Axion Polymers is creating low carbon polymers as part of its CCA
Manchester-based recycler, Axion Polymers, has achieved its Climate Change Agreement (CCA) target and says reducing its energy costs has created value for the company.
Axion says the achievement “firmly underlines” its commitment to energy-efficient production of sustainable low carbon polymer products derived from end-of-life vehicles and waste electrical and electronic equipment.
“Reducing our energy costs and introducing more efficient processes creates savings for us that we can pass onto our customers and ensure that our output products are really competitive in a tough, price-sensitive market,” said Keith Freegard, Axion Director.
Two years ago, the Manchester-based plastics recycler was one of the first companies in its sector to sign up to the Government’s current Climate Change Agreement, administered by the Environment Agency. The current CCA scheme started in April 2013 and will run until 31 March 2023.
Achieving its CCA target has earned Axion a credit of 1,803 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which is banked on the EA register. This credit or ‘surplus’ can then be used in future target periods to offset any underachievement.
“Because we’re in control of the whole value stream from car to finished product, the very act of trying to make our recycled polymers extremely low-impact from an environmental viewpoint also reduces production costs. It’s a winning combination all round that proves carbon does equal cash,” Freegard added.
In order to accurately measure the benefit of the new process efficiencies, Axion Polymers carried out a detailed ELV plastic Carbon Footprint Analysis to take account of the whole ELV materials recovery loop from the ATF de-pollution stage, through the primary shredding and SWAPP separation plants and during the final refining at Salford to make finished polymer products.
The study showed that by specifying 100 percent recycled polymers for all the plastic components on a new family compact car, a potential carbon saving of around 400kg CO2 equivalent per vehicle could be achieved when compared to using 100 percent virgin polymers.
Axion based its calculation on a typical modern hatchback 5-door motor car, weighing 1.25 tonnes and containing approximately 235kgs of polymer, with an average split of 40 percent polypropylene (PP), 30 percent polystyrene (PS) and 30 percent ABS.
“Multiply this figure by the 1.5 million or so new vehicles manufactured each year in the UK, and there’s a massive potential for savings in carbon emissions and costs in the automotive sector alone,” Freegard concluded.