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Ocean Garbage Infographic | The Verde Bag

Ocean Garbage Infographic | The Verde Bag | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

When it comes to seafood, the average person is consuming well over 30 pounds of it each year. From those who are serious seafood aficionados to those who eat it for its numerous health benefits, people all over the world indulge in popular fish options like tuna, salmon, and more every day. But while the whole globe is enjoying its fishy favorites, very few are taking into account that there’s something else lurking in the water: Garbage. With 70% of our Earth’s surface covered in water, and the other 30% of land being inhabited by 7 billion people, it comes as no surprise that some of the waste we generate is ending up in the water. But realistically, far more trash is flooding our oceans, rivers, and lakes than people think, and this has begun to result in murkier waters, warmer oceans, and bits of trash in the bellies of fish we eat. In a one-day clean-up of shores the whole world over, people have been shocked by the sheer volume of refuse one can collect in a day. It has become clear that continual clean-up of our world’s water is absolutely necessary—or else we’ll be eating our own trash, now and for years to come.

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Global Recycling Movement
Big and small efforts worldwide to manage waste
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Denmark Might Be Winning The Global Race To Prevent Food Waste ("they must be doing something right?")

Denmark Might Be Winning The Global Race To Prevent Food Waste ("they must be doing something right?") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
According to a recent report from the Danish government, Danes now throw away 25 percent less food than they did five years ago. Supermarkets are doing their part by selling older food at a discount.

Danes' increasing willingness to buy and consume items like just-expired dairy products has helped make them, arguably, the world champions in the fight against food waste. According to a recent report from the Danish government, Danes now throw away 25 percent less food than they did five years ago.

In 2008, after years of dismay at the amount of food she saw landing in Danish trash cans, Juul started the organization Stop Wasting Food.

Farmers and retailers often get the brunt of the criticism when it comes to food waste, but Juul decided to start at the other end.

"I thought, 'Who can we move? Well, we can move the people.' So we started focusing on the people," she says.

Juul created a Facebook group and two weeks later started appearing in the national media, where she has been a regular figure ever since.

It was an efficient strategy, given that individual consumers are responsible for 36 percent of food waste in this country, compared to retailers (23 percent), the food processors (19 percent) and primary producers (14 percent), according to figures from the Ministry of the Environment and Food.

But Juul says her seven-year effort to poke and prod consumers is starting to trickle up the food chain.

"Now, because it's become a trend of not wasting food, the companies and the food producers and retailers are starting to act as well," she says. "Compared to other countries, Denmark, at the moment, has the most supermarkets doing something to reduce food waste."

 

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Battling food waste is a whole lot of common sense and creative planning. It's time we get away from the straight-jacket of expiration and disposal. There are many ways of licking the problem.

 

"It's just good business," she says. "Any grocer would rather sell something than throw it away."
"She says Dansk Supermarked's chains have sold food near expiration at reduced prices for decades. But while buying these items might once have been considered a sign of poverty for consumers, it's now a badge of pride. And the company has responded by piling reduced price goods in dedicated areas, marked with special signage."

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, September 2, 8:58 PM

Battling food waste is a whole lot of common sense and creative planning. It's time we get away from the straight-jacket of expiration and disposal. There are many ways of licking the problem. 

 

"It's just good business," she says. "Any grocer would rather sell something than throw it away."

"She says Dansk Supermarked's chains have sold food near expiration at reduced prices for decades. But while buying these items might once have been considered a sign of poverty for consumers, it's now a badge of pride. And the company has responded by piling reduced price goods in dedicated areas, marked with special signage."

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The Evolution of Eco-Friendly Packaging ("the parameters have changed; no longer a cost-saving matter")

The Evolution of Eco-Friendly Packaging ("the parameters have changed; no longer a cost-saving matter") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
There is no way to avoid packaging in modern society. But with today’s environmental concerns, reducing waste and energy usage should be top priority.
Sustainable materials

Today, you can find a myriad of eco-friendly packaging materials. Such materials include recycled tape, bamboo, boxes made out of post-consumer waste (i.e. recycled newspapers), Geami paper and even mushroom stems (to replace packing peanuts).  By using such products, packaging becomes recyclable, reusable or biodegradable — which, in turn, significantly reduces the amount of waste found in landfills.

Waste reduction

‘Ganging’ print jobs is a great solution not only for saving money, but also for reducing paper waste in package manufacturing. This particular strategy uses one sheet of cardboard for multiple projects in order to conserve materials. Of course, to perform such jobs easily, manufacturers need flexible finishing machines which allow them to optimize material use and get the most out of their inputs. Since not all machines are capable of such endeavors, it is best to research advanced finishing solutions to find one that best suits these needs.

Energy conservation

Of course, dealing with such extensive mechanical processes wastes tremendous amounts of energy, which should be easily avoidable if modern solutions are in place. In addition, the fact that such processes must be outsourced means there is more waste being released into the environment as a result of transporting the product from one place to another.

To solve this issue, the industry has moved in the direction of digital finishing. Such machines automatically create a sample  then uses it to complete the rest of the production process. This greatly reduces the steps needed for finishing and lessens the amount of energy wasted per package.

Bert Guevara's insight:

More and more companies are listening to the demands of the environment-conscious consumer.

 

"A growing number of people today expect better ethical standards from large corporations. One area where this is particularly influential is in the realm of environmentalism. Fortunately, with increased awareness of global warming, consumers are able to push businesses forward to accept sustainable practices and hold greater accountability for the waste they produce. The packaging industry, though directly involved with potentially harmful materials, has responded impressively to the predicament, coming up with new solutions to make packaging less wasteful in terms of both the manufacturing process as well as materials used. Through the use of sustainable materials and modern finishing technology, packaging is moving forward to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint one step at a time."

