Sophisticated sensor technologies are helping Australian material recovery facilities improve their sorting capacities beyond what is possible with manual sorting.
A new study by the North American Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), based in Washington, has found significant reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions linked to using recycled plastics in manufacturing new products.
Industry research consultants Franklin Associates, a division of ERG, Lexington, Massachusetts, prepared the report, “Life cycle impacts for postconsumer recycled resins: PET, HDPE and PP.”
The report examines recycling processes for three of the most common types of plastics recycled today: polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to the report, using recycled plastic reduced total energy consumption by 79 percent for PET, by 88 percent for HDPE and by eight percent for PP. Using recycled plastics also limited emissions by 67 percent for PET, by 71 percent for HDPE and by 71 percent for PP.
Franklin Associates analysed the energy requirements and environmental impacts of postconsumer recycled plastics as compared with virgin plastics.
The analysis is an update and expansion of a recycled resin study the company completed in 2011 for the APR quantifying the total energy requirements, energy sources, atmospheric pollutants, waterborne pollutants and solid waste that result from producing recycled PET and HDPE from post-consumer plastic.
Steve Alexander, APR president, said the study shows a win-win for companies who incorporate recycled plastic resin into their new products.
“They can improve the environmental sustainability of their products and processes and reduce their energy costs.
“It demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of the full recycling chain for plastic goods – a chain that starts with companies manufacturing recyclable products and ends with consumers buying products made from recycled materials,” he said.
“This report clearly demonstrates the benefits of a renewed commitment to plastic recycling,” said Jamie Camara, CEO of Mexico-based PetStar and chair of The APR board of directors.
“It is critical that North America continues to invest in our recycling infrastructure so that we can expand the material that is collected, sorted and processed for second use. Recycling and using recycled materials are good for manufacturers, consumers and the planet.”
Campbell Arnott’s Australia’s Liza Vernalls explains how the organisation is working to boost the uptake of difficult-to-recycle materials such as soft plastics and PET, while also making it easier for consumers to recycle.
A shift in business practices would support a significant increase in procurement of recyclables, writes Matt Genever, Director Resource Recovery at Sustainability Victoria.
Tonkin + Taylor Waste Sector Director Chris Purchas explains the key considerations for landfill operators in adapting to future disposal and resource recovery trends.
Nestlé has pledged to increase the amount of recycled plastics the company uses in some of its packaging in the European Union by 2025.
The company aims to include 25 to 50 per cent recycled materials in PET layer in laminates, caps on glass jars and tines, trays for meat products and shrink films for display trays.
- PepsiCO, Nestlé Waters, Danone to develop bio-based bottles
- Nestlé to implement Australasian Recycling Label by 2020
- Nestlé’s packaging plan
It follows Nestlé’s pledge in April to make all of its packaging recyclable or re-useable by 2025.
The announcement is part of the voluntary pledging exercise on recycled content by the European Commission. Nestlé CEO for Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa Marco Settembri delivered the pledge in person to the European Commission.
Mr Settembri said the company is taking the first concrete steps to achieve its packaging ambitions.
“Nestlé supports the Plastics Strategy of the European Union. We share the vision that no plastic packaging ends up in the environment. Recyclable packaging, good recycling infrastructure and more use of recycled material will help us close the loop,” he said.
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has compiled a comprehensive gap analysis on the market barriers to recovering soft plastics. Waste Management Review sat down with APCO’s Brooke Donnelly to discuss how it fits into the broader plastics issue.
The first episode of Craig Reucassel’s War on Waste season two will broadcast on the ABC at 8:30 pm on Tuesday 24 July.
More than 4.3 million viewers watched the original series in 2017, which sparked one of the ABC’s most successful social media campaigns with a video on dumping edible bananas reaching 20 million views.
- War on Waste season 2 focus on e-waste and recycling crisis
- Q&A War on Waste episode to feature WMAA
- ECU to phase out single-use plastics
Season two’s first episode will look at new issues around plastic water bottles and straws, and e-waste.
It will also delve deeper into previously discussed issues of food waste and Australia’s recycling crisis.
A giant footprint made of plastic packaging was created on Sydney’s Manly beach to highlight the amount of single-use plastic that ends up in waterways.
With more than 10 million plastic straws being used every day in Australia, Mr Reucassel joins forces with the minds behind the #strawnomore movement to challenge pubs and fast food chains to ban the straw from their venues.
The show will also look at Australia’s fastest growing waste stream, e-waste. With tonnes of discarded computers, mobile phones and electrical goods ending up in landfill, Mr Reucassel highlights the dangers of the toxic elements within them leaching into the environment.
War on Waste season two also sees Mr Reucassel going undercover to expose the amount of food that is wasted when eating at restaurants.
Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW Executive Director Tony Khoury said the issues of disposable water bottles will be placed under the microscope.
“Last year’s series saw tremendous media coverage extend to disposable coffee cups, single-use plastic bags, household food waste and the wasteful policy of retailers,” he said.
Mr Khoury said collectors and processor can help the war on waste by providing better education for waste generators, provide a range of recycling options, use modern equipment, transport all waste and recyclables to a lawful facility and invest in training for workers.
“We all can lobby the NSW Government to invest more of the $700 million collected from the waste levy into waste management programs and much needed infrastructure to divert more waste from landfill,” he said.
Image credit: ABC
The first locations for the Australian Capital Territory’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) have been announced.
The scheme commenced on 30 June 2018 and refunds consumers 10 cents for returning an eligible container.
- Positive results for NT container deposit scheme
- ACT container deposit scheme start date announced
- Big Bottle Tour of regional Victoria for container deposit scheme
The scheme targets containers that occur most often in the waste stream of ACT, covering glass, PET, HDPE, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard cartons, between 150 millilitres and three litres in size. The scheme does not include plain milk containers, flavoured milk containers above 1 litre, pure juice drinks, wine, spirit or cordial bottles.
Director of ACT NoWaste Michael Trushell said a total of nine return points will open across Canberra’s north and south side with more locations to join over the next 12 months.
“To receive a 10 cent refund, residents will be able to take their eligible containers to two types of return points, express return points for returning up to 500 containers or bulk depots, which can accept any number,” he said.
“The ACT CDS is a little different to the one that operates in NSW. Residents can choose to collect the refund or donate the funds directly to a charity. Social enterprise groups like the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul have express shopfronts across Canberra that will benefit from the scheme.”
The locations include:
- 151 Gladstone Street, Fyshwick (bulk depot)
- 10 Buckland Street, Mitchell (bulk depot)
- 1/9 Wooley Street, Dickson (express return point Vinnies)
- Corner Pitman Street and Athllon Drive, Greenway (express return point Vinnies)
- Corner Rae and Purdue Streets, Belconnen (express return point Vinnies)
- Corner Anketell and Reed Streets, Tuggeranong Square, South Greenway (express return point Salvos)
- Shop 7, Corner Hindmarsh Drive and Botany Street, Phillip (express return point Salvos)
- 32 Hoskins Street, Mitchell (express return point Salvos)
- 15 Mildura Street, Fyshwick (express return point Salvos)
“I would like to thank the Network Operator, Return-It and the Scheme Coordinator, Exchange for Change ACT for working behind the scenes to establish the first CDS for Canberra,” Mr Trushell said.
For more information on the scheme, click here.
Waste Management Review speaks to Stan Krpan, Chief Executive Officer at Sustainability Victoria, about the organisation’s future approach to data capture, Victoria’s e-waste ban to landfill and the health of the waste sector.