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Swansea team help Welsh printer company recycle old products into new toner cartridges

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The ASTUTE 2020 operation based at Swansea University has provided industrial Research, Development, and Innovation (RD&I) support to help Brother Industries (U.K) Ltd. produce their first Brother branded toner cartridge manufactured from recycled materials recovered from End of Life products.

Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd., based in Wrexham, has produced their first “new” Brother-branded toner cartridges with frames moulded using 100% recycled material.

With world-class academics at Swansea University and a team of highly qualified technical experts, ASTUTE 2020 supported the Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. team in investigating the technical difficulties of using recycled materials.

The research conducted was based on closed-loop recycling systems. For closed-loop recycling, Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. receives products back at the end-of-life and either remanufactures them or recycles them to make new products.

ASTUTE 2020’s extensive expertise in advanced materials focused their research on the effects of multiple cycles of recycling plastic, the upcycling of the material, the impact of mixing different materials from a range of manufacturers and batch-to-batch quality control.

Following production and quality tests, the 100% recycled material cartridge frames are now in full production.

Brother Industries (U.K) Ltd., Quality/Environmental Manager, Julian Cooper, said: “As a leading supplier of technology solutions, Brother Industries (U.K) Ltd. is adopting the principles of ‘Circular Economy’, placing the business at the forefront as an ethical and sustainable manufacturer of plastic components and becoming the Recycling Technology Centre (RTC) for the global Brother Group.

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We are committed to minimising our environmental impact, providing the best working conditions for our employees and making a positive contribution to the communities where we work.

Collaborating with the ASTUTE 2020 team based at Swansea University on our first industry-academia collaboration has strengthened the profile of Brother’s Recycling Technology Centre as well as the company’s long-term strategy to operate in North Wales.”

Professor Johann Sienz, ASTUTE 2020’s Operation Director, said: “This highly successful collaboration between ASTUTE 2020 and Brother Industries (U.K) Ltd. will have a direct environmental impact, reducing the use of raw materials, saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions from manufacturing and landfill. This will contribute to Government targets, the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies) operation, supporting manufacturing companies across Wales, has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and the participating Higher Education Institutions.


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Swansea estate agency scoops silver at leading industry awards ceremony

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Belvoir Swansea has scooped Silver within the Welsh Agency of the Year category at the UK-Wide Negotiator Awards 2021.

The Award Ceremony, which is the pinnacle for UK residential agencies, recognises the innovative agencies that go above and beyond for customers and communities; with this year’s awards focussing on adaptability during COVID-19.

Belvoir Swansea achieved the award following its most successful year to date (2020-21) since launching the business in 2010.

During what was a challenging time for businesses across the country, Belvoir bucked the trend and opted to further invest in the business. In September 2020, it opened its third office in the heart of Sketty, in November 2020, it re-located its Castle Street office to Swansea Marina, and relocated its Mumbles office in July 2021 to a more prominent location at 101b Newton Road.

Ben Davies, Managing Director of Belvoir Swansea, said: “It was an honour to win Silver. We were up against another six excellent agencies from across Wales, so we were really blown away to have won. The past 18 months has been difficult for businesses of all sizes and nature, so to win silver in such challenging times means even more to us.

“We have grown significantly over the past 11 years. We began as a husband-and-wife duo in our Castle Street office, and now employ 18 members of staff across three prime locations in Swansea. In that time, we have expanded our offer from just lettings to sales and have a brilliant portfolio of properties across the whole of Swansea.

“I’ve lived in Swansea my whole life and I am passionate about supporting the causes that mean a lot to our clients and the local community; from supporting local schools and sports clubs, to raising money for Action for Children.

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“We look forward to growing the business further across the coming years and look forward to experiencing the changing face of Swansea, as the redevelopments take shape across the city. It will undoubtedly attract more businesses and residents, which can only be a positive for the region.”

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Business leaders welcome new Kingsway office works

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Business leaders in Swansea have welcomed the imminent start of works on a major new office development on The Kingsway.

