News in brief (04/10/2022)

With news on: Coca-Cola to attach caps to more bottles; Leicestershire company fined £80,000 after fall; Environment Agency crushes truck in ‘waste crime’ probe; Broadland expands food waste collections trial; and, MBA Polymers UK opens £400,000 post-production plastics facility.


Coca-Cola to attach caps to more bottles

Coca Cola Great Britain (CCGB) announced last week (28 September) it is extending its range of containers with the caps attached to 500ml bottles.

The design enables the cap to stay connected to the bottle after opening, “making it easier to recycle the entire package.”

The company has extended the range of bottles that come with an attached cap to 500ml bottles

The move comes after the company started production of bottles with attached caps in May, the roll-out beginning with 1.5l bottles (see letsrecycle.com story).

The manufacturer said it has now rolled out the attached caps design on 500ml bottles of Coca Cola Original Taste, Coca Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke and Fanta Zero. It added that it will extend across all Coca-Cola brands and pack sizes by early 2024.

Jon Woods, general manager at CCGB, said: “This small but significant change helps to ensure that when consumers recycle our bottles, the caps stay attached and don’t get left behind as litter.”

The company has also pledged to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one sold by 2025.

A report published by environmental non-profit organisation Planet Patrol in May claimed the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Heineken International were responsible for nearly a quarter (23%) of all branded litter in 2021.


Leicestershire company fined £80,000 after fall

A Leicestershire-based construction company has been fined £80,000 after an employee suffered “serious injuries” falling through a fragile roof, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says.

The HSE said that an employee of Cairns Heritage Homes Limited was repairing the roof of Nottingham Recycling Limited’s facility on 1 August 2019 when he fell approximately 7m to the floor below.

Cairns Heritage Homes was fined and ordered to pay costs of £9,981 at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court (picture: Shutterstock)

The regulator added that even though a scaffold tower had been constructed for access to the roof, the safety measures in place were “inadequate”.

“The worker accessed the roof, attempting to devise his own ad-hoc working methods which included constructing a makeshift ladder from wooden planks,” the HSE said.

Cairns Heritage Homes was fined and ordered to pay costs of £9,981 at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court last week (28 September).

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Philip Gratton said: “Those in control of work on fragile roofs and other work at height have a responsibility to devise safe methods of work and to provide the necessary information, instruction, training and supervision of their workers.”


Environment Agency crushes truck in ‘waste crime’ probe

The Environment Agency reported last week (27 September) that it has seized and crushed a Ford tipper truck it claims belongs to a “waste crime group” operating at various London sites.

The Agency said the vehicle was removed from an address at Chesham, Buckinghamshire, during a wider probe into organised waste crime.

The Environment Agency crushed the vehicle after seizing it in Buckinghamshire (picture: Environment Agency)

In a statement, the regulator said: “The white van had been seen reportedly dumping waste on open land, in empty warehouses and other sites in Croydon, Merton, Mitcham and Southwark in the past year.”

According to the Agency, material left at the sites included construction waste, tyres and waste from house clearances.

The Agency said its officers continue to investigate the vehicle’s owners, who failed to come forward to claim it before it was destroyed.

Matt Higginson, an environment manager for the Agency in the South East, said: “Seizing vehicles involved in waste crime is an important weapon in our armoury to disrupt waste criminals and can make a real difference to local communities blighted by illegal dumping of waste.

“Crushing suspected offenders’ vehicles is one of the tactics of Operation Angola, which investigates large-scale illegal dumping of commercial waste.”


Broadland expands food waste collections trial

Broadland district council rolled out food waste collections across the whole of the Norfolk district yesterday (3 October), adding an additional 30,000 households to the service.

The council already collected food waste weekly from 30,000 households across the district’s urban areas. Broadland said it had recycled more than 2,600 tonnes of waste food in the last year.

Defra food waste
Broadland district council says it has recycled more than 2,600 tonnes of waste food in the last year (picture: Shutterstock)

The local authority has plans to extend the service further from November, including to residents in flats.

The additional households have received a 23l outdoor container to be left out for collection, a smaller kitchen caddy for use indoors, an information leaflet explaining the food recycling process and a roll of bio-degradable liners, with more provided free of charge as needed.

Cllr Judy Leggett, portfolio holder for environmental excellence, said: “As well as reducing harm to the planet and protecting the environment, this forward-looking step will bring real benefits to our district.

“The food waste we collect will be used to generate electricity and as fertiliser for use in farming.”

The council added that the service is expected to increase its recycling rate, which is currently at 49%. The local authority’s waste and recycling collections are carried out by Veolia.


MBA Polymers UK opens £400,000 post-production plastics facility

EMR has announced the opening of a facility at its Duddeston site in Birmingham which aims to create a “closed loop” supply chain for post-industrial plastics.

Metal recycler EMR is the parent company of MBA Polymers UK, its plastics recycling arm. The company said the facility would allow UK manufacturers to cut plastic waste from their production lines and “buy back” recycled material.

Paul Mayhew, general manager at MBA Polymers UK

EMR said the £400,000 Duddeston facility joins MBA Polymers UK’s original facility in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, and a separation line in Dover which was acquired in 2019.

MBA Polymers UK aims to produce 100,000 tonnes of recycled plastic by 2030, EMR says, with Duddeston set to provide between 13,000 and 15,000 tonnes of this goal.

Paul Mayhew, general manager at MBA Polymers UK, said: “Not only will this facility allow manufacturers to join a closed loop supply chain to recycle their post-production plastics, but the location of this new site will also reduce the transportation required to achieve this.

“Duddeston is the latest step in our wider strategic goal of creating a nationwide network of recycling facilities for both post-consumer and post-industrial plastics.”

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