DS Smith removes more than 313M pieces of problem plastics - Recycling Today

2022-07-29 22:57:41 By : cheng iris

The company's designers have worked with clients on packaging and displays to replace or remove more than 3 million units of plastic per week.

Sustainable packaging company DS Smith, headquartered in London with North American operations based in Atlanta, has announced it has removed more than 313 million pieces of problem plastics in the last two years by replacing them with its paper-based products. DS Smith says it also educated more than 2.8 million people on the importance of the circular economy.  

DS Smith’s designers have worked with clients on packaging and displays to replace or remove more than 3 million units of plastic per week, or 13,000 an hour. DS Smith says 80 percent of all sustainability savings come in the design phase, which is why the company has trained all 700 of its designers in its circular design principles. The principles were developed in cooperation with its strategic partner, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, to translate its circular economy model into practical packaging solutions.  

The company says its designers have created thousands of designs to eliminate all sizes of plastic in its packaging. This includes replacing plastic sealing tape with self-locking cardboard flaps and swapping plastic labels with print direct onto cardboard.  

“With our help, customers are responding to consumer demands to remove problem plastics from their products,” says Allison Berg, sustainability manager for DS Smith North America. “By using our proprietary circular design metrics system, we can easily show not just where plastic can be replaced, but how circular their packaging is right now and where we can make improvements together.”   

Over the next year, DS Smith says it will continue to drive the adoption of fiber-based alternatives among customers in response to consumer demand for plastic alternatives. It has also committed to continue engaging people in the circular economy, promoting circular lifestyles to 5 million people by 2030.  

At COP26, it launched a circular economy lesson plan, ‘Let’s Go Circular!’ as a free resource for teachers to educate students aged 11-14 about the circular economy. DS Smith also provides information through online content, videos, news articles, blogs and case studies with its goal of reaching 5 million people.  

As part of DS Smith’s "Now & Next" sustainability targets, the company says it plans to take 1 billion pieces of problem plastics off supermarket shelves by 2025, replacing them with sustainable, corrugated alternatives. DS Smith’s plastic replacement work and wider sustainability progress can be found in its latest sustainability report, which can be found here.   

One way DS Smith is doing this is with an investment of $140 million into research and development to explore a range of natural fibers. These include uses of seaweed, straw, hemp, miscanthus and cotton. It also includes sources like the daisy-flowered cup plant and agricultural waste such as cocoa shell or bagasse, the pulp fiber left over after sugarcane is processed. 

The addition expands services and offerings to clients.

Ingenium, a waste management service provider based in San Diego, has expanded its service offerings and launched its industrial services division.   

With the addition of the division, Ingenium provides a necessary service for its clients and adds to its already extensive menu of service offerings.   

“Our familiarity in working in hazardous and nonhazardous environmental spaces provides our customers complete environmental and industrial services,” says Scott Manuel, industrial services division manager. ”Ingenium manages any type of industrial/environmental project and can be your turn-key solution.”   

By upgrading its Southern California fleet, Ingenium's industrial services include:  

roll-off trucks (single and double bin);  

roll-off bin rentals (20-yard, 40-yard, closed top, open top, FRAC tanks, dewatering bins);  

bulk waste management, transportation and disposal, including vacuum tankers and vactor trucks;  

remediation projects, excavation, contaminated soils cleanup, debris removal, lead and asbestos remediation, copper remediation for gun ranges;  

industrial cleaning, pressure washing, SCBA and confined space; and,  

on-site technical services and project management.  

Ingenium says it specializes in packaging, transportation, recycling and disposal of hazardous, nonhazardous, biological, universal and radioactive waste. The company helps its customers manage their waste programs, maintain budgets and meet regulatory demands while protecting employees, the community and the environment.   

The company also assists in the process of reducing and recycling wastes to achieve sustainability goals while maintaining safety and service. For more information, click here.   

Second-quarter earnings increased for the company’s Industrial Packaging segment due to higher sales prices for corrugated boxes and containerboard.

International Paper (IP), a Memphis, Tennessee-based global producer of fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products, has achieved strong net earnings in its second-quarter financial results when compared results from one year ago.

The company reports it achieved second-quarter net earnings of $511 million compared with $432 million in the same period of 2021. Second-quarter adjusted operating earnings were at $459 million in the second quarter of the year compared with $325 million in the second quarter of 2021.

“International Paper delivered strong revenue and earnings growth in the second quarter,” says Mark Sutton, chairman and chief executive officer of International Paper. “We performed well both commercially and operationally, which contributed to margin expansion despite a challenging supply chain and input cost environment.”

