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Symbiosis scheme rolls out nationally

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has awarded £13 million to fund the UK-wide roll out of the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) -- a business initiative where one company's waste is used to benefit another company.

The award follows a two-year trial in the West Midlands, where NISP saved industry over £30 million and diverted more than 420,000 tonnes from landfill, said regional development agency Advantage West Midlands who administered the scheme.

NISP generated eight new businesses and created or safeguarded 650 jobs.

Among the Midlands firms using the NISP approach is BIP (Oldbury), which has been recycling scrap plastics from items such as plug sockets, toilet seats and ashtrays. The materials are ground to produce a grainy substance that is used to strip paint from delicate surfaces, such as aircraft parts.

BIP general manager thermosets Rex Marfleet said: "Working with NISP has helped us to look at our business in a different way. NISP's approach of considering 'waste' streams as business assets, together with their extensive business links makes for a powerful combination."

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