New UK Drinks Container Recycling Strategy Creates ‘Bottleneck’

UK Waste Plan Means More Recycling Plants

The UK Government’s announcement that people in England will soon have to pay a deposit when they buy drinks bottles and metal cans [28th March 2018] in an attempt to curb waste is expected to create a ‘bottleneck’ in the recycling chain.  Scotland has previously announced plans for a deposit return scheme and Wales has launched a study to consider it.

drinking-water-filter-singapore-1235578_960_720Other countries, including Sweden and Germany, already operate schemes where people pay a deposit when purchasing some drinking containers.

This latest announcement may be considered as a knee-jerk reaction to the global dismay about plastic waste following the airing of the Blue Planet II series.   Environment Secretary Michael Gove said there was no doubt that plastic was “wreaking havoc” on the marine environment and discarded plastic bottles and cans “end up dumped on pavements and lobbed into rivers, lakes and the sea”.

Although most people agree with the sentiment of the new policy, there are serious concerns about the UK’s ability to handle the increase in the amount of plastic waste.  The UK Government has not outlined how the recovered plastics will be recycled and how it will work financially.

Already, since China banned plastic waste imports [January 2018] there have been concerns about how the UK will manage plastic waste, especially as 2.7 million tonnes was shipped to China since 2012.  This new policy will potentially reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill, but also add to the amount of plastic waste that was previously shipped to China.  That equates to a lot of plastic waste.

Are There Enough Plastic Recycling Plants?

An increase in recovered plastic waste means that there needs to be a significant growth in the number of specialist recycling plants.  However, profitably operating a plastics recycling plant has proven to be difficult, with many plants being commissioned and then closed or sold within a very short space of time.

Bunting Metal Separation System Recapture Plastics
Metal Separation Module in a Plastics Recycling Plant in Kent

Bunting Vulcanis-1098

There has been an established network for the collection and successful recycling of steel and aluminium beverage cans for decades.  Part of the reason for the success is that both materials are easily recyclable, using a combination of Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators, and converted into new steel and aluminium.  Presently, the same cannot be said for plastic.

The UK Government may decide to commit all the collected deposits to expanding and funding a network of specialist recycling plants, although where this money will go is is presently unclear.  It will be interesting to hear if there are plans to invest in the development of technology to enable successfully and financially viable mixed plastic recycling.  Also, will product designers now be forced to consider the recyclability of a product rather than the aesthetic appearance?

Certainly, a holistic plan is needed before this new initiative is put in place.

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 relevant waste and recycling articles:

 

High Intensity Magnetic Separators at Ceramitec 2018

Bunting Magnetics and Master Magnets Magnetic Separators at Ceramitec 2018

A extensive range of High Intensity Magnetic Separators will be on display on the Master Magnets stand (Hall B6.147) at this year’s Ceramitec (April 10-13, Messe Munchen, Germany).

Master Magnets specialise in the design and manufacture of high intensity magnetic separators for the ceramics and mineral processing industries with a reputation as a global leading supplier.  The Magnetic Separation technology is used when processing dry raw materials, mineral slurries and ceramics slips & glazes to separate and remove strong and weakly magnetic minerals.

This is the first time Master Magnets have exhibited at Ceramitec since the acquisition by Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd in 2017.

The Master Magnets product portfolio for the ceramics and non-metallic minerals industry is extensive with equipment installed in plants across the world over the past 40 years.  At their facility in Redditch, UK, they have a complete laboratory with a range of high intensity magnetic separators.  Controlled tests in the laboratory prove separation capabilities and form the basis of process guarantees.

The Master Magnets product range covers both dry and wet processing.

Dry Magnetic Processing

Rare Earth Roll Separators – For the purification of dry fine or course material containing ferromagnetic and paramagnetic particles.  Commonly used to purify spray dried ceramics, silica sand, and feldspar.

Induced Magnetic Roll Separators – For the continuous extraction of small magnetic particles from certain minerals to produce mineral purification for a wide range of mineral and ceramic processing industries.

Induced Roll

Tube Magnets and Grid Magnets – For the removal of fine and general tramp iron from dry free-flowing materials.

