News in Brief – 25/06/20

DS Smith appoints new recycling director

Sustainable packaging company DS Smith yesterday (24 June) announced the appointment of Rogier Gerritsen as Managing Director of its Recycling Division.

Roger Gerritsen
Roger Gerritsen
Gerritsen will be responsible for the company’s recycling operations across Europe and will be managing around six million tonnes annually of paper for recycling into DS Smith’s own and partner mills. Since joining the company in 2012, Gerritsen has held senior roles in both the Packaging and Paper divisions. He is currently overseeing the operational and commercial activities of some of DS Smith’s largest mills for recycled paper in Europe, as the Cluster Director for the Paper Division.

Gerritsen will be transitioning into his new role in October, working with Jonathan Silk, Finance Director for the Recycling Division, acting as Interim Managing Director from August to October. Gerritsen will be succeeding Jochen Behr, who is leaving DS Smith at the end of July.

Commenting on his new role, Gerritsen said: “I am excited about this new opportunity and the prospect of working in the sector as it responds to the recycling challenge that comes from huge changes in consumer shopping habits. As we see more packaging entering household recycling streams, we must focus on making sure that the right collection infrastructure, namely separate collections of paper, are in place to facilitate the best quality paper possible for recycling.”

Colin McIntyre, Divisional CEO for Paper and Recycling, added: “Rogier brings extensive knowledge of paper and packaging production and this will be key in our next phase of growth. Recyclability at the very heart of our sustainable packaging solutions and making sure we are at the forefront of hard to recycle materials is critical to maintaining and growing paper-based packaging recycling rates across Europe.”

You can read more about DS Smith on the company’s website.

Daphna Nissenbaum joins ‘Expert Bureau’ to tackle plastic pollution

Daphna Nissenbaum, co-founder and CEO of compostable packaging company TIPA, has joined a prestige bureau of environmental experts.

Nissenbaum will be working alongside World Health Organisation Air Pollution Advocate Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, author and journalist Lucy Siegel, A Plastic Planet Co-Founder Sian Sutherland, and Co-chair of the UN International Resource Panel Janez Potocnik as a leading voice on reducing plastic pollution.

Daphna Nissenbaum
Daphna Nissenbaum
The ‘Expert Bureau’, run by Higginson Strategy, brings together specialists from the fields of business, finance, health and education, to ensure that breaking news stories are informed by voices of environmental expertise. As a member, Nissenbaum will be providing expertise on issues such as ‘plastic alternatives, compostable packaging and the need for innovative materials and new technologies to achieve a green recovery from plastics pollution.’

Commenting on her appointment, Nissenbaum said: “Our current plastics addiction and flawed plastics recycling strategy are causing untold damage to our oceans, wildlife, natural areas and health. If we are to avoid a climate catastrophe, the time for action is now.

“There is an opportunity for the world to pivot to a more sustainable circular economy by increasing our use of compostable materials. I’m looking forward to collaborating with other environmental experts in the Bureau to help ignite this change.”

To mark the launch of The Bureau (June 11), a Populus poll of 1,190 UK adults was commissioned, showing strong trust in experts has radically increased among the public as a result of listening to specialist guidance during the coronavirus outbreak. 71 per cent said they were now more likely to expert advice than before the pandemic.

You can read more about The Expert Bureau on Higginson Strategy’s website.

UL partners with Rubicon to promote circular strategies to businesses

Global safety science company UL has partnered with Rubicon, a software company based in the waste and recycling industry, to support each company’s shared circularity and sustainability aspirations to create economic value while ending all forms of waste.

Under the partnership, UL and Rubicon will work to extend ‘third-party validation services’ such as UL’s standards for circularity, recycled content, and waste diversion to Rubicon’s customers and collaborators, while helping UL customers identify and access Rubicon recycling and waste reduction services.

These efforts will amplify manufacturers and brand owners’ efforts to create a more sustainable and circular economy, while creating the ecosystem necessary to advance the circularity principle of retaining the value of resources for as long as possible. UL and Rubicon will collaborate to continue to reduce landfill dependency, through market education and outreach efforts.

Catherine Sheehy, Global Lead of Sustainability Partnerships for UL’s Environment and Sustainability Division, said: “To achieve greater sustainability and more circular economies, we need to use each tool in our toolbox to stem the flow of valuable assets discarded as waste every day.