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What should we do about electronic waste? ("we have to decide if we just dump them or recycle 'em")

What should we do about electronic waste? ("we have to decide if we just dump them or recycle 'em") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Today, over 80% of e-waste is landfilled, and much of the rest is dumped in the developing world, causing significant health and environmental damage

Fifty years after Gordon Moore first speculated his now-famous law (that microprocessors would get smaller, faster), his prediction has meant different things to different people. To Silicon Valley technophiles, it means sexy and sleek new phones, watches, tablets and phablets every eighteen months. To residents of Guiyu, it means 1.6 million tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) at their doorstep every year.

The UN estimates that nearly 50 million tonnes of e-waste are generated globally each year. With nearly 10% of the world’s gold supply (and over quarter of the world’s silver supply) used in fabrication of electronics annually, end-of-life electronics represent a gold mine – literally.

Yet, today, over 80% of e-waste is landfilled, resulting in the leaching of toxic elements such as mercury and lead into the ground. Most of the e-waste that doesn’t end up buried underground is illegally shipped to places like Guiyu, where scenes of children sitting on piles of our defunct laptops and keyboards foretell a dystopian WALL-E-esque reality.

Further, locals use primitive and hazardous recovery methods, such as cyanide leaching and open burning of circuit boards, to recover precious metals. In the process, they release highly toxic dioxins and furans, destroying their own health and the environment. Guiyu has historically been cited as one of the most toxic places on the planet, alongside Chernobyl in Ukraine. Despite a crackdown by local governments, reports suggest that over 80% of the children in Guiyu are at risk of lead poisoning and nearly 90% of adults suffer from neurological damage.

Bert Guevara's insight:

If someone from another world tuned into Channel Earth, the juxtaposition of the two tragedies would be mindboggling: people die from digging for gold. And then they die from melting it and burying it.


"And this whole time, the solution stares us in the face – to source 10 ounces of gold (the same as 30 shiny 18 karat wedding bands), we could continue to dig up 100 tonnes of dirt and gold ore. Or responsibly recycle a single tonne of cell phones."

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What is PP Sack Recycling? ("even if it's recyclable, only 1% reaches the facility; it is a challenge")

What is PP Sack Recycling? ("even if it's recyclable, only 1% reaches the facility; it is a challenge") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Plastic Expert take a look at what PP Sack Recycling involves...

The PP Sacks are likely to have contained anything from chemicals and fertilizers, to sand, gravel or grains, so it is very important that they are cleaned efficiently before being recycled. In fact, this contamination makes PP sack recycling difficult and infrequent. Despite being the single most used plastic packaging material in the UK, only 1% of post-consumer PP ends up being recycled. The message to take from this is that decontaminating PP is extremely difficult and until it can be done cheaply and efficiently en masse, PP Sack recycling will suffer.

The PP Sack recycling process is actually fairly straightforward. The material is collected in mill sized bales and taken to a reprocessing centre. At this location, the bags are sorted, decontaminated and cleaned. Things like zippers and buttons are removed and the bags are shredded into a flakey plastic. The material is then fed into an extruder, which melts it at 240 degrees celsius! In this stage it is formed into small uniformly sized beads, known as granules, which can then be remelted into different products at a later time. It is normal for virgin PP (unused PP rather than recycled) to be added to the mixture, to make it stronger and more valuable.

New technologies are in production to make the process more viable, so that the shocking 1% recycling figure can be improved. One such technology is working on a process that makes decontamination very simple, though it is scientifically complex, tackling the issues at a molecular level using vacuums and heat treatment!

Bert Guevara's insight:

Before we talk of banning another plastic material because only 1% gets recycled, although its 100% recyclable; then we may be avoiding the admission of the real problem. WE ARE THE PROBLEM!


"The PP Sack recycling process finishes its loop when the granules are melted and formed into a new product, which can be anything from a dustpan and brush to remote control. The loop can keep going though, as it’s possible to recycle Polypropylene many times!"

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Orion Magazine | Concrete Progress: From Waste to Watts at One of the World's Biggest Automobile Plants

Orion Magazine | Concrete Progress: From Waste to Watts at One of the World's Biggest Automobile Plants | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

 

The process starts with municipal solid waste. This is the technical term for household trash, the plastic wrappers and takeout containers and appliance cases that you cannot recycle or compost. Most people bag it up and leave it for pickup; a few cart it off to the dump (as we used to call it), where it’s thrown into a lined pit and left to decompose. When full, the landfill is capped, typically with clay or some other impermeable layer.

This cap is meant to keep waste products from leaking out, but it also keeps oxygen from getting in. The stuff inside, therefore, decomposes anaerobically, with little organisms consuming the material in a process similar to fermentation. As a result, all of the stuff in your trash bags goes through several forms before ending its solid life as landfill gas (or LFG), which consists of roughly half methane (CH4) and half CO2 and water.

In about a quarter of landfills, LFG is flared (which is to say, burned) as it rises out of the ground. In others, it simply drifts off into the atmosphere to join the rest of our greenhouse gases as they warm up the earth. Landfills are the third-largest source of human-produced methane in the United States, and methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2 (a pound of it captures twenty times as much heat as a pound of CO2). The waste is also unstable—LFG can be the cause of fires and explosions at landfill sites.

But while it’s a troublesome waste in some contexts, it’s a powerful fuel in others. Methane is essentially what you’re using if you heat your house with natural gas. It’s an increasingly important part of the American economy, and it’s tremendously controversial. As readers of Sandra Steingraber’s columns in Orion will be aware, natural gas is what fracking is for. In the case of landfills, however, methane is wafting into the air not from fossil fuel deposits but from our own waste. The key is using it.

Bert Guevara's insight:

“This place must devour fossil fuel.” But I was wrong. When I asked our tour guide how BMW powers its operation, I found that the factory runs not on coal from strip mines or oil from offshore wells, but on gas from the local landfill. BMW churns out 1,200 cars a day mostly on trash."

