Drive home on bread bags

Recycling company Close the Loop has unveiled an upgraded manufacturing facility that could divert two-thirds of Australia’s 300,000 tonnes of waste soft plastics sent to local landfill annually.
The new manufacturing line in Melbourne will produce TonerPlas, an asphalt additive that contains the equivalent of 530,000 recycled plastic bags, toner from more than 12,000 recycled cartridges and 168,000 glass bottles in every kilometre of two-lane road. In conjunction with Downer, roads featuring TonerPlas have already been laid in Melbourne and Sydney this year.

Close the Loop chairman Craig Devlin said the opening of the line coincided with National Recycling Week and will enable the company to produce the additive on a commercial scale.
“Close the Loop has been at the forefront of the circular economy for more than 17 years. Our goal of zero waste to landfill has seen us partner with manufacturers through take-back programs across multiple sectors including printer cartridges, cosmetics and batteries.
“TonerPlas is a great example of how valuable materials can be recycled to not just create new products, but better-quality products. The addition of TonerPlas improves the fatigue life of traditional asphalt by 65 per cent, meaning longer lasting roads at a cost-competitive price. It also offers superior resistance to deformation over standard conventional asphalt for withstanding heavy vehicular traffic.”
“At full capacity our new manufacturing line provides us with the ability to produce enough TonerPlas in a year to pave a two-lane road from Sydney to Melbourne. That would contain the equivalent of 530,000,000 recycled plastic bags, 168,000,000 recycled glass bottles and 12,000,000 recycled toner cartridges. That’s more than 200,000 tonnes of soft plastics that currently go to landfill in Australia.”

He added that policy changes in China had highlighted the importance of a local recycling industry and improved energy use across the design, use and reuse of products – a circular economy.
“Our new manufacturing capacity to reuse soft plastics and toner into TonerPlas is a great example of what local companies can do,” Mr Devlin said. “However, Australia needs to coordinate and invest in infrastructure to build a viable recycling industry and divert problematic waste streams from landfill. Banning plastic bags is a start, but it doesn’t solve the challenge, especially as plastic bags account for less than five percent of all waste soft plastics.”

Innovative recycling system launched for takeaway cups

New-technology coffee cups across the nation will be saved from landfill and commercially recycled into paper, with the launch of Detpak’s RecycleMe System.
This new recycling collection system is said to close the loop for the industry, and ensures paper cups can be collected, counted and recycled into copy paper.
The new takeaway coffee cups feature a next-generation lining that can be easily removed from the cup to ensure recyclability in standard pulping processes.
With more than a billion paper cups sent to landfill each year across Australia, Detpak’s marketing and innovation manager Tom Lunn said the RecycleMe System promotes a longer life for the paper cup fibre and supports a circular economy to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value for as long as possible.
“Our RecycleMe System is a total end-to-end solution, turning takeaway cups into recycled paper products and contributing to positive global environmental change,” Mr Lunn said.
Detpak has aligned with industry partner Shred-X to collect, count and recycle the cups as part of an existing national collection system in Australia.
“Shred-X currently has 50,000 collection points around Australia as part of their secure document destruction service and will support the collection of RecycleMe cups”, said Shred-X General Manager Van Karas.
In an Australian first, Shred-X will also be providing a collection service and recycling commitment for RecycleMe coffee cup lids. “Lids will be processed with confirmed end markets in Australia and via export,” Van said.
Tim Adams Specialty Coffee will be one of the first Queensland brands to launch with this innovative recycling system, and founder Tim Adams said the RecycleMe System would provide a true system for the coffee industry.
“Our dedication to quality in an ethically responsible manner is paramount as we take our responsibility to both coffee growers and the environment very seriously. Providing RecycleMe takeaway cups will be a core part of our sustainable business practices,’’ said Tim.
CMI Toyota will be one of the first brands to launch with this recycling system in South Australia as they champion sustainability in their work and will be launching with a true system for takeaway coffee cups.
In New South Wales, Veneziano Coffee Roasters will be one of the first brands to launch with this recycling system, and CEO Craig Dickson said the RecycleMe System would provide a true solution for the coffee industry.
“We’re excited to be one of the first coffee roasters to be implementing Detpak’s RecycleMe System for our customers as we know consumers want the convenience of takeaway coffee without the guilt of the waste of the cup,” said Craig.
Additionally, in Victoria Seven Seeds Coffee will be one of the first brands to launch with the cups, and community manager Alison Lyons said offering exceptional coffee and service would now be complimented by an award-winning environmental solution for takeaway cups.
“We’re really happy to introduce the RecycleMe System into Seven Seeds – takeaway cups have been a blight on the coffee industry for too long. Our waste management strategy follows the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle – and this is where RecycleMe has stepped in, with a guaranteed recycling solution and we’re aiming for a 50% collection rate, and have full confidence our customers in Carlton are up for it,” Alison said.
Detpak’s RecycleMe System will launch across Australia and New Zealand during Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week which takes place from Monday 12 to Sunday 18 November.

