ATLANTA, December 18 -- The Coca-Cola Company has announced an agreement extending a loan to Ioniqa Technologies, a startup company based in the Netherlands.
The agreement is expected to accelerate the scaleup of Ioniqa’s polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling technology. PET is widely used to produce plastic packaging but is hard to recycle and only around 20% of the material is recycled. The remaining amount is incinerated, sent to landfills, or leaks into the natural environment. Ioniqa has developed a proprietary technology that can convert PET-containing waste into purified polymer building blocks that can be reformed into high-quality PET. Earlier this year Unilever partnered up with Ioniqa and Indorama Ventures, the largest producer of PET resin, to scaleup the technology.
The new agreement is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of the recycling technology and enable the recycled PET to be used in bottles used by The Coca-Cola Company.
Coca-Cola’s investment supports its global vision, a World Without Waste. The holistic plan includes a goal to create packaging made of at least 50% recycled material by 2030. Ioniqa’s technology supports a circular economy for plastics. A circular economy is one in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible. This technology will allow packaging, such as PET bottles, that may have been excluded from certain recycling streams to be recycled into food-grade quality packaging. Robert Long, chief innovation officer of The Coca-Cola Company, said: “Our investment in new and pioneering recycling technologies is an opportunity for significant movement toward closing the loop and creating a circular economy for PET.” He added that the company plans “to continue investment in developing the right partnerships and initiatives – like with Ioniqa – to support our vision of a World Without Waste.”
Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO of Ioniqa, said: “Partnering with The Coca-Cola Company is a further validation of our journey to launch this unique process for transforming hard-to-recycle PET waste into high-quality, food-grade material.” Ioniqa’s technology has been validated at demonstration scale and a 10,000 t/y industrial plant is under construction in the Netherlands. Commissioning is expected in 2019.
The fundamental problem of the French presidency has been unexpectedly highlighted by Emmanuel Macron’s response to the Gilets Jaunes. Florence Aubenas, writing in Le Monde, noted that in her visits to ronds-points where protesters were gathered, no politician’s name other than Macron was mentioned. Hence it was only to be expected that their demands would be met by a declaration from the president himself. He delivered a great deal in his televised speech, more than most observers expected he would. But he delivered it on his own, without consultation with the legislature, leaders of his own or other parties, or even, it seems, with the relevant ministries. The practical problems of fulfilling his promises have become apparent only after the fact. For example, the expedient mechanism for increasing take-home pay at the bottom of the income scale–adding to the activity bonus–will leave out many people earning the minimum wage, perhaps justifiably because their spouses are earning more, but perhaps not. Nobody really knows because nobody has investigated the consequences of a measure decided unilaterally, by fiat, by the president. The same goes for the elimination of the CSG on pensions. For administrative reasons, it seems that it can’t be put in place as quickly as the president promised.
The president of the Republic has, when he chooses to invoke them, such unchecked autocratic powers that he can easily promise more than he can deliver, undermining his own credibility. The hasty–dare one say panicky–response to the crisis illustrates the flaw of this autocratic executive model. If Macron wants to get at the root of the crisis, he should impose checks and balances on himself and discipline himself to consult with both public and civil society institutions before acting. This crisis demonstrates the utter failure of France’s intermediary bodies, which must be rebuilt effectively and quickly. And that does not mean giving in to demands for a so-called RIC, or citizen initiative referendum–an idea that will only make an already disastrous situation even worse.
Guest author: Art Goldhammer
AMSTERDAM, December 18 -- Dutch energy company Eneco will be privatised via an auction next year, the company and its shareholders said on Tuesday.
The decision marks the end of a heated battle between the 53 municipalities that own Eneco and the company’s board. The shareholders voted by a large majority to sell the company in October last year, but the board said it would prefer a stock market listing or partial sale that would ensure continuity as a renewables-oriented company. The dispute led to the dismissal of both the company’s CEO and chairman as well as an investigation into board decisions.
