Recycling Energy Corp, a leading energy-from-waste company, announced it has entered a strategic co-operation agreement to develop recycling energy projects with China Guangdong Nuclear Energy Service Co. Ltd.

The partnership will invest in selected constructing projects and the companies are willing to jointly develop further energy-from-waste projects. Both parties will have regular communication, share projects and work on equity co-operation plans.

4-traders, 18 Sep

 

EUROPE

Paper conference cancelled

The Central European Paper Recycling Conference has been cancelled, according to organisers at the National Association of Recyclers of Hungary.

The event was scheduled to take place in Budapest on 17-18 October, but the association said it clashed with other similar events including the Bureau of International Recycling autumn convention and the Paper Recycling Conference Europe, which are both to be staged in Poland.

Recycling International, 17 Sep

Spanish can rates up

Spain’s steel can recycling rate has topped 89%, according to the Latas de Bebidas beverage can manufacturers association. A total of 6,000 million steel and aluminium cans were recycled in 2012, representing a 86% metal recycling rate.

Recyclingportal.eu, 18 Sep

 

AUSTRALASIA

E-waste a ‘global time bomb’

Urgent action is needed to stop the planet’s ever-expanding pile of toxic electronic waste, delegates at the CleanUp 2013 conference in Melbourne were told.

In a key-note speech Professor Ming Wong, director of the Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences at the Hong Kong Baptist University, said as much as 50 million tonnes of hazardous e-waste is being produced a year and only a small fraction of this is safely disposed.

He said: “I would call it a global time bomb. [It] is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, rising by three to five per cent every year, due to the decreased lifespan of the average computer from six years to two.”

ABC Science, 16 Sep

 

AFRICA

Zambia gets recycling investment

Solid waste management company Kathumba Innovations, based in the Zambian city of Ndola, is to establish a recycling plant to process garbage into composite for the organic farming industry.

Company chief executive officer Given Sivubwa said the recycling plant was expected to produce more than 200 tonnes of composite in its initial stages and will employ at least 100 workers.

AllAfrica.com, 19 Sep

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