08/07/21 - News in Brief

TUBEX Aluminium Tubes joins Alupro

The aluminium packaging recycling organisation Alupro welcomes TUBEX Aluminium Tubes as its latest member.

Headquartered in Austria, and with production facilities worldwide, Alupro produces a range of sustainable aluminium packaging solutions for the cosmetics, food, pharmaceutical and industrial sectors.

TUBEX positions itself as a solutions provider that supplies businesses with eco-designed, protective packaging products.

The packaging company hosts two main product lines: Blue Tube, created from 95 per cent post-consumer and 5 per cent post-industrial aluminium; and Monotube, manufactured from a single material type.

Tom Giddings, general manager at Alupro, commented: "We're delighted to announce TUBEX as the very first aluminium tube manufacturer to join Alupro.

“It demonstrates the company's commitment to driving up recycling rates, as well as communicating the recycling message to consumers.”

"We look forward to exploring the ways in which we can work together and make a real difference to the aluminium packaging recycling industry."

Thierry Bitout, CEO at TUBEX Aluminium Tubes, added: "While many packaging manufacturers are working to reduce their environmental impact, we believe that TUBEX is truly setting the standards through innovative use of low-carbon recycled aluminium.

“Indeed, our products show that a closed-loop, infinitely circular economy is perfectly possible.”

"Joining Alupro provides a unique platform to engage with our customers, suppliers and consumers to further promote the aluminium recycling message."

Agrimax opens two new waste processing facilities

On 20 July 2021, the Agrimax project will open new facilities in Spain and Italy, which will demonstrate how unavoidable crop and food-processing waste can be turned into high-value bio-based products for the food-ingredients, food-packaging and farming sectors.

These two new pilot plants, or biorefineries, have been developed by the EU-funded scheme, which aims to address Europe’s food waste problem.

The Italian pilot plant is based at family-run farm, Chiesa in the North of Italy and will process waste from tomatoes and cereals to produce bio-based compounds such as lycopene, ferulic acid, cutin, and hydrocompost.

The Spanish pilot plant, based at fruit processing company Indulleida, will do the same for olive, tomato, cereal and potato waste to produce polyphenols, fibres, proteins and aromas.

In addition to developing these processes, the pilot plant is adopting methods for coordinating and managing the provision of waste feedstocks.

Georgios Chalkias, Project Coordinator, IRIS Technology Solutions said: “This is an exciting time for the Agrimax project.

“Now the pilot plants are operational, we are seeing new applications being developed, such as a bio-based coating for metal food packaging, formulated with cutin extracted from tomato peels.”

“This coating has the capacity to replace standard coating of petrochemical origin– a fantastic opportunity for the food and food-packaging sector to help revolutionise consumer products.”

Virginia Puzzolo, Head of Programme, Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking added; “Agrimax is likely to become a successful example to showcase the spirit of the Circular Economy; much of the waste the project us using finds new applications in the sector that produced it, closing loops between primary production and re-use.”

Neath Port Talbot Reuse shop opens

Neath Port Talbot reuse shop has opened; a collaboration between Neath Port Talbot Council, waste management company, FCC Environment, and reuse charity, Enfys.

It will be stocking second-hand gardening equipment, children’s toys, sports equipment, furniture, glassware and crockery.

The donated items will then be sold on, with some of the proceeds helping support Enfys’ efforts to divert used furniture from landfill and towards those in need.

Appointments do not need to be booked in order to visit the shop, however there will not be access to the recycling centre and parking must take place in the designated area for the Reuse shop.

In response to COVID, there will still be a number of changes in place, including temporary changes to the shop opening times -- now open from 9:30AM til 4:30PM, seven days a week.

The shop will also enforce measures to make sure that staff and members of the public stay safe and follow national guidelines, including limited customer capacity, social distancing measures, and sanitiser points.

ZenRobotics partners with Masotina to retrofit PRF

Italian waste management company Masotina has partnered with ZenRobotics to retrofit their plastics sorting facility (PRF) with an AI-powered robotic sorting station.

The plant, located in Milan, focusses on household waste plastic recovery - specifically, clear polyethylene terephthalate (PET) - separating household waste plastics coming mostly from municipal collection.

With a total capacity of 355,000 tonnes per year, the facility will feature automated sorting and selection lines to separate out recyclable waste plastics, through a combination of optical, mechanical and manual sorting.

One of the latest additions is the ZenRobotics Fast Picker sorting station that performs quality control at the facility in order to reduce the need for manual sorting.

Its job is to ensure high output purity for clear PET, by removing contaminants and taking out other valuable recyclable polymers, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE), that are then returned back to the recycling loop.

The Fast Picker has been integrated into the existing sorting line, due to its compact size.

ZenRobotics CEO, Jarmo Ruohonen, commented: “We were pleased to see that our robotics technology matches the rigorous sorting ambitions of Masotina.

“We strongly believe that smart robotics has enormous potential to recover more and more recyclable materials.”

“The Masotina S.p.A facility is a perfect example of how existing MRFs can make use of the latest technology to improve their efficiency and economics in waste sorting.”