This year marks the first time the company hosted a Discovery Day at its North American facility. The “Circular Economy in Action” program featured sessions on a range of topics as well as a keynote presentation by the Plastics Industry Association (Plastics). In addition, the more than 100 attendees had the opportunity to interact with equipment demonstrations.
“Erema’s Discovery Day has already become established in Europe and the company has now held one for the first time at Erema North America in Ipswich, Massachusetts, under the title Circular Economy in Action,” Erema says in a news release. “Over 100 customers and interested attendees were given an insight into the latest technical developments emerging at Erema and discussed the current upswing of recycling in the North American plastics industry. Four Eremea recycling systems demonstrated live in action that plastic ‘waste’ has long since advanced to a secondary raw material.”
Martin Baumann, vice president of sales at Erema North America, opened the Discovery Day 2017 event, saying, “Not only the recycling industry, the entire plastics industry as a whole is experiencing drastic change.”
Erema says Baumann’s statement corresponds with the remarks made by Patty Long, executive vice president of Plastics, who, as keynote speaker, elaborated on the increasing relevance of recycling in the North American plastics industry.
Long says, “Members of the entire plastics industry are calling for more sustainable management of plastics through innovation and the creation of products that are designed for recycling, from inception to end use.”
In order to tap the full potential of recycling in the best possible way, Erema says it relies on increased and stable recyclate production quality with its systems. There are more than 650 Erema systems in operation in the U.S. and Canada, according to the company.
Baumann adds, “There is one aspect, however, which sets the USA and Canada aside from other markets, and that is their enormous growth potential. The change of thinking in the industry will without doubt be intensified by China no longer being an international customer for postconsumer waste plastic. As, unlike waste plastic, high-quality recycled pellets can still be exported to China, this represents a great opportunity for plastics recycling in North America.”
Erema adds, “The focus of the technical presentations was above all on the recycling of clean production waste and postconsumer recycling. The filter system is crucial, especially when recycling municipal postconsumer waste, to process heavily contaminated plastic to make high-quality recycled pellets. In connection with this, the new Erema business unit POWERFIL was presented for the first time. The proven melt filters are now also available as individual components for existing extrusion plants.”
Erema North America Inc. is a subsidiary of Erema Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen Ges.m.b.H, Ansfelden, Austria.
The Swedish home furnishing company says the new program is keeping with its sustainability strategy of “turning waste into resources.” Ikea launched its People and Planet Positive Sustainability strategy in October 2012. The strategy outlines moves the company plans to make to reach certain sustainability goals by 2020, including using 100 percent renewable energy.
The mattress recycling program includes old mattresses of any brand that are picked up when new Ikea mattresses are delivered, as well as all returned mattresses at Ikea stores.
“The goal is zero waste to landfill, with as much recycling as possible,” says Ikea.
“In keeping with our People and Planet Positive Sustainability strategy, Ikea has decided to take a lead in turning waste into resources. We are committed to securing recycled materials while ensuring key parts of our range are easily recycled—all contributing to a closed loop society,” says Lisa Davis, Ikea U.S. sustainability manager.
An estimated 18 million mattresses with box springs are disposed in the U.S. each year, resulting in approximately 50,000 mattresses a day ending up in landfills across America, the company says. Some of these mattresses are illegally dumped adding to great landfill waste. IKEA understands mattresses need to be recycled to conserve resources such as steel, foam, and wood that is able to be used in new products.
At a minimum, 80 percent of a mattress can be recycled, Ikea says. The fabric and foam can be turned into carpet underlay and the felt and cotton can be recycled into new felt and insulation. The wood is recycled into biofuel or other recycled wood products. The plastic and steel also are recycled.
In addition to the sustainability aspect of recycling mattresses, Ikea has created a community donation program, 5,000 Dreams, that focuses on supporting newly arrived refugee families in local Ikea store communities. Through three partner refugee organizations, Ikea says it has started to donate beds and bedding—5,000 in total in the next two years—to refugee families who are making fresh starts with their families. The three established refugee organizations are the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the International Rescue Committee and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.
Ikea says the mattress recycling service is offered for a fee of approximately $25, except in California where the service is required to be offered for free by the state due to state regulations, and is offered in all stores. The company says there will be times throughout the year when this service is offered for free if shoppers are an Ikea family member. Mattress removal service is not offered via e-commerce.
Founded in Sweden in 1943, Ikea has more than 392 stores in 48 countries, including 44 in the U.S.
Following the interim approval of the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP), the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), Washington, and North American plastic recyclers would like to verify the claim that up to 2 percent of Synvina’s PEF would be compatible in the existing PET recycling stream.
The APR recommends the following evaluations:
- the effect on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada compliance for blends of low levels of PEF in recycled PET;
- the impact of beverage and food packaging made with PEF in states that have deposit legislation;
- educational opportunities for material recovery facilities (MRFs) on strategies for sorting packaging made with PEF; and
- creating new model bale specifications to include allowed levels of PEF.
Further testing to confirm whether low levels of PEF can be blended into recycled PET (RPET) without a negative impact on processing of RPET, as well as the leading products made from RPET, including bottles, thermoforms, strapping, sheet, textile and carpet fibers.
“We appreciate the fact that Synvina has shared their information with the industry,” says Steve Alexander, president of APR. “It is encouraging to have preliminary evidence that PEF might be included in the PET recycling stream at low levels. APR will be conducting further testing with Synvina to determine levels of compatibility with PET recycling over the next several months.”
Patrick Schiffers, CEO of Synvina, says, “We are committed to contributing to a circular economy with high-barrier packaging from Synvina's biobased PEF. The EPBP interim approval in Europe is a major milestone for us, and we will continue to work closely with our partners to further assess PEF's recyclability and the compatibility with the PET stream.”]]>
The Ulsan Aluminum plant is in the industrial hub of Ulsan, South Korea. It supports increasing demand for high-strength and lightweight aluminum for automotive and specialty products, including electronics and building materials, in Asia. The plant recently completed an expansion, adding a new three-stand hot finishing mill, as well as a pusher furnace and annealing furnaces. All 600 employees at the plant are now employed by Ulsan Aluminum. In addition, the transaction will generate cash proceeds to enhance Novelis’ strategic flexibility and reduce its net debt, the company says.
“This strategic partnership further supports Novelis’ continued commitment to growth in the Asian automotive industry and creates new capabilities to meet the increasing demand for aluminum sheet,” says Sachin Satpute, president of Novelis Asia. “Through an increase in operational efficiencies and process enhancements, this partnership will provide our global customers greater access to the numerous benefits of aluminum.”
As automotive sales continue to increase in Asia, Novelis’ interest in Ulsan Aluminum will remain a key part of its current Asian portfolio, which also includes the Yeongju facility in South Korea and the Changzhou facility in China, the company says.
“Ulsan Aluminum is committed to providing first-class rolled aluminum products and services to benefit our customers in the region,” says Jerry Quick, president and CEO of Ulsan Aluminum Ltd. “We will continue to operate with a high-quality and safety-first mentality and will support the local market with innovative aluminum products.”]]>