The Cup Collective, an industrial-scale paper cup recycling program, has welcomed its first partners.
The Cup Collective, a program founded by paper and board producer Stora Enso and packaging company Huhtamaki, both based in Finland, has welcomed its first partners to the initiative. Paper Coffee Cups Recyclable
McDonald’s, SSP Group, C2 Centre and the National Railway Company of Belguim (SNCB) have announced they have joined the program, which aims to recycle paper cups on an industrial scale in Europe, maximizing the cups’ value and regenerating them into recycled raw materials.
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The program launched in September in partnership with Co-Cre8, a United Kingdom-based company that designs and implements recycling programs in Europe. The goal of the Cup Collective is to recycle half a billion paper cups in Europe within its first two years.
“The Cup Collective initiative will create the necessary collection infrastructure to significantly increase the recycling rate of wood-fiber in paper cups,” the companies said at the time of the launch.
The first paper cup collection bins now are available in public venues, like restaurants and transit hubs, throughout Brussels, and collected material is recycled in facilities in the region, including Stora Enso’s site in Langerbrugge, Belgium.
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“It’s time to make paper cup recycling an easy, everyday activity,” Co-Cre8 co-founder and Managing Director Peter Goodwin said during the panel. “We are now able to provide a platform to collect and capture the value of paper cups at an industrial scale and are calling businesses to get on board and become part of the Cup Collective program.”
The approval makes way for packaging converters and brand owners to improve the recyclability of laminated flexible PE-based packaging, the company says.
A pair of Dow adhesive systems commonly used for a broad range of polyethylene (PE) film packaging applications have been approved as compatible with mechanical recycling, following what the company says is a rigorous scientific evaluation by the European nonprofit, cross-industry initiative RecyClass.
Dow says the approval covers its solvent-free Morfree L 75-300/CR88-300 and water-borne Robond L350/CR-3 lamination adhesives, which will add an adhesive component to its Revoloop technology platform.
According to Midland, Michigan-based Dow, which has European headquarters in Horgen, Switzerland, RecyClass assessments follow rigorous scientific protocols to present a comprehensive evaluation of the recyclability of plastic packaging. The assessments consider all criteria needed for a closed-loop value chain, looking at most used technologies of sorting and recycling infrastructures used in Europe to verify that packaging is compatible with recycling or can be effectively recycled.
Dow says its customers can benefit from this external validation as they apply these adhesives in their mono-material laminated packaging designs. The company adds that value chain partners already using these adhesive systems can now have an additional favorable data point when designing packaging for recyclability, and use of the adhesives requires no changes to existing production processes nor additional staff training or retooling of equipment.
Fabrizio di Gregorio, technical director at Brussels-based Plastics Recyclers Europe, says, “Innovation is key in furthering the circularity of plastics, but at the same time, it is essential to ensure that these new packaging technologies comply with existing recycling systems. This is exactly what the RecyClass recyclability approval awarded to Dow’s technologies proves. We are delighted to work with companies like Dow and strive to support companies in implementing recyclability principles into the core of their strategic decisions.”
Izzat Midani, Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics EMEA marketing manager, says sustainability is front and center in the company’s innovation strategy and the main focus of the industry.
“I am very proud that two different technologies in our laminating adhesives portfolio have been approved for mechanical recycling by RecyClass,” Midani says. “This enables our customers and brand owners to reach a wider scope of applications and performance requirements while facilitating packaging recyclability, which will be crucial as they strive toward achieving ambitious sustainability targets.”
The approved adhesives will be added into Dow’s Revoloop platform, which is set up to help enable high-quality mechanical recycling through various product offerings in postconsumer recycled resins (PCR), and now also including adhesives, that are engineered to deliver exceptional performance for customers.
The company says this first European approval for the adhesive products follows last year’s critical guidance recognition in the U.S. for three product categories that meet the recyclability protocols of the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), Washington. Robond adhesives, Opulux optical finishes and Surlyn ionomers were each recognized for solving packaging design challenges.
“The recyclability of laminating adhesives is essential in flexible packaging recycling,” Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics Associate Scientist for adhesives Victor Lebedev says. “At Dow, we have been working intensively to develop internal testing methodologies at our Pack Studios in Tarragona, Spain, and Mozzate, Italy, to assess the possibility of recycling laminated mono-material structures and to mimic the commonly used coating weight of the adhesive. We are pleased that the independent third-party recyclability approval from RecyClass confirms our initial positive results.”