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DTI boosts charcoal briquette production in La Union village | mb.com.ph | Philippine News

DTI boosts charcoal briquette production in La Union village | mb.com.ph | Philippine News | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has given four more “carbonizers” in addition to support offered to Barangay Mameltac, here, which chose coal briquette-producing as its income-generating project (IGP).

DTI Provincial Director Daria Mingaracal was joined by village officials led by Barangay Chairman Catalino Silao and city government officials led by acting Mayor Hermenegildo Gualberto in the turn-over ceremony last July 20.

As a partnership project with the DTI, P900,000 worth of tools and equipment had been given to Barangay Mameltac through the Shared Service Facility (SSF) since December last year to improve and develop the quality of its locally-produced charcoal briquettes.

Among those given to the village were four carbonizers, four pulverizers, two mixers, and four mold sucking machines or fabricators to improve their implements. Trainings and seminars were also included in the package.

Charcoal briquette is a mixture of charcoal of wood or bamboo, burned leaves, destroyed furniture materials, and other solid wastes processed like the shape of a doughnut in five-inch sizes with the use of “gawgaw” or laundry starch. After being shaped through a pressing mold machine, the briquettes are dried for three days.

“The idea of producing charcoal briquettes is to help reduce debris and makes use also some recyclable materials to benefit the people and help prolong the lifespan of the City Sanitary Landfill,” Mayor Pablo Ortega told the Manila Bulletin.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Projects like this should be replicated.


"Charcoal briquette is a mixture of charcoal of wood or bamboo, burned leaves, destroyed furniture materials, and other solid wastes processed like the shape of a doughnut in five-inch sizes with the use of “gawgaw” or laundry starch. After being shaped through a pressing mold machine, the briquettes are dried for three days."

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The ROI of San Francisco's Zero-Waste Program ("reduction, reuse & recycling must be equally applied")

The ROI of San Francisco's Zero-Waste Program ("reduction, reuse & recycling must be equally applied") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Seizing an opportunity to conserve resources, reduce environmental impact, and create jobs, the city set a goal in 2002 to achieve zero waste by 2020.

Unlike trash, items that are composted and recycled create a return for the city. Recyclables are baled and sold to their respective markets: Scrap metal and certain plastics, for example, are often sent to Asia and imported back in the form of new products, and compostables are processed and transformed into nutrient-rich fertilizer, which is sold to local farms. Landfill waste, on the other hand, costs money.

These efforts extend to materials that are harder to recycle, like textiles. As part of its goal to reach zero waste, the city announced a partnership with I:CO last year to facilitate the reuse and recycling of clothing, shoes and textiles within retail stores, residential buildings and donation spots. San Francisco has also partnered with local employers and nonprofits to educate and engage citizens in the process.

Another benefit for local residents is that the program helps create green jobs. The city’sEnvironment Now green careers program prepares workers for the green economy and helps them access jobs that contribute to the city’s zero-waste goals.

Jacquie Ottman, green marketing pioneer and founder of the waste reduction communityWeHateToWaste, sees greater value in educating the public on the merits of reducing overall consumption and reusing products, rather than the consumption-centric focus of recycling.

“The greenest product is the one that already exists,” Ottman told 3p. “We need to reduce and reuse – that means don’t waste. We are missing an opportunity to reinforce that message with consumers.”

According to WeHateToWaste, repairing, repurposing and sharing products is the true key to a no-waste mindset. When we find creative ways to use what we already have and reduce our consumption, we get closer to saving natural resources and reducing costs.


Bert Guevara's insight:

The goal is not only to recycle and make quick returns. There are many aspects of reuse and reduction of resources that are more important aspects, but these will mean education and a lifestyle change. The returns are greater!

 

"The point is: Let’s not pat ourselves on the back too quickly just for recycling that plastic bottle or composting yesterday’s food scraps. Let’s find ways to truly reduce impact by avoiding the creation of waste altogether.

"That’s how we can all get to zero waste – and get a nice return on our investments."

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Chairs made of plastic wastes donated to schools | Tempo - News in a Flash ("4145 pcs donated")

Chairs made of plastic wastes donated to schools | Tempo - News in a Flash ("4145 pcs donated") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
A total of 4,145 school chairs made of recycled plastic wastes had been distributed to different schools in the country in a span of two years. Sen. Cynthia A. Villar said through Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance, they were able to contribute to the drive to reduce plastic by recycling the wastes into a more useful form. A staunch environmentalist, the senator noted that plastics remain as the most common trash, as her monthly clean up activity at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area Would show. “With this initiative of recycling plastic waste, we were able to create a source of livelihood for the poor, help solve the school chairs shortage in our schools, and at the same time care for the environment,” Villar said. Since the plant started turning plastic wastes into school chairs in May 2013, more than 4,145 school chairs were produced and distributed for free to different schools all over the country. The bulk was given to

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Another local initiative in plastic recycling, which translates to free school desks for public schools.


“With this initiative of recycling plastic waste, we were able to create a source of livelihood for the poor, help solve the school chairs shortage in our schools, and at the same time care for the environment,” Villar said.

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Sandamakmak na basura, hinakot mula sa Manila Bay kasunod ng masamang panahon | Video

Sandamakmak na basura, hinakot mula sa Manila Bay kasunod ng masamang panahon | Video | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Sandamakmak na basura, hinakot mula sa Manila Bay kasunod ng masamang panahon. Home of GMA News Online listing top breaking Philippine and international headlines, videos and photos encompassing sections of current events, sports, economy and business, science & technology, pinoy abroad, showbiz entertainment, lifestyle, weather, traffic and local region stories. Also includes foreign exchange rates, lotto results, board exam results.
Bert Guevara's insight:

Watch this video. Be amazed at the resourcefulness of the Filipino who manages to find income from garbage by the Bay.

