Business in Brief – 18/09/19

Materials being sorted for recycling
HSBC has awarded Bristol-based Ecosurety £2 million
Bristol recycling company secures £2 million funding

Recycling compliance scheme Ecosurety, which helps its members manage their legal recycling obligations, has secured £2 million from HSBC’s SME fund.

Ecosurety provides companies with the recycling evidence they need to submit under UK compliance law – companies that handle over 50 tonnes of packaging a year and have an annual turnover of more than £2 million are required to contribute towards the cost of packaging recovery and recycling through the purchase of recycling evidence, known as Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs). This is to limit the detrimental environmental impact of packaging in landfill.

As well as supporting the company’s growing membership base, which includes brands such as Innocent, Morrisons, and Virgin Media, the funding from HSBC will also help Bristol-based Ecosurety invest in recycling innovation and infrastructure to seek solutions to the UK’s reliance on waste export markets.

James Piper, Ecosurety’s CEO said: “As companies recognise the long-term benefits that Ecosurety’s business model offers, we’ve seen increased business growth. This, coupled with high recycling evidence (PRN) prices, has created the need for a more flexible cash-flow set up – something HSBC UK is helping us manage. The £2 million finance facility will enable Ecosurety to continue to meet the needs of its members, whilst delivering on its broader mission to build UK recycling capacity through collaboration, innovation and targeted investment.”

Read more about Ecosurety’s packaging compliance on the company's website.

Regional government officials opening biomass plant in Venizel, France
The biomass plant will use discards from the paper-making process to power the mill
Saica Group inaugurates its first biomass plant in France

Representatives of the regional government of Aisne in northern France gathered on Thursday (12 September) to inaugurate Saica Group’s first biomass plant at its Venizel paper mill.

With help from a €41-million (£36.4-million) investment and support from France’s environment agency, Ademe, the biomass plant is set to recycle 75,000 tonnes of discarded wood and 26,000 tonnes of by-products generated by the mill’s paper and pulp production process.

The wood and rejections, which were previously discarded, will be used to generate all the required energy to operate the Saica Venizel paper mill, contributing to a circular economy.

It is estimated that the new biomass plant will decrease the paper mill’s CO2 emissions by 71 per cent (46,500 tonnes per year) and reduce its consumption of natural gas by 89 per cent.

You can find out more about Saica Group on the company's website.

Buhler optical sorting technology
The Buhler technology is used in the food industry as well as the recycling sector
Bühler awarded most prestigious innovation accolade for its optical sorting technology

Process technology company Bühler has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its optical sorting technology. This is the company’s seventh Queen’s Award since 1968.

Bühler’s unique camera technology, currently used in sorting machines within food production companies, recognises very subtle colour and shading contrasts in materials and food, making it easier to detect foreign materials, potential choke hazards, or contamination.

Food producers in Europe and the US using Bühler’s technology have seen an estimated 10 per cent increase in detection rates of foreign materials (from 85 per cent to 95 per cent) since its implementation.

As well as identifying foreign materials in the industrial frozen vegetables process, it is hoped that future developments will also be able to detect mycotoxins and pathogens.

The Bühler camera technology is also being used in the recycling sector to detect lower-grade or discolored polymers. By identifying such high rates of contamination, the company claims it is now possible to produce food-grade plastic packaging from 100 per cent recycled material, cutting the need for virgin plastic production and reducing levels of plastic being sent to landfill.

Johannes Wick, Bühler Group’s CEO for Grains & Food, said: “This breakthrough technology will make the difference for us in the market for years to come. What is now in reach are applications to grade raw materials for composition and to remove invisible contaminations. This will be a major contribution to provide healthy and safe nutrition around the world.”

More information about Bühler Group is available on the company’s website.

Clear salad bowls made from 100 per cent recycled PET plastic
The Chilled Solutions Range is made from PET bottle flakes
Sabert launches 100 per cent recycled foodservice products

Food packaging manufacturer, Sabert, has launched a range of food service packaging products made from 100 per cent high grade, post-consumer PET bottle flakes. The range includes salad bowls and clear lids.

“We are so pleased to have achieved our aim of closing the loop and using no more virgin PET,” said Sabert Marketing and Innovation Manager, Gisèle Nonnweiler.

“Sabert began producing some products which included post-consumer PET bottle flake before 2016, but in January that year took our whole range to a guaranteed minimum of 50 per cent high-grade, post-consumer PET bottle flake content,” said Gisèle. “During 2018, we increased this percentage to a minimum of 70 per cent and since September this year, we are now producing products featuring 100 per cent high-grade, post-consumer PET bottle flake content.”

Alongside using green energy and aiming to recycle 100 per cent of its internal production waste, Sabert has developed compostable food packaging and tableware, such as the BePulp line. The company now also uses carefully selected recycled PET and the latest technology to recycle old bottles into the food-safe Chilled Solutions range.

You can find out more about Sabert’s sustainable food packaging solutions on the company’s website.

Flat screen computer
E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world
Novatech reduces e-waste by refurbishing 200 computers for Exmouth Community College

Technology supplier Novatech Ltd. has refurbished over 200 computers for Exmouth Community College in a bid to reduce e-waste.

The college, which aims to upgrade and replace IT equipment approximately every four years, had over 200 Novatech PCs that needed to be replaced. Rather than sending the computers to landfill and getting new ones, Novatech has refurbished the existing units – a more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution.

Mark Tomlinson, Head of Novatech’s Managed Sales, said: “Electronic waste is becoming the fastest-growth waste stream in the world. At Novatech we are committed to reducing the throw-away culture within the technology sector by encouraging our customers to refurbish or recycle their old devices.

Many components in old computers can be reused in the fabrication of new computers, so we will always prefer to take this route in order to limit the impact on the environment and reduce the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfill.”