The UK generates more revenue from Scotch whisky than it does from shipbuilding
Each year the Scotch whisky industry contributes roughly £5 billion to the British economy, according to a report published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
In 2013, Scotch accounted for a quarter of the UK's total food and drinks exports and supported 40,300 jobs region.
Furthermore, exports of Scotch contribute £4 billion a year to Britain's trade balance, meaning without it the deficit would have been 16 percent larger in 2013, according to the SWA's figures.
Despite a general slowdown in UK exports, the Scotch whisky industry is expanding, with around 30 new distilleries being planned or built across Scotland.
“Scotch whisky must be recognized as a cultural asset that boosts growth and jobs, supports communities and combines the best of the traditional and the modern,” said SWA chief executive David Frost.
However, the SWA and other industry bodies say the government uses the sector as a ‘cash cow’ and have been calling for the excise duty on whisky to be cut through their ‘Drop the duty!’ campaign. The campaign is lobbying politicians to cut the excise duty on whisky in the next budget in March, as it is much higher (78 percent) than for other types of alcohol. They also argue that craft brewers were given tax breaks, while no such measure was introduced for craft distillers.
The SWA also points out that the sector supports jobs in both rural and urban areas and that 90 percent of the suppliers it uses are based in the UK, meaning that jobs are being kept in the country.
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.