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World news round-up 27 November 2014

Call for end to cash for South African scrap payments; Aircraft fuel from from plant waste; Supermarket chain to recover excess fruit and veg in Poland; Ghana urged to tackle plastic waste

Banking system for scrap metal payments urged

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has called for changes to the Second Hand Goods Act to eliminate cash payments and help curb the theft of scrap metals. The theft of copper cable, as well as pipes, pumps and other equipment, costs the country an estimated ZAR5bn (£289m) a year. While the Act made buying or being in possession of altered or burnt copper cable an offence, “it is very difficult to prove that someone caught in possession of such cable is in actual fact the person that changed it”, says SAPS Major General Charles Johnson.


Advanced biofuel from plant waste

French oil and gas firm Total is looking to extract ‘second-generation’ biofuel sugars from woody crops and agricultural waste to fuel aircraft. The move comes as commercial production of transportation fuel from plant waste is underway in the US, Brazil and Europe.

Reuters Africa

India’s Goa to get biomass plant

German chemical and pharmaceutical firm Merck KGaA is developing a plant at Panaji in Goa to use local products such as cashew and coconut shells to create biomass fuel. The drug maker also intends to start on biomass heating plant in US for its Jaffrey, New Hampshire, facilities in 2015.     

Fierce Pharma manufacturing

Bio-waste management project in Poland

Retailer Carrefour has launched a biowaste management project in Poland, under which a network of 22 hypermarkets and supermarkets recover ‘unfit’ fruit and vegetables to be reused for composting or the rehabilitation of urban green areas. The company plans to extend this green waste collection programme to additional stores.

Fresh Plaza

Ghana urged to tackle plastic waste                                                                                       

The World Bank has urged the government of Ghana ban the use of plastic bags. According to the Bank, the country is far from meeting the Millennium Development Goals on sanitation. It says that to ensure a clean and safer environment, the country should license plastic dealers who would buy back waste plastics.


Indian textile sector set to grow

The Indian textile industry, currently estimated at $108bn (£69bn), has the potential to reach $500bn by 2025, according to textile and polyester consulting firms Wazir Advisors and PCI Xylenes & Polyesters. The figure would be made up from domestic sales of $315bn and exports of $185bn.

The Economic Times

India cotton supply plunges

Cotton supplies from the new crop in India have fallen 19% in the current season. The country is set to harvest a record 40 million bales this year, but a sharp drop in prices is prompting farmers to hold back supply. 
The Economic Times

Sawdust converted to gasoline

Researchers from KU Leuven’s centre for surface chemistry and catalysis in Belgium have developed a procedure to convert sawdust into building blocks for petrol. “Essentially, the method allows us to make a ‘petrochemical’ product using biomass . With the right temperature and pressure, it takes about half a day to convert the cellulose in the wood shavings into saturated hydrocarbon chains, or alkanes” says the centre’s Dr. Bert Lagrain.

Press Release

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