POLYSTAR film recycling line

POLYSTAR’s Repro-Flex was designed for reprocessing polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and PP polypropylene flexible packaging material, printed and non-printed.

As the exclusive distributor for POLYSTAR equipment, Applied Machinery can offer a compete film recycling line designed to produce pellets that are ready to insert back into the start of the manufacturing process, while at the same time dramatically cut on film waste that was previously destined for landfill.

POLYSTAR has worked with plastics producers across the globe and is used in more than 102 countries worldwide. The cutter integrated pelletising system eliminates the need for pre-cutting materials, taking up minimal space, while producing plastic pellets at a productive rate. The machine aims to have an output that is 20 per cent higher when compared to traditional feeding methods, with 10 per cent less power consumption. By being able to reprocess plastic materials themselves, producers can reduce their own production costs.

The extruder specialises in post-industrial waste, with blown and cast film producers (HDPE, PP shrink, stretch film), raffia and woven (PP woven bags, non-woven, jumbo bags) and rigid regrind (bottles, pipes, containers) just a few materials that can be reprocessed. A filtration system aims to reduce machine downtime.

The machine offers multiple degassing and filter options, including triple degassing to remove ink and extra humidity from the material, a dosing device for colour masterbatches  and compounds added during the process, filter re-positioning prior to degassing for higher quality pellets and an unvented extruder to ensure minimal change in material property and a higher output.

POLYSTAR’S recycling line also offers a range of other solutions, including the two-stage HNT-VS for heavy printed material, the air-cooled RP120 for PE in-house waste and the TR-B for pre-washed film flakes and a range of other materials.

Product in Focus: 

Model: HNT-65V

Application: HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, PP

Extruder screw diameter: 65

Power consumption: 40 kilowatts

Output: 120 kilograms per hour

Product in Focus: 

Model: POLYSTAR Repro-Flex65

Application: Polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and PP polypropylene flexible packaging material, printed and non-printed

Power consumption: 40 kilowatts

Output: 80 to 100 kilograms per hour

www.appliedmachinery.com.au

Volvo Cars commit to 25 per cent recycled plastics by 2025

Volvo Cars has announced that by 2025 at least 25 per cent of the plastics used in each new Volvo will be made from recycled material.

It has also urged the auto industry suppliers to work more closely with car makers to develop new sustainable components, especially when it comes to plastics.

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The company has unveiled a new version of its XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV that has several of its plastic components replaced with equivalents containing recycled materials.

The XC60’s interior has a console made from renewable fibres and plastics from discarded fishing nets and maritime ropes. The carpet contains fibres made from PET plastic bottles and a recycled cotton mix from clothing manufacturing offcuts.

The seats also contain material from PET bottles, with used car seats from old Volvo cars being used to create the sound absorbing material under the bonnet.

It follows the company’s announcement that it will electrify all new Volvo cars by 2019, stating that it aims to make fully electric cars 50 per cent of its global sales by 2025.

President and CEO of Volvo Cars Håkan Samuelsson said Volvo Cars is committed to minimising its global environment footprint.

Environmental care is one of Volvo’s core values and we will continue to find new ways to bring this into our business. This car and our recycled plastics ambition are further examples of that commitment,” he said.

Senior Vice President of Global Procurement at Volvo Cars Martina Buchhauser said the company already work with suppliers when it comes to sustainability.

“However, we do need increased availability of recycled plastics if we are to make our ambition a reality. That is why we call on even more suppliers and new partners to join us in investing in recycled plastics and to help us realise our ambition,” she said.

Image: Volvo Cars

Half a million dollars awarded to Vic regional composting facility

A proposal to develop a regional Victorian composting facility has received $500,000 in funding from the state government.

Organic waste management company Pinegro are developing a $5 million project to use an enclosed tunnel system for the composting of food and organic green waste from local councils in the Morwell region.

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Currently, Pinegro composts using an open windrow method but this process can be affected by weather conditions.