According to the company’s second-quarter earnings report, IP’s Industrial Packaging segment achieved operating profits in the second quarter of $560 million compared with $397 million in the first quarter of the year. Within that segment, IP says its North American earnings increased due to higher sales prices for corrugated boxes and containerboard as well as lower planned maintenance outage expenses. The company says these benefits were partially offset by higher input costs for both energy and freight. In Europe, earnings for this segment improved, reflecting higher average sales prices and strong operating performance.

Looking ahead to the third quarter, IP says it expects the realization of prior price movements to output higher input costs.

According to the company’s earnings report presentation July 28, IP anticipates price and mix to improve by $40 million within its Industrial Packaging segment in the third quarter. IP said it expects volume for the Industrial Packaging segment to increase by $10 million in the third quarter due to stable demand. Additionally, the company said it expects maintenance outage expenses to go down by $41 million in the third quarter of the year for its Industrial Packaging segment.

“Sitting here midway through the year, I’m confident in our earnings outlook for 2022 and in our ability to deliver strong earnings growth this year,” Sutton said during the second-quarter earnings presentation. “We’re mindful of the uncertainty surrounding the macro environment. I’m very certain about the resiliency of International Paper. During the past few years, we have significantly enhanced our financial strength and flexibility.”

Recycler of mill residues says it has been handling growing volumes of EAF dust.

Befesa S.A., a Luxembourg-based global provider of recycling services enabling handling steel and aluminum mill byproducts, has reported another adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 118 million euros ($120.4 million) in the first half of this year.

The company says that represents an increase of 25 percent year on year, and that growth in this year’s second quarter “was primarily driven” by good volume performance in its Steel Dust business unit, including a contribution from its United States zinc operations.

“In the first half we continued to deliver 25 percent year-on-year EBITDA growth in a challenging market environment,” says Javier Molina, executive chair of Befesa. “In the medium to long term, decarbonization and electric vehicles are favorable trends for the secondary steel and aluminum markets, benefitting our customers.”

Molina continues, “Our environmental services are a key enabler of this transition. We have enhanced our organizational structure and are finalizing our five-year Sustainable Global Growth Plan to seize these opportunities. We are looking forward to sharing this globally balanced investment program of around 500 million euros ($510 million) with our shareholders and analysts.”

Regarding its first-half 2022 results, Befesa says higher base metal prices offset energy inflation and higher zinc treatment charges. Its overall plant utilization levels remained high (around 80 percent), the firm says, in both its Steel Dust and Aluminium Salt Slags business units.

The company says during the second quarter it “continued its hedging rigor and sold further zinc volume forward.” Befesa says its hedge book is now fully extended up to January of 2025 at the latest hedging volume run rate of around 38,000 metric tons of zinc sold forward per quarter, or around 152,000 metric tons per year.

Regarding Befesa’s expansion in China, it says its first plant, in Jiangsu Province, is in commercial production and has more than 80 percent of furnace dust capacity contracted with customers. However, the company adds, “supply and operations are COVID-constrained.”

The commissioning of its second plant in China, in Henan Province, is being prolonged because of COVID constraints, with ramp-up expected to be finalized in the second half of this year.

Steelmaker also reports sustained profits for the first half of this year.

ArcelorMittal, based in Luxembourg, says it has signed an agreement with the shareholders of Brazil-based Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém (CSP) to acquire CSP for approximately $2.2 billion. Pending corporate and regulatory approvals, completion of the transaction is expected before the end of the year.

ArcelorMittal describes CSP as a producer of “high-quality slab at a globally competitive cost [at] its state-of-the-art steel facility in the state of Ceará in northeast Brazil.”

The global steelmaker says it sees the purchase as a way to gain access to 3 million metric tons of slab capacity, with the potential to supply slab to other ArcelorMittal plants or to sell into North and South America.

CSP currently uses blast furnace technology to make its slabs. ArcelorMittal says a future investment could allow for expansion, “such as the option to add primary steelmaking capacity (including direct reduced iron) and rolling and finishing capacity.”

In late July, ArcelorMittal also announced second quarter 2022 results indicating the company’s net income of $4.5 billion rose slightly from the $4.4 billion earned in the first quarter of the year.

“The company had a strong first half with market conditions supporting a fifth consecutive quarter of EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] of over $5 billion,” says Aditya Mittal, CEO of ArcelorMittal. “We have completed a number of targeted acquisitions reflecting the changing energy and metallic inputs required for low-carbon emissions steelmaking,” he adds.

Mittal also says, “The period, however, was overshadowed by the outbreak of war in Ukraine, where we have steel and mining operations, bringing instability and suffering to the country and our 26,000 employees. Globally the conflict is impacting growth and adding further inflationary pressure, which is spilling over into weakening of demand. Despite the more uncertain global macro outlook, our business is well positioned to effectively manage through the cycle. The long-term outlook for steel demand also remains positive, underpinned by the scale of opportunity related to the energy transition and the continuing growth of developing economies.”

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