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  • Opinion: Plastic distraction - where now for Government's 25 year Environment Plan? Politics
    Opinion: Plastic distraction - where now for Government's 25 year Environment Plan?

    Former Environment Agency boss Professor Paul Leinster and Professor Leon Terry wonder where all the attention on plastic pollution has left the 25 year Environment Plan.....

    The 25 year Environment Plan was long-awaited, and much needed in terms of setting out a vision and direction, a spur to firm planning and action ('A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment': https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/25-year-environment-plan). There's a bold statement of intent, for us to become: "the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than that in which we found it".

    Paul LeinstermainBut it's now come and gone, mostly submerged beneath the attention paid to the 'war on plastics'. The launch successfully tapped into the popular consciousness via the Blue Planet factor, but where does this approach leave all the major aims and objectives of the Plan?

    Most significantly, there's the central concept of 'natural capital' - the nation's stock of land, minerals, forests, rivers and oceans - which needs wide understanding and support. The Plan itself fully embraces the idea, recognising the importance of ensuring the natural environmental assets that we all depend on are properly accounted for, and the assessment is used to inform the country's economic activities, including industry, infrastructure, land management and spatial planning. In the context of setting out post-Brexit priorities, for example, this is the opportunity for the UK to develop a farming and land management payment system, with the protection and improvement of natural assets at its heart.

    This is going to take a shift in attitudes from across the range of stakeholders, including the general public. We need to stop thinking of the environment as the provider of free services. These services are dependent on underpinning natural assets that, at an aggregate level, are declining in value. They will not be able to sustain a given level of services without environmental, health and economic impacts. We also need to move past the typical attitude of the environment as the obstacle to development, as the problem requiring conciliation and concessions, but as one of the assets we're working with and benefiting from.

    Leon Terry cropped2 copyNatural capital requires systems and integrated thinking for opportunities to be identified. So, for example, why shouldn't farmers be paid for allowing their land to act as flood plains, diverting water away from homes and businesses? In this way they are providing 'public goods' of a particular value, that have the potential to make huge savings for public services and individuals. If landowners are incentivised to restore peatlands and uplands then there can be less soil erosion, reduced amounts of nutrients in water systems, and less need for water treatment.

    Of course, organisations and landowners can't be paid to comply with the law - this is something different, a recognition that protecting and improving natural assets can lead to tangible benefits with a clear and measurable economic return.

    Natural assets need to be included on balance sheets in the same way as any other assets an organisation has. There should also be an associated risk register and action plan to ensure that these assets are properly maintained. Natural assets often provide multiple benefits and these can be location dependent. For example trees provide timber, areas for recreation, contributing to health and wellbeing, carbon sequestration and flood risk reduction.

    An important aspect in taking forward the 25 year Environment Plan will be to identify what success looks like in 25 years' time and how this will be measured. It will also be important to identify associated intermediate milestones that will provide check points on the progress being made, and there's robust governance to oversee the implementation.

    A number of Pioneer projects testing the principles of a natural capital approach have been running since 2016: a river catchment (Cumbria), an urban area (Manchester), a landscape-based area (north Devon) and marine areas (Devon and Suffolk), all of which have delivered insights into how the theory works in practice and a template for moving forward. A workbook has been created for planners, landowners, councils and communities: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/608852/ncc-natural-capital-workbook.pdf

    No-one would deny the seriousness of the amount of plastic wastes ending up in the world's oceans, but this is only one of the challenges that needs to be addressed if the Government's central pledge is to be realised.

    • Article by Professor Paul Leinster, Professor of Environmental Assessment, Cranfield University (member of the Natural Capital Committee and former Chief Executive of the Environment Agency) and Professor Leon Terry, Director of Environment and Agrifood, Cranfield University, www.cranfield.ac.uk

  • MPs yearn for climate change talks but constituents unconcerned Politics
    MPs yearn for climate change talks but constituents unconcerned

    A university and think tank study of MPs has found that the issue of climate change rarely features amongst their constituents, who nevertheless respond to issues such as plastic pollution in the oceans following the BBC's Blue Planet II series or Sky Ocean Rescue initiatives. The study outlines approaches that may change this situation.

