The 10 circular trends for the upcoming decade

UNTHA-News-10-circular-trends

We read a fantastic piece in the CIWM’s Circular magazine recently – a write up, by James Richards, which explored 10 upcoming innovations, trends and technologies that look set to change the shape of the ‘waste’ sector over the next decade.

We’d go so far as to say this is perhaps our favourite article of the year. Why? Because all-too-often, media headlines are filled with reminders that we’re off pace when it comes to our progress towards various ‘green’ targets. Now such environmental underperformance is better acknowledged than ignored, of course, but it makes for bleak reading at times, particularly when the narrative is blended with talk of the planet’s excessive consumption of materials and the need to recycle more.

Now, there’s no denying that the recycling of varied materials is important. It’s critical, absolutely. But all-too-often, articles focus on the materials that are easier to recycle. What about the ones that aren’t? What’s more, if we’re to ever achieve a truly circular society, we need to think beyond recycling alone. And this article shone an exemplary spotlight on all of this.

Articles like this are inspiring and encouraging. And that kind of narrative – one that champions innovation – fuels a positive mindset.

So, well done James – more like that please! Here are some of the ways we’re getting on oard with the ‘10 trends in 10 years’…

Upcycling food waste
We’re big fans of ‘factory to farm’ specialist SugaRich and have long worked with the upcycler to help them transform surplus food into nutrient-rich animal feed. Only recently, we joined forces to tackle an urgent project, with the help of our XR waste shredder.

The ‘repair’ movement
Our shredders are built to last, and operator training is delivered alongside preventative maintenance tips to help keep our machines in optimum running condition for as long as possible. Our own engineers are always on hand for service expertise and advice too. But we also believe in refurbishing our shredders too – just look at our RS four shaft machines, for example! The result, is an even longer shredder lifespan, for a fraction of the cost of buying new!

Loop systems
Linked to this, not only do we enable our customers to maximise the reuse potential of materials so they remain in the ‘loop’ – we strive for our machines and cutters to have a circular life where possible too. So, whether you want to refurbish a cutter set, or completely rebuild your shredder (for sale or your ongoing use), talk to us. We don’t have a refurb centre for no reason!

Battery recycling
The recycling of rechargeable batteries has come into the spotlight in the last year or so, not least because demand for electric vehicles is rising. This is a topic we’ve been keeping a close eye on too, as our blog from a few months ago, highlights.

Waste-based building materials
We read with awe how building materials can now be created from natural resources such as mycelium – isn’t it fascinating?! We’ve certainly enjoyed getting closer to the construction and demolition industry following the launch of our ZR pre-shredder last year!

Recycling e-waste
E-waste volumes are rising rapidly, on a globally concerning scale. Thankfully, some operators are tackling the resulting recycling challenges head on. We can’t speak highly enough of our WEEE recycling customer, Altech, for example. Watch their site in action, via our latest project video.

Apps
Tackling societal issues ranging from fly tipping to food reuse, we agree that apps are a fantastic way to inform and engage with people via a device most can’t live without. This is one of the reasons we developed UNTHA GENIUS – a condition monitoring tool that enables operators to measure and optimise the performance of their shredders in real-time, from any device.

Hydrogen from waste 
The hydrogen debate is really mounting, with a number of emerging examples of decarbonised gas being used to power homes, key areas of industry, and transport. We enjoyed hearing from the DGA a few months back, when Chris Barron took part in our regular ‘why the environment matters to me’ Q&A. We also look forward to seeing the government’s support for hydrogen from waste schemes, take shape.

Biomaterials
The value of the biomaterial industry is predicted to rise to $200bn over the next 20 years, which signifies the potential of this incredible scientific arena. And huge kudos to our client DS Smith, for being one of the firms highlighted by James, in this trends article.

Digital tracking for garments
Fast fashion has – quite rightly – come under growing scrutiny in recent times, for the irresponsible use of textile raw materials. Digital garment tracking therefore makes a LOT of sense, if the entire supply chain is to work harder to ensure better reuse and recycling performance.

And fashion isn’t the only industry that could make better use of textiles, as we found out when we spoke to linen reuse specialist, Regenex. You can hear from them in the coming weeks, as they’re set to appear on our blog.

Which is your favourite trend from James’ round up? We’d love to hear from you…

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