What comes around…
I think we can all agree that putting 2020 to bed has been a welcome relief, and although 2021 has not got off to the best of starts, we have hope and more importantly an end is in sight. Whilst not dwelling too much on current events, we wanted to kick off January 2021 by taking a look at the hopes and future of…you’ve guessed it, Waste. Let’s fast forward a few years and see what is in store for the industry and our efforts for a more sustainable future.
The golden thread that always remains is the objective to achieve a ‘circular economy’, the idea of an endless loop of recycle, re-use and repurpose. It is reported that by 2025 waste disposers will no longer be burning or burying waste, instead waste will be returned to ‘valuable resources’ and reused.
As well as the waste industry getting an overdue shake up, the responsibility of sustainability also lies heavily on manufacturers to continue to think increasingly long term when producing and working with materials. Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP says ‘The goods of today need to be seen as the raw materials of tomorrow. When that happens, products will begin to be made with a view to lasting longer and to being easier to repair and ultimately dismantle.’
As well as forward thinking and reusing materials, turning more waste into energy is a revenue stream for the waste industry. Whilst not a new theory, there have been recent reports of how UK based companies plan to convert waste into energy.
Human Waste Energy…
The Government have pledged to phase out diesel powered trains by 2040, hence alternative fuel sources are required. The revolutionary BioUltra railcar will carry up to 120 passengers at speeds of up to 50mph and be powered by…food and human waste! I’m sure some great nicknames will be conjured up!
Biomethane Gas will be turned into electrical power which will in turn charge the batteries required to power the train. The advantage is the promise to repurpose waste and that trains will no longer cause pollution but result in the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
In the light of recent events the new train will have additional features such as virus-killing copper surfaces, plastic shields and robust ventilation. For more information on the BioUltra Train, click here.
We’ve covered reusing materials and repurposing waste as an energy source, next we take a look at recycling. Project Beacon has been in development for a number of years which was due to be launched in 2020, but pushed back owing to the pandemic. It is hoped the project will be launched this year to change the future of plastic waste.
PI Polymer Recycling, Recycling Technologies and Impact Recycling will work together by chemically recycling plastics to reuse as materials or chemical products. This sparks the beginning of the end to the damaging affects single use plastic currently has on the World. The project will see unrecyclable plastics such as crisp packs and black plastics converted into an oil to be used in the shipping industry.
Once officially launched later this year, it will consist of two phases; the first will concentrate on plastics from broken toys, garden furniture etc., whilst the second phase will accept all types of plastics to recycle. For more information about Project Beacon, click here.
Sustainability is something Alfred eats, breathes and sleeps and, as one of the UK’s largest handlers of plasterboard waste, we have a responsibility to manage it correctly. Our bread and butter is the management and recycling of plasterboard and gypsum waste, of which 100% is recycled. As well the disposal of plasterboard and gypsum waste, Alfred manages the collection and recycling of Fermacell. As a small business in the waste management industry we look forward to working together with the new improved methods and the affects it will have on the waste industry.