UK retailers could face huge compliance bill in the wake of EU referendum
Global PLM software leader, Trace One, has warned that UK food retailers and manufacturers must plan for potential regulatory upheaval in the event of a Leave vote in the EU referendum.
A Leave vote could lead to the majority of related UK law being revisited and possibly re-written. For retailers who may have invested up to £30 million as recently as 2014 to comply with the EU’s ongoing Food Information Regulation (FIR), these changes could end up adding further costs on top of an already significant burden.
Shaun Bossons, Executive VP of Trace One, said: “FIR is a perfect example of how the referendum could force additional costs onto retailers. With allergen information required on product labels from December 2014, and nutritional information required from December 2016, the vast majority of retailers will have already made the relevant changes to packaging, with costs typically running to £3,000 per product.
"Yet if Brexit wins the day on June 23rd, there is no way of knowing if and when UK-only regulations will be introduced, necessitating further changes to packaging and effectively wasting the previous investment in FIR compliance. With the typical large retailer having over 10,000 product lines, the costs of adapting products for any new regulation could once again run into the tens of millions.
“While any changes from the vote are unlikely to be immediate, retailers still need to be ready. A large retailer needs time to prepare changes and change course, especially over a large range of products. The fact is, a Leave vote will have ongoing repercussions, where retailers might have to pay multiple times to alter products in response to regulation changes.
"Being as adaptable as possible will be critical in coping in this environment. If changes do have to be made to products or processes, the more quickly and simply they can be completed, the lower the cost and disruption retailers face. A culture of collaboration between retailers and their manufacturing partners will be an essential part of this; even if the worst never happens, improved processes will still benefit the business.”
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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.