Biome Bioplastics and Suregreen begun large scale UK-wide field testing and initial commercial sales of their novel biodegradable tree shelters. The development of these biodegradable tree shelters aims to tackle one of the forestry industry’s plastic pollution challenges and support the UK’s afforestation efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve its carbon neutrality targets by 2050, the UK government pledged to more than double tree planting rates, with an ultimate target of 30,000 hectares per year, equivalent to 90-120 million trees planted. Yet, while tree shelters are essential to protect saplings and help them grow safely, they are not collected at the end of their lifetime, already leading to an estimated 2,500 tonnes of plastic ending up annually in the natural environment after use.
It’s a bad time for the bioenergies companies in UK. Due to the difficult market conditions, CropEnergies will pause production in its plant in Wilton, North East England, operated by Ensus from the end of November 2018 on.
The Vivergo plant has re-opened following a four-month shut-down period following unfavourable trading conditions; in part – according to the British company – “driven by Government inaction on the future of renewable fuels and current market conditions”. It was closed in November and has been conducting maintenance and upgrade work during the closed period.
Over the coming months, it is hoped that conditions will improve as a result of the RTFO being passed through Parliament in March. This will come into effect later this month, increasing the use of renewable fuels in transport from 4.75% to a target of 9.75% by 2020.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies and the UK Government. launched a new biomass feedstock improvement process project which aims to show how the removal of impurities and contaminated material from sustainable biomass could make bioenergy cheaper and more efficient, consequently delivering better greenhouse gas savings.
Vivergo Fuels, the UK’s largest producer of bioethanol, is warning that the UK’s bioethanol industry and the thousands of jobs it supports are at risk, unless the Government backtracks on a recent recommendation.
“In 2015 the UK Government published its first report demonstrating how important the bioeconomy is to the UK. They commissioned a second report in 2016, ‘Evidencing the bioeconomy’, which estimated the bioeconomy generated £220bn in Gross Value Added and supported over five million jobs in the UK”. Margaret Smallwood, CEO of BioVale, an innovation cluster supporting development of the bioeconomy in Yorkshire and the Humber, talks to Il Bioeconomista. In this exclusive interview she talks about the bioeconomy in UK after Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US President.
Vivergo Fuels, the UK’s largest producer of bioethanol and high protein animal feed, has been chosen as one of the Government’s new official Northern Powerhouse partners and is the only Humberside-headquartered private business to be named on the list.
The British bioeconomy takes a step forward: five established R&D centres across the UK have today announced a new alliance, BioPilotsUK, to position Britain as a global leader in biorefining technology development and bio-based product manufacture, two key elements of the bioeconomy.