Our 2017 Review

A Look Back at Our News & Blogs from 2017

2017 has been another busy and exciting time for Bunting Magnetics Europe with some great news stories.  In this blog we look back at the past 12 months and review the stories that hit our headlines.

January

bunting_master_magnetsWe started the year by announcing that Bunting had acquired leading UK Magnetic Separator and Metal Detection company Master Magnets.  This changed the Magnetic Separator landscape in Europe.

At the same time, the Bunting team was exhibiting at the Arabplast exhibition in Dubai.  The plastics focused event was attended and visited by plastics professionals across the region.  Sales were even made on the stand!

Our 7th of our 8 Magnetic Separator Myths examined the impossibility of achieving 100% metal separation.

To finish off January, we announced record sales in 2016 despite the backdrop of Brexit and political uncertainty.

February

We started the month with our 8th Magnetic Separator myth, asking if it was possible to block a magnetic field.

Bunting also joined the British Plastics Federation, reflecting our longtime involvement in the sector providing metal separation solutions.

Bunting at Exposolidos 2017

Our exhibition focus in the month was Exposolidos in Spain with our local representative SMED Tecnica.

In February, we also asked the question of whether our Environmental future is simple down to design?  This was written in response to the growing awareness of the environmental impact of waste that would gradually intensify through the year.

We finished off the month with the launch of the Teardrop Tube Magnet, ideal for use in fine powders where bridging might be an issue.

March

The strength of a Magnetic Separator is often expressed in ‘gauss’.  However, the vast majority of people are unable to measure gauss and so we showed a simple practical way to check the magnetic power using a simple spring balance.

Our 9th Magnetic Separator myth highlighted the dangers of strong Magnets and our 10th myth looked at ways to easily and safely clean captured metal off  Magnetic Separators.

We also investigated a US FDA report stating the ‘Ingesting Metal Fragments Can Cause Injury‘.

In March, we exhibited at the Southern Manufacturing and Electronics show in Farnborough UK.

April

Metal is commonly found in spices and we examined a typical plant and identified the best locations for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.

We also reported that we sold a record number of Plate Magnets in 2016 for export to Indonesia and 28 In-Line Magnets to a German baby food producer.

New Bunting Sales EmployeesWith the continued growth of the business, we were thrilled to announce the appointment of two new sales engineers, Tom Higginbottom and Gordon Kerr.

In April, UK supermarket Morrisons was hit by a metal-in-food scare and we looked at how this could have happened and ways in which such a problem could have been prevented.

May

Our Food Safety theme continued in May when, during a metal separation survey, we found large amounts of metal safely captured when processing rice.  Our Perfect Plant review assessed the best methods and equipment location to ensure that metal is removed from Processed Vegetables.

Exports continued to proved successful with the shipment of a HFS Drawer Magnet to a Plastics recycling company in France.

Our technical review in May reviewed the effect of high temperatures on Rare Earth Magnetic Separators.

June

There was a political flavour to news in June after the UK’s general election and we investigated what the leading parties were promising with regards to the environment.  At the same time, Bunting and Master Magnets were jointly exhibiting at Waste 17, a major UK recycling show in Manchester.

The week after, Bunting supported local representative BMS France at the FIP Solution Plastique exhibition in Lyon, France.

To mark the UK’s Food Safety Week, we reviewed recent cases of ‘metal’-in-food’ and the potential implications for the manufacturer, sales outlet, and customer.

July

Denis_Elkins_Bunting_Magnetics_Europe-2176In July, we were thrilled to announce the successful transition to ISO9001 2015 Quality and the ISO14001 2015 Environmental Standards.

In the media there was increasing attention on the issue of plastic waste in the environment and we commented on the necessity of a global strategy for Plastic Waste.

August

The environmental theme continued in August asking if the UK could realistically increase their metal packaging recycling rate by 10% by 2020.

September

As a prelude to RWM17, the UK’s largest waste and recycling show, we looked at 3 UK Waste and Recycling Facts such as asking how much waste do we actually generate?

Bunting Master Magnets at RWM17

After exhibiting at RWM, there were many questions being asked by exhibitors and visitors about the future of the event despite the importance of recycling and the global waste problem.