Wet Magnetic Processing

Electro Magnetic Filters – The High Intensity Electro Magnetic Filter is designed for the continuous removal of ferrous/magnetic and paramagnetic particles from mineral slurries, and ceramics slips and glazes.

Liquid Pipeline Magnetic Separators – Liquid Pipeline Separator used for the extraction of fine iron from ceramic slurries, slips and glazes.

The experienced team look forward to meeting companies at Ceramitec and assisting in improving the purity of non-metallic minerals and ceramic raw materials.

For further information on Bunting Magnetics and Master Magnets and our range of magnetic separation equipment designed for purifying ceramics and non-metallic minerals, please visit our websites or contact us on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Email: press@buntingeurope.com
Via the website

 

Bunting Magnetics Announced as WASTE’18 Headline Sponsors

Bunting and Master Magnets Joint Sponsorship of Waste, Recycling & Skip Trade Exhibition

The combined Magnetic Separation might of Bunting Magnetics and Master Magnets has signed up as the headline sponsors of WASTE’18 for the second year in succession.

WASTE’18 provides an ideal platform for companies involved in waste management, recycling, and the skip trade to meet and discuss developments in the sector.  The exhibition takes place on Thursday, 5th July 2018 at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, near Coventry.

Waste_17-0600a“We are really excited to announce our headline sponsorship,” said Dave Hills, Bunting’s Head of Sales.  “With the dynamic changes happening in the waste sector, exhibitions such as Waste are vitally important in bringing technology companies and waste processors together.”

WASTE’18 organiser, Andrew Gold, welcomes the news.  “Both companies are great supporters of the event, and it’s a bit like welcoming old friends into your own home.  Their world class products are always popular amongst visitors, and if last year’s stand is anything to go by they’ll be drawing large crowds on the day.”

MasterMagnets_ECS-0634The focus on the Bunting and Master Magnets stand will be on maximising metal separation.  This includes:

  • Eddy Current Separators for separating and recovering non-ferrous metals such as aluminium beverage cans from presorted refuse and fine non-ferrous metals from waste electronics;
  • Stainless Steel Separator for either recovering or removing stainless steel from non-magnetic materials such as in the recycling of plastics and waste electronics;
  • Overband Magnets to recover steel beverage cans from presorted refuse and re-bar from demolition waste on mobile crushers;

“Our group of companies [Bunting Magnetics Europe and Master Magnets] has never been busier manufacturing equipment for the waste and recycling sector.  Being seen at exhibitions such as WASTE’18 is really important as we can demonstrate what metal separation is possible.  We are really looking forward to the show,” explained Dave.

To register for WASTE’18 go to Free Visitor Registration.

For further information on Bunting Magnetics and Master Magnets and our range of metal separation equipment designed for the waste and recycling sector, please visit our websites or contact us on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Email: press@buntingeurope.com
Via the website

Fish Cakes Contaminated with Metal

Youngs Seafood Recalls Metal and Plastic Contaminated Fish Cakes 

In February 2018, Young’s Seafood Ltd recalled its Chip Shop Fish Cakes 6 pack due to the possible presence of pieces of metal and plastic in some packs.  The presence of metal and plastic makes this product unsafe to eat and presents a safety risk. The affected product is sold in some Farmfoods and Heron Foods stores.

Youngs is a leading British producer and distributor of frozen, fresh, and chilled seafood, supplying approximately 40% of all the fish eaten in the United Kingdom every year.  However, this product recall damages their brand and customer confidence.

Where Does Metal Contamination Come From?

Metal contamination is commonly found in food processing plants.  It can be present in the food or ingredients delivered to the processing plant, or introduced during the production process.

Food producers use a combination of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors to ensure that the metal contamination is removed before the final packaged food is despatched to supermarkets and sales outlets.

So How Could This Latest Food Scare Happen?

Youngs is not the first or last major food producer to face a product recall due to metal contamination.  Most food producers have installed suitable Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.  However, often the contamination issue is a result of old equipment no longer adequate for the application, a failure of equipment, or a change in the process.

Magnetic Separators do not lose magnetic strength over time unless they are damaged or subjected to high temperatures.  However, it is important to annually check the magnetic strength and integrity of the Magnetic Separators.  This can be easily done using a Magnetic Pull Test Kit as part of a Magnetic Separator Audit.