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This Shipping Container Home Is Insanely Awesome ("pushing up-cycling design to the next level")

This Shipping Container Home Is Insanely Awesome ("pushing up-cycling design to the next level") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Would you live in a shipping container? No? Well, what if it looked like this?

Joseph Dupuis is the Carp, Ottawa man behind the "Off Grid Shipping Container Cabin" that's taken the I

Dupuis says that he built the tiny cabin from three 20-foot shipping containers. At 355 square feet, it comes insulated with heat -- necessary for those Canadian winters -- and a cooling system. The shipping container home is also outfitted with solar panels, a wood stove, full kitchen, and shower, with room for a "future" toilet (right now, the cabin only has an outhouse).

For critics that complain about the cabin's lack of a toilet, Dupuis says it's due to a legal issue. "If you dig for septic, the home becomes a dwelling," he told The Huffington Post. "I wanted the whole point of the cabin to be that you can break it down and move it whenever you need to."

Dupuis said he started designing the house in 2010, and worked on his plans for about an hour each day for three years. He constructed the home on his family's farm, building 95 percent of the cabin himself and leaving the rest to electricians and other subcontractors. He bought each container for $3,400 CAD and worked 12-13 hour days for three months to complete it. The hard work and planning paid off, as his cabin -- and its low costs -- are truly impressive. When he lived in the cabin himself, Dupuis' winter heating bill was only $35, and the most expensive bill he paid belonged to his phone.
Dupuis wants to turn the unexpected media attention into a business.

"I want to help as many people as I can get out of the pocket of big banks and make people more self-sufficient," he told HuffPost. "I see my friends buying $400,000 houses and they're in debt for the next 35 years. It's pretty backwards -- we don't need these expensive homes and all this stuff we have in our lives."

Bert Guevara's insight:

The idea of up-cycling containers is not new, but this designer tried to raise the bar. Check out the pictures.


"Dupuis said he started designing the house in 2010, and worked on his plans for about an hour each day for three years. He constructed the home on his family's farm, building 95 percent of the cabin himself and leaving the rest to electricians and other subcontractors. He bought each container for $3,400 CAD and worked 12-13 hour days for three months to complete it. The hard work and planning paid off, as his cabin -- and its low costs -- are truly impressive. When he lived in the cabin himself, Dupuis' winter heating bill was only $35, and the most expensive bill he paid belonged to his phone."

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Waste less tire recycling 3 tons per hour - YouTube ("tires need not be burned if u have this")

This is an example of what can be done with used tires.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a video of what can be done with used tires.

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As Electronics Shrink, Challenges for Recyclers Rise ("upgradability of small gadgets should be designed")

As Electronics Shrink, Challenges for Recyclers Rise ("upgradability of small gadgets should be designed") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
As laptops displace PCs in popularity, the level of standardization dropped, increasing the challenges for recyclers. But gold may be their saving grace.

But, like most big human-induced changes, there were unintended consequences, primarily in the form of the mountains of waste that resulted as products quickly became obsolete and tossed out only to be replaced by others with an equally short lifespan. (One study showed that 25 percent of electronic devices were used less than 500 hours before being discarded.) This is exacerbated by the fact that electronic waste can contain dangerous materials including lead, mercury and cadmium.

Indeed, numerous entities have taken action on the problem. There are now take-back laws in several European countries and American states, as part of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) movement. Many manufacturers and retailers have gotten on the bandwagon, and some have found ways to do it profitably.

Cade told me that things were easier when desktop and tower configurations were the norm, because those platforms were larger, designed for disassembly, and because they had reached a certain level of maturity. “They were pretty simple to carry on into a second use,” said Cade, who serves as CEO of PC Rebuilders & Recyclers in Chicago.

Standards (at least in the PC world) were eventually developed for things like hard drive interfaces and form factors, bus interfaces for printed circuit boards, CPU sockets, and memory. That meant that old PC’s could be upgraded by simply pulling out one component and replacing it with a newer one. The machines were also easier to disassemble, as screws or snap-fits were often used to hold them together.

As laptops displaced PCs in popularity, the level of standardization and upgradeability dropped.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The potential for upgrading and recycling of smaller gadgets is becoming more difficult. It will need an industry-wide initiative to standardize components for upgrading to happen.


"The relationship between standardization and innovation is really an interesting sideline. Because it’s only when innovation has slowed down enough for standards to be applied that third parties can get involved in the market. When they do, there is tremendous additional innovation and competition in that space. In the PC world, there was a huge aftermarket in peripherals. Laptops could still work with a wide array of standard USB devices. Now, in the mobile world, most of that innovation has migrated into software apps. It’s because of published software standards that apps can migrate from one phone to the next, while none of the hardware can, except possibly chargers and headsets."

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Waste Management and Disposal Sustainability | Sustainable Cities Collective ("feedstock competition?")

Waste Management and Disposal Sustainability | Sustainable Cities Collective ("feedstock competition?") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Incinerating waste has always polarized communities into advocates and critics. In the old days it was about air pollution as the filtering system was never sufficient. Now, however, as incineration technology has advanced, the worries are more about the effects of too many incinerators and running out of feedstock.

According to this fellow, waste to energy providers are under contractual obligations to sell a certain amount of electricity to the grid. If they fail to meet their targets they can be fined. Here's the problem: incinerators are now running short of "fuel" ie., garbage.

So the operators will pay more for recycling material than the recyclers. Further, he told me, that in the older incinerators still in operation, in order to moderate the temperature of the stuff being burned, they have to add wet organics to keep the temperature from getting too hot.

So there is a double whammy created:

in some cases organics that are supposed to be bound for anaerobic digesters are diverted to incinerators, andmaterial that should be getting recycled is being burned.

As for the companies that sell recycling sorting equipment? "It's killing our business," he said.

There are plenty of articles out there highlighting how Norway and Sweden have run out of material to burn and are now importing garbage from other countries to fuel their incinerators.