Led by Swansea Council, the development set for the former Oceana nightclub site will provide space for 600 jobs.

Bouygues UK are now on board as the council’s main contractor for the scheme, which will include 114,000 square feet of commercial floorspace with flexible co-working and office opportunities for innovative tech, digital and creative sector businesses.

Construction work will start in coming weeks on the five-storey scheme. Due for completion in the summer of 2023, the development will be carbon zero in operation and worth £32.6 million to Swansea’s economy once complete.

Lisa Hartley, Quadrant Shopping Centre Manager, said: “This is yet another exciting regeneration scheme in Swansea to look forward to as our city’s major redevelopment continues.

“With the way city centres throughout the UK are changing, more office developments and accommodation are needed to create the kind of spending our businesses need to succeed and expand. This development will combine with others to help meet that need, while also assisting with the attraction of new businesses and more investment.  

“Also – as we’ve seen with the Copr Bay phase one district – construction itself will benefit city centre businesses too because that’s where construction workers will likely be spending their money on food, drinks, accommodation, shopping and other services.”

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Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of Swansea Business Improvement District (BID), said: “The start of construction work soon at the new office development is even further encouraging news for Swansea city centre, at a time when so many projects are combining to ensure Swansea is in a strong place to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic.

“This new development will further improve The Kingsway, following-on from the major transformation scheme there that’s already attracting investment from the private sector.

“Footfall is the lifeblood of any business. By providing space for 600 jobs, the new office development will support our city centre by generating more spending in our shops and other businesses, with the flexible, co-working nature of the development catering for how office environments could best function in future.”

The development is part of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project being part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal. It is also supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

The scheme will feature state-of-the-art digital connectivity, a roof terrace, plenty of greenery, and balconies overlooking the city centre and Swansea Bay.

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Two underground levels will also be included as part of the development. Public access is planned, as well as a new link between The Kingsway and Oxford Street. Temporary surfacing has been deliberately laid in front of the development site, with permanent paving to be installed there once main construction work has finished.

Access to businesses nearby will be maintained throughout the construction works.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Swansea-based recycling business scoops national award

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Family-run business, Gavin Griffiths Recycling came out top at the Growing Business Awards 2021

This is the second award for the Swansea-based business this year, after the firm found success at the Swansea Bay Business Awards, picking up the Business of the Year 2021 award

The business describes itself as one of the region’s leading recycling, waste management, haulage and aggregate suppliers.

In a very competitive category at an awards ceremony to honour and reward the UK’s most entrepreneurial and high growth business, up against 1,400 other businesses in the category, Gavin Griffiths Recycling came out on top at the Growing Business Awards 2021.  

The firm said they were delighted to be announced B2B Business of the Year 2021 at the ceremony held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. They described this latest award as further testimony to the hard work and determination that has seen the business accelerate its growth plans since its birth in 2005.

During the last 18 months, the group has opened its second site, a 40-acre inert recycling facility in Carmarthenshire, complimenting its existing mixed recycling facility in Swansea whilst delivering one of its largest and most prestigious contracts working on the Llangennech railway crash land remediation.  

The arrival of new staff, additional machinery, plant and 10 new trucks to support the expansion plans have also seen the continued investment into the business.

The company said that whilst keeping its values as a family business, they have continued their community and social values programme, supporting grassroots sports, individuals, schools, and charities across South and West Wales.

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Gavin Griffiths, Group Managing Director commented: “I was very honoured to see us make the final of such a prestigious national award, but when our name was read out as the winner, I was extremely proud of what we have achieved as a team. I would like thank the whole team, as well as every one of our customers, suppliers and stakeholders for supporting us on our journey so far. 

“This recognition is phenomenal, we are so grateful and humbled to have been chosen from so many other amazing throughout the UK. We have some exciting developments on the horizon that will see us pioneer and lead the way in the recycling market. To win two awards in one year, really shows how we have kept our family ethos and worked hard to serve our customers across the whole business.”

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