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News round up 18/12

Biodegradable plastic row; tomatoes heated by EfW; AD research; ReFood expansion; whisky landfill

Report confirms biodegradable plastic claim

The Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association (OPA) has rubbished claims that no biodegradable plastic can be safely recycled.

In November European Plastic Converters (EuPC) published a report on the recyclability of biodegradable plastics by the Austrian Transfercenter für Kunststofftecknik GmbH (TCKT).

The Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association requested an analysis of this report by the Roediger specialist laboratory in South Africa.

The TCKT report confirms that bio-based “compostable” plastics cannot be safely recycled together with oil-based plastics in a post-consumer waste stream. But it said that plastic products made with oxo-biodegradable technology may be recycled together with conventional oil-based polymers without the need for separation and without any significant detriment to the newly-formed recycled product.

Sita backs £30m greenhouse project

A planning application for a project which would create over 200 jobs and turn Suffolk into one of the country’s largest tomato producers, has been submitted to planners by Sterling Suffolk.

Two commercial greenhouses would cover an area of nearly 50 acres and would produce 7,500 tonnes of tomatoes a year and would be heated by a Sita £185m energy-from-waste plant at Great Blakenham.

Press release

AD research network

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has announced that a proposal for a funded research network in anaerobic digestion (AD), led by Professor Charles Banks at the University of Southampton and supported by the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, has been successful.

The AD network is one of 13 unique collaborative ‘Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy’ designed to boost interaction between the academic research base and industry, promoting the translation of research into benefits for the UK.

Each network includes funds to support a range of small proof of concept research projects, to demonstrate potential commercial benefits.

Press release

ReFood £6m expansion

PDM is to double the size of its ReFood Doncaster anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, with construction to start on a £6m expansion project.

Doncaster was ReFood’s first AD plant in the UK and has been operational since the summer of 2011.

Firm in court after teenager’s arm crushed in dangerous machinery

A Sheffield teenager with a temporary job at a major glass recycling firm in West Yorkshire had his arm crushed when it was drawn into the unguarded danger zone of a machine, a court has heard.

The 18-year-old Sheffield worker, who was employed by a local staffing agency, had been working as a temp at Reuse Collections Ltd, which trades as Berryman, in Pontefract, for varying periods over some six months.  

Wakefield Magistrates were told he had been asked by a supervisor to clean a machine used to separate glass from waste material at the company’s site on 15 June 2012. The machine was running and his left hand and arm was drawn in between a rotating metal drum and a moving conveyor belt.

Whisky landfill down

A Scotch Whisky industry environmental report has been published. It measures progress towards ‘ambitious targets’ launched by the industry in 2009.

It revealed the industry has made significant progress in a number of areas, including the commissioning of a wood-fired biomass boiler. This comes on the back of multimillion pound investments already committed in by-product biomass technologies including anaerobic digestion.

It also claimed the industry is close to achieving zero waste to landfill with only 5% of waste being landfilled in 2012 and many sites already have met the target of zero.



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