Eco-friendly Microbeads Made From Cellulose

You’ve heard the bad news about microbeads, right?

These tiny pieces of plastic are often used as exfoliants in a range of personal care and cosmetic products such as face scrubs and toothpastes, and concern has mounted over the impact these microbeads (which are designed to wash down the drain but are too small to filter out during wastewater treatment) could be having on marine wildlife. Some microbeads are visible to the naked eye, but others are as tiny as one micrometre! Conservationists have warned that they can affect fish growth and persist in the guts of mussels and fish that mistake them for food.

According to the UK parliament’s environmental audit committee, a single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles being washed down the drain, so the UK government has acted and made plans to ban them by the end of this year.

The good news is that Scientists and engineers from University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies have developed biodegradable cellulose microbeads from a sustainable source which could be used as a replacement. The beads are made from cellulose, (the material that forms the tough fibres found in wood and plants) which is not only from a renewable source, but also biodegrades into harmless sugars.

Scientists say these microbeads are robust enough to remain stable in a body wash, but can be broken down by organisms at the sewage treatment works, or in the environment over a short period of time.

This shows there are great alternatives to plastics out there and we hope to find many more of them in coming years.

Rising Stars of Welsh Business

Here are this year’s 25 Rising Stars of Welsh business – ambitious, entrepreneurial and driven to create.

They told Insider about their plans for the year ahead, inspiration, best decisions and life ambitions.

Below is GD Environmental’s CEO, Oliver Hazell’s profile from the article

Oliver Hazell (27)

Chief executive, GD Environmental

Hazell stepped up from the role of operations director to run Newport commercial and domestic waste handler GD Environmental this year. GD has grown quickly since his family took part in buying it in 2005.

Plan for the year

To continue growth and develop in the Welsh market, while improving internal processes to drive recycling rates within our yeards, and become part of the new Welsh forum to enable us to address the government.

Business inspiration

Richard Branson, particularly his views on looking after staff, and not having to be an expert in all areas.

Best decision

Working in Dubai gave me the chance to learn and experience life in other cultures.

Life ambition

To create a company that can drive change, instil good values and a culture that local communities can be proud of

Car Scrappage: All You Need To Know

A sad day dawns when the cost of fixing your car turns out to be more than it is actually worth, at which point it may be time to take a deep breath and say ‘goodbye old friend’ to your pride and joy.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If your car is rare or an appreciating classic then it’s certainly wise to keep hold of it! If not, you can bring it to us to take care of.

Scrapping your car is straightforward, but if you don’t follow the process correctly you could find yourself on a one-way street to a fine – we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.

All you need to do is let us know about the car via this contact form and we will contact you with a quotation. Don’t worry about the make, model, age or condition of your car, we will accept any vehicle. If the vehicle has no wheels, no MOT or tax, we can arrange collection from you!

We will also need photographic ID (in the form of photo driving licence or a passport), along with a recent utility bill/official document that is less than three months old. We’ll also need your V5 document, this will enable us to contact the DVLA on your behalf to let them know of your vehicle’s destruction.

As an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), we are committed to the responsible management of all vehicles that arrive at our site. Once everything is agreed, we will safely scrap your vehicle and give you a ‘certificate of destruction’ within 7 days if you’ve scrapped a car, light van or 3-wheeled motor vehicle.

Any payment will be in the form of a non-transferable cheque.

If you’re interested in our car scrappage service and would like to find out more, or contact us on 01495 762611.

A Question of Waste: Tackling Sport’s Waste Problem

The Champions League final in Cardiff a few weeks ago was phenomenal, bringing approximately 170,000 fans into the Welsh capital city, but it got us thinking…

Along with the excitement and anticipation surrounding these superb events comes a serious waste issue.

We’ve considered just a few ways that businesses and organisations can take measures to reduce and manage sport’s waste performance…

Limit Food Waste

When you look at the footprints of sporting events, food is a significant part of the impact” said Ronan Leyden, head of sustainable places at Bioregional, who spent four years on site in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics advising on sustainable construction and waste management planning.

Tackling food waste is vital to improving sporting event’s environmental performance. This means taking steps from the very beginning to reduce waste production – for example, portion control and looking at menu design throughout the city whilst events take place.

Forward-Thinking

Often, there is a large element of ‘tidying up’ after sporting events have occurred. From cleaners within the stadiums to city authorities beyond the walls, the tidy up is on a large scale, with most waste heading straight to landfill. By reducing branding on items from the initial design phase, merchandise and signage can be recycled for future events.

