Pakistan to Require All Plastics be Oxo-Biodegradable
New legislation in Pakistan prohibits the import, manufacturing, stockpiling, trade, supply, distribution, sale and use all disposable plastic products made wholly or substantially of polyethylene or polypropylene or polystyrene - unless they are oxo-biodegradable.
The legislation: the Prohibition of Non-degradable Plastic Products (Manufacture, Sale and Usage) Regulations 2013 was announced 31 Jan 2013 by the Federal Minister for
Climate Change, and compliance is required in the federal territory as from April 2013.
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Although this legislation is important for Pakistan, it has much wider implications. The law prohibits not only the manufacture of conventional disposable plastic products in Pakistan, but also prevents them being imported into Pakistan. This means that all companies anywhere in the world exporting disposable plastic products to Pakistan made from or packaged in conventional or bio-based PE, or PP, or in PS must make and/or package them in future with oxo-biodegradable plastic technology from a supplier registered with the Pakistan Government.
Symphony Environmental Technologies plc, the specialist in advanced plastic technologies, is bringing this to the urgent attention of their Distributors serving more than 90 countries around the world.
Michael Laurier, CEO of Symphony, said: "This legislation is an important step forward for Pakistan in protecting its cities, lands, waterways and coasts from the blight of plastic pollution, because it is not possible to collect or control all of the plastic, which would otherwise lie or float around in the environment for decades. The Government of Pakistan has not banned plastic altogether, as it is a low-cost material essential for everyday living, and for protecting food from damage and contamination.
"We are anticipating substantially increased demand for our oxo-biodegradable additive, d2w, following the new legislation and a free testing service will be offered in Symphony's laboratories, and also in Pakistan using Symphony's unique d2detector. This is a sophisticated portable device which can tell within 60 seconds whether a plastic product is oxo-biodegradable and which additives it contains. One is tan for use in enforcing the legislation, and orders for d2w have already been received.
With manufacturing facilities for d2w in five countries, Symphony is well placed to supply, service and support this enormous market."
In his Press Briefing the Minister said that the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency ("PAK_EPA") had considered different options to deal with the plastic bag issue, which included a complete ban on plastic bags; or the introduction of photo-degradable plastic bags; hydro-soluble plastic bags; or oxo-biodegradable plastic bags. They recommended that oxo-biodegradable technology should be used. The Minister added that the Ministry of Environment had held meetings with the Plastic Bag Manufacturers Association and with users and exporters and that a consensus had been reached on oxo-biodegradable technology.
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The Minister continued that "Plastic bags made with this technology if left in open air or water absorb oxygen, which gradually weakens the internal bonds of the plastic material thereby allowing biological degradation to take place. Finally the bag will vanish leaving behind humus (a non-toxic product)."
The Minister said that a Report by PAK-EPA showed that in 2004 about 55 billion plastic bags were being manufactured and consumed annually in Pakistan and that if current trends continued consumption would reach 112 billion by 2015. The Report said that more than 8,000 plastic bag factories were operating in the country. The Minister noted that "oxo-biodegradable technology is simple and needs no alteration in machinery nor in the manufacturing process. A small quantity of olefin-based additive is mixed with the raw material (granules) to develop biodegradable properties in plastic."
The Minister concluded by saying "PAK-EPA has approached local and multinational companies and users to promote oxo-biodegradable plastic bags, and the Lahore and Karachi Chamber of Commerce held workshops on biodegradable plastics to create awareness among entrepreneurs. Because of these efforts, a number of users like; Dawn Bread, KFC, McDonalds, Hyper Star, Sazgar, DHA, ICI Polyester, MENUE etc. have started using oxo-biodegradable plastic bags as part of their social responsibility."
SOURCE Symphony Environmental Technologies plc
Edited by Carin Hall
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.