And this is the point. Sometimes policies intended to solve a problem, do it a little too well. Running out of feedstock and poaching from other sources isn't a progressive way of handling waste; once it's burned, the energy and resource is lost forever. When a product is recycled it extends its life and saves energy and resources.

While researchers are working on infinite recycling loops, for now we can get two, sometimes three uses out of a product before it's reached the end of its useful life, but it's better than it going up in a puff of smoke after its first life.

Bert Guevara's insight:

To recycle is still more sustainable than incineration, even after the pollution issues have been addressed. Experience from other countries have shown that the contractual obligations of incineration companies will lead to the burning of what should go to recycling and composting.

 

"In this case, while burning waste is full of good intentions (waste to energy, less landfill) and technology has advanced far enough that emissions issues are (potentially) a thing of the past, in reality, incinerating material misses the target of the circular economy (something the EU is striving for) and encourages societies to consume more stuff to provide waste for the incinerators to power the grid."

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Which countries produce the most waste? ("the global average is 1.2 kg/day and still growing yearly")

Which countries produce the most waste? ("the global average is 1.2 kg/day and still growing yearly") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
The amount of urban waste being produced is growing faster than the rate of urbanisation, according to a World Bank report

The top producers of MSW were small island nations, including Trinidad & Tobago (14.40 kg/capita/day), Antigua and Barbuda (5.5kg) and St. Kitts and Nevis (5.45kg), Sri Lanka (5.10kg), Barbados (4.75kg), St Lucia (4.35kg) and the Solomon Islands (4.30kg). Guyana (5.33kg) and Kuwait (5.72kg) also scored highly.

The worldwide average is 1.2kg.

New Zealand (3.68kg), Ireland (3.58kg), Norway (2.80kg), Switzerland (2.61kg) and the United States (2.58kg) were the top five producers in the developed world.

The countries producing the least urban waste were Ghana (0.09kg) and Uruguay (0.11kg).

The World Bank defines municipal solid waste as including ‘non-hazardous waste generated in households, commercial and business establishments, institutions, and non-hazardous industrial process wastes, agricultural wastes and sewage sludge. In practice, specific definitions vary across jurisdictions.’

Bert Guevara's insight:

How do you deal with a situation where waste increases with the rate of population increase and with urban development? Know the size of the challenge.

 

"The amount of urban waste being produced is growing faster than the rate of urbanisation, ...

"By 2025 there will be 1.4 billion more people living in cities worldwide, with each person producing an average of 1.42kg of municipal solid waste (MSW) per day – more than double the current average of 0.64kg per day.

"Annual worldwide urban waste is estimated to more than triple, from 0.68 to 2.2 billion tonnes per year."

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I just started composting in my apartment and you can too ("it's simple & practical almost anywhere")

I just started composting in my apartment and you can too ("it's simple & practical almost anywhere") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Composting in your apartment (or tiny house) is possible with a bucket and “Compost City.”

Louie kindly provided me with a bucket she’d reclaimed from a Potbelly Sandwich Shop and a jar of her own homemade bokashi bran. From reading her book, I was curious about what it would take to get set up with a bucket of wormy friends, but after talking about what I’ll be composting (a lot of juicer shreds, some vegetable peels, coffee grounds and tea), she made a compelling case that going the fermenting route was right for me.

Bokashi is technically a means of fermenting foods, which are then mixed with soil to complete their decomposition transformation. It has several advantages: it’s super low-effort and you can manage a pretty big volume of food scraps (I’ve learned that you don’t want to overfeed worms). But perhaps the biggest plus is that you can compost stuff that other systems can’t handle like bones, meat, dairy, cooked stuff and even the sad condiments that you’re sure have gone bad in your fridge but don’t want to think about.

Bokashi fermenting uses a special mix called Effective Microorganisms (lactobacillus bacteria, phototrophic bacteria and yeast) and some sort of plant flakes, usually wheat bran. You can buy bokashi flakes, or you can make them yourself—there’s a recipe on The Compostess blog.

Having the Compostess herself as a guide no doubt made the process much easier, but it really was a snap. A layer of bokashi bran and a layer of food straps went into the bottom of my bucket. Then we used a plastic bag to push down on the scraps and cover them.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There are many ways of practical composting in residential areas. Here is one of them.

There are many parallel products to 'bokashi' that are available locally.

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Trashy Love: Upcycling Your Garbage Into Something Great - Real Estate News and Advice - realtor.com

Trashy Love: Upcycling Your Garbage Into Something Great - Real Estate News and Advice - realtor.com | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Try converting your used or unwanted stuff into newer and more awesome stuff. You don't even have to be that crafty to pull it off, and it's a fun and rewarding way to spend a weekend!

A broken vase, a carton of past-their-prime eggs, and even a stack of way-past-their-prime CDs from the ’90s can be repurposed into gorgeous and functional home décor.

Take those eggs, please (we’re here all week, folks!). The cleaned, empty eggshells can be turned into miniature planters for succulents, a project we found in “Make Garbage Great,” by Tom Szaky and Albe Zakes of the recycling company TerraCycle. And those deeply unwanted Limp Bizkit CDs can be used to supply some colorful pop to a room divider. More? You can even make orange peels into candles, a bicycle inner tube into a wallet, and a plastic bottle (and spoons) into a bird feeder.

Some of our favorite DIY trash projects from “Make Garbage Great” are modern takes on furniture and home décor items that look remarkably similar to pricier pieces we’ve seen in places such as Restoration Hardware and West Elm.

“My favorite is the pallet table,” says Zakes. That’s a side table made out of a wooden shipping pallet. “Pallets are really easy to get your hands on, and you can make these cool tables yourself for next to nothing.”

Zakes’ wife, who isn’t quite the environmentalist he is, loves the fork place-card holder, a project that turns unwanted silverware into kitschy table décor.