  • NE English £9.8m demo project set to incentivise rapid impact of electric vehicles on grid Transport
    NE English £9.8m demo project set to incentivise rapid impact of electric vehicles on grid

    Successfully managing the electric grid impact of the rapid growth of electric vehicles, anticipated in the UK, has come a step closer with the announcement of a £9.8 million Government funded Vehicle-to-Grid demonstrator project, led by Nissan and including energy firms and academia - which offers incentives to fleet and private owners.

  • Food waste superstore opens fifth outlet in Merseyside Food
    Food waste superstore opens fifth outlet in Merseyside

    A need for North West England's food manufacturers to tackle their edible waste has led to Company Shop, the UK's largest redistributor of surplus food and household products, opening its 5th new superstore in St Helens, Merseyside.

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Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd

Combined Magnetic Separation Force on display at RWM2017

For the first time, the combined Magnetic Separation force of Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd and Master Magnets will be on stand 5P80 at RWM 2017 (NEC, Birmingham, UK 12th – 14th September 2017).

Buntingweb autumn 2017Bunting Magnetics acquired Master Magnets in January 2017 and the two companies have annually exhibited separately at RWM, the UK’s leading waste and recycling show.  The joint stand will be the first time that the companies have combined forces at a major international exhibition since the acquisition.

Both Bunting and Master Magnets have a rich and long-standing history of supplying separation equipment to the recycling sector and the acquisition creates a world-leading manufacturer of Magnetic Separators, Eddy Current Separators, and Metal Detectors.

The European division of Bunting Magnetics is based in Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, UK and they have an extensive overseas network of distributors and marketing agents.  Master Magnets is based in Redditch, UK and is widely regarded as one of the premier global suppliers of Magnetic Separation technology for companies in the recycling, mineral processing, and mining sectors.

“RWM 2017 provides us [Bunting and Master Magnets] with the ideal platform to demonstrate to our customers the benefits of the new partnership,” said Dave Hills, Bunting’s Head of Sales.

A working production-sized Eddy Current Separator and High Intensity Separation Conveyor (HISC) will be on the stand at RWM.  In 2017, Master Magnets has had a record year for the sale of Eddy Current Separators, with shipments around the world.  On the stand, the Eddy Current Separator will be shown separating small non-ferrous metal particles from non-metallic materials.

Bunting MasterMagnetswebBunting’s HISC has provided recycling companies with a much-needed solution for separating stainless steel.  Since the original conception, Bunting has developed variants and recently released the SSSC to recover stainless steel of a size up to 13cm (5”).

“Our stand will be interactive and dynamic,” said Dave Hills. “We want visitors to witness metal separation first hand.  Ideally, we want people to bring samples.”

The Bunting Magnetics and Master Magnets stand is focused on recovering and separating metals.  In the recycling sector, this includes separating beverage cans from household refuse using an Overband Magnet; stainless steel from shredded computer hard-drives with the HISC, and small non-ferrous metals in an automobile shredding operation with an Eddy Current Separator.

“Recovering or removing metal is a vital stage in the recycling process.  Our Metal Separators are used to recover metal for on-sale as with UBCs, and to remove problematic metal as found in materials such as reclaimed plastic.  Fortunately, our team has a great deal of knowledge and experience and we work closely with companies to maximise the separation or recovery of the metal.”

Bunting logo autumn 2017webA mobile Metal Separation Module incorporating a high-intensity Magnetic Drum (for ferrous metal separation) followed by an Eddy Current Separator (for non-ferrous metal separation) has recently been launched by Master Magnets and technical information will be available on the stand.  

Also promoted at RWM 2017 will be the popular range of Master Magnets Overband Magnets.  The designs include both permanent and electromagnetic configurations.  The permanent Overband Magnet is commonly used in Materials Recovery Facilities across the UK and Europe to recover steel from pre-segregated waste.  Larger and more powerful electromagnetic Overbands are used for more arduous environments and applications.

With Bunting combining forces with Master Magnets, we now have a range of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors to suit all applications.  We are looking forward to meeting and helping visitors solve their metal separation problems at RWM,” said Dave Hills.

www.buntingeurope.com