Strategic Placement

Placing trash and recycling bins strategically, and pairing them when feasible. All bins should be clearly located, well-marked and easy to use.

Working Together

Managing sport’s waste problem needs the support and involvement of many organisations. By hiring local co-operatives, for instance, to oversee elements of waste management planning and talk to spectators (where appropriate) about the importance of recycling, we’d be taking steps in the right direction.

If you’re looking for complete management solutions, we’d love to talk. Call us on 01633277755 or fill out our contact form

Goodbye Garbage

It’s hard to visit a landfill site without being struck by the craziness of taking very valuable minerals and resources out of the ground, using a lot of energy, turning them into short life products and then just dumping them back into the ground.

“It’s an absolutely monumental waste of energy and resources. As someone from the fashion industry might say, it’s just so last century.” (Michael Pawlyn, The Guardian, November 21st 2005)

Some packaging is necessary in our modern industrialised food chain, but so much packaging we use is unnecessary…

It’s unnecessarily expensive – you pay for your overpriced, over packaged item then pay through your council tax for them to dispose of your rubbish & recycling.

It’s unnecessarily wasteful – Its production, storage, transport and disposal.

It’s unnecessarily polluting – Landfill and incineration are the two mains ways of dealing with un-recyclable packaging waste. Both are major pollutants for people and the environment as they leach out toxins and release greenhouse gases.

And recycling isn’t always the answer. Some products are too complex to recycle as the facilities don’t exist, or aren’t cost effective. Whilst recycling more is huge step, it’s not the only solution – we need to find new ways of reducing the amount of packaging we’re using.

Packaging-free shopping isn’t a new thing. Our grandparents went to local grocery stores, the markets or farmers – where flour was sold from giant barrels and fruit from wooden crates. But today, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of waste and are striving to shop more sustainably.

‘Unpacked’ are the first UK supermarket to be packaging free, inviting customers to bring their own containers to refill. This model is being used by similar businesses around the world and their services are needed more than ever, given the environmental challenges we face as a global community.

We only hope to see more packaging-free shops on the horizon!

A Litter Free World

Every day in the UK over 2 million items of litter are dropped on our beaches, fields, towns and roadsides, spoiling our landscape, harming our wildlife and threatening our planet.

Clearing up the litter dropped in the streets and green spaces in England alone is costing the UK taxpayer £1 billion a year. This is money that shouldn’t really need to be spent, and money which could be much better spent on public services. £1 billion would fund 38,644 social care workers or pay the running costs of 4,400 libraries. Alternatively, it would enable the NHS to pay for 33,200 nurses or 26,900 paramedics or allow the fire brigade to fund 31,990 extra firefighters each year.

As we know, the earth is a big place to keep clean. But a recent app developed by TED Resident Jeff Kirschner has created a community that’s crowdsource-cleaning the planet – Litterarti, an app for users to identify, collect and geotag the world’s litter. After tracking trash in more than 100 countries, Kirschner hopes to use the data he’s collected to work with brands and organisations to stop litter before it reaches the ground.

The most commonly tagged items so far have been plastic, cigarettes, paper, cans and bottle caps. But we’re doing well – the UK is currently the third most active country in the world on the app, having collected 22,425 bits of rubbish from our streets! We want to make it all the way to the top of the rankings, and think we can do so with you help.

Join the community identifying, mapping, and collecting the world’s litter. Download the Litterati app.

Plastic Bottle Recycling: The Truth

It is estimated that an average of 35.8 million plastic bottles are used EVERY DAY in the UK, but only 19.8 million are recycled each day.

This means that approximately 16 million plastic bottles a day are not making their way into the recycling bin, but instead end up in landfill sites or in our oceans.

Plastic bottles are usually made of PET or HDPE:

  • PET has some important characteristics such its strength, thermo-stability, gas barrier properties and transparency. It is also lightweight, shatter-resistant and recyclable. PET is widely used for mineral water, carbonated beverage, juice, alcoholic beverage and cooking oil.
  • HDPE plastics make up the heavier containers that many of our everyday goods are stored in as it has properties of stiffness, strength and toughness. It is widely used in the UK for fresh milk bottles, shampoo and detergent bottles.

