While waste reduction charity WRAP calls on stakeholders to do their part to help improve recycling consistency and efficiency in England, three companies in France have partnered on a circular economy initiative for small household appliances.
Today, WRAP announced the start of the second phase of its cross-industry project to improve household waste and recycling collections in England. The organization will further investigate the scenarios, models and approaches to improving recycling consistency identified in the project’s first phase, as well as publish the findings in a report this summer.
“We are looking to develop a vision for England that will offer local authorities a way to recycle greater volumes of higher quality materials whilst reducing costs, delivering good services to residents and supporting growth in the recycling sector. It won’t be a one size fits all solution and we want to work with local authorities, to demonstrate the business case for change,” Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP, said. “This is not just about what local authorities do though, all parts of the value chain have a role to play in achieving greater consistency and improving recycling.”
Resources Minister Rory Stewart added, “I urge the whole waste sector to work together with us over the coming years to deliver greater consistency in the way we recycle.”
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Meanwhile, environmental services company Veolia and household equipment manufacturer Group SEB partnered to develop a circular model for small appliances. The companies saw an opportunity to use the recycled materials generated at Veolia’s facility in Angers, France in Groupe SEB’s new appliances. The first product to use the recycled material is the SEB steam generator.
Local electronic waste collection organization and advocacy group Eco-systèmes was also involved in establishing the model. Eco-systèmes supplies the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) for Veolia’s Angers facility, which processes 45,000 metric tons of small appliances, such as irons, kettles and hair dryers each year. These are sorted and recovered as recycled raw materials at the site. Veolia claims the facility recycles 91 percent of small appliance components. However, only the plastic is currently being used in the steam generator, for its case.
Veolia adjusted its recycled plastic to achieve material quality similar to that of the virgin material to comply with Groupe SEB’s requirements, then optimized the flow of the recycled raw material supplied to Groupe SEB’s production plant to guarantee regular and durable infeed. Groupe SEB adjusted its product manufacturing process to accommodate the new material. Eco-systèmes supported the assessment of the environmental impact of the use of the recycled plastic in the SEB steam generator.
“Our partnership with Groupe SEB and Eco-systèmes is a perfect example of a complete circular economy loop. For the first time, we are involved in the design and manufacturing process of a small household appliance,” said Bernard Harambillet, the CEO of Veolia’s waste recycling & recovery business in France. “Our goal is to achieve large-scale growth for this business model, which replaces virgin material with recycled raw material in industrial manufacturing processes while complying with quality, quantity and cost requirements.”
WRAP has a related project in the UK: Announced in October, WRAP is leading a €2.1 million project exploring commercial opportunities for harvesting critical raw materials and precious metals from everyday end-of-life electronic products.