Recycling services provider and consumer goods company will explore collection opportunities and emerging technology. Also, hair care company commits to increasing postconsumer recycled content in its bottles.

Nestlé and Veolia Environnement, two Europe-based companies with global presences, have announced an agreement to collaborate on recycling and waste collection and sorting with an emphasis on plastics and flexible plastic packaging. The two firms say they have identified projects that “will focus on 11 priority countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.”

The partnership will also explore technologies to establish viable models of recycling in different countries. This includes chemical recycling technologies like pyrolysis, which the companies say is capable of producing virgin quality plastic from scrap materials. “These technologies will help Nestlé to increase the recycled content of its bottled water packaging to 35 percent and its overall product packaging to 15 percent by 2025,” the two firms state in a joint news release.

“Plastic waste is a challenge that requires an ecosystem of solutions all working simultaneously,” comments Magdi Batato, executive vice president and head of operations of Switzerland-based Nestlé. “This partnership is another specific step to accelerate our efforts in addressing the critical issue of plastic waste. Leveraging on Veolia’s technology and expertise, we will start with pilot projects in multiple countries, with the intention of scaling these up globally.”

Remarks Laurent Auguste, senior executive vice president for development, innovation and markets at France-based Veolia, “I am very pleased and welcome the opportunity of this partnership with a global [food and beverage] leader like Nestlé, in the quest for a more circular economy of plastics. Our expertise in resource recovery and recycling has positioned us to tackle this issue with global brands and other value-chain actors, across all continents. We believe it is time to move towards more recycling of materials and we are happy to help our clients be ever more inventive so they can keep improving our quality of life, whilst protecting our planet and its resources.”

The partnership is in line with a commitment by Nestlé to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, according to the two firms.

France-based Garnier pledged to continue to introduce measures to reduce plastic usage by committing to 100 percent postconsumer recycled (PCR) waste for shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner bottles in its Fructis Sleek & Shine hair care collection by the end of 2019. According to a news release from Garnier, the company’s Fructis hair care products are produced in a zero-waste facility and the current packaging contains 50 percent postconsumer recycled waste. Also, the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine formula uses sustainably sourced Argan Oil from Southwest Morocco.

To promote the brand’s new commitment to PCR waste, the company plans to host an education-based mobile Greenhouse Tour in select retail locations across the U.S. from March to April 2019. 

“Garnier's mission is to develop beauty products that are both good for you and good for the planet,” says Anncy Rowe, senior vice president of marketing for Garnier. “The announcement of our new signature, 100 percent PCR initiative for Fructis Sleek & Shine and the Greenhouse Tour serves as a commitment to our customers that we continue to aspire to bring the highest quality, most efficacious naturally inspired formulas in the most sustainable quality packaging to the masses at a price point that's attainable.”

According to a Garnier news release, the company has been working with TerraCycle since 2011 to educate people on how to recycle responsibly. Garnier reports that since the partnership started, the brand has diverted more than 11.7 million empty bottles from landfill. Those bottles have been upcycled into materials such as raised garden beds, benches and picnic tables. 

Rye, New York-based Sims Metal Management has been granted a special use permit by the city council in Fernley, Nevada, to open a scrap metal recycling facility. Fernley is in the western central part of Nevada, near Reno and Sparks.

According to an online news item by the Reno Gazette-Journal, the facility will be cited on a 10-acre plot.

The Sims location in Fernley will buy a range of scrap metal items including aluminum used beverage cans (UBCs), other types of aluminum including siding, brass scrap, ferrous scrap and some types of appliances, including water heaters.

Sims Metal Management or its joint venture partner SA Recycling currently operate six facilities in Nevada, with one in nearby Sparks and the other five in the Las Vegas region in southern Nevada.

A Fernley city council member is quoted as saying the ability to have a UBC recycling facility in the town is “a great thing” for the city of about 20,000 people.

Oslo-based aluminum producer Norsk Hydro ASA has acknowledged being the victim of a cyberattack that affected its operations and procedures at several production locations, both in Europe and the United States.

In an update posted to its website on Thursday, March 21, Norsk states, “The attack has been reported to Norway’s National Investigation Service (Kripos), and the police have opened an investigation.”

The company says it is has “made further progress in securing safe and stable operations across the company,” but although the situation is “progressing from day to day, it is still not clear how long it might take to restore stable IT operations.”

The update indicates the company’s scrap-fed Extruded Operations business unit has been among the most seriously affected. “Extruded Solutions is currently running at approximately 50 percent of normal capacity,” states the firm as of March 21. “Progress has been made, with restart of some plants as well as utilizing [inventory] to keep delivering to customers. Extruded Solutions is working hard to enable further restarts during the coming days, which would allow for continued deliveries to customers.”

