Business in Brief – 26/6/19

DS Smith appoints new Managing Director

DS Smith has appointed John Melia to the role of Managing Director for its UK recycling division. John will replace Mat Prosser, who takes up a new post as Head of Strategic Business Development and Transformation (Europe).

Melia brings more than 25 years’ experience in the manufacturing and processing industries, where he has been responsible for leading complex multi-site organisations. Holding director-level positions in commercial, operations and business development functions, Melia also boasts expertise with companies spanning the chemicals and food sectors.

John Melia, DS Smith UK recycling division Managing Director
John Melia, DS Smith UK recycling division Managing Director
In his new role, Melia will lead DS Smith’s UK operations, a key element of which will be managing the UK collection, processing and supply of paper for recycling in the context of the company’s closed-loop recycled packaging model, as well as the supply of quality materials to its partners across the globe.

Commenting on his appointment, Melia said: “It was DS Smith’s commitment to shaping the future of the circular economy that really caught my attention. I am new to the recycling sector, but I firmly believe that the transfer of management skills can boost fresh thinking and innovation in any business environment. As such, my focus will be on applying my capabilities and knowledge to further drive DS Smith’s success.

“I look forward to building on DS Smith’s excellent reputation as a leading supplier of sustainable packaging solutions by promoting and embedding excellence across our recycling operations. This will give us the strong foundation for ongoing growth and development as we consider new and innovative ways to deliver recycling and waste management services in our rapidly-changing society.”

Melia’s appointment comes as DS Smith posts strong financial performance figures for the 2018/19, with an organic adjusted operating profit growth of nine per cent and pre-tax profit up 35 per cent.

You can find more information about DS Smith Recycling on the company’s website.

Vanden Recycling appoints new Business Development Manager

Vanden Recycling has appointed Jason Loughlin as Business Development Manager to help source regular supply of plastic scrap from the food manufacturing sector.

Loughlin joins Vanden after more than 12 years in the commercial waste management sector, including stints at waste management companies Viridor and Veolia, dealing primarily with post-consumer waste.

David Wilson, Managing Director of Vanden UK, said Jason’s extensive experience will help Vanden develop partnerships with food manufacturers: “Jason brings over a decade of experience in dealing with the complex requirements of an industrial and commercial client base. He’s previously worked for some of the best companies in the business and we’re delighted he’s chosen Vanden as the next step in his career.

“Jason has considerable tender management and project lead experience and has provided sustainable solutions for a broad variety of clients. I couldn’t be happier Jason’s joining our growing commercial team.”

Loughlin himself said: “The transparent approach to scrap processing and quality testing at Vanden, as well as the passion to do things properly and handle plastics with best practice always in mind, were huge factors in attracting me to the company.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with food manufacturers to increase their recycling rates, ensuring minimal amounts of material goes to waste, and securing a regular source of plastic scrap for Vanden’s UK processing site.”

You can find out more about Vanden Recycling on the company’s website.

OPRL appoints Programmes Manager

The On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) Ltd announced on 11 June that Richard Parker is joining as interim Programmes Manager as the not-for-profit on-pack labelling scheme moves forward with its development plans.

Parker, who previously spent almost three years at Iceland Foods and 17 years at Unilever, joins at a time when OPRL is forging ahead with the development of its We Recycle app together with updating its Recycling Labelling Rules and packaging recyclability evaluation tool, PREP UK.

Richard Parker, interim Development Manager at OPRL
Richard Parker, interim Development Manager at OPRL
Commenting on the appointment, Jane Bevis, Chair of OPRL, said: “As the recent Progress Report from the UK Plastics Pact demonstrates, labelling packaging to give consumers clear advice on its recyclability is a key commitment by many brands and retailers in delivering Target three: 70 percent of plastics packaging effectively recycled or composted. Our insight research shows that consumers rely on OPRL labels to give that advice, with 5x the level of understanding of any other recycling label. So updating the scheme’s governing rules to ensure on-pack labels reflect both collections data and the practical recycling of packaging in MRFs and at reprocessors is essential to safeguard that trust.”

“Likewise, taking that information off pack to provide more specific information and reward consumers through our We Recycle app is essential whilst the government’s proposed reforms come into effect. I’m delighted that Richard, with his extensive experience leading packaging teams in both brands and retailers, is joining us to lead these and other programmes, ensuring we have the capacity to take this important work forward at pace. Colleagues throughout the sector will know and respect his wealth of knowledge and experience which will ensure our evidence-based approach continues to underpin good practice.”

“Richard joins us as we expand the team in line with our ambitious business plans. We will shortly be recruiting a specialist Marketing Manager to work with Richard and our Membership Manager, Alice Harlock, as we grow the business further in order to deliver greater recyclability and recycling of packaging.”

Parker said: “I’m looking forward to taking up this new challenge, working with the OPRL team and the extended support network to deliver the improved communications to our consumers, ensuring that we continue to improve collection and recycling of much more of our packaging material. Having been involved in packaging from almost every angle so far in my career and, most recently, inputting to the consultations on Resources and Waste Strategy development, this is a great time to be further involved in influencing the future of our approach to packaging overall”

You can find out more about OPRL on the organisation’s website.

AO announces plans to open plastics recycling plant

The online electricals store AO has announced today that it is to open a state-of-the-art plastics recycling plant, close to its main fridge recycling facility in Telford, Shropshire.

The new four-acre site will give AO the ability to clean and refine the plastic it collects from its main fridge recycling facility to a higher standard, meaning it can be processed for further reuse.

The new site will be AO’s third planned recycling facility in 18 months and the ambition is for this new multi-million-pound investment to process all of the plastics collected at AO’s fridge recycling plants, refining them so that they are of a better quality, meaning they can be reused in other products, even to create new fridges.

Robert Sant, Managing Director of AO Recycling, said of the new plant “The investment was the next natural step in our recycling journey to create a closed-loop process. One of the big hurdles in reuse is producing a plastic that can be used effectively again in another products. Therefore, we have created a plant that can clean and refine to the highest possible standards.

“The aim of our recycling process has always been to get the most out of the old white goods we collect so our customers know that when they are giving us their old fridges, they are doing the best they possibly can for the environment.”

The retailer launched its first recycling facility in 2017 with the opening of the state-of-the-art fridge recycling plant in Telford. The plant has already made a significant impact on UK recycling capacity with 700,000 fridges expected to be recycled in its first full processing year – or about one fifth of the 3.5 million appliances thrown away annually. It announced in late 2018 that it would be opening a second recycling plant in the south east of England in Spring 2020.

The new plant will create up to 100 new jobs, with a variety of roles available at the site at all levels from plant manager to plant engineers.

For more information on AO Recycling on the company’s website.