Supermarkets sign food waste voluntary pledge; Defra launches £4.7m fund for hard-to-recycle materials; FCC partnership with councils hail reuse scheme; Airport addresses paper cup waste
Supermarkets sign food waste voluntary pledge
More than 100 of the biggest players in food, including all of the UK’s major supermarkets, have signed Defra’s ‘Step up to the Plate’ pledge to drive down food waste.
Big-hitters from the world of food and sustainability including Aldi, Asda, Caffé Nero, Co-op, Costa, FDF, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Starbucks, Tesco, M&S, Morrisons, Nestlé, Ocado, UKHospitality, Unilever, World Wildlife Fund for Nature and Waitrose have signed a pledge committing to help halve food waste by 2030 and raise public awareness of the issue through a week of action.
The government’s Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot urged organisations to ‘Step up to the Plate’ at a symposium last month. Environment secretary Michael Gove said: ”The UK is showing real leadership in this area, but each year millions of tonnes of food is wasted. I want to thank our Food Surplus and Waste Champion for inspiring business to step up to the plate. Together we will end the environmental and economic scandal that is food waste.”
Defra launches £4.7m fund for hard-to-recycle materials
The Government is inviting organisations to apply for funding under a multi-million pound grant scheme to help boost the recycling of plastic packaging and textiles.
From 12 June organisations in England can apply for government funding for innovative solutions to drive up the recycling of hard-to-recycle plastic packaging such as plastic trays, pots and tubs, plastic films and pouches, as well as funding for innovative projects that boost the recycling of textiles when they have reached the end of their life.
For plastics this could include innovative sorting or segregation equipment, and smarter systems to enable sorting of different polymers. For textiles this could include machinery for recycling textiles, technology for disassembling or sorting textiles, automated processes for removing items from textiles such as zips, and technology to sort textiles by fibre type and colour.
FCC partnership with councils hail reuse scheme
re3 reuse area
re3 has reported a ”significant spark” in the popularity of its reuse scheme available to residents of Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham Boroughs.
Last year, the volume of goods donated by re3 residents doubled to over 630 tonnes, not only diverting the waste away from the landfill but also supporting a charitable cause.
re3, a local authority partnership with FCC, has been working with Sue Ryder since 2011, donating suitable items that can be resold to benefit thousands of people each year who are in need of care. Items that meet the minimum criteria set out by Sue Ryder are collected by the charity for sale in their shops. Last year residents left 45 tonnes of reusable items at the re3 Recycling Centres that were donated to Sue Ryder charity, which raised an astounding £17,772 to support palliative, neurological and bereavement care.
Airport addresses paper cup waste
reusable cup sign
Starbucks and Hubbub have launched a reusable cup trial in partnership with Gatwick Airport. The trial will offer drop off points for Starbucks reusable cups throughout the international airport’s South Terminal to help cut paper cup waste and address throw-away culture.
Customers at the Starbucks store, which is operated in partnership with SSP, will have the option to borrow a free reusable cup for their drink instead of using a paper cup, which they can then drop off at one of five ‘Cup Check-In’ points throughout the airport before they board their flight.
More than 5.3 million of the 7 million paper cups used at Gatwick each year are already being recycled but as recycling requires empty cups to be placed in the dry recycling bins, Starbucks and Hubbub have identified the potential to increase reusable cup options as well to limit the number of cups used in travel hubs where on-the-go packaging is prevalent.
South Wales firms in acquisition deal
forward waste ford
Cardiff-based Forward Waste has bought John Ford & Sons, the area’s longest established scrap metal recycler.
Lyndon Ward, managing director of Forward Waste Management (pictured, left, with Ford opposite number Richard Ford), said: “John Ford & Sons have been long standing subcontractors to Forward Waste and have become a much valued service partner, having consistently demonstrated the high level of value, reliability and customer focus that is at the core of our business.”
He added: “Metals management operations have become a major activity for us; we’re therefore excited to acquire this well established and trusted metals management firm.”