October

Bunting Magnetics Europe at Interplas 2017

The UK’s leading plastics show, Interplas, is held every 3 years and, as in previous years, it was very well supported by both exhibitors and visitors.  The environmental issues associated with plastic waste was gathering momentum.

Removing metal from fine powders can be extremely difficult and we produced a technical report looking at the best techniques and ideal equipment.

Tom Higginbottom attended the successful Bulk Solids & Powders show SyMas in Poland with the local Bunting representative TEKPRO.

November

The Manufacturing and Engineering industries have been concerned about the lack of young engineers and hopefully initiatives such as Tomorrow’s Engineers Week will help address this issue.

We were also excited to report two consecutive record sales months in September and October.  2017 was proving to be as successful as 2016.

Our latest Perfect Plant review focused on the brewing of beer and ensuring that all metal is removed to protect delicate processing equipment and the taste of the beer.

December

Pantomine BlogThe BBC TV series Blue Planet had highlighted the global problem of plastic waste in our oceans.  However, as the pressure increased on the plastics sector, we asked whether Plastic was the Pantomime Villain of the recycling world?

We hope you have enjoyed reading our news and blogs in 2017.  If there are any topics that you would like reviewed, then please get in touch and send an email to Paul our press officer (press@buntingeurope.com).

For further information on Magnetic Separators or Metal Detectors please contact the Bunting team on:

Is Plastic the Recycling Pantomime Villain?

Pressure Grows on Plastics and the Environment

In 2017 the media has gradually increased the pressure on the plastics industry by highlighting the effect of waste plastic in our global environment.  This focus shows no sign of going away, with the UN oceans chief stating that Ocean plastic is a ‘planetary crisis’.  

plastic-trash-in-oceans-and-waterways

Ironically, in many cases plastics are primarily used because they reduce weight and thus save energy and our natural resources.  Plastic packaging also significantly reduces food waste by keeping it fresh and is used when transporting food around the globe.

The world’s first fully synthetic plastic dates back to 1907 when the material bakelite was invented in New York by Leo Baekeland.  He also coined the term ‘plastics’.  Since then plastic has become one of the most versatile and used materials on the planet.

So why have we fallen out of love with plastic?

In July, we reported that academics were predicting that there would be 12 million metric tonnes of plastic being in landfill or the natural environment by 2050.  The recent David Attenborough nature series Blue Planet II shown on BBC1 has shown how waste plastic is found in our oceans, even reaching the depths of the Mariana Trench.

However, as highlighted by the British Plastics Federation at the UK’s waste and recycling show RWM (held in Birmingham, UK September 2017), the ‘plastic waste’ problem is complicated.

bunting_metal_separation_module_recapture_plastics-7611The fundamental global problem is that 2 million people do not have access to solid waste collection (United Nations).  The properties of plastic that make it so useful in our everyday lives also makes it difficult to breakdown and easy to get blown and transported away from the rubbish dump and into the local environment.  Gradually, this plastic waste will migrate down to the sea.

The larger problem is the origin of plastic waste.  In the developed world of the USA and Europe, investment in research and technology means that those countries only contribute approximately 2% of the plastic found in oceans.  82% is estimated to originate in Asia (The British Plastics Federation).

The problem is not just a ‘plastic waste’ issue but a ‘waste’ issue in general.  Plastic is not the only product being thrown away and ending up in our oceans.  Industrial waste is a huge problem, but is presently not the focus of attention.  In many developing countries dealing with waste is simply not their most important problem to address.  Malnutrition, housing, transport, jobs are all higher on the list of priorities.

Plastic has become waste’s ‘pantomime villain’.

This global problem needs a global solution.  There is no doubt that the designers of plastic products have a huge responsibility and need to consider the consequences of ideas such as introducing plastic microbeads into cosmetic products.

Bunting BPI-6151In the UK, we presently recycle 29% of our plastic and our target for 2020 is 57%.  The figure is so low due to the complexity of the process and economics.  Magnetic Separators, Eddy Current Separators and Metal Detectors remove metal and there is other technology to sort by colour and plastic type.  However, producing a useful plastic from waste that can be introduced as a raw material into primary plastic production (such as happens with aluminium and steel) is presently exceptionally difficult.  Until that happens, plastic waste will continue to pose a problem.

For further information on separating metal from plastics during the production of the virgin product or during the recycling process, please contact the Bunting team on:

Other articles on Plastics Recycling include: