Resource Use

News in brief 17/07/15

Green capital unveils 70,000 bottle Bristol Whales sculpture 

bristol whales

The Bristol Whales, a temporary art installation that aims to highlight the effect of waste on our oceans, is to be unveiled in the city’s Millenium Square this weekend.

Around 70,000 plastic bottles, collected after the Bath half marathon and the Bristol 10k, have been upcycled to create plastic oceans for the two life-size willow whales to swim in.

The sculpture, designed and built by local design company Cod Steaks, initiated by Artists Project Earth and funded by Arts Council England, is the latest to mark Bristol’s year as the European Green Capital.

Members of the public will be invited to submit a virtual message in a bottle at the installation outside the At-Bristol centre and make a pledge to cut down on single-use plastics.

According to Southwest Water, Britons buy an estimated 13 billion plastic bottles of water each year, and research by Nottingham University suggests that more than 75 per cent of these bottles are not recycled, instead making their way into waterways and oceans after being flushed off the land.

Phil Gibby, Area Director for the South West for Arts Council England, said: “Artists throughout the world have been engaging with the green agenda for some time now and inviting us to think about the way we live.

“The Bristol Whales sends a very powerful message about the importance of safeguarding the world’s oceans by tackling marine litter, and is a great addition to the exciting Bristol 2015 arts and cultural programme that we’re supporting.”

The sculpture will be on show until 1 September.

Learn more about the Bristol Whales and Bristol 2015 European Green Capital.

ReFood’s first Sustainable Visionaries scholar is Keane

Food waste recycler ReFood has announced the winner of its first Sustainable Visionaries student scholarship competition.

Ronan Keane (pictured), a logistics and supply chain management student from Huddersfield University, was awarded the title after a six-month judging process and will receive a £5,000 bursary to further progress his studies.

Keane won the award for his ‘comprehensive’ proposal on implementing new techniques to close the food chain.

Over the next year he will work closely with the ReFood team, receiving mentoring from the company’s waste management experts throughout the third year of his degree.

Philip Simpson, Commercial Director at ReFood, commented: “With such comprehensive industry understanding, passion for sustainability and a pioneering approach to integrating new ideas into corporate logistics, we’re delighted to announce Ronan as our 2015 Sustainable Visionary.

“The judging panel was hugely impressed with his initial proposal, ideas and presentation, which demonstrated a completely new approach to sustainable logistics.

“Ronan demonstrates exactly why we launched the competition – to find a highly talented student who could fly the flag for sustainability; not just for today, but for the future.”

Keane added: “As a third-year degree student, understanding how the logistics sector can embrace sustainability further is something I find really interesting and want to explore further – the key reason I submitted an application to ReFood’s student bursary.”

Learn more about the ReFood bursary.

MBA Polymers brings in former heads to continue growth

American plastics recycler MBA Polymers has reappointed its former head Richard McCombs as CEO, and has brought in its founder, Mike Biddle (pictured), as a consultant, in an attempt to continue the company’s growth.

McCombs held the roles of President, CEO and Vice Chairman in his first stint at MBA between 1999 and 2012. He has since served as Managing Director of consulting firm Asia West LLC.

He replaces the outgoing CEO Nigel Hunton, who has held the role since 2012.

Biddle founded the company in 1994 and continues to serve as Director whilst also being involved with the running of air quality solutions start-up iAQ Systems and material consultants Material Solutions.

McCombs said: “I've been working with quite a few CleanTech companies since stepping away from MBA over three years ago, and it's even more apparent to me how remarkable it is that MBA was able to build three world-class plants in three different countries to deploy its technology and business models and produce MBA-branded resins that have been embraced by the global plastics industry for their quality as well as their environmental credentials.”

Biddle commented: “I've never been more excited about the growth prospects for this industry. With MBA's proven technology, world-class facilities and widely recognized market brand, the company is in an excellent position to capitalize on recent developments.”

Learn more about MBA Polymers.

Don’t Mess With Croydon prosecutes 13 litterers in one day

Croydon Council’s anti-litter campaign ‘Don’t Mess With Croydon’ has successfully landed 13 people with convictions for spitting, dropping litter, and dog fouling, resulting in total fines of around £5,000.

The 13 appeared at Croydon Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday (7 July) after being reported by Croydon Council.

On the same day, three people were fined £430 each for dropping cigarettes on the streets of Croydon.

Since launching the ‘Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride’ campaign last June, the council has issued over 650 fixed penalty notices and prosecuted fly-tippers through the courts. A man was jailed for six months in May for dumping 42 tonnes of waste in the area.

The campaign has also recruited around 230 community champions and business owners who have pledged to help keep their local area tidy.

Councillor Stuart Collins, the council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Clean and Green Croydon, said: “Our campaign to make Croydon cleaner and greener isn’t just about the big fly-tips, but also thoughtless littering that blights some of our busiest streets.

“Offences like these cost the council time and money to clear up, which is exactly why it’s important that we prosecute if they fail to pay the original fine.”

Learn more about the Don’t Mess With Croydon scheme.

Keep Britain Tidy highlights cigarette littering for Neat Street campaign

neat streets

The impact of the Neat Streets project, a localised look by campaigning charity Hubbub into effectiveness of different anti-litter campaigning strategies, is being evaluated by national charity Keep Britain Tidy (KBT).

Neat Streets has seen a number of events and installations take place this summer on London’s Villiers Street, by Charing Cross Station.

According to KBT, as many as 31 per cent of people disposing of waste on the street litter rather than use bins, a figure that increases to 62 per cent when cigarettes are included. Indeed, cigarettes, according to the study, represent 72 per cent of the 6,689 litter items counted.

The research also found that littering overwhelmingly takes place in the evening (22 per cent) and late evening (73 per cent) and is done by people who the study describes as ‘night economy users’.

Responding to Keep Britain Tidy’s evaluation findings, Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder of Hubbub, said: “These findings show that littering is endemic in Villiers Street and this provides us with a real challenge to try and tackle this problem with our campaign

“Littering affects us all – making our local spaces dirtier, less welcoming, and encouraging anti-social behavior – and it’s up to all of us to take action to tackle it.

“We hope that Neat Street will engage the public, raise awareness of littering and ultimately to change people’s behaviour.”

Learn more about the Neat Streets project.

Sims Recycling Solutions opens WEEE disposal site in Norway

Sims Recycling Solutions has opened an IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) and Recycling site in Sarpsborg, Norway.

Located close to Oslo, the plant will specialise in the gathering and processing of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE), offering a range of services including digital data destruction, reuse and recycling.

The expansion into Norway - adding to Sims' current Scandinavian Recycling Solutions site in Katrineholm, Sweden – has been made to respond to increased demand for ‘integrated and global ITAD solutions’.

Sims Recycling Solutions claims to currently handle over 735,000 tonnes of WEEE globally each year. It operates at 270 sites across five continents and employs over 6,600 people worldwide.

Steve Skurnac, President of Sims Recycling Solutions, stated: “As leaders in the industry we will continue to develop and expand our ITAD services across the globe in an effort to better accommodate our customer's current and future needs.”

Learn more about Sims Recycling Solutions.