“By aligning our strengths and roles in the value chain, UL and Rubicon can help customers move forward on this decade of action to achieve the aspirations of the UN Sustainable Development Goals while also informing environmental, social, and governance investment risk analysis.”

David Rachelson, Chief Sustainability Officer at Rubicon, added: “This agreement advances Rubicon and UL’s shared goals of enabling new opportunities for economic growth that do not depend on the old take-make-waste economic model. Since Rubicon’s founding, we’ve known that there are better ways to deal with the global waste problem. This seed has helped us grow a suite of services that not only help our customers manage and divert waste from landfills but reduce associated carbon emissions and improve quality of life. Collaborating with UL, a mission-based organization using the power of science to improve the world, just makes sense.”

To read more about UL’s sustainability services, visit their website.

Close Brothers Asset Finance fund new Cheshire composting facility

Yesterday (24 June), Close Brothers Asset Finance announced its significant contribution to the funding of a new composting facility based in Cheshire.

Designed by Biowise Ltd, a Hull-based recycling and waste management firm, the new in-vessel composting (IVC) facility is built to treat organic waste on behalf of Cheshire East Council.

The IVC plant allows for the annual collection, processing and recycling of up to 75,000 tonnes of residual food and garden waste. Over 95 per cent of the waste inputs are recycled into high-quality compost for use in the horticultural, agricultural and landscaping markets. The remaining 5 per cent is recycled or sent for energy recovery.

Paul Hindle, Sales Director for Close Brothers Asset Finance’s Recycling division, said: “We have a great track record with Biowise, having worked with them since 2014 when we funded their first GICOM (composting system manufacturer) IVC, followed in 2016 by an addition to the plant in the form of an aerated floor system (AFS).

“Our close relationship and mutual understanding led us to go the extra mile to support Biowise and resulted in us funding both the IVC and AFS in a five-year deal, with the site completed in February 2020 and handed over to Cheshire East Borough Council."

<>Managing Director of Biowise, James Landau, also commented: “There were a number of key players in this deal, with Close Brothers Asset Finance being one. Not only do they understand our market but they bring expertise to the table that extends beyond the funding and, as always, I found working with them straightforward.

<>“I’m delighted to say the new facility is already processing 45,000 tonnes per annum of organic waste brought in from the Cheshire East area and we are actively seeking additional contracts to fill the spare capacity.”

<>You can read more about Close Brothers Asset Finance on its website.

J&B Recycling supports workers and clients during Covid-19

Independent waste management firm J&B Recycling spoke this week about how it has dealt with the challenges presented by the outbreak of Covid-19.

Throughout the pandemic, the company has provided essential services to local authorities, care homes, schools, food retailers and distributors. During the first three months of the unprecedented global situation, the business suffered a reduction in commercial waste, which was slightly offset by household kerbside waste increasing by 30 per cent.

J&B LorryJ&B Recycling allowed commercial collection customers to suspend services and raised credits for the months of closure during lockdown, as a gesture of understanding for its non-essential businesses. During this time, the company reorganised collection rounds to cover essential businesses that still required services. As a result, six vehicles were taken off the road, one of which was used to help a local charity move premises to cope with increased demand for support during the pandemic.

Vikki Jackson-Smith, CEO of J&B Recycling, said: “We had to react quickly to review and implement our own contingency plans and we had ensure that we could support our customers, by putting their accounts on hold, whilst they dealt with their own issues.

“As a company, we absorbed as much as we could whilst being mindful of sustaining our own operations and staff employment. We are continuously evaluating our collections and are beginning to bring vehicles back into operation and taking collection staff off furlough. Customers are beginning to re-open and requesting services to resume.”

In reaction to the changes during the global pandemic, J&B Recycling reorganised the company to ensure over 95 per cent of staff remained working throughout lockdown. Less than five per cent of staff were furloughed, where issues of shielding were present, or relocation wasn’t possible. The company converted nineteen agency staff to full-time permanent employees during lockdown, with plans to increase this number in July.

As a result of J&B’s recent efforts, the company was announced as a finalist for Independent Operator of the Year and Recycling Facility of the Year at the National Recycling Awards and Company of the Year in the North East Business Awards 2020. Jackson-Smith was also announced as a finalist for Business Woman of the Year at the National Business Women's Awards 2020.

You can read more about J&B Recycling on its website.