Blue Planet Environmental Solutions Pte. Ltd. (“Blue Planet”), a Singapore headquartered integrated waste management company, announced today the strategic acquisition of British electronic waste (e-waste) technology company, Smart Creative Technologies Ltd. (“Smart Creative”), which is an established player in the UK for almost a decade.
With this acquisition, Blue Planet has expanded its technological capability and will be able to provide a sustainable solution to handle e-waste, which is currently the fastest growing waste stream in the world.
“E-waste is increasingly becoming a challenge and an opportunity in the region. Policymakers, industry leaders and consumers are paying more attention to the current low-rates of recycling in Asia. They are looking for safe and sustainable processing technologies to ensure high resource recovery and safety for all those engaged,” said Prashant Singh, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Planet.
Asia’s growing economies currently generate 40 per cent of e-waste in the world — and only 15 per cent of the region’s e-waste is collected and recycled. This is often handled by the informal sector which treats the e-waste using outdated methods that release toxic chemicals that cause widespread damage to human health and the environment.
Singh added, “E-waste in the region is commonly handled by informal workers without the necessary health, safety and environmental precautions and this has had profound impacts on their quality of life.
“This is true especially for countries like India and Bangladesh, where a network of informal workers and waste pickers — including women and children — collect, dismantle and recycle e-waste under miserable and unsafe work conditions.”
Beyond social and environmental benefits, proper e-waste recycling solutions are important because they enable a high rate of material recovery, which reduces the demand for further mining of heavy metals — a highly environmentally-damaging process — and therefore decreases carbon emissions caused by manufacturing using virgin materials.
Innovation at the heart of sustainable e-waste technology
With the aim to recover high-value materials from electronic waste components, Liverpool-headquartered Smart Creative Technologies has developed a proprietary, innovative method to extract resources that have traditionally been lost in inefficient, inherently toxic and outdated processing methods.
“In Asia, there are many unsafe and unethical recycling techniques and mining practices that have a significant negative impact on society. Smart Creative has developed an ultra-safe, clean, ethical and environmental solution which recovers 99 per cent of all materials. This is achieved by using non-hazardous chemicals which gives higher yield and returns compared to traditional technologies,” said Jonathan Quinn, founder of Smart Creative.
The company offers a technology that involves a clean chemical recovery process and increases throughput and yield by using ultrasound to reduce the processing time considerably. With the use of ultrasonic agitation, the technology speeds up recovery period by up to 20 times.
The method can treat waste in less than 30 minutes while recovering higher quantities of both precious metals like gold and palladium and other metals like tin and aluminium.
Furthermore, the company’s recovery system for silver and lead — from discarded e-waste such as printed circuit boards and cathode-ray tubes — provide a local, sustainable alternative to treating e-waste that eliminates the need and high cost of exporting e-waste.
The technology lowers energy consumption by up to 80 per cent compared to traditional methods like smelting. It enables the increased conservation of natural resources by extracting significantly higher levels of materials without risk to humans and the planet.
“With Blue Planet’s investment and access to its international networks, we can roll out our technology faster — especially to countries in Asia who urgently need it.
“We believe that the key to success is collaborating with the right partners who share our values, and we have found a great match in Blue Planet with our common vision to tap on an economic opportunity while creating tangible social and environmental impact,” Quinn added.
The acquisition of Smart Creative is an important milestone for Blue Planet in its quest to achieve zero waste to landfill, and is aligned with Blue Planet’s vision of providing solutions that cater to the triple bottom line of protecting the environment, benefitting people and achieving prosperity.
Blue Planet’s foray into the e-waste market is another step towards its aspiration to develop scalable technologies across a wide variety of waste streams that can be customised based on local requirements in the region.
Smart Creative’s technology is the latest addition to Blue Planet’s portfolio of waste-processing capabilities. This includes the processing of low-value plastic waste and organic waste into valuable by-products, thus creating circular economy solutions for its partners and stakeholders.
SOURCE: Blue Planet Environmental Solutions Pte. Ltd.