That contrasts with the firm’s Energy and Bauxite & Aluminum business units, which Norsk Hydro describes as “running as normal.”

The company says of its Rolled Products business unit that “production is running mostly as normal, with only a few exceptions,” while in its Primary Metal operations, “production is running as normal, with [a] higher degree of manual operation.”

Hyrdo’s Extruded Solutions business unit has more than 100 locations “with local manufacturing in approximately 40 countries,” according to the firm. The company claims to use more than 50 percent scrap content in its extruded products, stating on its website, “More than half of the aluminum that you receive from us in product form has been used before.”

The company has 21 extrusion plants in the U.S., three in Canada and two in Mexico. In Europe, Hydro has more than 60 extrusion facilities throughout the continent.

Norsk Hydro announced it had been victimized by the attack on Tuesday, March 19. It claims to have discovered the situation in the early morning hours (Central European Time) that same day.

“Experts from Microsoft and other IT security partners have flown in to aid Hydro in taking all necessary actions in a systematic way to get business critical systems back in normal operation,” states Jo De Vliegher, Norsk Hydro’s head of information systems, as of March 21.

“With a systematic approach, our experts are step by step restoring business critical IT based functions to ensure stable production, serve our customers and limit financial impact, while always safeguarding our employees’ safety,” states Norsk Hydro Chief Financial Officer Eivind Kallevik in the same March 21 update.

Irving, Texas-based Commercial Metals Co. (CMC) says revenue in the second quarter of its 2019 fiscal year rose by 33 percent, thanks to “various strategic growth initiatives and favorable market conditions.” The growth initiatives included the November 2018 acquisition of rebar-making steel mills in the United States from Brazil-based Gerdau S.A.

The company also has reported increased earnings for the quarter, which ended Feb. 28. CMC’s adjusted earnings rose 13 percent to $35 million in the quarter compared with $31 million in adjusted earnings in the second quarter of last year.

“Excluding nonrecurring integration-related costs and acquisition accounting inventory step-up charges related to the four steel mills and rebar fabrication assets purchased from Gerdau S.A., the acquired assets contributed revenue of $383.6 million and operating income of $32.9 million to the consolidated results of CMC in the second quarter of fiscal 2019,” states the company.

Barbara R. Smith, president, CEO and board chair of CMC, comments, “We are very encouraged by our progress of integrating the rebar assets we acquired from Gerdau last year. We continue to be highly confident they will provide the anticipated benefits and generate attractive returns for our stockholders.”

Regarding other factors that affected results, Smith remarks, “The quarter was impacted by typical seasonality and unprecedented rainfall levels in many of our markets, which impacted construction activity, resulting in lower shipments in the quarter.  I am pleased with the results of our ongoing operations and remain very optimistic about our growth in the second half of fiscal 2019.”

The company says its Americas Recycling segment recorded adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $10.1 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2019 compared with adjusted EBITDA of $17.2 million for the prior year’s second quarter.

CMC says this drop in recycling-related profits reflected “a decreasing ferrous and nonferrous scrap price environment.” Despite the recent price volatility, the company says it generated positive returns in the quarter thanks to what it calls a low operating cost structure, disciplined buying practices and efficient inventory turnover rates.

Looking ahead to the rest of the fiscal year, Smith says, “We are optimistic that the upcoming construction season will be strong both in the U.S. and Poland. The combination of a good mill margin environment, ongoing progress on executing cost reduction opportunities afforded by the acquisition, and completing some of the lower margin rebar fabrication backlog gives us confidence that we will deliver strong results for the balance of the fiscal year.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the board of trustees of the Long Island Power Authority has voted to approve what it calls the first stand-alone large-scale anaerobic digester in Brookhaven, New York. The project is expected to be operational in 2020 and will produce four megawatts of energy.

Through the process, the anaerobic digester will allow the city to divert from 10,000 to 15,000 tons per year of food waste.

The plant, to be operated by American Organic Energy (AOE) at Long Island Compost in Yaphank, New York, will process about 180,000 tons of food waste per year. Working with GE Water and Scott’s Miracle-Gro, AOE will collect, separate, pre-process, break down and transform the food waste into energy (including electricity), fertilizer and clean water with nutrients.

In addition, Long Island Compost will convert certain stationary equipment from diesel to electricity, which is expected to reduce diesel fuel consumption by around 200,000 gallons per year.

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“New York State continues to lead the way with clean energy initiatives and innovative solutions that benefit both our neighborhoods and our planet,” states Gov. Cuomo. “By implementing this groundbreaking technology on Long Island, we can not only produce clean energy and reduce greenhouse gases, but also spare our landfills and keep our communities cleaner and greener for decades to come.”

The project is also supported by the Cleaner Greener Communities initiative of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which provided $1.35 million. The project also is being supported with a $400,000 Empire State Development award by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.

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