The decision to opt for an auction, however, was finally supported by all parties, spokesman Edwin van der Haar said, with a final decision on the sale expected by the end of next year. Eneco, estimated by analysts to be worth about 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion), is heavily invested in sustainable energy projects and could appeal to energy companies that want to increase exposure to renewable energy production. ($1 = 0.8798 euros)
LONDON, December 1 -- The UK arm of Dutch firm BAM has landed its biggest-ever contract after it was chosen to build a new suite of offices in London’s King’s Cross that will serve as social media giant Facebook’s new headquarters.
Bennett Associates, which is designing the development, aims for Facebook’s buildings to be the lowest-carbon commercial offices in the UK. BAM, which recently completed Coal Drops Yard, also in King’s Cross, said the deal “represents the largest contract signed by BAM” although did not reveal the contract value for reasons of commercial confidentiality. Plots T2 and T3 of the development will become known as 11-21 Canal Reach and will house Facebook’s offices in two BREEAM Outstanding-rated buildings. The building on plot T2 will be 12 storeys high at its highest point at the southern end of the site, stepping down to nine storeys towards the north. There also be roof terraces with views across the city.
BAM is onsite already with a “substantial” enabling and substructure works package. Completion is expected early in 2021. Construction director Ewen Hunter, who has led for BAM on several of the buildings at King’s Cross, said: “Nothing at King’s Cross is ordinary. Every building is ambitious and the client is constantly pushing what can be achieved for itself and others. “Our teams embrace the challenge and our integrated model, involving our design and engineering businesses, makes us an ideal fit for the scale and complexity of this big building with a demanding design.”
Rutte was the first stop on British Prime Minister Theresa May's unsuccessful tour to seek assurances for a Brexit deal from EU leaders last week. The Dutch premier was one of several leaders defending her afterwards at a summit in Brussels -- or at least in comments he made in English. In Dutch, however he warned at the summit against any move to take the Netherlands out of the EU, saying 'If anyone in the Netherlands thinks Nexit is a good idea, look at England and see the enormous damage it does."
The Netherlands has been anxiously watching developments in Britain, a key trading partner and one-time ally on many European matters, as it prepares to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. Rutte himself originally invited May's predecessor David Cameron to Amsterdam give the fateful speech leading to the 2016 referendum that led to Brexit, although it ended up being postponed and shifted to London.
Observers say Monday's advert is the start of Rutte's campaign for his Liberal VVD party in the run-up to European parliament and Dutch provincial elections next year. Known for his upbeat character and his man-of-the-people habit of riding his bicycle to work, Rutte "wants to beat his opponents with positivity and optimism," the NOS public broadcaster said. Rutte also warned about those creating division in the Netherlands -- compared them to "screaming football dads on sidelines". He referred to recent demonstrations for and against Black Pete, or "Zwarte Piet", a blackface Christmas-time character accused of being a racist stereotype. "People were so busy shouting for and against Zwarte Piet that they forgot about the children," for whom Rutte said the early December festival is organised.
ROTTERDAM, December 17 -- The shortage of labour is biting into The Netherlands’ growth as the Dutch economy is projected to hit 2.6% growth in 2018, which will decelerate to 1.9% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020.
ABN Amro’s projections last week were marginally more ambitious, projecting 2% growth for 2019, down from the 2,5% projection earlier this year. Both lenders see labour shortages affecting growth in The Netherlands, particularly in the construction sector. Dutch multinational banking and financial services company Rabobank’s chief economist, Menno Middeldorp, told the public news agency NOS that it was now time for the government to invest in economic sustainability, including a tax on carbon emissions. The Netherlands’ finance minister Wopke Hoekstra said on December 14 that the government is forecasting growth of 2.6% for 2019, with new projections scheduled for release later this week.
PHOMN PEHN, December 17 -- A lawyer representing a Khmer Rouge leader who was sentenced to life imprisonment last month is threatening to seek up to US$1 million in damages over his dismissal by the international tribunal that handed down the sentence.
