News in Brief - 13/11/2020

Eunomia to identify investment opportunities to reduce plastic pollution in the Caribbean

Environmental consultancy Eunomia Research and Consulting has been appointed by KfW Development Bank, a member of the Sustainable Ocean Fund (SOF), to help carry out its latest initiative that focuses on investment opportunities to combat plastic pollution in the Caribbean.

Poor waste management and very few recycling operations cause the Caribbean region to have some of the highest plastic pollution rates in the world, negatively impacting both the natural environment and the communities that live there.

Eumomia will be identifying opportunities of up to US$ 15 million in which the SOF and its stakeholders can invest between 2020 and 2023.

For several years, Eunomia has been monitoring the Caribbean region alongside local plastic pollution experts.

Ayesha Bapasola, Senior Consultant at Eunomia, said: “Circular economy investment in the Caribbean is going to be crucial to halt the degradation of the region’s natural systems and the societal inequalities this has bred.

“We are excited to be working with KfW and the Sustainable Ocean Fund to enable new business models that will prevent plastic pollution leakage into the marine environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, whilst also providing opportunities for social and economic growth.”

NI Environment Minister raises awareness of plastic recycling

Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister Edwin Poots recently toured the Plaswire Limited reprocessing facility in Lurgan, where he met with Chief Executive Andrew Billingsley and senior management to discuss the significance of recycling in the local economy.

Plaswire processes commercial plastics such as old aircraft interior furnishings. The plastic gets shredded into small pieces which can be utilised as raw materials for making new products, saving resources and reducing plastic ending up in landfill.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has also been working with Plaswire on exploring the possibility of processing end-of-life fishing gear that is notoriously hard to recycle.

Plaswire is currently researching the Pyrolysis process that uses heat to transform waste plastic back into its building blocks.

Minister Potts commented: “It is important to apply the waste hierarchy and only waste which cannot be prevented, reused or recycled should be considered for energy recovery.

“My officials have been engaging with a number of companies in relation to this and other processes of waste treatment which could assist Northern Ireland in moving away from landfill and incineration.”

Potts also suggested a packaging recovery notes (PRN) system for Pyrolysis that would motivate local reprocessing and recycling. It would ensure that ‘obligated producers meet  mandatory recovery and recycling targets by requiring them to prove, through the purchase of PRNs, that they have financed their prescribed tonnage of packaging recycling each year’.

Ecosurety appoints new Discovery Manager to promote recycling in the UK

UK recycling compliance scheme Ecosurety has announced that its new role of Discovery Manager will be filled by Gareth Morton.

The Discovery Manager will work closely with CEO James Piper on various Ecosurety projects, such as recycling awareness campaign #InTheLoop and recycling technology such as Polymet.

Morton will also manage the company’s Exploration Fund, which provides £1 million in financial support to innovation and research projects in the UK that aim to minimise the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or WEEE. Those successful in securing the funding will be announced in December.

James Piper, CEO of Ecosurety, said: “Our vision when creating the position of Discovery Manager was to find someone who could help Ecosurety build on our commitment to deliver positive change outside of our recycling compliance commitments.

“Gareth’s extensive experience in the waste and resource efficiency sectors, his passion for recycling, and understanding of how to use campaigns to incite positive behaviour change marked him out as the perfect candidate for the role. We are delighted Gareth is joining the Ecosurety team and welcome him on board.”

Morton said: “I’m very excited to be joining Ecosurety at a time when the industry is about to enter a time of considerable change. In joining the team, I can combine my passion for recycling with my behavioural change expertise and broad industry experience to make a positive difference.”