Research suggests over half of UK businesses are not complying with law
Recent evidence of widespread non-compliance with Duty of Care legislation for waste, introduced by the government in 1990, has led to the launch of a campaign to raise awareness of the law and its requirements. ‘right Waste, right Place’ is primarily aimed at informing smaller businesses about the law and their obligations, as research suggests that 94 percent of these non-compliant organisations are SMEs.
Lack of compliance has contributed to the growing problem of waste crime, particularly with regard to fly tipping, as the number of recorded incidents soared to 900,000 in England during 2014/15. This represented an 11 percent increase on the previous year, and cost local authorities at least £50 million in costs which could have been used to provide other much-needed services. Commercial waste proved to be the second largest component of fly tipping, and had risen by 18 percent over the year.
Sam Corp, Head of Regulation at the ESA, commented: “The number of organisations actively involved with this project, representing a broad range of sectors, shows just how serious an issue Duty of Care compliance is. Very few organisations want to actively flout the law, but most are simply not informed about what they have to do. Unfortunately being uninformed is no protection from the law, and we believe that more companies will find themselves exposed to prosecution unless they take the right steps to comply. The right Waste, right Place campaign is designed to help fill the very evident knowledge gap, especially with SMEs.”
The encouraging news is that research shows that 90% of non-compliant businesses, when informed about their obligations under Duty of Care, expressed the aspiration to comply. The key to achieving this was raising awareness of what their obligations are and what they had to do to meet them.
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.