By implementing the new system, the company will be able to compost within a contained, temperature-controlled environment to deliver a better product, faster.

Pinegro’s grant will go toward the construction of a waste receival building, composting tunnels and air and water filtration systems.

It is expected to divert 18,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill each year.

The funding was part of the second round of the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund, which is supporting 13 projects across regional Victoria.

These projects are expected to divert more than 85,000 tonnes of waste a year from landfills.

Victorian Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio said food waste from homes accounts for around 250,000 tonnes a year in Victoria.

“These upgrades to the composting system will increase Pinegro’s capacity to process food waste and absorb more from local councils,” she said.

Applications for the third round of the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund are now open. For more information, click here.

NSW EPA award $5M in Bin Trim grants

More than $5 million has been awarded as part of the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Bin Trim program.

The program aims to help businesses produce less waste or divert it from landfill into recycling. It provides funding for organisations to access waste assessors who provide advice and support to individual businesses to increase their waste diversion and reduction.

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To make this happen, 16 councils, industry, consultancies and not-for-profit organisations have been awarded $5.16 million.

Sustainability solutions company Eco Guardians was awarded $379,200 to divert food organics and dry recyclables from landfill by targeting up to 400 business in the Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Hunter region.

Environmental consulting company Cool Planet Energy Pty Ltd was awarded $398,700

To target industrial, hospitality and accommodation sectors in regional NSW to divert organics and dry recyclables.

The grants were awarded under the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

For more information on the grants, click here.

Vic gov set date of bag plastic bag ban for 2019

The Victorian Government has announced it will ban single-use, lightweight plastic shopping bags from late 2019 to fight plastic pollution.

The ban will come into effect from late next year and will include all plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness. It also includes shopping bags made from biodegradable and compostable plastic.

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It follows a public consultation which received more than 8000 submissions, with more than 96 per cent supporting a ban.

The Victorian Government said it will use feedback over the next 12 months to develop a plastic pollution plan to reduce other types of plastic contaminants in the environment.

A reference group will also be established to help develop the plan, with representatives from the government, industry, retailers and community environment groups.

The state government also announced it will support an education campaign for both retailers and the community to ensure the ban is effective.

It also said a transition period will be required to help consumers and businesses adapt to the changes alongside co-operation with other states and territories on a national, voluntary phase-out of thick plastic bags.

Victorian Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio said banning single-use plastic bags will slash waste, reduce litter and help protect marine life in Victoria’s waters.

“We know Victorians want to do more to reduce pollution in our environment – we’ve received an enormous amount of feedback and they’ve told us loud and clear they want us to deliver this ban,” she said.

“The Government will continue to work closely with Victorian communities and businesses to design the ban – to ensure it works for all Victorians and our environment.”

Plastic bottles dumped

Experts react to single-use plastic ban

A senate inquiry into Australia’s recycling industry has recommended that all single-use plastics should be banned by 2023.

The decision could potentially include products like takeaway coffee cups, chip packets and takeaway containers.

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Professor Sankar Bhattacharya from Monash University’s Department of Chemical Engineering said time is of the essence to find a new home for recyclate stockpiles.

“Now that China has stopped taking our trash, we’re scrambling to figure out how to keep all those good intentions out of the landfill,” he said.

“The majority of the plastics we use in our daily life – different grades of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and even polyvinyl chloride, to some extent – can be processed into liquid fuel.

“That’s what China was doing with the plastic recyclables it bought from us. They’re now realising that their domestic production of waste products is so large that they cannot process any more by bringing in waste plastics from other countries,” he said.

Katherine Gaschk, a Research Masters from Murdoch University said she was pleased with the Senate inquiry’s findings.

“The sooner we accept the need to stop using plastics and change from our current mode as a throw-away society, the better for the future health of our planet,” she said.

“Ultimately it is human behaviour that is responsible for plastic pollution. Removing the plastics will certainly help to reduce pollution, but there is also a need to educate retailers, consumers and manufacturers about the impacts of plastic pollution and how we can reduce our dependence on plastics.”