Us? We love the simplicity and beauty of the glass candlestick. The project takes bits of broken or unwanted glass items to create a modern-looking, shabby-chic candlestick with very few tools or know-how required.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is not for waste trashers! But if you want to check your creativity, try your hand in up-cycling.


"If you find a project you love but don’t have the materials to make it, don’t let that stop you. Zakes recommends looking beyond your own garbage bin to what you can collect from friends, neighbors, co-workers, or even nearby businesses.

"Upcycling can be educational, too.

“You can learn a lot about the history of mankind by looking at garbage over the years,” Zakes says.


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Yes, recycling is still good business — if this happens ("there is need to apply several reforms")

Yes, recycling is still good business — if this happens ("there is need to apply several reforms") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
A recycling crisis is looming, despite innovation from names including Sioneer, Momentum, Durst and Gotham. Here's the solution.

That being said, due to the way many municipal recycling contracts traditionally have been structured, the recycling industry is facing a potential crisis.

Most contracts allow the municipality to drop off a truckload of recyclables, namely cardboard, paper, aluminum, rigid plastics and glass, at the recycling company at no cost. In addition, it is expected that the municipality also will share in revenue earned from the sale of the recyclables after the recycling company has covered its processing costs.

The result: In good times when there is strong demand for all commodities, everyone wins. However, when the there is a lack of a market for a specific commodity, even while all the other commodity types maintain strong markets, the economics of the recycling company can be threatened.

In this scenario, the municipality still benefits because even without any earned revenue for its recyclables, it still saves money by recycling because it avoids the alternative cost of sending the material to a landfill. The recycling company, however, has to incur the loss of selling the commodity for less than the processing costs, or worse, the cost of sending the commodity to landfill if there is no market. 

The good news is that the near-term and historical average price for recycled cardboard, paper aluminum and rigid plastics is above the processing cost and therefore profitable to recycle. 

The bad news is that recycled glass, on the other hand, currently lacks a robust end-market. Therefore, the recycling of glass results in a significant loss for the recycling company and often erases any profits earned by the recycling company. And since glass weighs more than any other type of packaging, it represents a disproportionately large portion by weight, about 20 percent, of the material arriving at recycling facilities.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Sustainability of recycling will require some policy changes, like the ones mentioned in this article.

 

"In order to properly structure municipal recycling contracts in a way that maximizes revenue for municipalities and profitability for recycling companies, municipalities should redefine what it means to categorize a product or package as “recyclable.”

"Yes, “recyclable” should mean that a commodity used in a product or package can be recycled into another marketable product, but it also should mean that the market value of that commodity pays more than the cost to process it at the recycling facility. This updated definition will ensure that there are no hidden costs that the taxpayer or the recycling company is burdened with."

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6 Food Waste Myths Dispelled | Civil Eats ("there may be commercial interests behind these myths")

6 Food Waste Myths Dispelled | Civil Eats ("there may be commercial interests behind these myths") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
There’s no question that food waste is a fiasco. Up to 40 percent of the food grown in the U.S. is never eaten. But for all the talk of reducing waste, among environmentalists, humanitarians, and penny-pinchers alike, there are still misconceptions about what’s safe to eat and legal to give away. So here’s a list... Read More

1. Myth: Food Retailers Can Get Sued if They Donate Food that Makes Someone Sick

It’s not uncommon for supermarkets to say they can’t donate food because of legal liability. But it’s just not true.

2. Myth: Use-By Dates are an Indicator of Food Safety

Here’s a quiz. What’s the difference between these date labels?

A) Use ByB) Best BeforeC) Sell By

Stumped? Most people are. A As we reported recently, the European Union is moving away from use-by date labels for these reasons.

3. Myth: We Need to Grow More Food to End Hunger

You’ve heard it said before that in order to feed the world’s rising population, farmers will need to grow dramatically more food.

4. Myth: That Last Bunch of Lettuce Couldn’t Possibly Taste Good

There’s a saying in the grocery biz: “Pile it high and watch it fly.” Customers rarely buy the last bag of apples or the final carton of milk; they assume there’s a reason it hasn’t sold already.

5. Myth: Ugly Fruit is Bad Fruit

And you thought high school cliques were shallow. It turns out there’s just as much pressure on fruit and vegetables to look good as there is on homecoming queens.

6. Myth: Feeding Animals Food Scraps is Always Dangerous

Humans have fed pigs and chickens food scraps for thousands of years. But since World War II, the practice has largely been replaced with grain-based feeds.

Bert Guevara's insight:

We are throwing away so much food because of certain standards and beliefs regarding food. Through the years, many of these have been considered myths. Find out why.

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Adidas Designs Sneakers Made Entirely from Ocean Waste ("advocacy sneakers from plastic send message")

Adidas Designs Sneakers Made Entirely from Ocean Waste ("advocacy sneakers from plastic send message") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
In partnership with Parley for the Oceans, Adidas recently released an innovative pair of sneakers made entirely of recycled plastic ocean waste.

Adidas is giving a whole new meaning to the old adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The eco-conscious sneaker brand recently released an innovative pair of kicks made entirely of recycled plastic ocean waste. The shoes are the product of an ongoing partnership with Parley for the Oceans, an initiative dedicated to raising awareness and combatting plastic pollution in the oceans.

“The conservation of the oceans is a cause that is close to my heart and those of many employees at the Adidas Group” said Eric Liedtke, executive board member for Adidas Group. “By partnering with Parley for the Oceans we are contributing to a great environmental cause. We co-create fabrics made from Ocean Plastic waste which we will integrate into our products.”

Parley for the Oceans is an organization in which creators, thinkers and leaders come together to raise awareness about the state of the oceans and to collaborate on projects that can protect and conserve them. As a founding member, Adidas supports Parley for the Oceans in its education and communication efforts and its comprehensive Ocean Plastic Program that intends to end plastic pollution for good.

