Thank you for recycling

18th September 2020
Written by: Heather Rattray, Interface

It’s been a year like no other and amongst the disruption and upheaval that Covid-19 has brought there has also been some positive news that we can shine a light on, in particular around the environmental and sustainability stories that we can share. So, in this blog we celebrate #RecycleWeek.

Within the Programme for Government which launched a couple of weeks ago, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that, 

Our economic recovery must be a green recoveryThe impacts of the crisis have reinforced the need for that, but also the opportunities it presents. Putting a green recovery at the forefront of our approach offers many businesses the chance to innovate and diversify, and it gives individuals the opportunity to retrain and upskill in new and high-growth areas.”

And here at Interface we are certainly seeing these innovative and green trends amongst the fantastic businesses we are supporting. Here are some of the recycling superhero’s we are delighted to have worked with!

Re-Tek, based in East Kilbride, provide refurbishment and resale of used IT equipment. In 2018 they extended the life of 200,000 used technology items therefore preventing the need for these items to be inefficiently or needlessly recycled or landfilled. Interface connected Re-Tek to the University of the West of Scotland on a project focussed on recycling/reclamation of rare earth minerals and in precious metals recovery from electronic waste. This was to partner in a bid for a €166k tender by EU Life/WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) UK which was successful and has led to further collaborations.

Renewable Parts Ltd, based in Lochgilphead and Renfrew, a leading supply chain and refurbishment partner for wind energy industry in the UK, have adopted circular economy principles to the renewables market – in particular how wind turbine components can be refurbished and remanufactured to create a greener and more sustainable renewable energy industry. Matched by Interface to the University of Strathclyde, the partnership has drawn on expertise and talent across multiple departments including the Advanced Forming Research Centre.  Leveraging funding from the Energy Technology Partnership, Scottish Institute for Remanufacture, and Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy Investment Fund, Renewable Parts is a company leading the way in sustainability.

Edinburgh based Recircle, has created a breakthrough technology that allows rubber to be effectively recycled into high quality applications. Through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with Heriot-Watt University, brokered by Interface, they are looking to provide a robust methodology for the rapid evaluation of the surface chemistry of rubber following processing to certify effective *devulcanisation.

In addition to these businesses which have been built with green credentials at their heart, we have also supported businesses from various sectors which have worked with academia to incorporate recycling and environmental sustainability into their business delivery. They have looked at additional applications for waste products or created new products or packaging either out of recycled materials or materials that can be recycled, or which are naturally produced.

As we all know, there are some great initiatives happening across Scotland to support a green future and hopefully these examples have provided some inspiration on how academia and Interface are playing a role.

If you have an idea or challenge and think that academic expertise could help accelerate the development or provide expert opinion, then please contact us.

Thank you to ZeroWaste Scotland for their campaign assets. Scotland recycles. #RecycleWeek

*(Devulcanization is the process by which the polymer attributes of vulcanization are reversed. Vulcanization, a chemical process for converting rubber or related polymers into more durable materials via the addition of sulfur or other equivalent “curatives” or “accelerators”).