Victor Koppe was dismissed last Thursday on the advice of Cambodia’s bar association, which said that the Dutch national had not been a member of the bar in the Netherlands for nearly three years and should not therefore be practising law in Cambodia. He nonetheless appeared in court on November 16 to witness the verdict against his client, 92-year-old Nuon Chea, for committing crimes against humanity including genocide. It is unclear what effect, if any, Koppe’s dismissal will have on the verdict, which is now at the appeals stage. Britta Boehler, Koppe’s lawyer, claims her client was given permission to appear by the tribunal’s defence section chief Isaac Endeley. In an email addressed to a number of tribunal officials and seen by the Post, Boehler describes Koppe’s dismissal as illegal because Cambodia’s bar association only requires foreign lawyers to be a member of the bar in their home country at the point of registration, not on a continuing basis. She further accused tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra of distributing misinformation about the case before suggesting an amount that would be sought in compensation for damages including “punitive damages”. “Mr Koppe reserves the right to seek monetary compensation for all damages incurred or to incur in the future,” she said in the email. “Presently, I estimate the compensatory damages to amount to US $1 million.”
Pheaktra, who has dismissed any accusation of wrongdoing, said Koppe’s dismissal was in line with the tribunals “internal rules”. Suon Visal, head of the Cambodian bar association, said Koppe had not been “honest with [the] legal profession as required” in his failure to notify it about his lack of registration in the Netherlands. Visal went on to criticise Endeley, the defence section chief, for not checking the foreign lawyer’s qualifications and allowing Koppe to represent his client despite knowing that he was disbarred. Endeley did immediately respond to requests for comment. The United Nations-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia has spent nine years and more than US$300 million prosecuting the leaders of the country’s Khmer Rouge. Between 1975 and 1979, at least 1.7 million Cambodians – a fifth of the country’s population – lost their lives under the regime. As well as Chea, the tribunal has convicted 87-year-old Khieu Samphan for crimes against humanity and Kaing Guek Eav, former head of the Khmer Rouge prison system.
AMSTERDAM, December 17 -- Ajax teenager Matthijs de Ligt, 19, claimed the Tuttosport award after receiving the most votes from an international panel.
Coveted Ajax captain and sensation Matthijs de Ligt has been crowned the 2018 Golden Boy as the most promising Under-21 player in Europe. Linked with LaLiga champions Barcelona and Premier League titleholders Manchester City among others, the 19-year-old centre-back claimed the Tuttosport award after receiving the most votes from an international panel.
De Ligt beat Roma winger Justin Kluivert, Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, AC Milan forward Patrick Cutrone and Real Madrid teenager Vinicius Junior to the honour, won by Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe last year. Netherlands international De Ligt – under contract until 2021 – has been a revelation since making his debut for boyhood club Ajax in 2016, establishing himself in the heart of the Eredivisie club's defence.
A first international call-up following last year and De Ligt continues to attract interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs, with Barca reportedly at the front of the queue.
ROTTERDAM, December 14-- An American student living in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam has been stabbed to death in her apartment and police are preparing to arraign a man suspected in the slaying.
Police spokeswoman Miriam Boers confirmed Friday that the victim was 21-year-old Sarah Papenheim.
Papenheim was a psychology student from Andover, Minnesota, studying at Rotterdam's Erasmus University. Rotterdam police say in a statement that she died Wednesday after a stabbing incident in her home near the university. The 23-year-old suspect, whose name hasn't been released, was arrested the same day at the railway station in the southern city of Eindhoven. Boers said he would be arraigned in closed-door hearing before an investigating judge. According to local media the suspect in Papenheim's murder was her roommate, but police have not confirmed the man's identity.
In spite of her young age Papenheim had become quite well known in the state's music scene as an accomplished drummer. Veteran drummer and guitarist Jellybean Johnson, who played with Minneapolis legend Prince, told CBS Minnesota on Thursday that he was so impressed with Papenheim's power on the drums when he saw her play in the city that he nicknamed her "Thumper." He became a mentor and friend to the younger musician and he is "still numb" over her the death of "a great spirit." "I still can't believe that something this bad happened to her, especially, because she was such a great kid," Johnson said. Papenheim moved to the Netherlands to study psychology, with a focus on suicide, several years after her own brother took his life, according to Johnson.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Papenheim's family raise the money necessary to bring their daughter's body home to Minnesota.
One of the top authors of The Peet Journal is Pete McGea. As a native born Scotsman, Pete
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