Together, the Adidas Group and Parley for the Oceans will implement a long-term partnership program that is built on three pillars: communication and education, research and innovation, and direct actions against ocean plastic pollution. The partnership is an example of the Adidas Group’s open-source innovation approach: to engage with partners, crowd-source ideas and co-create the future of the industry. Among others, this collaboration will accelerate the creation of innovative products and integration of materials made of ocean plastic waste into Adidas’ product line starting in 2016.

Bert Guevara's insight:

I like this up-cycling idea.


"Adidas has long been a leader in the sustainable fashion movement. This partnership builds on the company’s strong track record in product sustainability, one of the key pillars of the Adidas Group’s sustainability strategy. Constantly looking into new and smarter ways to make its products better, this collaboration will also further strengthen the company’s ties with its consumers by allowing them to be part of the solution via retail and future activations. As a first action, the adidas Group has also decided to phase out the use of plastic bags in its own retail stores."

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How Your Old Jeans Are Warming Houses ("another textile upcycling idea which delivers warmth")

How Your Old Jeans Are Warming Houses ("another textile upcycling idea which delivers warmth") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
A group of organizations is using worn-out denim to create insulation for homes.

About a week later I stumbled upon the startling fact that Americans toss 82 pounds of clothing each year, resulting in 11 million tons sitting in landfills. And they don’t just stay there for a year or two. Because most textiles are not biodegradable, they’ll stay on this planet for 200 years. The donation pile doesn’t fare much better: One out of every 10 items of clothing donated is resold. The rest is either shipped off to be sold in other countries or goes to those growing landfills. 

Cotton Incorporated is working with Bonded Logic, Inc., manufacturers of UltraTouch Denim Insulation, to give beat-up (not in a trendy way) jeans a second life, and one that is impactful to boot. 

This year the program, which started in 2006, focused its efforts on New Orleans, which is still recovering from the massive amounts of destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It’s hard to believe it has been a decade since that natural disaster flattened and flooded the city and its surrounding neighborhoods. What’s even harder to wrap one’s head around is the significant rebuilding still left to be done after all of these years. FEMA estimates Katrina’s overall damage at $108 billion, the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. While the rest of the country may have moved on, New Orleans residents are still coping with their losses.

This year Sheryl Crow teamed up with the campaign to actively encourage denim donations, but the celebrity involvement didn’t stop there. Actor AnnaSophia Robb helped out alongside 600 other volunteers during the actual build. Robb also had the honor of presenting New Orleans resident Karen Walker with a key to her new home on the city’s America Street.

According to a Blue Jeans Go Green spokesperson, it takes about 500 to 1,000 pieces of denim to make enough insulation for a home, depending on its size. So far the program has collected more than 1 million pieces of denim, helping to produce over 2 million square feet of the insulation.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Another upcycling idea for interior designers.

 

"Considering the statistic floating around claiming the average person owns seven pairs of jeans, donating a fallen pair instead of tossing it in the trash can have a big impact on the environment.

"To date, Blue Jeans Go Green has diverted 600 tons of denim from landfills."

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Plastic road surface might be streets ahead of asphalt ("another clever plastic recycling idea")

Plastic road surface might be streets ahead of asphalt ("another clever plastic recycling idea") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Asphalt covers more than 94 percent of paved streets in the US, but have we gone down the wrong road with our choice of building material? A Dutch firm has unveiled plans for roads made from plastic, claiming they would last longer and cut construction and maintenance time.

VolkerWessels details a long list of potential benefits of pure plastic roads. First up, it is claimed the road could better withstand extreme temperatures, as low as -40° C (-40° F) and as high as 80° C (176° F). It would also be more resistant to corrosion and last three times as long as asphalt, while minimizing the need for maintenance (otherwise known as pesky roadworks and detours).

Because sections of the road could be prefabricated and installed on sand in a single piece, the company claims construction time for roads would be cut from months down to weeks. The material would also be lighter and allow better control over factors like road stiffness and water drainage, while a hollow space within could be used for all sorts of things. Some of ideas offered up by VolkerWessels include running cables and pipes and housing traffic loop sensors.

Further to the obvious environmental advantages in repurposing used plastic trash to build roads, the approach would lessen reliance on carbon-intensive asphalt production. And the company says that the more sustainable material would also better lend itself to forward-thinking infrastructure ideas like power generation and heated roads to stave off ice and snow.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Imagine recycled plastic pre-fab roads ....


"Because sections of the road could be prefabricated and installed on sand in a single piece, the company claims construction time for roads would be cut from months down to weeks. The material would also be lighter and allow better control over factors like road stiffness and water drainage, while a hollow space within could be used for all sorts of things. Some of ideas offered up by VolkerWessels include running cables and pipes and housing traffic loop sensors."

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The Recycling Industry is Losing Money -- and Fast ("there is a need to involve the waste generators")

The Recycling Industry is Losing Money -- and Fast ("there is a need to involve the waste generators") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
The recycling industry may be in trouble as Waste Management and other businesses are losing millions of dollars annually trying to manage recycling plants.

Waste Management and other leading recycling companies recently admitted that more than 2,000 towns and cities are paying to dispose of their recyclables. The recycling industry is losing money at astounding rates, with facilities unable to handle the smorgasbord of recyclables in timely enough fashion to produce profits. With environmentalists and lawmakers urging for bigger blue bins, they are backhandedly encouraging consumers to not sort their recyclable items.

Globally, falling oil prices, a powerful U.S. dollar and a weakened Chinese economy have twisted the prices for American recyclables downhill worldwide. While the U.S. has seen a large increase in cardboard use thanks to the online shopping industry, the Chinese demand for such products is reaching an all-time low.

Washington, D.C. residents’ carelessness while recycling left the city’s share of Waste Management’s profit depleted by more than 50 percent, driving the price of processing recyclables to nearly $63 per ton.