Alibaba to embark on massive green logistics campaign

Cainiao Network Technology Co., Ltd, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, is to embark on what it claims is the most comprehensive green campaign in China’s logistics industry to date, Alibaba Green Logistics 2020.
Enabled by world-class technologies, the company says, the campaign represents the joint effort across the Alibaba Group to improve material recycling, packaging, route planning and delivery methods in order to work towards a greener future.
By 2020, Cainiao will apply AI algorithms to drive smart routing in 40,000 villages that will shorten the average delivery journey by 30% in rural areas, while the deployment of new-energy vehicles to 100 cities in China will minimise carbon footprint. Cainiao will also expand the coverage of e-shipping labels, an initiative launched by the company in 2014, to 40 billion parcels by 2020.
President of Cainiao Network Lin Wan said: “The logistics industry across the world is looking for green solutions that go hand-in-hand with increased efficiencies. Cainiao, with its market-leading technology, a vast logistics data platform, partners in the Alibaba ecosystem and other industries along the supply chain, has the potential to do much more that will benefit future generations without compromising the interests of our customers now. Green is an important element in building a brighter future for the logistics industry.”
Alibaba Green Logistics 2020 will be launched across a number of the businesses in the Alibaba Group. Tmall, Taobao and Xianyu will increase the use of recycled packaging; Lingshou Tong will reuse delivery boxes to serve millions of mum-and-dad stores; and will encourage users to place orders without asking for disposable cutlery. These are some of the examples of how the Alibaba ecosystem intends to promote green logistics through this campaign.
Pursuing green logistics has been a long-term commitment for Cainiao. In 2016, Cainiao initiated the Green Logistics Project in collaboration with 32 logistics partners. The following year, the company established the Cainiao Green Alliance Foundation, China’s first charity foundation specifically focused on alleviating the logistics industry’s environmental impact. The foundation pledged RMB300 million to research the promotion of green logistics, consumption and supply chain. Driven by Cainiao’s green initiatives, in 2017 alone the company decreased its carbon footprint by 136,000 tons, saving seven million trees.

Build up domestic recycling and create 500 jobs

In the midst of the recycling crisis and the lead-up to the 27 April meeting of Australia’s environment ministers, a new report commissioned from independent experts has found that hundreds of new jobs can be created in Australia by government investment in the domestic recycling sector.
“The report by the highly regarded MRA Consulting shows that domestically remanufacturing 50% of the material formerly sent to China will lead to some 500 jobs here and reduce greenhouse gases by the same as taking 50,000 cars off the road,” ACOR’s CEO Pete Shmigel said.
“To check the China challenge, we are ready to reboot recycling as a self-sufficient sector that enables employment and prevents pollution. Ministers can support this by agreeing to a National Circular Economy & Recycling Plan that makes a one-off investment in the 3 ‘i’s’ of recycling: infrastructure, improvement and innovation.
“The promise of recycling is that what punters put in the bin becomes new products, not lumps in landfill. Our political leaders, through the policy targets they have set, are part of delivering on that promise and should continue to do so on April 27th.
“We need to make and buy more recycled content products here in Australia. Closing the loop is what’s needed for community confidence, job growth and environmental results.
“Other industries are regularly supported in transition or crisis. This sector – largely free-market based for decades – needs support now or services and jobs could go, including in country towns.
“While state governments have rightly focused on the system’s short-term survival, it’s time for all governments to jointly act for recycling’s future success,” Mr Shmigel said.
Projects under an investment injection of $150 million could include:

