News in brief (04/08/2023)

With news on: Tesco trials sustainable ‘pillow packs’ for fresh mince; MYGroup and Nimbuscare collect 75’000 blister packs across York; Revolution Zero develops ‘modular laundry system’;Godswill baler installed at Swindon recycling site; and, JCB JS20MH purchased by WRC Recycling.

Tesco trials sustainable ‘pillow packs’ for fresh mince

Tesco has introduced a trial of ‘pillow packs’ for its fresh mince products in select stores in a move to reduce plastic packaging.

Tesco is to use new ‘pillow packs’ to reduce the use of plastic packaging
(Picture: Tesco)

The new packaging, which uses 70% less plastic compared to traditional tray/top wrap packs, is currently being tested on two mince varieties by the retailer.

The ‘pillow packs’ are different to vacuum packs, instead of being compressed, the slightly inflated ‘pillow’ design ensures that the mince remains in “perfect condition while minimising its environmental impact”.

Dom Morrey, Tesco commercial director for fresh, said: “As well as looking for great value when they shop, customers want to see less plastic packaging in their trolleys. Pillow packs are a win-win: they keep the mince in perfect condition while requiring much less plastic. “
“Removing or reducing unnecessary plastic is an important way that Tesco can reduce its environmental impact. We’re proud of what we have done so far but continue to look for ways to do more.”

The supermarket giant aims to gauge customer feedback during the trial, and if the response is positive, it plans to expand the new packaging to more stores and across a wider range of product lines.

Other retailers, such as Sainsburys, have also used different packaging for mince products although Sainsburys in for some criticism that its more vacuum packaged approach squashed the mince too much.

MYGroup and Nimbuscare collect blister packs around York

Yorkshire waste management firm, MYGroup, working with primary care provider Nimbuscare, say they have together collected over 75,000 blister packs from across 22 practices and pharmacies in the York area.

Collection points are available across York area
(Picture: Shutterstock)

The initiative provides a sustainable solution for blister packs, which are not typically recyclable through local authority kerbside collections. MYGroup takes charge of processing the collected blister packs at its facility in Hull, East Yorkshire, where the waste material is separated and transformed into new products like MYboard.

The scheme was spearheaded by Dr Rumina Önaç, GP at York’s Old School Medical Practice who is also sustainability lead for Nimbuscare. She said: ‘It’s been wonderful to see the scheme gain momentum since launching in February. There’s been real engagement from the patient community and the huge number of packs processed so far is testament to this. Knowing that each one deposited will live again as completely new material makes the whole scheme all the more rewarding.”

Revolution Zero develops ‘modular laundry system’

Modular laundry unit in Newham, Truro (Picture: Dr Tom Dawson)

Revolution-Zero, a medical textile firm, has developed a ‘modular laundry system’ for reusing PPE.

The funding for the project came from private investment and a small business research innovation (SBRI) contract.

The reusable surgical gowns and drapes are certified for up to 75 reuse cycles, significantly reducing medical textile waste, the company states. Unlike traditional centralised laundry facilities for reusable PPE, the modular system is mobile and transportable by truck. It offers improved efficiency while minimising time delays, transportation, and carbon costs associated with distance, Revolution-Zero said.

Dr Tom Dawson, founder of Revolution-Zero and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Business School, said: “The realisation of our first ZERO-DECON medical textiles processing unit in Cornwall is a major milestone for us in our drive to displace, through circular economy solutions, single-use from healthcare supplies in the UK and worldwide.”

St Michael’s Hospital in Cornwall is the first facility to benefit from this technology, which enables the processing of reusable facemasks, surgical gowns, and operating theatre drapes.

Godswill baler installed at Swindon recycling site

Godswill baler (Picture: Thamesdown)

Thamesdown Recycling has installed a Godswill twin ram baler supplied by Whitham Mills at its site in Swindon.

The new baler has been introduced to address the growing waste streams, particularly mixed paper and cardboard, which require efficient baling once sorted. This addition will not only boost waste capacity and throughput but also help streamline the processing of single stream recyclables, said Thamesdown.

With the new Godswill baler, Thamesdown Recycling now has two twin ram balers on-site, including a Harris Baler. This dual setup allows the company to handle diverse waste streams, ranging from hard plastics and aluminium cans to film grades and paper, it explained.

JCB handler purchased by WRC Recycling

Renfrewshire-based WRC Recycling has purchased a new JCB JS20MH materials handler for handling construction and demolition waste at its materials recycling facilities in Inchinnan.

The JCB handler in use at WRC Recycling (picture: JCB)

The JCB JS20MH, equipped with a hydraulically raised cab and selector grab, sorts materials and has a processing capacity of 40 tonnes-per-hour.

WRC Recycling Commodities & Operations Director, Colin Blakely said: “The JS20MH is performing very well and the operator likes it which is an key factor for us.

“The elevated cab provides maximum visibility to safely, quickly and efficiently sort through the material before loading. We see it as a key machine to feed the plant and help us drive and increase our future productivity. The service support on the machine from Scot JCB is also second to none.”

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