Melanie Williams Consulting

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News

The best packaging materials for the circular economy

Single use packaging and how to recycle it has been in the news since the beginning of the year, when China stopped accepting much of our waste. Recently the media have been dominated by images of mar... read more

Soft cap, low ILUC risk, recycled carbon: the new biofuel buzzwords

The need to decarbonise transport after the recent dire warning from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the acceleration of climate change, has provided a new impetus to the discussio... read more

The price of plastic

During the heat wave, as we picnicked on the beach, eating with disposable plastic cutlery and drinking from plastic bottles, the discussion about increasing our appetite for recycling plastic continu... read more

Transport fuel from municipal waste moves into the fast lane

Recent announcements show how industry is gearing up to turn our waste into liquid fuel. We know that an economically attractive use must be found for waste that is not currently recycled, to prevent... read more

Chain of Custody certification is 25 years old

If a performance standard is at the heart of a sustainability scheme then the chain of custody standard is the circulatory system which brings the sustainable supply chain to life. Twenty-five years a... read more

Marine litter proposals: the takeaway

In Europe we leave too many of our plastic food containers, drinks bottles and straws on the beach. They pollute the sea, break down into damaging micro-plastics and harm marine life. The EU has acted... read more

The price of everything and the value of nothing*: Is it cynical to attack sustainability schemes?

Leading commodity sustainability schemes have come under attack recently from NGOs. They risk playing into the hands of those who want goods to be traded solely on the basis of price, with no value gi... read more

Deforestation: seeing the wood for the trees

Protecting the world’s forests is back under the spotlight again. Greenpeace has announced that they will be dropping their membership of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), which is bad news for... read more

Five years of environmental progress for European primary aluminium

The European Aluminium Association has published its five yearly assessment of the environmental performance of the aluminium industry. The progress made in Europe is not matched by imported aluminium... read more

Biofuels Sustainability Schemes update

After eight years of sustainability certification, ISCC, the market leading EU approved Voluntary Scheme, dominates certification of biofuels refineries, traders, and storage. ISCC has not recognised... read more

Going Dutch on waste

It is ironic that a week after Europe’s first commercial scale municipal waste to chemicals and biofuels plant was announced, the EU decides on ambitious targets to recycle waste plastics, texti... read more

EU Plastics Strategy unwrapped

It is exactly sixty years since the toy hula-hoop, the first mass market application for modern polyethylene, helped to ignite the demand for plastics made from oil. It was affordable, accessible and... read more

Melanie Williams announced as ASI Registered Specialist

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) has published a list of Registered Specialists to coincide with the launch of its certification scheme for sustainable aluminium production. ASI indicates, &... read more

Sustainable aluminium finishes 2017 on a high

A fourth primary aluminium producer announced low carbon products at the end of 2017. Norsk Hydro launched Hydro 4.0 primary aluminium with guaranteed maximum carbon emissions of 4.0kg CO2 per kg of a... read more

Circular Economy: a Christmas present for bioplastics or a bit of a turkey?

2017 has been the year when the momentum for measures to make plastic production more circular seems unstoppable. The UN recently passed a resolution to stop plastic waste entering the oceans and Euro... read more

Sustainability Schemes should work together

The RTRS  (Roundtable on Responsible Soy) EU sustainability scheme for soy oil derived biofuels has been re-approved, which is good news. However there was a period of over a year when the approv... read more

Recycled plastic: a fairy tale that needs to come true

Once upon a time plastic was a miracle packaging material; strong, light, cheap and with good barrier properties. Last month, as more photos of waste plastic polluting the ocean were circulating on so... read more

A better future for biofuels without palm oil?

Palm oil’s days as a source of biodiesel in Europe appear to be numbered. The ENVI committee of the European Parliament voted recently to ban palm oil for biodiesel from 2021. Political opinion... read more

Natural cosmetics come in sweet packages

Bioplastics received another boost recently as Buhbli Organics chose Braskem plastic, made from sugarcane, as the package for its Himalayan Bath Salts. The product will be available in over a 1000 Wal... read more

Will aviation biofuel take-off in the UK?