Simon Lockrey, a Research Fellow from RMIT University’s School of Design warns that while the ban would be great in theory, there may be rebound effects.

“For instance in food systems, packaging can save food waste in the supply chain, from farm to plate,” he said.

“Without acknowledging other changes to that system when taking away single-use packaging, we may move the waste burden, sometimes to more impactful levels. For example, packaging can be a low impact compared to food waste impacts.

“Therefore, it would be good with this senate initiative to see the complimentary strategies for industries using single-use packaging to make sure we are in a waste reduction winner all around,” Mr Lockrey said.

Thavamani Palanisami, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle’s Global Centre for Environmental Remediation said what should be the next step.

“Tags such as ‘biodegradable’, ‘bio-based’, ‘100 per cent degradable’ need to be regulated,” he said.

“We need to create public awareness about types of plastic and their individual behaviour.

“We need to set standard testing methods to verify the biodegradability of the plastic items tagged as ‘biodegradable’,” Dr Palanisami said.

Never waste a crisis: the waste and recycling industry in Australia

The federal government’s senate committee from last year’s inquiry into waste and recycling has released its recommendations, which includes mandatory product stewardship schemes, a ban on petroleum-based single-use plastics and the hypothecation of landfill levies.

The Senate Environment and Communications References Committee, Never waste a crisis: the waste and recycling industry in Australia, was released this week, detailing 18 recommendations and a full report. 

The inquiry followed a contentious Four Corners report into the waste and recycling industry, with the federal government announcing a senate inquiry to investigate issues that emerged from the program.

It asked industry to make submissions ranging from issues related to landfill, markets for recycled waste and the role of the federal government in providing a coherent approach to solid waste. Public hearings were held in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane, with a number of companies and industry associations giving feedback, including the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council in Melbourne and MRA Consulting, SUEZ and the Waste Management Association of Australia in Sydney. Industry representatives canvassed their views on the inquiry topics to a committee of federal government senator’s, including Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Liberal Party Senator Jonathon Duniam.

In November, the senate granted an extension for the committee to report on the findings until June, 2018. It’s now up to the federal government to respond to the recommendations.

Notably, the committee called for the urgent implementation of the 16 strategies established under the original 2009 National Waste Policy, which will be updated before the end of this year. It also recommended that the federal government prioritise waste and recycling above waste to energy, and seek a commitment through the meeting of environment ministers to follow the waste hierarchy.

Some recommendations were reminiscent of this year’s April state and territory meeting of environment ministers, including prioritising a circular economy.

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In the area of plastics, the committee recommended state and territory governments agree to phase out petroleum-based single-use plastics by 2023, which it notes will require careful consideration through the meeting of environment ministers. The committee recommended the federal government establish a Plastics Co-Operative Research Centre to lead research into reducing plastic waste and finding end markets for it. At the same time, it called for the federal government to implement the recommendations of the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee inquiry into the threat of marine plastic pollution in Australia.

In recycling, the committee recommended mandatory targets by the federal government for recycled materials bought directly or provided by private contractors.

“The committee recommends that state and territory and local governments also pursue sustainable procurement policies to ensure strong domestic markets for recycled material,” the report recommendations highlighted.

On container deposit schemes and product stewardship, the federal government recommended a national container deposit scheme and that product stewardship schemes under its Product Stewardship Act 2011 be mandatory. It recommends mandatory schemes for tyres, mattresses, e-waste and photovoltaic panels.

The committee recommended that the Product Stewardship Advisory Committee be re-established and that they be tasked with recommending products for listing under the Product Stewardship Act.

On landfill levies, it recommended that the federal government support state and territory governments by fully hypothecating landfill levies towards measures that reduce the creation of consumption and waste and boost recyclables.

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre, welcomed the report, but called for immediate action on the growing problem of stockpiling.