  • New technology to support more Australian reprocessing of mixed paper, mixed plastics and glass cullet.
  • Enhanced methods and machinery at recycling sorting centres.
  • Support for government and corporate purchasing of recycled content products.
  • A national centre for recycled content product development.
  • Education to ensure what’s collected is clean enough for recycled content product making.


Australian cold-chain industry forms food-waste advocacy group

Australia’s first advocacy group to improve compliance and standards in the handling of food at all levels of the cold chain has been established at a meeting in Queensland.
The inaugural session of the Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC) on 7 August 2017 brought together representatives from the manufacturing, food transport, refrigeration and cold chain industries.
The Council has reportedly been established in response to mounting community pressure about the costs and environmental damage of food wastage, with the AFCCC positioning itself as an important part of the solution, encouraging innovation, compliance, waste reduction and safety across the Australian food cold chain.
“The new Council is not about promoting an industry – we want to change the industry for the better, said Interim Chair, Mark Mitchell.
“One of our priorities will be to apply whatever pressure is needed in industry and in government to make sure the existing Australian standards for cold chain food handling are properly followed.
“There’s lots of rhetoric in government programs, associations and among food handlers and suppliers about commitments to food waste reduction and cold chain compliance, but little, if nothing, is being done at any level about improving the cold chain, and ensuring that standards are followed. Australia’s track record in efficient cold food handling, from farm to plate, is far from perfect.”
The interim directors of AFCCC are Stephen Elford General Manager Australia New Zealand, Carrier Transicold; Mark Mitchell, Managing Director, SuperCool Australia Pacific; Peter Lawrence, Technical Director ANZ, Thermo King; Kyle Hawker, Transport Manager, Simplot Australia; Adam Wade, National Transport Leader, Lion; Kevin Manfield, General Manager – Products & Markets, MaxiTRANS Australia; plus a nominated individual representing the transport industry.
The AFCCC asserts that on average, Australians waste 860kg of food per person annually, with at least five per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from food wastage.
Mitchell noted that Australian industry is well placed to attack the issue.
“Performance across the cold-food chain can be improved with better equipment and handling processes as well as with improved monitoring and assessment to determine where the weaknesses lie,” he said.
The new advocacy group’s first priorities will be contributing to both the development of the National Food Waste Strategy and becoming part of the CRC designed to address food waste and fraud.

Entries open for 2017 Australian Freight Industry Awards

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is now accepting entries for the 2017 Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIAs).
“Now in their 28th year, the AFIAs have grown to become one of the most coveted accolades in the Australian freight industry, and are intended to recognise and acknowledge the outstanding achievements of participants in the transport sector,” said Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA.
“Last year, judges assessed more than 40 entries across a range of categories, and we’re hopeful of receiving even more entries in 2017, showcasing the many great things transport industry participants have achieved.”
Six awards will be contested this year and organisations have been invited to nominate for one or more of the following categories:

  • Investment in People
  • Best Practice Safety
  • Application of Technology
  • Waste & Recycling
  • Young Achiever of the Year
  • Personality of the Year

“Participating in the awards, through submitting one or more entries and attending the awards presentation with your staff, is a great way to support our industry and its people,” said Anderson.
The deadline for entries is Monday, 14 August. Criteria and entry forms are available by contacting the VTA on 03 9646 8590.
Award winners and finalists will be announced at the annual AFIA presentation celebration on Saturday, 2 September at the Palladium Ballroom at Crown, Melbourne.

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