Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ocean drive for UK companies

Ecover and Closed Loop Recycling have launched an initiative to recycle waste plastics from the seas around the UK at Closed Loop's Dagenham facility and re-used in new packaging, the companies announced at a press conference in London yesterday.

The initiative has led to Closed Loop Recycling undertaking trials with Ecover for a new type of plastics using rHDPE.

Chris Dow, chief executive of Closed Loop Recycling, said: "It's great that a large producer such as Ecover is taking such a futuristic view on packaging, showing true commitment to designing on shelf product with recycling in mind."

Both Closed Loop Recycling and Ecover are supporting the Waste Free Oceans (WFO) initiative, which aims to reduce floating marine debris on Europe’s coastlines, as well as sending an important anti-litter message to consumers, highlighting the importance of recycling and the value of used plastics as a resource.

Using existing fishing trawls and new technology, WFO will engage Europe’s fishing community in cleaning up floating marine debris and bring it back to land for recycling and sorting. Boats outfitted with a special trawl will be able to collect between 2-8 tonnes of waste (per trawl) for cleaning and recycling. Similar initiatives with a range of corporate sponsors, NGOs, and local and European politicians have already been launched in Belgium, Spain, Germany, Greece and Austria.

Says Chris Dow: “The Waste Free Oceans initiative is not simply about cleaning up our oceans of unwanted litter, which is of course important in itself environmentally. It’s about the industry taking responsibility for plastics litter and educating people to take responsibility for their own waste and recycle as much of it as possible, in the knowledge that recyclers like us can maximise this resource and enable it to re-used in new food and drink packaging, thus reducing our reliance on oil-rich virgin materials.”

Ecover’s involvement in the initiative is part its ‘Message in our Bottle’ campaign, also launched yesterday, which will see the company using what it claims to be an entirely new form of fully sustainable and recyclable plastics in 2014 made from 100 per cent sugarcane and plastics fished from the sea that has been processed at Closed Loop Recycling’s facility.

Ecover’s Chief Executive, Philip Malmberg, said: “As manufacturers we’ve got to take responsibility for sustainability very seriously – to take real action on climate change and the damage done by our over-reliance on fossil fuels, creating ‘green’ products that deliver more than a nod to sustainability.”

Source: Plastics in Packaging

Image courtesy of Upupa4me via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)