“I commend the committee on its extensive work and thorough report which highlights the current recycling crisis in Australia partly resulting from the China waste importation ban. The report’s headline recommendations to ban single use plastics by 2023 and to call for a national deposit container scheme are commendable but a solution is available right now to reduce stockpiles,” she said.

As detailed in the UNSW Sydney submission (number 62) to the Inquiry, its SMaRT Centre scientifically developed technology enables waste streams like plastics and glass to be reformed into valuable resources as inputs for manufacturing of existing and new products, and at remote and regional locations where the report calls for special attention on waste stockpiles.

JAX Tyres commits to TSA Accreditation

Tyre retailer JAX Tyres has gained accreditation from Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), which has increased the number of TSA accredited retailers to more than 1500.

By gaining accreditation, JAX Tyres has committed to ensuring any end of life tyres they dispose of across its 84-store network are managed within the TSA scheme and support the public education and market development methods of TSA.

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It joins retailers such as Beaurepaires, Bob Jane T-Marts, Bridgestone Service Centres and Bridgestone Select stores, K Mart Tyre & Auto Service, Goodyear Auto Centres, Tyres & More, Tyrepower, TyrePlus and selected Continental and independent retail outlets in achieving TSA Accreditation.

Australia currently generates more than 56 million end-of-life tyres each year. TSA is heavily involved in tyre retail, collection, recycling and research and development of tyre-derived products.

TSA Chief Executive Officer Dale Gilson said there were several consumer options available within the scheme.

“The JAX Tyres decision to join the nationwide list of accredited retailers is both a welcome development and an indication that the Australian tyre retail sector is comprehensively behind the efforts to ensure we deal with the environmental challenge of end-of-life tyres,” Mr Gilson said.

“For consumers, the addition of JAX Tyres adds further comfort that their chosen tyre retailer is committed to doing the right thing for our environment and the development of a viable future circular economy.”

JAX Quickfit Chief Executive Officer Jeff Board said that becoming a part of the TSA accreditation scheme was a step in the direction of ensuring all of its future operations were environmentally sustainable.

“We have continually reviewed operations to ensure the most environmentally sensitive processes and policies possible and we look forward to working with TSA on further addressing the challenge of managing the Australian waste tyre challenge,” Mr Board said.

Image credit: Tyre Stewardship Australia

Increasing recycled glass uptake

Townsville City Council’s Waste Services Team Manager Matthew McCarthy tells Waste Management Review about its technologically advanced materials recovery facility and use of recycled glass in its public works.

Read more

APCO conduct brand audit for 2025 recycling target

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) will conduct a brand audit of several thousand Australian businesses about the need to comply with sustainable packaging obligations.

The National Environmental Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 (NEPM) has set the target for packaging to be 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

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It was announced by Australia’s Environment Ministers in April 2018, with APCO developing a national roadmap to deliver on these targets. The brand audit is one of APCO’s initiatives designed to ensure businesses are meeting their sustainable packaging obligations.

The audit will incorporate businesses from a range of sectors, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, printing, and toy and sporting goods wholesale.

Businesses liable under the NEPM include any organisation with an annual turnover of $5 million or more that is either in the supply chain of consumer packaging or a retailer that is a manufacturer, wholesaler or importer, or offers its branded products to customers.

APCO Chief Executive Brooke Donnelly said businesses play a crucial role in making this target a reality.

“Reaching the landmark target set by Environment Ministers will require a complete transformation of the way our society thinks about packaging – recognising it as a valuable resource and not just waste that is destined for landfill. We know we can do it, but we can’t do it alone,” Ms Donnelly said.

“There are a number of basic packaging requirements that all Australian businesses are required to meet – and these are outlined in the NEMP. One of our responsibilities is to notify the businesses who aren’t meeting these basic obligations and provide them with the tools, resources and pathways to track and improve their packaging sustainability,” she said.

APCO will begin a two-month consultation process with APCO Members and key stakeholders to improve understanding about what the industry is required to do to reach the target.