Eric Bergin will oversee approximately 200 employees operating more than 100 trucks and providing services to 200,000 customers.
Waste Pro USA Inc., Longwood, Florida, has announced it has hired Eric Bergin as manager of its Pembroke Pines Division.
A veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the solid waste and recycling industry, Bergin most recently served as a regional vice president for a national waste hauler where his responsibilities included overseeing day-to-day operations, managing budgets and enforcing safety precautions for the state of Georgia, says Waste Pro in a news release.
“Eric has a great can-do attitude with a customer-focused mindset,” Waste Pro Regional Vice President Kenny Skaggs says. “I know under his leadership the Pembroke Pines Division will experience continued growth and success.”
As division manager, he will oversee approximately 200 employees operating more than 100 trucks that provide services to 200,000 customers in the Florida communities of Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, West Park and North Miami.
Waste Pro projects revenues exceeding $900 million in 2022. The company serves more than 2 million residential and 100,000 commercial customers from more than 90 operating locations. The company also maintains approximately 300 exclusive municipal contracts and franchises.
ASEAN Circular Plastics Summit 2023 in Bangkok will explore region’s plastic recycling landscape.
The organizers of a plastics recycling event in March in Bangkok say the conference is being designed to create a dialogue focused on “circular strategies to achieve zero plastic waste in the region for a sustainable future.”
ASEAN Circular Plastics Summit 2023 will take place March 29-30 at the Banyan Tree Bangkok property. The event’s organizer has invited stakeholders described as including material, chemical, waste management and recycling firms, plus brand owners, government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).”
“This high-level symposium aims to look at evolving regulatory, compliance developments, and disruptive material, technology innovations to help organizations to materialize their commitment on the environment and to support the circular economy," according to the Shanghai-based event organizer Apex International.
Apex also says Thailand’s petrochemical sector is the 16th largest in the world, and says Asia is “responsible for over 80 percent of marine leakage and eight of the top 10 contributing countries are from this region, with Thailand ranking number six.”
The two-day program includes sessions on plastic recycling market drivers and emerging mechanical and chemical recycling techniques. Companies and organizations providing speakers include the Singapore-based Alliance to End Plastic Waste, Unilever, ExxonMobil, Ineos Styrolution, Tomra ASA and McKinsey & Co.
“It has become more than ever pressing for everyone to build upon the expertise of all stakeholders in this ecosystem on the development of [the] plastic recycling industry,” states Apex International.
More information on the event can be found here.
Councils in California’s two largest cities vote on the same day to greatly restrict the use of the foam material.
Elected officials in Los Angeles and San Diego cast votes on the same day to greatly restrict the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) plastic in their respective cities.
CBS News in Los Angeles says City Council representatives voted in favor of adopting the restrictions in a Tuesday, Dec. 6, meeting. Some of the restrictions adopted will take effect in April 2023, with others delayed until April 2024.
Among the few exceptions granted to EPS were its use in surfboards, some food and beverage coolers, craft supplies, packaging for pharmaceuticals and medical devices, car seats and life jackets and products prepackaged outside the city. “Health facilities and residential care facilities are also exempt from the ordinance,” according to CBS.
The news report quotes Los Angeles council representative Mitch O’Farrell as saying, “Today, the second largest city in the nation will send a clear message that expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) has no place in our city’s future.”
Language in the ordinance says EPS is not biodegradable, not economically recyclable and has the potential to end up in the ocean. It also says styrene is potentially a carcinogen.
About 125 miles south, San Diego City Council approved an ordinance on the same day “banning all single-use polystyrene foam food containers, utensils, coolers and pool toys effective next year,” according to a report from KPBS-TV.
Comments from council members and citizens with an interest in the ordinance largely pointed to the material’s perceived tendency to end up as litter or ocean-bound plastic as the primary motivation for the upcoming restrictions, scheduled to take effect next year.
San Diego has been drafting (and sometimes passing) ordinances and resolutions restricting the use of EPS for several years. One drafted in 2019 says in part, “Polystyrene foam does not biodegrade, but breaks into smaller pieces, which are easily mistaken for food by marine wildlife and create litter.”
The phasing out of EPS in packaging applications has created opportunities for producers of several other materials, including molded pulp. Producers in that industry sector sometimes use recovered paper in their manufacturing processes.
Printed Paper Cups Some makers of EPS and EPS products have been investing to increase the material’s recycling rate, including the Ineos Styrolution business unit of global petrochemical company Ineos.