France – There has been major growth in the sustainable sector in France, Recycling International learned at the 26th edition of the annual Pollutec trade show in Lyon which attracted over 2300 exhibitors and 60 000 visitors from all over the world. Domestically, ‘green’ sales totalled roughly Euro 70 billion in 2012, it has been reported.
‘It is a lot more busy compared to last year – there are people everywhere – but increased traffic in the halls doesn’t automatically mean business is better,’ noted Copex ceo FrÃ©dÃ©ric Malin. Faced with a slow and ‘complicated’ market, his company has opted to expand into machines specially designed to tackle industrial and municipal waste as well as refuse-derived fuel. ‘You have to keep exploring how to balance out the decrease in demand for certain solutions,’ he observed.
The reputation of technology
Having emphasised that his company remains 100% French, Malin added: ‘I am against protectionism, don’t get me wrong. Still, I believe you have to fight for and invest in the domestic economy as a French company instead of, say, outsourcing operations to Taiwan.’
He also reflected with some sadness that Copex can’t follow the successful German model and market its technologies under the label ‘Made in France’. He lamented: ‘People simply don’t think of machinery when they think of France, but of fashion, wine and fine food.’
Meanwhile, several companies such as Steinert of Germany, Bronneberg of the Netherlands and Molinari of Italy confirmed they are eager to maximise the potential of the French market. The first two have hired a team of agents to boost their companies’ reputations in France, while Molinari used Pollutec to launch its latest equipment, namely the Molinari Granulator Mill which is claimed to save as much as 50% in energy consumption.
In addition, ZenRobotics of Finland has entered final negotiations with a ‘major’ French recycler to install its newly released next generation robotic sorting system. The solution is fast and strong; it can ‘learn’ how to identify items and on the conveyor belt and has a pick up range of up to 20kg.
For more information, visit: www.pollutec.com