Business in Brief - 15/06/2021

EA launches plastic pollution-focused award for young people

The Environment Agency (EA) has launched a plastic pollution-focused award for young people in partnership with national school network Partners in Excellence (PiXL).

Key Stage 3 and 4 students from member schools can sign up for the Green Edge Award programme from September and take one of three award levels – Apprentice, Pioneer and Graduate.

Students will be encouraged to demonstrate five key skills – leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication – through a series of activities, including plastic waste surveys, organising litter picks, and setting up repair cafes.

Kelly Haynes, Environment Agency STEM Engagement Officer, said: “We are thrilled to be working with PiXL to offer this award, which empowers young people to help tackle plastic pollution and the wider climate emergency.”

Rachel Johnson, CEO of PiXL, said: “Young people often report feeling powerless in the face of the climate crisis we face, which will no doubt play a big part in their futures.

“The introduction of the Green Edge, in partnership with the Environment Agency, means that not only will they learn about the issues at hand, but can start working on practical ways to make a difference and empower themselves and others to bring about change.”

Fenix Battery Recycling starts accepting primary lithium batteries

Fenix Battery Recycling, which has plants in Willenhall in the West Midlands and Kilwinning near Glasgow, will be offering primary lithium battery recycling in its new UK plant.

These batteries, which are used mainly in portable electronic devices, usually have to be exported for processing and recycling.

Fenix will roll out the new plant for primary lithium batteries in two stages: first, to discharge and to process the batteries by liberating black mass, and second, downstream recycling of the black mass to produce lithium and manganese compounds.

Some of the equipment used in this new plant will be produced in Italy and Germany. Fenix expects it to be operational within a year.

Damian Lambkin, Business Development Director at Fenix Battery Recycling, said: “Primary lithium batteries have a long life, but they are not rechargeable, meaning they often end up in landfill.

“We urgently need to develop effective recycling facilities for these batteries in the UK and Fenix aims to be at the forefront of this effort.”

We are accepting primary lithium batteries now, which we will process as soon as our new plant is installed.

“Recycling these batteries is a hazardous process, but our new equipment will allow us to do this safely and at scale.

“Our primary lithium battery recycling solution will be much more cost effective than the current situation, which requires export to recycling centres in Europe.

“A new battery sorting table has been installed at our Kilwinning site and we are now ready to accept batteries for sorting, discharge and storage.”

Enva extends contract with ScotRail

Waste management service Enva has announced the extension of its contract with ScotRail, which will see it continue to provide over 40,000 waste collections a year to over 200 locations including stations, depots and offices.

Enva manages over 4,000 tonnes of waste from ScotRail passengers, including general waste, mixed recycling, food, glass, wood, green waste, WEEE, confidential material, fluorescent tubes, scrap metal and hazardous waste.

Enva Sales Director, Stephen Cameron, said: “The extension of our contract with ScotRail recognises the excellent working relationship that has been developed over the years.

“With the continued hard work and commitment of our account managers and ScotRail’s Sustainability Team we are confident that we will further improve recycling rates and develop increasingly sustainable practices to support the development of Scotland’s circular economy.”

Damian Keaveny, Head of Environment at ScotRail, added: “Working with Enva has played an important role in helping us to meet our sustainability goals particularly in relation to the development of the circular economy principles.

“In working together, we firstly seek to prevent waste arising wherever possible. When this is not possible, we ensure it is managed in the most sustainable way possible. 

“Good communication, collaboration and the provision of accurate data have been key factors in our success so far and heavily influenced our decision to extend Enva’s contract.”