Materials

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





The new WEEE Regulations: An analysis so far

Dr Philip Morton, CEO of REPIC and director of WEEE Europe, gives his analysis of the first compliance year milestone since the recast WEEE Directive was transposed into UK law and discusses what the industry can expect for the year ahead.


End of life vehicles: Achieving new targets

New legislation governing end of life vehicles, the EU’s ELV Directive, was introduced on January 1, 2015. Brian Gist of TOMRA Sorting Recycling looks at the effect it’s having on the end of life vehicles sector.


The lean, mean waste minimisation machine

The economic, environmental and social implications of food manufacturing waste are huge. WRAP estimates that a tonne of food waste in the food manufacturing in the UK is worth at least £950. Robin Chambers at R3MC explains the role telemetry can play in food waste minimisation.


Ebola waste task force responds to challenge

What greater challenge could there be for a waste management specialist than working in an Ebola stricken country? Maxine Perella, freelance writer, reports on how a special Ebola waste task force has been set up to deal with waste handling in exceptionally demanding circumstances.


Moving forward with foodservice packaging

The hiatus in UK governmental policy and EU directives doesn't mean the foodservice packaging supply chain can afford to stand still. Diverting resources from landfill will require action from every part of the chain. David Burrows, freelance writer, reports from the recent Foodservice Packaging Association's seminar.


Beyond the glitz and the glamour in Monaco

Monaco is the second smallest and most densely populated country in the world. Its warm Mediterranean climate attracts tourists and the annual Formula One Grand Prix also adds to visitor numbers with consequent increases in waste production. Tim Byrne, specialist in waste collection in Mediterranean countries, reports on how waste is collected in the principality.


What did the waste sector achieve in 2014?

This year ended much like the last: in disappointment. But despite the lack of interest shown in waste policy across Whitehall and, perhaps even Europe, the sector has carried on regardless. Freelance writer, David Burrows looks at the highs and lows of the UK waste management industry over the last 12 months.


Waste collection in the Gulf of Cádiz

Waste collection specialist in Mediterranean countries, Tim Byrne examines the waste management system of the Spanish coastal resorts of Lepe, Islantilla and La Antilla on the Gulf of Cádiz and looks at how the municipalities deal with the pressures of high numbers of visitors at the height of the tourist season.


Complete Wasters: For when the party is over

Have you ever wondered what happens to the rubbish festival-goers leave behind after a music festival? Three people in the know are the team from Complete Wasters, a workers’ co-operative based in Sileby, Leicester. Marie-Claire Kidd reports.


Driving the UK market for recycled plastics

In August, the British Plastic Federation Recycling Group launched a manifesto setting out proposals to reform the PRN/PERN system for plastics, increase the use of recycled plastics in UK manufacturing and encourage investment in recycling infrastructure. Three industry experts share their views on the manifesto.