Group seeks to help ‘informal’ waste workers
fair plastic alliance logo
The Fair Plastic Alliance (FPA) has launched with the aim of offering people who operate in the informal waste collection sector the opportunity of a recognised job. It is open to companies and not-for-profit organisations
Delia Innocenti, chief executive of alliance member Serioplast said: “The Fair Plastic alliance wants to face the environmental and social issues generated by plastic through an innovative approach, leveraging on the active inclusion of informal pickers. This is possible when adopting a business model that brings workers back to the centre.”
Viridor in deal to avert plastics exports
ks plastics viridor deal
Viridor has agreed a two-year contract with plastics reprocessor KS Plastics, which has invested £1.5m in a new facility that will increase capacity to 24ktpa.
It will take some 5,000 tonnes of recycling sacks, shopping bags and film each year, which was formerly exported.
Viridor managing director Keith Trower said: “The resource market remains a global market, governed by the basic principles of supply and demand, but we recognise public sentiment that the UK should find a way to deal with its own waste.”
Kai Ma, managing director of KS Plastics, (pictured right with Rosie Barber, Viridor trading and feedstock manager for plastics, said: “We have chosen to target the lower end of the value chain to create something unique to the market. This is a three-polymer pellet which allows for low grade films to be processed quickly.”
Fashion industry promotes circular economy
The London Waste and Recycling Board, consultancy QSA Partners and fashion retailers including Ted Baker, Farfetch and FW are to pilot circular economy business models such as clothes hire, product resale, repair and rental services for the clothing industry.
They said consumers increasingly demanded more sustainable options from brands, and circular approaches offered companies more value and profit while reducing their environmental impact.
Meanwile, Husband and wife team Andy and Nicola Gleave have launched the Refashion Guide as an online fashion resale shop to sell unsold stock from retailers to try to stem the flow of used clothes to landfill. According to WRAP £140m worth of clothes is discarded annually.
Veolia invests in plastics plant
veolia plastics recovery
Veolia is to invest a further £1m in its Dagenham plastic recycling facility to allow a 20% increase in food grade production responding to the increasing need and interest of manufactures signed up to the year-old plastics pact.
Chief technology and innovation officer Richard Kirkman said “This is an opportunity for an industry that is getting bad press to become sustainable and this investment shows our commitment to make this a reality. It will help to increase the amount the UK recycles and encourage recyclable materials and designs for products and discourage the use of harder to recycle options such as black plastic and polystyrene yogurt pots. “
Refuse lorry cameras defeat bogus claims
hull council refuse vehicle
Hull City Council has seen a dramatic drop in insurance claims since equipping its refuse vehicles with hard disk recording camera systems.It has been able to show that the private vehicles concerned were damaged prior to the vehicles making their rounds.
The 5-camera recording systems provided by Innovative Safety Systems help the council monitor collections for health and safety and for crew training, but the reduction in false insurance claims means that thy have more than paid for themselves.
Casepak wins council contract
casepak vehicle and mrf
Casepak has been awarded a contract by Aylesbury Vale District Council to process some 18,000 tonnes of co-mingled recyclables from 78,000 homes.The material will go to Casepak’s Leicester MRF, which can process up to 165,000 tonnes of material each year.
Site bought for Leeds incinerator
Energy from waste firm Wheelabrator Technologies has secured the right to buy 19.5 acres of land at the Skelton Grange, Leeds, from Harworth Group. The site has planning consent for 300,000 tonnes a year incinerator and the firm expects to apply to increase this to 410,000 tonnes.
Survey results hold consumers responsible for litter
litter on our street
A YouGov survey commissioned by waste firm FCC has found 68% of respondents think individual consumers bear the main responsibility for litter from takeaway packaging. Only 9% thought it was the responsibility of retailer, 8% producers and 5% the local authority.
FCC regional director Steve Longdon said the Government’s proposed deposit return scheme for drinks containers would hold producers accountable for packaging, but the research “makes it clear that the public recognize their responsibility for littering”.
Among respondents 32% said they would not pay anything extra for 100% recyclable packaging for takeaway food or drink, though 28% would pay up to 5% extra.