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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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Condorchem Envitech

Experts in Wastewater & Air Treatment for 25 years in the Automotive Industry

From the automotive manufacturing industry there are two main areas of environmental impact:

1) Waste water and liquid waste from a number of processes resulting in oily emulsions, effluents contaminated with metals, cleaning substances, acid pickling and phosphate used baths as well as rinsing water, demoulding and hydraulic fluids among others.

2) Air emissions in the form of VOCs and VICs.

Condorchem EnvitechCondorchem Envitech provides treatment solutions to avoid this environmental impact.

There are various available technologies for treatment within this area. Condorchem Envitech have experience in supplying treatment plants utilizing the following technology options:

Vacuum Evaporation plants ENVIDEST® MVR, MFE, Heat Pump.

Crystallization plants DESALT®

Fixed bed Biological reactors BIOCARB®

Thermal Oxidisers

Activated Carbon Filters for air and water

Reverse Osmosis

Membrane Separation

Demineralization plants

In the majority of projects that Condorchem have completed in the industry, the most utilized technologies are Vacuum Evaporation and Crystallization systems.

In the majority of projects, the objective is to concentrate the volume of waste, lower external disposal costs and ensure that there is no detrimental environmental impact. In a number of projects there has also been the opportunity to employ a Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) system; within which the volume is concentrated but as well as this, within the effluent there is a material that can be recovered and reused in the process or sold to introduce a profit stream.

Condorchem Envitech logoSo in addition to removing environmental impact, and saving money on a process of external disposal (which otherwise comes at a significant cost) a ZLD system can introduce a profit stream, providing a very attractive return of investment in a number of projects.

As well as the option of utilizing a material for possible commercial gain, there may also be an option to instead reuse the material in the manufacturing process. One good example for this in the automotive industry could be in auxiliary part manufacturing where salt baths are used for setting different components. This effluent can be treated in a crystallization system, which enables reuse of the salts in the original system and clean distilled water which is also reused in the process. Resource recovery like this is one of the speciality areas of knowledge and experience of Condorchem.

Condorchem has worked on projects in the automotive industry in Europe, Latin America and North America and have worked with companies such as Suzuki, Mercedes Benz, GKN, ZF, Mahle, Sumitomo, Borgwarner and DANA.  

The key within these projects is in the design, and the service that is offered by Condorchem is always in providing a design that is specified completely to the requirements of the application. Every project is different, always utilizing the best available technologies and ensuring the most efficient working design, the protection of our environment and a financially beneficial process to our clients.

To learn moreabout Condorchem visit www.condorchem.com

If you have any questions or comments, or you would like some advice on an application in which you have waste water or air to treat, you can contact our Business Development Manager Lisa Caswell directly:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
+44 (203) 4992657