Both PET & HDEP plastic bottles are recyclable, so there’s no reason these shouldn’t be heading straight to the recycling bin – or better still, being reused! Making a small change like using a refillable bottle might not seem heroic, but your actions can help make a huge difference.

Sky Ocean Rescue have some really great tips for reducing the amount of plastic you use. Are you up for the plastic challenge? Visit https://skyoceanrescue.com/plastic-challenge/

The one with GD, Spring Clean Cymru & 450 Bags of Litter…

Volunteers and members of our team cleaned up 450 bags of litter from the banks of the River Usk last month!

We came together on Saturday, March 25, to clean up rubbish from around the Transporter Bridge as part of the Spring Clean Cymru campaign run by Keep Wales Tidy.

Most the litter was plastic which had been left on the banks of the river by the tides and could be dangerous to wildlife both on land and in the water at the Site of Specific Scientific Interest. We take our corporate social responsibility commitment seriously – so weren’t best pleased about this! We were delighted to take part in the campaign; the day was a great success and we were pleased to make a difference to our local area.

Newport project officer with Keep Wales Tidy Steve Chamberlain said: “It’s vital that we all do our bit to care for our local environment and this event has been a perfect example of what local communities can achieve when they work together.

Most of the rubbish was plastic and we saved all of that from re-entering our oceans.

Julie, our Operations Manager, explained “It’s a beautiful area on the riverbank that is now cleaned up so that the local community can enjoy it. Well done to everyone involved.

All in a day’s work Julie!

Trash to Treasure: Upcycling Courtesy of GD Environmental & Art Students at Coleg Y Cymoedd!

For the second year running we donated a skip full of scrap to the art students at Coleg Y Cymoedd, who turned raw materials into a broad range of creations as part of their upcycling projects.

Jeremy Spencer, a 3D Lecturer in Art & Design at Coleg Y Cymoedd, visited our Newport site for a grand tour and discussion with site manager, Jason Andrews, to determine which materials would be suitable for the art class. Jeremy explained, “The donated recycled materials form the raw ingredients that our students creatively ‘upcycle’ into objects of value both functionally and aesthetically.

Once the materials had been chosen, we gathered the team and worked together to fill a skip and get it delivered it to the students.

The results were incredible! Upcycled products ranged from sculptures made from reclaimed pallets to functional furniture.

We caught up with Megan Barker, an Art and Design student at Coleg Y Cymoedd, who told us about her upcycling experience: “I haven’t always been a maker. Despite this I have translated my creativity into making, wanting to embrace all of the splinters and hot glue burns that come with it! Although I’ve adapted, being confronted with the task of producing a piece from recyclables was challenging, however diving into the skip and stumbling upon hidden treasures was inspiring, thinking about the potential for each piece of someone else’s old belonging.

The generosity shown by GD Environmental Services in their donation of the recycled materials is extremely helpful to us budding artists as it gives us the opportunity to broaden our creative minds. I am very thankful for the donation and love that my sculptural pieces carry a story beyond the aesthetics.

Jeremy added, “A visionary company like GD Environmental Services shares our course’s values of sustainability and ensuring recycled resources are made the most of. I very much hope to continue and develop our relationship in the future with their kind support.

We certainly hope so too, a great job all round!

GD Environmental Wins Huntsman Corporation Contract

GD Environmental, Wales’ leading indigenous waste management company has been chosen as the dedicated waste management service provider for Huntsman Corporation in Llanelli, a specialist producer of amines, used in pharmaceuticals, coatings, resins, gas treating and for the prevention of corrosion.

In a bid to improve Huntsman Corporation’s recycling efficiency and reduce their environmental impact, the contract will see GD Environmental supply a series of containers for a selection of materials including wood, metal, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), general waste, cable and batteries. Alongside these containers will be two 1,100 litre wheelie bins for Dry Mixed Recyclables (DMR).

The Huntsman Corporation and GD Environmental’s facilities are based within close proximity to each other in Llanelli, making GD ideally placed to process and deal with all the Huntsman Corporation’s waste streams.

Commenting on the contact win, Oliver Hazel, Chief Executive of GD Environmental said: “I am delighted that Huntsman Corporation has chosen us to become their dedicated waste management service provider.

We provide a tailored and dedicated service to all our customers and this contract is reward for our continuous effort to improve our services and meet the waste needs of our customers whatever they may be. We are also pleased to be able to assist another business that is based in Llanelli and look forward to working with Huntsman Corporation for the foreseeable future.