International news: Europe

Creation of PU foam market

Manufacturer Dow and Eco-mobilier, the French mattress and furniture producer organisation, are collaborating on the collection and supply of post-consumer polyurethane (PU) foam. Eco-mobilier collect and dismantle the mattresses and supply the foam to Orrion Chemicals Orgaform’s chemical recycling unit in Semoy. Dow will then use chemical recycling to convert this recovered foam into new PU raw materials, and work towards creating a market for them.

Recyclers bought out

Mitsubishi Chemical plans to acquire two German carbon fibre recycling companies, CFK Valley Stade Recycling and carboNXT, through its Advanced Materials subsidiary in Switzerland. CFK has a network to collect scrap generated during the moulding of intermediate materials such as carbon fibre prepreg, and the technology to recycle these materials into usable forms of carbon fibre. In turn, carboNXT sells the recycled products.

Dairy residues under test

Wastewater and milk residue from dairies are being turned into products such as fertiliser and bioplastics. Dr JJ Leahy is leading a project called Reflow at the University of Limerick in the Irish Republic, which aims to recover phosphorous. “We want to produce a range of phosphorous-rich fertilisers and test them against conventional mineral fertilisers,” he said.

Sustainable golfing

Spain’s Lumine Golf Club has an ambition to be the country’s most sustainable golf course. Located 100km south of Barcelona, all decisions start with an ‘eco-first’ strategy, especially for any purchases or adjustments to the course. New waste bins, golf club washers, welcome podiums and plant pots are made from 100% recycled plastic milk containers, while wooden golf tees in the shop have replaced plastic variations. Lumine is now operating without plastic water bottles following the installation of water fountains on-course.

EfW firms plan merger

Whitehelm Capital and Daimyo have agreed to merge their energy-from-waste activities in Norway under a joint venture, Saren Energy. The company will bring together the 32.4MW Sarpsborg Avfallsenergi and 25MW Kvitebjørn Bio-El plants, and will deliver more than 300GWh of steam and heat to a district heating network and local industries.

Mattresses are broken down

Basf as devised a chemical recycling process for used mattresses which breaks down flexible PU back to its two building blocks. Lab tests have successfully started at the Schwarzheide site in Germany, and first pilot volumes will be delivered to project partners later this year . However, it is likely to be several year s before mattresses with recycled materials are commercially available because “the project is technically complex”.

Recycled plastic ‘difficulty’

By 2030, half of all plastic packaging in Estonia must be recyclable. Campaigners say work must start now, but supermarket chain Rimi believes it is not possible to manage without plastic. Responsible business manager Katrin Bats said: “Plastic was created...to ensure food safety and prolong its life. It has actually been a great help in reducing food waste.” She said it is currently difficult to make long-term plans for plastic packaging because of constant new solutions.

Source - MRW