Sims’ who claim to be the worlds largest recyclers of electronic equipment, have announced a new recycling plant at its Billingham facility, which will use innovative technology developed in-house to strip a range of plastics back to single polymers – almost as good as virgin material – before selling them back into the market.
The £9m facility is one of the biggest of its kind in the world, four times bigger than any in Europe – and is expected to increase recycling targets for the UK. The company is building the plant at the former Wincanton site, which it took over in 2010.
The EU has passed a new law to further reduce the amount of WEEE being dumped in landfill sites.
From 2016 EU member states will have to collect 45 tonnes of e-waste for every 100 tonnes of electronic goods put on sale during the previous three years. By 2019 the target will have to rise to 65 tonnes, or member states can opt to collect 85% of total e-waste generated.
BIS and DEFRA launch new Resource Security Plan in response to concerns about the rapid decline in naturally occurring resources which are used in everyday products such as mobile phones and other key electronic equipment.
The new plan details how the Government recognises these issues, provides a new framework for business action to address resource risks, and sets out high level actions to build on the developing partnership between Government and businesses to address resource concerns.
New figures released by the Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) reveal that the thousands of tonnes of e-waste produced in the UK each year represents a multi-billion pound reycling opportunity.
The report found that almost a quarter of the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) discarded by households each year could be re-used either straight away or resold after repair and refurbishment. This could generate gross revenues of more than £220m a year whilst extracting valuable resources like gold, silver and copper found in items such as mobile phones.
Dr Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP, says that between now and 2020 UK electronic waste will total 12 million tonnes, providing a massive opportunity for re-use and extraction of precious raw materials.
“At the risk of stating the obvious, if we are reusing goods that contain precious metals, we are reducing the pressure on extracting new raw materials for use at the beginning of that long supply chain,” she said. “The end result would be that we’d be taking step closer towards that elusive closed loop economic model, and there would be financial, environmental and individual benefits that accrued.”
Source: Business Green