HSE International

North West based ESL Fuels fined after oil tank blast

During a waste oil recovery process, ESL Fuels contractors cut into a sealed pipe, which caused flammable gases within the pipe to ignite and blast the lid …

Recycling company fined after worker crushed by roller shutter door

In April 2015, the Recresco employee was injured when the door’s roller barrel fell on him, resulting in three cracked ribs and a damaged spleen…

Man killed after collision with heavy goods vehicle at UPM Shotton Paper Mill, Deeside Industrial Estate

North Wales Police were called to the UPM Shotton Paper Mill on Monday (6 Feb) after reports of the collision. The man was declared dead by paramedics…

Pentas Flora Sdn Bhd: Chasing Excellence in Safety

Pentas Flora is a pioneering scheduled waste management business based in Malaysia that focuses on producing ecological re-refined oil products…

France bans plastic cutlery and crockery

The new law ensures that producers of disposable plates, cups and cutlery make their products with biologically sourced materials that can be composted.

HSE calls for waste sector collaboration on safety

Cross-industry collaboration and support for small and medium sized waste businesses is needed if the sector is to improve its health and safety record.

Five dead after wall collapses at recycling site in Nechells

An investigation into what happened is now underway. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been notified and are assisting officers at the scene.

Swindon council to pilot plastics-to-fuel technology

The council is working to install the machinery which turns non-recyclable mixed plastic waste into ‘Plaxx’, a ‘clean hydrocarbon product’.

Oxfordshire company guilty of allowing waste crime

Environment Agency prosecuted a company and an individual associated with the company for allowing illegal waste activities.

Mr David Crossley Cooke was described by the sentencing Judge, HHJ Eccles QC, as the controlling mind of Tapecrown Limited, which owns Chowle Farm , a site off the A420 near Faringdon, Oxfordshire, also known as Faringdon Business Park. The defendants appeared at Oxford Crown Court on Monday 25 January 2016.

Tapecrown Ltd was fined £20,000 with the costs to be determined at a later date. Mr Crossley Cooke was fined £4,000 with costs also to be determined at a later date.

Between April 2010 and June 2013, various waste operations took place at Faringdon Business Park. In particular, a skip hire business operated illegally from the site, and another tenant deposited large quantities of tyres.

All commercial waste activities are regulated by the Environment Agency. Whenever waste is stored or treated, the operator is required to hold an environmental permit or register for an exemption, which is reserved for low-risk waste activities only.

The Court heard that Tapecrown Ltd allowed the storage, treatment and burning of waste at the Faringdon premises without the necessary permits.

Two individuals have already been convicted of waste offences committed at Faringdon Business Park during the charge period. Mr David Ham pleaded guilty in 2011 to depositing controlled waste likely to cause pollution to the environment or harm to human health between April 2010 and March 2011, and to operating a regulated facility, a waste transfer station, without an environment permit over the same period. Mr Wayne Clarke pleaded guilty in December 2012 to operating a regulated facility, recovering metal components from wheels of vehicles and storing or depositing the tyres, without an environment permit between October 2011 and January 2012.

In July 2013 Mr Ham pleaded guilty to further offences of failing to comply with a court order to remove waste from the site and of keeping controlled waste likely to cause pollution to the environment or harm to human health between June 2012 and January 2013.

Tapecrown Ltd knowingly permitted these waste crimes to be carried out at Faringdon Business Park. The waste operations occurred on the company’s land over a prolonged period of time, April 2010 to June 2013. The Environment Agency wrote to the company repeatedly and advised as to what had been witnessed on site and reported by others. David Crossley Cooke was present during many of the visits made by Environment Agency officers; and lives only a few hundred metres away from the site.

Jack Knight of the Environment Agency said:

It is very disappointing that Mr Crossley Cooke continued to allow the operation of an illegal site despite having an understanding of his responsibilities.

The net is closing in on people who think they can make easy money undercutting legitimate waste businesses by putting the local environment at risk. We are constantly gathering information on illegal waste sites, criminal activities and environmental crime in Oxfordshire and across the south east.

We are taking a zero tolerance approach against offenders. In cases like this where individuals consistently operate illegally, we have absolutely no hesitation in prosecuting them as we want to make sure that waste crime doesn’t pay.

This extends to landowners and their agents who fail to take steps to prevent such offences once they are made aware of them.

To report any illegal dumping or waste crime please call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Original Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/oxfordshire-company-guilty-of-allowing-waste-crime?utm_content=buffer9e54d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

More plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, says Ellen MacArthur

One refuse truck’s-worth of plastic is dumped into the sea every minute, and the situation is getting worse

As a record-breaking sailor, Dame Ellen MacArthur has seen more of the world’s oceans than almost anyone else. Now she is warning that there will be more waste plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, unless the industry cleans up its act.

According to a new Ellen MacArthur Foundation report launched at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, new plastics will consume 20% of all oil production within 35 years, up from an estimated 5% today.

Plastics production has increased twentyfold since 1964, reaching 311m tonnes in 2014, the report says. It is expected to double again in the next 20 years and almost quadruple by 2050.

Despite the growing demand, just 5% of plastics are recycled effectively, while 40% end up in landfill and a third in fragile ecosystems such as the world’s oceans.

Much of the remainder is burned, generating energy, but causing more fossil fuels to be consumed in order to make new plastic bags, cups, tubs and consumer devices demanded by the economy.

Illustration: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Decades of plastic production have already caused environmental problems.

The report says that every year “at least 8m tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean – which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050

“In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish [by weight].”

 

Illustration: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

A carelessly discarded plastic bag can break down in the sea, especially in warmer waters, but the process releases toxic chemicals that may be digested by fish and end up in the human food chain.

Research released a year ago found there were more than 5tn pieces of plastic floating in the seas, many just 5mm across. Larger items can be a threat to sea life such as turtles and seals, which swallow them.

Scientists have also found that countless tiny fragments drift to the bottom of the oceans, carpeting the sea bed. The environmental and health impact of this is unknown.

The report concludes that the plastics industry is comprehensively failing to address these issues.

Dr Martin R Stuchtey of the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, who helped produce the report, said a wave of innovation could be transformative.

“Plastics are the workhorse material of the modern economy, with unbeaten properties,” he said. “However they are also the ultimate single-use material. Growing volumes of end-of-use plastics are generating costs and destroying value to the industry. After-use plastics could, with circular economy thinking, be turned into valuable feedstock.”

The plastics recycling industry is also reeling from the recent plunge in the price of oil. At $30 (£21) a barrel, it is more expensive to recover plastics and process their hydrocarbons to recycle them than to use virgin crude.

Solving the problem will not be easy, especially as the industry is under pressure to produce more to meet growing demand from emerging markets. Bioplastics are currently more expensive to make than the petro-alternative, and recycling systems are inefficient.

Ellen MacArthur has become an advocate for ‘circular economy’. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

MacArthur, who broke the record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2005, says fundamental reform is needed. Her vision is for a “new plastics economy” in which the industry, governments and citizens work together to ensure that plastics never become waste and cut the leakage into natural systems.

“Linear models of production and consumption are increasingly challenged by the context within which they operate, and this is particularly true for high-volume, low-value materials such as plastic packaging,” she said.

One part of the solution is to rethink the way goods are packaged, cutting the demand for plastic. Water-soluble film, for example, can be used to wrap small items. Hard-to-recycle plastics such as PVC and expandable polystyrene could be phased out.

Manufacturers could redesign plastic items so they can be reused better, and rethink their production methods to make recycling easier. More products could be made out of plastics which can be composted on an industrial scale, including rubbish bags for organic waste and food packaging for outdoor events, canteens and fast food outlets.

The report admits, however, that a “moonshot” approach is also needed, to create plastics that can be both recycled and composted. Currently it is one or the other. Other options are to develop “bio-benign” plastics, or chemical tagging to stop used plastics slipping through the system and into the sea.

  • MacArthur will be outlining the issues on Friday at the WEF’s annual meeting in Davos.

Original Source: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/19/more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-sea-by-2050-warns-ellen-macarthur