The UK government recently published its new biofuels policy. Four days later British Airways announced a partnership with Velocys to produce aviation biofuel from household waste in the UK.  The... read more

Low carbon aluminium gets motoring

The recent declarations on the end of new petrol and diesel cars from the French and the UK governments heralds the era of the electric car. The date has been set for 2040, which means that carmaker... read more

Sustainability schemes: better safe than sorry

The recognition of some Voluntary Sustainability Schemes for verifying compliance of biofuels with the Renewable Energy Directive is due to expire this summer. The lesson from the Schemes which were i... read more

Decarbonising liquid fuels and chemicals

In its Statistical Review of World Energy, published recently, BP describes how almost 40% of the growth in global power generation in 2016 has come from renewables. Denmark leads, with 59% of power c... read more

Sustainable aluminium: What else?

This Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) has now started to pilot its assurance platform ahead of launching the certification scheme. The founder members of ASI first set out their aspirations in... read more

Banking on deforestation-free palm oil

The Bank of England’s dilemma about the feedstock for the oleochemical used in the production of its new £5 plastic notes highlights a paradox implicit in the circular economy ideal. Waste... read more

Biomethanol v bioethanol for 2nd generation biofuels

“The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it” A recently published study on growing methanol use in China highlights the truth of this Chin... read more

Biofuels post 2020 - latest views from the coalface

The annual ISCC meeting in Brussels is turning into a go-to event for players in the bioeconomy. This year the theme was ‘Implementation of the Paris COP 21 Agreement – Decarbonization and... read more

Waste packaging –a sea change for bioplastic?

The European Union and public opinion are set to change radically the plastics industry, by requiring waste plastic collection and recycling.  But will this be good or bad for the emerging biopla... read more

Aluminium: recycled, recyclable, renewable, sustainable

The past two years has seen a flurry of announcements of new brands associated with different types of recycled and ‘renewable’ primary aluminium. Added to this, the ASI (Aluminium Steward... read more

Should the ASI allow a market credits system?

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative will launch a sustainability scheme in 2017. The aim is to get sustainable aluminium into the market place as soon as possible after this.  A market credits s... read more

Biobased% - a new certification for bioplastics

The total bio-based content of bioplastics and other renewable materials can now be certified, providing a key differentiator in the market. The new certification encompasses all the elements derived... read more

Renewable Energy Directive post 2020: will it help advanced biofuels?

The proposed new RED continues the re-orientation of biofuels strategy towards advanced biofuels made from waste and away from crop derived biofuels. But how much will the new RED, as currently worded... read more

Sustainable Aluminium moves closer to the market

The ASI (Aluminium Stewardship Initiative) has just published its most practical  Chain of Custody Standard yet. Aluminium has an excellent future in the Circular Economy, as it is infinitely re... read more

EU Biofuels Sustainability Schemes expire

Recognition of the first seven Voluntary Sustainability Schemes for verifying compliance with the Renewable Energy Directive had to be renewed by the 9th August this year to avoid expiry. Three of th... read more

Who will make drop-in bioplastics in Europe?

Neste and IKEA recently announced a partnership to ‘deliver renewable, bio-based plastics’, which must be taken very seriously, as they are world leaders in biofuels and consumer goods res... read more

Which are the most sustainable biofuels?

Advanced biofuels are in the news as the EU considers the role of biofuels in transport post 2020. The Commission recently published ‘A European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility’ 1, whic... read more

Tracing aluminium through the supply chain

A number of companies sourcing commodities, including aluminium, are implementing sustainable purchasing practices, partially as a response to customers and international brands who want to be su... read more

Biofuels Sustainability Schemes: reassessment time

Sustainability Schemes were first approved five years ago and they are now being reassessed for the next five years. What will happen to sustainability certification into the future? In August 2011,... read more

Building recognition for sustainable aluminium

Some producers are making big efforts to reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint of their primary aluminium. The lightweighting and infinite recyclability of aluminium, which are key to i... read more

Putting in the energy to recycle carbon dioxide

It’s holiday time. Exactly twenty-seven years ago, colleagues and I filed a patent , covering the production of formic acid from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Formic acid is principally used as a... read more

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