News in brief | Reconomy acquires Waste Source Ltd

Reconomy has acquired Waste Source Ltd, further strengthening its proposition for business and industry customers in the UK. 

Waste Source, based in Bristol and formed in 2010, is an independent waste broker providing waste collection, recycling and disposal solutions to businesses primarily in commercial sectors such as retail and hospitality.

Key customers include Oakfurnitureland, Extra, Giggling Squid and Turtle Bay.

This is the second completed acquisition in final quarter of 2020 and demonstrates Reconomy’s commitment to continuing their ‘significant growth’ in the UK, following their first foray into the international market with the recent deal to buy German-based packaging compliance provider, Noventiz.

Commenting on the deal, Reconomy’s CEO, Paul Cox, said: “Following our recent ground-breaking acquisition activity in Europe, we’re delighted to welcome Waste Source to the Reconomy Group – a move that helps strengthen our UK SME and trade waste proposition and allows an even broader profile of customers to benefit from Reconomy’s technology-enabled approach.

“In recent years we have put a lot of focus on the development of our business and industry sector. Waste Source will bring even more expertise, capability and experience into the group as part of that strategy and we look forward to working with the team”.


Waste Tech startup appoints Ex-Royal Mail Technology Chief

Waste recognition software startup, greyparrot, has appointed ex-Royal Mail Chief Technology Officer, Jochen Alt (pictured right) to lead the company’s tech team in the development of large-scale AI waste analytics.

greyparrot’s AI solution, which is deployed on moving conveyor belts in materials recovery facilities (MRFs), provides real-time analysis on 100% of waste flows.

Jochen has a track record of ‘successful implementation of large-scale projects’ of up to £30m in T-Systems, Royal Mail, Deutsche Bank and DB Systems, greyparrot says.

In his previous role as CTO of Royal Mail, Jochen led the transformation of a classic IT department into an agile team solving complex optimization problems involving IoT (Internet of Things) and data analytics.

Commenting on his appointment, Jochen said: “Joining a company that combines a compelling business case with a technical challenge that requires top talent is amazing. I am also keen to help solve one of the major problems of the planet and will use my experience to deliver a top-notch AI solution and rock-solid software engineering for the waste and recycling industry.”

Co-founder and CEO of greyparrot, Mikela Druckman, commented: “Jochen’s expertise and his passion for what we do will help us deliver the most accurate waste analytics and waste recognition system to solve problems along the flow of waste. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”

Jochen joins a rapidly expanding team with greyparrot making recent strategic hires of Deep Learning engineers and software engineers from HuaWei, Any Vision, Ocado, Cisco and Microsoft.


WasteAid announces new partnership

RED-PLAST is an approved government supplier for products with recycled content

WasteAid has announced a new partnership with RED-PLAST (Eco Collect) in Douala, Cameroon, a private sector organisation that has been delivering waste collection, recycling and manufacturing services in Douala for over five years.

Given RED-PLAST’s success in the sector, WasteAid is delighted to have engaged them in the current project. RED-PLAST is well-established in Douala and throughout Cameroon and their contribution to the WasteAid programme will support participants to find employment in the formal waste management sector.

In Cameroon, RED-PLAST is an approved government supplier for products with recycled content and their role in the programme will have an immediate and positive impact on WasteAid’s work. Rodrigue Ngonde, RED-PLAST General Manager said: “RED-PLAST is happy to work alongside WasteAid to step up the fight against plastic waste pollution in Douala and the creation of green jobs, mainly for underprivileged populations.”

In spring 2019, donations from WasteAid’s supporters were matched by the UK government under the UK AID match funding scheme which aims to reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Close to £200,000 was raised to prevent plastics pollution in the Cameroon estuary and Atlantic Ocean. Since then, WasteAid has been working with its network on the ground to support vulnerable and marginalised people in the coastal city of Douala to become plastic recycling entrepreneurs.

The programme participants will include unemployed youth, vulnerable women and those less physically able.

Alongside waste collection and plastic sorting skills, the participants will gain business skills and build relationships with local companies, markets and local councils.

The overall aim is the reduction of ocean bound plastics in Douala through a scalable model, that offers plastic recycling opportunities, as well as livelihoods support and income generation for those who need it most.

Participants are now being recruited and will undergo training on one of the four key elements in their journey to becoming waste entrepreneurs.

  • Waste collection and sorting
  • Fabrication of products using waste plastics
  • Commercial skills
  • Community sensitisation and communication campaigns

Ceris Turner-Bailes, WasteAid CEO said: “Sharing waste management expertise with vulnerable young people and women and those less physically able is a vital element of WasteAid’s work. By partnering with RED-PLAST, we are improving the economic outlook of participants by embedding them into an existing successful enterprise with the opportunity for long term employment.

“ In this programme, our focus is to stop ocean plastics pollution through locally appropriate solutions and with our comprehensive approach this programme will contribute to the achievement of at least 8 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our model is cost-effective, scalable and impactful, and supports people who are most in need. We will be posting regular updates from Douala to share our experience and successes, so please sign up to the WasteAid newsletter for more good news stories.”


Ferrero & Nutella boosts sustainability credentials

The Ferrero Group shares its latest updates on its commitment for 100% of packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The latest updates include a raft of new activities and collaborations including Nutella joining forces with Loop and Carrefour in Paris, France for a new 10-store reuse pilot scheme, Ferrero becoming a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation – taking part in the New Plastics Economy (NPEC) Initiative, as well as new recyclable packaging for Kinder Happy Hippo and a new alliance with 4evergreen.

Through the new Loop and Carrefour scheme, shoppers will be able to purchase a specially designed reusable Nutella jar from the 10 pilot stores and the Carrefour website for which they pay a deposit.

Carrefour will then collect the empty jars for washing and reuse.

Ferrero’s in-house design team worked closely with Loop’s experts to develop the new pilot Nutella jar, the first of its kind, which meets all the needed criteria for reuse.

The result of this collaboration – a specially designed jar which is durable, safe, hygienic and which features an optimised label and seal that can be easily removed during the wash cycle.

Collection programmes across France are already available for consumers to recycle the current Nutella glass jars and plastic caps. However, through this pilot scheme, Ferrero, Loop and other leading brands will be able to test operationally and from a consumer perspective what benefits the reuse platform can bring as a collective model.

“We are continuing to make good progress on our journey to make 100% of our packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025,” said Fabio Mora, Global Packaging Director of the Ferrero Group.

“I am very pleased to announce an exciting new reuse partnership with Loop and Carrefour for Nutella and that Ferrero has become a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, taking part in the New Plastics Economy (NPEC) Initiative, where we are looking forward to working with the other participants to drive action and promote innovation.

“The new recyclable packaging for Kinder Happy Hippo, and the alliance with 4evergreen are further important steps forward that underline our commitment to working in collaboration with others and we look forward to sharing further updates on our progress soon,” said Fabio Mora, Global Packaging Director of the Ferrero Group.

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