Bunting Magnetics Pull Test Kit

The Magnetic Separator Audit also reviews changes in the production process and may propose the relocation of some equipment to ensure that maximum protection is maintained.

Metal Detectors are often used later in the process, once the product is made and after packaging.  The settings of the Metal Detector need to be regularly checked, especially if there are changes in the production process, product or packaging.  Also, settings on the Metal Detector may be accidentally altered, reducing the sensitivity and resulting in metal contamination being missed.  Again, an annual Metal Detector Audit will review the performance and settings and ensure that there is maximum protection.

Unfortunately, reports on metal contaminated food are not unusual.  Other examples include:

For more information on preventing Metal Contamination Food Safety Scares, or to arrange a free onsite survey and audit of a particular plant or process, please contact the Bunting team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

Mark Harris Joins the Bunting Sales Team

UK Manufacturer Expands Sales Team

Bunting Europe has restructured and expanded our UK sales team with the appointment of Sales Engineer, Mark Harris.  Mark joins following a period of sustained sales growth and a restructuring of the Bunting and Master Magnets sales team.

Mark Harris Bunting Magnetics EuropeMark Harris assumes the role of External Sales Engineer for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors in the South of the UK, with Tom Higginbottom focusing on supporting customers in the North.

Mark brings over 30 years of engineering and sales experience.  Having qualified as a Mechanical Engineer in 1983, Mark has worked for leading British manufacturing companies including Loctite, NSK Bearings Ltd and Cygnus Instruments.

“Our sales strategy is be out in the market meeting and talking with customers,” explained Dave Hills, our Head of Sales.  “Our customer base has expanded significantly over the past 24 months and we needed additional personnel on the road.”

Mark will be managing projects where Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors are needed to remove metal contamination.  Magnetic Separators are widely used in the process and recycling sectors to both capture and recover metal.  Metal Detectors are commonly found in the food, plastics, and pharmaceutical industries where they detect metal contamination.

“To correctly solve a metal contamination or metal recovery problem, you need to understand the process and that, invariably, is best done by visiting the customer’s site.  Only then can you make the best recommendation,” said Dave.

Mark is excited by the opportunity.  “Bunting Magnetics and Master Magnets are well-respected in the process and recycling industries and are leaders in the field of magnetic separation and metal detection.  This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a growing UK-based engineering and manufacturing business.”

For further information on the appointment of Mark, please contact us on:

Is Recycling in UK Reaching Crisis Point?

Troubled Times for the UK and European Recycling Sectors

There appears to be a distinct disconnect between the political rhetoric and what is actually happening in the waste and recycling sector.  In the UK, Theresa May has pledged to eliminate plastic waste by 2042 and the European government has ‘declared war’ on plastic waste setting a target of having all packaging reusable or recyclable by 2030.

China WasteHowever, it has been reported [BBC News 1st March 2018] that waste recycling rates in the UK are falling for over 14 million households.  Also, China’s import restrictions on waste materials has put tremendous pressure on the recycling sector and it is anticipated that UK firms are likely to close [MRW].

The global problem of Plastic Waste has been at the top of the media agenda since the BBC’s Blue Plant II showed how it is contaminating our world and endangering our wildlife.  The noise from environmental activists and the general population has been deafening.

Surfer and Plastic WastePoliticians had to respond and announced targets for dealing with plastic waste.  However, the announcements do not include details about how these tough targets are going to be met.

In the UK, we presently recycle 29% of our plastic, although this figure is presently under debate [Industry ‘exaggerates plastics recycling success’ – BBC News 6th March 2018].  The target for 2020 is 57% and 0% by 2042.  The present recycling rate is low due to the complexity of the process and economics.  Magnetic SeparatorsEddy 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.  Contamination at the collection source, during transportation, and during process is one of many problems.  Until those issue are addressed, plastic waste will continue to pose a problem.

Bunting Overband Magnet over Conveyor 2

The solution has been shipping mixed waste materials to China and other countries for manual separation.  This is no longer an option, at least in China.

A cohesive plan of action is required, with the setting of realistic targets reflecting the technology and economics of waste recycling.  At present, it appears that politicians are just making statements to appease the masses.

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 relevant waste and recycling articles: