Friday, May 18, 2018

UK Port Group Leads the Way with Recovery and Recycling of Plastic Waste

Astonishing Total of Rubbish Cleared from the Humber Estuary
Shipping News Feature
UK – ABP's Ports of Hull and Goole are hoping to make waves in reducing ocean plastics by trialling a recycling scheme which turns waste into shampoo bottles, and in the few weeks since starting the project, a staggering 2.5 tonnes of plastics have been collected so far that have been washed up from across the Humber. TerraCycle in collaboration with multinational manufacturer Proctor and Gamble will transform the compliant materials into shampoo bottles that will go on sale at a major UK retailer later this year.

This initiative aims to reduce waste by recycling the ‘non-recyclable’, and Associated British Ports’ marine team and Hughes Marine Service say they will be working hard to support it. ABP’s 21 ports across the UK hope to follow suit and take on the green scheme too.

The Humber waterways are cleaned by bulldozer-like floating machines, themselves producing reduced emissions, called the Waterwitch and Envirocat. The boats collect the rubbish and it’s then separated to divert plastics, steel and wood from going to landfill. Chris Green, Hull and Goole Port Manager, said:

“This green project is part of ABPs commitment to continually improving our environmental performance and work around our Humber ports to reduce plastics and marine litter. One plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the marine environment, slowly fragmenting into smaller and smaller pieces, so we as a port authority will lead the way and make the Humber, the UKs busiest waterway, a cleaner and more environmentally friendly place.

“We believe industry and wildlife can work hand-in-hand with support and encouragement so they can thrive; recently at Goole our marine staff have seen otters, seals and cormorants catching fish from the waters.”

ABP Humber has dedicated teams to reduce and divert waste from landfill and they also encourage wildlife with various green projects such as bug hotels and owl boxes and create green spaces for staff to enjoy. ABP staff also litter pick across public areas of the port estates to stop it going into the sea and regular beach cleans are hosted at Spurn. Lisette Pieters, Beach Plastics Project Manager at TerraCycle, said:

“It’s very encouraging to see companies such as ABP are engaged in supporting projects such as TerraCycle’s beach plastics recycling programme. It helps to clean our oceans and give these reclaimed plastics a second life by being incorporated into new consumer products such as shampoo bottles.”