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Archive for the ‘bio blog’ Category

UK Plastics Pact

Posted on: April 26th, 2018 by Sheila No Comments

Working together to change plastics for good.

Today I find myself thinking about ‘The Jetsons’ and their expectations of the future in 2062. Wouldn’t it be great to have some sort of power to see if the future meets our own expectations? Will we be powered by 100% renewable energy? Will we have a circular economy?

We have become heavily focused on targets; renewable fuels targets, CO2 targets and of course plastic reduction targets. We have to set these targets. We have to be mindful of our actions and understand that the lifestyle choices we make truly have an impact on our surrounding environment.

Today we read that 40 companies sign up to pledge to cut plastic pollution over the next seven years. These companies are responsible for more than 80% of the plastic packaging being sold in the UK and have signed up to the sustainability campaign being led by WRAP.

WRAP says, ’The UK Plastics Pact is a trailblazing, collaborative initiative that will create a circular economy for plastics. It brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the scourge of plastic waste.’

It finally feels like something will be done!  There is real momentum behind this movement to change our throwaway culture and to create a circular economy!  We will change the future of plastics, future generations are not going to see their oceans filled with plastic that was made in 2025.

But what about that plastic that is in the oceans and landfills now? Are we investing enough time and money into solutions to clean up the mess we have already created?  An ideal solution is steam autoclaving as the plastics are separated and recovered post autoclaving. This guarantees diversion from landfill and generates plastic that is ready to be recycled.

Together we can and together we will clean our oceans now and stop plastic pollution in the future.

An autoclaver’s view on the coffee cup crisis

Posted on: April 19th, 2018 by Sheila No Comments

Coffee cups; a perfect example of our throwaway culture and how we are now faced with the consequences of single use plastics.

This is a product created simply for convenience and only recently people come to realise the amount of waste produced and ending up in landfill.

Hugh’s War on Waste  reported that 2.5 billion cups a year are used and nearly all of them end up in landfill. When this programme was aired, people were shocked – myself included.  This was a product that people assumed could being recycled and the gigantic numbers associated with it would make your head spin!

Now more than ever we are being confronted with the issue of recycling; plastic recycling being the real culprit.  Whether we are getting this dire wake-up call through the news, social media or Sir David Attenborough, we can no longer deny the threat from plastic pollution.

When thinking about coffee cups, plastic might not be the first material that comes to mind. But it is the mixture of paper and the plastic lining inside the cup that creates issues when recycling; an issue so big that 99.75% of coffee cups are NOT being recycled.

As this is now at the forefront of many discussions, there are several solutions coming forward. However, are solutions like compostable cups, discounts for reusable cups or charging a ‘latte levy’ on paper cups really going to divert this waste from landfill?

We are reading about recycling coffee cups; Costa Coffee has pledged to recycle 500 million cups by 2020, but there are apparently only three facilities in the UK that specialise in this recycling – is this really enough to make a difference?

Another solution that should be taken seriously is steam autoclaving. At Wilson we have trialled batches of coffee cups and have successfully created a biomass fibre from the paper portion which can be used as source of renewable energy and have easily separated the plastic which can be sold back to the industry for reuse.

We are hopeful that steam autoclaving will soon be at the forefront as a solution to coffee cups. We know we can efficiently process this specific waste stream and create products for the circular economy.

 

processed coffee cups