Business in Brief - 17/05/2021

Treasure Your River campaign tackles litter in rivers

New anti-littering campaign Treasure Your River was launched on Friday (14 May), with two robotic pirate ships designed to clear litter in rivers setting sail in London’s Docklands.

Treasure Your River's robotic litter-picking pirate shipThe campaign, which is being run by environmental charity Hubbub and supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation, has also received support from partner organisations including Canal & River Trust, Thames 21 and The Rivers Trust and is expected to receive collaboration from over 11,000 volunteers.

Treasure Your River will run throughout 2021 and will look to tackle litter in the rivers Avon, Forth, Mersey, Severn, Taff, Thames and Trent and their tributaries, with an aim of removing 95 tonnes of litter and preventing a further 90 tonnes from entering seven of the UK’s river system.

It will initially focus on prevention and clean up activities around seven major cities that are based on these rivers: Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Nottingham.

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-founder of Hubbub said: “As lockdown restrictions are lifted there is increased concern about the amount of litter in our public and green spaces.

“Treasure Your River aims to make the connection between litter in our towns and cities and plastic in the oceans, and to offer people something positive they can do about it.

“The majority of plastics in the oceans are carried there by rivers; the River Mersey for example has proportionately higher levels of microplastic pollution than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

“We invite any individual or organisations along these rivers to come together and help halt the flow of litter into the sea.”

Christine Colvin, Director for Partnerships and Communications at The Rivers Trust, said: “Plastics are a serious pollution concern in our waterways, impacting not just rivers but ultimately the ocean.

“What’s wonderful about Treasure Your River is that it’s encouraging everyone to come together and address the problem where it really matters – at the source.”

FCC Environment signs East Lothian Council recycling contract

FCC Environment has signed a contract with East Lothian Council to provide all food waste and recycling collections in the area from 1 May 2021.

The contract will see FCC Environment take on the responsibility for the collection of food waste and recycling for 54,000 properties in East Lothian.

According to Head of Infrastructure for East Lothian Council Tom Reid, that number is expected to grow throughout the eight-year contract and that FCC Environment will have a clear focus on ‘driving up recycling rates’ in the area.

East Lothian Council had a recycling rate of 47 per cent for the year 2018/19, a decrease of 6 per cent from the previous year.

Reid added: “I am delighted to be working with FCC Environment. Big improvements are coming to our recycling services over the next few years as our population grows.

FCC Environment will bring a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to our services – we look forward to working together to continue to improve recycling for our residents.”

Steve Longdon, Operations Director at FCC Environment, said: “The last 14 months have been hard for everyone but as key workers we had to carry on, proving the resilience of our waste collection crews.

“So, it is with great pleasure that we bring this resilience to East Lothian Council, supporting them through some significant changes to their recycling and food waste collections to improve recycling performance yet further.

“A key part of this is the fleet of all new recycling vehicles that we will be rolling out which will revolutionise how these valuable resources are collected.”

Shotton paper mill sold to Eren Paper Ltd

Finnish bioindustry company UPM has signed an agreement to sell its newsprint mill site in Shotton in North Wales, one of the two biggest in the UK, to Turkish cardboard business Eren Paper Ltd.

Eren Paper Ltd is a subsidiary of Modern Karton Sanayi Ve Ticaret A.Ş, the containerboard and corrugated packaging business of the Turkish industrial conglomerate Eren Holding (Eren).

It will take over responsibility for the mill as of 1 October 2021, when the mill will start producing cardboard instead of newsprint.

It is expected that all 190 employees currently working at UPM Shotton will be part of the transaction.

UPM has said that the concrete timeline for the conversion plans will be communicated by Eren, but has confirmed that the Renewable Energy Generation plant and Material Recovery and Recycling Facility (MRRF) will continue operations throughout the conversion process, corresponding to their role in the regional utility infrastructure.

UPM added that it plans to continue serving UK newsprint customers also after the sale and will continue sourcing recovered paper (RCP) in the UK.

Winfried Schaur, Executive Vice President of UPM Communication Papers, commented: “We are very pleased with this agreement. It will provide a long-term future for the employees at our Shotton paper mill and a continued use of the site infrastructure.

“It will help UPM to further consolidate its newsprint production capacity while leveraging the value of the site and its assets. This sale will also support Eren in expanding its business in the UK market.

“The negotiations with Eren have been transparent and fair throughout and we have agreed close collaboration over the coming months to support the transition with both internal and external stakeholders.”