Environmentalists suggest that composting is the solution to recycling’s inefficiencies. With cultured West Coast cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Portland instituting citywide composting, waste has been reduced significantly. Composting can have a more direct impact on environmental issues by compartmentalizing items and sifting through trash before the dumps have a chance.

Only around 5 percent of waste produced in the U.S. comes from residential homes, with the other 95 percent coming from businesses and commercial industries. If businesses decided to simplify garbage and sift through recyclables instead of hurl all of its trash into cans together, the problem recycling companies face could be mitigated.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Ever since waste management became big business in some countries, the rules of the game are changing. New ideas are needed.


"The increase in recycling participation has certainly seen positive repercussions for the environment, but recycling the wrong way only creates headaches and losses of profit for big companies.

"While the recycling industry is hurting because the commodity level of certain items is taking a hit, it still has a dramatic impact on the environment. ..."

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Ramped-up “Reuse2Reduce” program leads to best-ever waste reduction | SUNY New Paltz News

Ramped-up “Reuse2Reduce” program leads to best-ever waste reduction | SUNY New Paltz News | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

This year, SUNY New Paltz expanded its efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle these objects, as Facilities Operations staff teamed up with the New Paltz Recycling Center, the student Recycling Club and a number of regional charities to divert usable food, clothing, furniture and electronics from dumpsters destined for landfills, and redistribute them to people and organizations in need.

“I am very much impressed by the effort that our students, campus staff and community members put forth to make this year’s drive a great success,” said John Shupe, assistant vice president for Facilities Management.

The campaign to salvage items during the student move-out period, known as the “Reuse2Reduce” program, is valuable not only for the contribution to local charities but as part of the College’s ongoing efforts to achieve zero waste.

“The program increased the total volume of material diverted from the waste stream by 150% from 2.4 tons in 2014 to 6 tons in 2015,” said Lisa Mitten, campus sustainability coordinator. “We’re moving toward zero waste by increasing coordination between students, staff from multiple departments, community organizations and community volunteers.”

That included the implementation of clearer signage and instruction on recycling bins in the residence halls. Other strides were made to communicate not only how to recycle unwanted items, but why.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It's important for the "waste generators" or the source of waste to decide how they want to dispose. A little information campaign with the right motivation goes a long way to pursuing zero waste goals.

 

“For this project, we were able to help the students understand that they were participating in a zero waste project and also helping other folks who are less fortunate,” said Laura Petit, recycling coordinator for the Town of New Paltz. “We were actually stopped by students and parents who asked us, ‘Where is this going?’ When they learned what we were doing they thought it was great and wanted to participate.”

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Used cigarettes given new life ("if you can't stop them, just make something out of their butts")

Used cigarettes given new life ("if you can't stop them, just make something out of their butts") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
MASHANTUCKET — A small mountain of extinguished cigarettes, stuffed in clear sealed plastic bags, piled up Thursday afternoon in the recycling
The plastic filters are recycled into bulk plastics for industrial products like pallets, and the tobacco and paper material is composted.
Since November, the casino has saved about 716,000 butts from the landfill, amounting to about 650 pounds, Foxwoods Environmental Services Supply and Equipment Manager Adam Lewis said.
Lewis said at this point, staff are only collecting cigarettes from its casinos.
“Once we include the hotels, the number could easily double,” he said.
Gamblers and other visitors who smoke at the casino are the first part of this recycling chain.
The cigarettes they throw away, either in ash trays or the special receptacles atop trash cans, are collected throughout the day by casino employees and placed in a small plastic bag. The bags eventually make their way to the casino’s recycling facility to a larger storage box.
Then, they’re picked up by a UPS truck. From Foxwoods, UPS takes them free of charge to TerraCycle’s plant in New Jersey.
TerraCycle accepts the extinguished cigarettes and ash, filters, loose tobacco pouches, rolling paper and the inner foil and outer plastic packaging from a pack.
“They can even make plastic ashtrays out of the cigarettes,” Lewis said.
Shipments to TerraCycle are made every two weeks.
“It’s usually 15 or 16 boxes, at between 5 and 8 pounds per box,” Lewis said.
Bert Guevara's insight:

Since we can't stop people from smoking, we may as well do something about their cigarette butts. Here is an example of how it's done.

 

"The efforts by Foxwoods and TerraCycle have regional benefits. For every pound of cigarette waste Foxwoods sends to TerraCycle, $1 is donated to the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut.

According to the nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, cigarettes are the most littered item in the world. Sixty-five percent of them are disposed of improperly.
While Foxwoods is only supplying discarded cigarettes, TerraCycle got its start in "worm poop," according to the New Jersey company's website.
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It is now illegal in France for supermarkets to throw away food ("affluence can't justify food waste")

It is now illegal in France for supermarkets to throw away food ("affluence can't justify food waste") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
But they can donate it all to charities, or for animal feed.

FRANCE’S PARLIAMENT VOTED unanimously tonight to ban food waste in big supermarkets – outlawing the destruction of unsold food.

Under the new law, supermarkets will have to prevent food waste and will be forced to donate unsold but edible food to charity, or for use as animal feed or compost.

They will also be able to donate products for energy and fuel purposes, France Info radio reports.

Socialist MP Guillaume Garot, who sponsored the bill, said:

It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods.

Under the new law, all large-sized supermarkets will have to sign contracts with a charity group to facilitate food donations.

According to L’Express magazine, children in France will now also be given be lessons on avoiding and preventing food waste, as part of their school curriculum.

French people throw away between 20 to 30 kilos (44 to 66 pounds) of food per person per year, which costs €12-20 billion annually.

In Ireland, the charity FoodCloud has estimated that at least 1 million tonnes of food are wasted here, every year.

The US state of Massachusetts introduced a similar law in 2014, banning businesses from throwing out food, if they throw out more than a tonne of it every week.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is another "game-changing" policy that will send ripples to other countries with similar scandalous food waste practices.

 

"t’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods."

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