When Geoffrey Coates, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at New York's Cornell University, gives a talk about plastics and recycling, he usually opens with the following question: What percentage of the 78 million tons of plastic used for packaging – for example, a 2-litre bottle or a take-out food container – actually gets recycled and re-used in a similar way? The answer, just 2 percent. Sadly, nearly a third is leaked into the environment, around 14 percent is used in incineration and/or energy recovery, and a whopping 40 percent winds up in landfills.
Plastics Recycling News
ZenRobotics Ltd. will deliver a robotic waste sorting system to Sunshine Groupe in Melbourne, Australia. The three-armed ZenRobotics Recycler unit (ZRR3) will be the first of it’s kind in Australia and it is expected to be fully operational in spring 2017.
Eriez offers complete materials recovery facilities (MRF) and municipal solid waste (MSW) packages designed to monitor metal losses and effectively separate ferrous and nonferrous metals, paper, cardboard and plastics. Eriez MRF/MSW packages include advanced magnetic separators, eddy current separators and metal loss monitoring equipment.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Board of Directors approved the addition of new specifications for glass and inbound mixed recyclables for material recovery facilities (MRF) during its Winter Meeting on February 10. As per ISRI’s Policy Manual, any party may submit to ISRI a written appeal of the ISRI Board’s approval of this new specification up to 30 days after publication of this notice. Written appeals must provide a rationale and a request for action and should be sent to ISRI President Robin Wiener.
As in 2016, an oversupply of low-priced virgin materials and lower oil prices continue to challenge prices for recycled resins but there are three notable trends worth watching through 2017.
On January 26th, the European Commission released its long-awaited Roadmap on the Strategy for Plastics. The document, which forms part of the Circular Economy Package, outlines key issues posed by plastics along the entire value chain. It takes into account the material’s entire life-cycle and paves the way for an actual EU Strategy by the Commission foreseen end of the year.
As You Sow has asked four major U.S. companies that use polystyrene foam packaging – Amazon, McDonald’s, Target, and Walmart – to make plans to phase it out. A new report, endorsed by the leaders of 15 global brands, has also called for replacing polystyrene globally.
Resource Management Group (RMG), a San Diego-based materials management and recycling services provider, recently opened a new material recovery facility (MRF). Designed and installed by CP Group, RMG's new system features MSS CIRRUS optical sorting technology and is designed for both commercial and multi-family single stream processing.
Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) and Kadant Inc. have reached an agreement appointing BHS as the exclusive distributor of Kadant PAAL’s high-performance balers to Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1854 in Germany, Kadant PAAL is firmly entrenched as Europe’s leading manufacturer of channel balers used to process both recyclable materials, including paper and plastics, and non-recyclable materials, such as treated household/commercial waste and agricultural products.
National Recovery Technologies (NRT) has announced a new addition to the company’s product offering, the ColorPlus-R. Similar to the ColorPlus, the ColorPlus-R uses an advanced image processing system to detect materials based on color analysis and object recognition. Unique to the ColorPlus-R is the ability to color analyze opaque objects, such as black plastics.
Van Dyk Recycling Solutions recently announced the opening of the FCC Dallas MRF, one of FCC Environmental’s first MRFs in the United States. The facility will accept all single stream material from the city of Dallas and the city of University Park, Texas. The system was designed by Van Dyk Recycling Solutions to bring Dallas closer to its goal of zero-waste by the year 2040. It successfully processed over 1,000 tons of material in its first two weeks and passed its required acceptance test for the city of Dallas prior to the contract start date of January 1, 2017.
Consumer goods giant Unilever has made a commitment that 100% of its packaging will be recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025. The company, the world’s third largest consumer goods company after Procter & Gamble and Nestle, said it will ensure “it is technically possible for its plastic packaging to be reused or recycled and there are established, proven examples of it being commercially viable for plastics re-processors to recycle the material.”
Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs last much longer and use less energy than fluorescent lights and are becoming a popular choice for holiday lighting, indoor lights and many other uses. Maria Holuszko, a University of B.C. (UBC) mineral processing engineer and her PhD student Amit Kumar have found a way to make LEDs even more environmentally friendly. They’ve evaluated a process that recovers valuable metals in LEDs and reduces the amount of waste that eventually ends up in landfills.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has announced changes made to plastic specifications, which have been published in the Scrap Specifications Circular. These specification changes were approved by the ISRI Board of Directors during the fall 2016 Board Meeting in Salt Lake City.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Board of Directors will consider the addition of new specifications for glass and inbound mixed recyclables for material recovery facilities (MRF) during its Winter Meeting on February 10. ISRI’s Paper and Plastics Divisions recently approved each of the specifications, which are intended to increase understanding of the issues processors face when working with complex streams from municipal program sources.
Global sensor-based solutions provider TOMRA has signed up as a member of the New Plastics Economy, a three-year initiative working towards a global plastics system guided by the principles of the circular economy. Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the initiative brings together businesses, governments, scientists and citizens to accelerate the transition towards a more effective global system for plastics. The three main objectives of the project are the creation of an improved after-use plastics economy, the reduction of leakage of plastics into natural systems, and decoupling the production of plastics from fossil fuel-based feedstocks.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has announced general session speakers for its 2017 Annual Convention & Exposition (ISRI2017) to be held April 22-27, in New Orleans. As the biggest and most valuable recycling conference in the world, ISRI2017 will bring together more than 4,000 recyclers from across the globe to learn, network, and build their businesses.
Waste plastic is an enormous challenge worldwide. Yet, as production continues to increase, just 5% of waste plastic is recycled effectively. Bühler is addressing this global challenge with a tailored PET recycling solution, capable of improving yields by more than 30%. A strategic partnership with US-based National Recovery Technologies (NRT) allows the company to offer plastics recyclers a complete solution for plastic bottle and flake sorting.
Launched in a new format in spring at IFAT 2016, TOMRA's X-TRACT X-Ray transmission system has been awarded a "Special Mention" by the German Design Awards 2017 in the "industry" category. According to the awards jury, the X-TRACT reflects the high performance and efficiency of the sorting system in its techno-functional design and its striking colouring.
SPI recently announced the organization's rebranding. Now known as The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), the Washington, D.C.-based organization remains focused on supporting the entire plastics supply chain, including recycling and sustainability.