Business in Brief - 11/05/2021

Cromwell Polythene contract wins help boost kerbside recycling

Cromwell Polythene has estimated that its product line of sacks and bags, designed for the containment of waste and recyclables, has helped to collect 1.5m tonnes of dry recyclables across the UK.

The supplier has won 30 local authority contracts across the country and offers products that have collected 300k tonnes of food waste for composting and anaerobic digestion and 2.0m tonnes of general waste for treatment via energy from waste or landfill.

Cromwell Polythene has said its most popular order has been for its polythene recycling and waste sacks and liners, which are designed to cut carbon emissions during production and transportation.

Cromwell’s contracts have also included the provision of compostable sacks and liners, which are manufactured from Ecopond® biodegradable plastic, using starch and lactide-based derivatives of plant sources. More than 90 per cent of the plastic mass converts into biomass, CO2 and water and are designed to stop waste from ending up in landfill.

Cromwell Polythene Managing Director, James Lee, said: “We are proud to support local authorities across the UK with their recycling and waste management strategies.

“From a practical viewpoint, our sacks, bags, and liners provide the most convenient, hygienic, and economical solution for the capture and containment of resources for recycling.

“They enable easy separation of materials, thus limiting the chance of contamination, whilst having the lowest environmental impact and save valuable resources being sent to landfill.”

Recolight webinar discusses new Ecodesign regulations

Compliance scheme Recolight has said that the lighting industry is ready to welcome new legislation which seeks to bring back the replaceable light source, following comments made at its second circular economy webinar.

The Recolight webinar was attended by over 150 people from across the lighting industry, who discussed the impact of forthcoming EU and UK Ecodesign legislation, under which lighting manufacturers must incorporate removable light sources and control gear in their products.

The legislation, which is currently set for implementation in September 2021, will require manufacturers to ensure that the light sources and control gear can be replaced with the use of commonly available tools.

Manufacturers will be obligated to provide technical information on how the components can be changed. In some cases, the light sources and gear can be changed by the end-user; in others, by a ‘qualified person’.

Geoff Coffin, of Store Maintenance Ltd said that he would like to see replacement components that are easy to procure, install, and competitively priced, adding “we then need  to educate users and prove that this can be done to the benefit of the environment and their pockets.”

Following the webinar discussions, Recolight concluded that it considers the Ecodesign regulations as the first step towards circular economy legislation and expects that it may move more lighting to a service model.

It also suggests that the industry would benefit from more guidelines that identify the best practice approach, as manufacturers will need to be able to demonstrate the benefits of extended life cycles when the guidelines come into effect.

Tesco scraps plastic from beers and ciders

Tesco has become the first major retailer to scrap soft plastic rings and shrink wrap packaging from all beers and ciders in its UK stores, after confirming that it will stop receiving beer and ciders that are held together by soft plastic rings and shrink wraps in early May.

The move is expected to lead to 50 million fewer pieces of unrecycled plastic being produced each year.

The supermarket has confirmed the move as part of its ongoing 4Rs (Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) strategy, which has been set up to remove excess and non-recyclable material from its business.

Tesco expects to sell through the last remaining stock in the coming weeks and will not order beers or ciders that use plastic packaging in the future.    

Tesco Quality Director Sarah Bradbury said: “We are working hand in hand with some of the world’s biggest brands to tackle the problem of unnecessary plastic.  

“Our mission is to remove, reduce, reuse and recycle so we use as little material as possible and ensure that all the packaging in our stores can be easily recycled.” 

Beer and cider brands who sell to Tesco will now have to use materials for multipacks such as cardboard sleeves, boxes, or a rigid plastic that can be easily recycled via kerbside collections.

Heineken UK, which has stopped using plastic rings in favour of a cardboard alternative, are among the companies who have welcomed the move.

James Crampton, Corporate Affairs Director, Heineken UK, added: “Never has sustainability been so high on the agenda and we are incredibly proud to work with Tesco, who like us, see the important role we both play in helping to protect the future of our planet.  

MJ Church launches electric waste collection truck

Wiltshire-based waste management company MJ Church has announced the launch of one of the world’s first zero emission all-electric commercial waste collection truck.

The truck has been designed to be compliant with the newly announced Bath Clean Air Zone (CAZ) and an impending CAZ in Bristol.

MJ Church has worked with Electra Commercial Vehicles in Blackburn to create the truck. The trucks have been built with a 10-hour operating shift range and an electrically-powered hydraulic lifter, packer and compactor into the design, which can lift large commercial bins, empty them into the hopper, compact the refuse and then subsequently eject it.

MJ Church anticipates that the truck will serve a range of commercial and retail businesses, as well as service sector businesses including hospitals and schools.

The truck, worth £500,000, has been calculated to save six tonnes of CO2 going into the atmosphere each year and would require 36 trees to be planted each year to offset its carbon footprint.

Director of MJ Church Tom Church commented: “We are delighted to be launching this revolutionary vehicle today, which will make a significant contribution to cleaner air for local people whilst guaranteeing an excellent level of service at lower costs for businesses in Clean Air Zones as they get rolled out across the region,”

“By making this investment we do have significant initial costs to bear, but we do know that we are absolutely doing the right thing as a business ourselves and on behalf of all our customers and we know that this will bear dividends in many different ways in the medium and long term.”

Xampla announces two additions ahead of product launch

Plant protein plastic start-up Xampla has welcomed two industry experts to its team ahead of launching its first products on the market later this year.

Leo Bianchi joins the Cambridge University spin-out as Head of Product Development from Pladis Global, makers of McVitie’s, where he was UK & Europe Head of Packaging.

Bianchi has also previously worked at Burton’s Biscuits as Head of Packaging, and led R&D efforts and product developments at Unilever for more than 19 years

Laura Lawrence joins as Chief Financial Officer from ip.access where she was Chief Financial Officer for three years, and Finance Director prior to this.

The additions to Xampla’s team takes its workforce to 20, after making its first hire in January 2020.

According to CEO Simon Hombersley, Xampla will now focus on launching its products to market later this year.

The start-up says it has created the world’s first plant protein material for commercial use. Its material performs like synthetic polymers and offers a circular substitute for plastic sachets, flexible packaging films, edible labels and microplastics used in home and personal care products.

Bianchi commented: “Having worked in the packaging industry for decades, I’m excited to be playing my part in bringing sustainable solutions to market that offer a scalable solution to the plastics crisis.”

Lawrence added: “I’m delighted to have joined Xampla at such a pivotal time for the business.”

“It’s thrilling to be part of a passionate team pioneering a cutting-edge technology that could change the face of plastics on a global scale, and I’m proud to be helping develop its commerciality.”