Materials

Metal manipulation

As aluminium becomes the lightweight material of choice for many, we look at one project that aims to secure supply, reduce production emissions and keep value in scrap. Justin Cunningham finds out more about the REALCAR project.


Deal or no deal

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act has had some success in reducing criminal trade, but lack of government will – and declining police budgets – are preventing it from eradicating illegal cash payments. Robert Fell, chief executive of the British Metals Recycling Association, explains


University challenge

A new report identifies tackling food waste as a key sustainability challenge for universities but, as authors David Burrows and Nick Hughes explain, it also demonstrates the shared benefits to be gained through collaboration between waste contractors and their uni customers


Breaking the glass ceiling

Glass is the perfect material for a circular economy because it can be permanently recycled without loss of quality. The only thing holding it back is inconsistent collection rates, writes Baudouin Ska, secretary general of FERVER, the European Federation of Glass Recyclers


Storage rules forced wood recyclers to close

Wood recycling in the UK has always been at the mercy of a seasonal cycle where tonnages peak for storage in the summer followed by a rise in demand for off-take during winter. Last year this caused bigger issues than ever. Andy Hill, chair of the Wood Recyclers Association, reports.


Losing the thread

The textile recycling industry is enduring turbulent times, not helped by the misconception abroad that restricting used clothing imports will help to protect local producers. The answer is for the industry to secure new markets and be less reliant on exports, says Alan Wheeler, director at the Textile Recycling Association


PRE View

Plastics Recycling Expo (PRE) takes place again this year as part of the PDM Event (Plastics Design & Moulding) on June 14 and 15 at the Telford International Centre. RWW takes a look at some of the highlights in store for attendees at both the exhibition and the conference


Bed bug

With one estimate that 62,000 mattresses are being sent to landfill every week in the south east of England alone, cowboy recycling operators rife and many legal ones going out of business, it’s no surprise that one observer talks of ‘a massive mattress problem’. Maxine Perella reports


A clean sweep?

The figures in a new study on pre-production pellet loss into the marine environment are far from perfect. But the argument from industry that this means there isn’t a problem is a little hard to swallow, says David Burrows


Smart meters

With the second year under the new WEEE Regulations under way - and with increased collection targets for member states - Dr Philip Morton, CEO of the UK-based producer compliance scheme REPIC, explains why intelligent target setting is the right solution


A whole lotta bottle

A UK-wide deposit return scheme for drinks containers divides opinion, largely around its cost-effectiveness and the repercussions for local authorities, producers, retailers and consumers themselves, not to mention the suggestion that the environmental cost of maintaining such a system would actually outweigh the benefits. By Maxine Perella.


Steel for packaging - a CE success story

Alexander Mohr, secretary general of APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, looks at steel’s impressive recycling rates across the continent and discusses the other qualities which position it as the ideal material for a circular economy.


Food swing

Food waste was the hot environmental topic of the year in 2015, outshone only by the climate deal struck in Paris. This year, we can expect more of the same. David Burrows explores the situation in the UK and Europe


Litter: a national or local problem?

With England suffering from an ‘endemic litter problem’ according to an MPs’ inquiry, both government and industry – not to mention the public – need to get their act together, but debates about the best way forward rage on. By David Burrows


Clothing industry wakes up to sustainability

The amount of clothes we purchase has soared, meaning more sustainable actions by consumers and industry have enormous environmental knock-on effects, such as reducing textile waste to landfill and cutting the carbon and water impacts of production. Alan Wheeler, national liaison manager at the Textile Recycling Association, reports


Thinking outside the box

Peter Clayson explains how recycled corrugated and plastics packaging specialist DS Smith has continued to succeed while others have fallen by the wayside, and its goal to become the leading supplier of recycled packaging for consumer goods. By Geraldine Faulkner


WEEE are the champions

As the value of waste electrical and electronic equipment becomes widely recognised, more effort is being expended to make the extraction of this value profitable for recyclers and reprocessors – alongside initiatives to reduce waste in the first place such as repairability scheme the Restart Project. Maxine Perella reports


Riding the wave of waste M&As

Now a multi-billion-pound industry, UK waste and recycling is attracting attention from both local and international investors. However, having had a quiet start to the year compared with 2014, will merger and acquisition activity pick up? Matt Clay investigates


Carrot or stick?

Getting retailers to redistribute unwanted food, and consumers to waste less, is under the spotlight, but England is unlikely to force businesses and households to separate food waste for recycling and, while some are jealous of Scotland’s upcoming landfill ban, others believe more regulation would be wrong. David Burrows reports


Ten times more WEEE is mismanaged within Europe, says report

A two-year investigation into countering illegal exports of WEEE across Europe has revealed that 10 times more WEEE is mismanaged and discarded within Europe itself than the actual volume exported. According to the report, some 4.7 million tonnes of WEEE was wrongfully or illegally traded in the EU compared with the 400,000 tonnes of e-waste which was exported.


Scrap heap challenge

Ian Hetherington, director general of the British Metals Recycling Association, discusses the current state of the UK scrap metal industry, the trends that are affecting the sector – from falling prices to the sometimes flimsy enforcement of regulation – and what the coming months have in store for metal recyclers


Plastics problem rises to the surface

Marine litter is currently one of the sexier environmental topics, with the focus on bottles and bags in particular. But behind those headline-grabbers lurks a material that has slipped under the radar and out into the sea. David Burrows reports on what the UN, the plastics industry and others are doing about it


The French Revolution

Maxine Perella talks to the French councillor whose groundbreaking food waste campaign has brought about major legislative change across the Channel, and asks if a similar law – forcing retailers to give their surplus food to charities – could work in the UK


Threats to the UK's used textiles sector

The value of used clothing remains depressed, partly due to UK textile bank operators facing much higher charges than their continental counterparts. But one major issue stands out – the push in East Africa to ban clothing imports in a misguided attempt to protect the area’s textile industry. Alan Wheeler of the Textile Recycling Association reports


Count on WEEE

A report by the United Nations University has warned that global e-waste will reach 50 million tonnes by 2018 – and the UK is among the top five per capita producers. Dr Philip Morton, chief executive of REPIC, WEEE Forum president and director of WEEE Europe, shares his thoughts