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In China, the true cost of Britain's clean, green wind power experiment: Pollution on a disastrous scale

In China, the true cost of Britain's clean, green wind power experiment: Pollution on a disastrous scale | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
This toxic lake poisons Chinese farmers, their children and their land. It is what's left behind after making the magnets for Britain's latest wind turbines...

The reality is that, as Britain flaunts its environmental credentials by speckling its coastlines and unspoiled moors and mountains with thousands of wind turbines, it is contributing to a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China. This is the deadly and sinister side of the massively profitable rare-earths industry that the ‘green’ companies profiting from the demand for wind turbines would prefer you knew nothing about.

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Global Recycling Movement
Big and small efforts worldwide to manage waste
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3 Myths About Curbside Recycling ("sinlge-stream still good; despite difficulty recycling is worth it")

3 Myths About Curbside Recycling ("sinlge-stream still good; despite difficulty recycling is worth it") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Despite recycling being so widespread, many myths persist. This is partially because recycling has become so complex, and many previous facts are now outdated.


Myth 1: Single-stream recycling is always a bad idea

However, single-stream recycling makes recyclables easier to transport, is a simpler system for residents to use and has increased recycling rates.


Myth 2: Recycling plastic reduces waste

The plastic packaging and beverage industry encouraged recycling instead of regulating or banning disposable plastic bottles. Now, four decades later, disposable plastic packaging is barely regulated and the burden of waste management falls on local governments and not beverage producers. Sadly, plastic recycling is so complex that lots of materials end up in landfills, and plastic is often transported across the globe to find markets for the recycled materials.


Myth 3: It isn’t worth recycling

Although our recycling system could be greatly improved, recycling is overall a good thing. A look at national recycling rates sheds light on what is working and what isn’t with recycling. 

According to EPA data, 99 percent of lead-acid batteries (found in cars and trucks), 88.5 percent of corrugated cardboard boxes and 67 percent of newspapers were recycled in 2013. Unfortunately, only 28.2 percent of PET containers (such as milk jugs), 13.5 percent of plastic bags and wraps, and 6.2 percent of small appliances were recycled. An impressive 60.2 percent of yard trimmings were composted, yet only 5 percent of food waste was. Not surprisingly, states with bottle deposits also have higher recycling rates.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The recycling debate will go on because all sides have their respective concerns. Parties may not agree on the criteria for the arguments. 

"In my personal opinion, the simplistic view of living "the way we were" does not hold anymore. Although I belong to the senior citizen generation, I can see that the conditions 40 years ago are largely different from today, so the lifestyle preferences aren't always the same. Loving the environment can be expressed in differing ways."
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Japan’s Town With No Waste ("the citizens had the common sense to manage their trash so that it does not become garbage")

The village of Kamikatsu in Japan has taken their commitment to sustainability to a new level. While the rest of the country has a recycling rate of aroun
Bert Guevara's insight:
Although this is a small town, the lessons learned can be magnified to bigger populations. Zero waste lifestyle is not a fantasy.

"The village of Kamikatsu in Japan has taken their commitment to sustainability to a new level. While the rest of the country has a recycling rate of around 20 percent, Kamikatsu surpasses its neighbors with a staggering 80 percent. After becoming aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide associated with burning garbage, the town instated the Zero Waste Declaration with the goal of being completely waste-free by 2020."
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Join the International Recycling Movement on March 18 ("with resources dwindling, best time to re-think options")

Join the International Recycling Movement on March 18 ("with resources dwindling, best time to re-think options") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Global Recycling Day is debuting this year and will work to bring together world leaders and reinforce recycling as a global industry with one united voice.

We often think of recycling only on a local level, such as what goes in the household blue bin or when is the next community electronics recycling day. That will hopefully soon change with the launch of Global Recycling Day (GRD) on March 18. 

GRD is a day to not just celebrate the importance of recycling, but to effect change among world leaders and reinforce recycling as a global industry with one united voice. We spoke with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), one of the inaugural GRD sponsors, to learn more about GRD and how you can participate.

“There was a desire to raise awareness of the importance of recycling globally,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “We’re encouraging the world to think of [recycling] scrap as the planet’s seventh resource.”

For those unfamiliar with the six natural resources, they are air, coal, minerals, natural gas, oil and water. These represent the basics from which we create food and manufactured goods, as well as power our homes and cars. All of them are in limited supply, and increasing our global recycling rates will help preserve all six.

The reason this effort is global is because resources are a Planet Earth issue, not something only affecting America or other countries. 

“We want to increase the understanding of recycling with global leaders and policymakers,” Wiener says. “It was important for ISRI to be involved because we’re the voice of the recycling industry and our influence in the recycling space will help achieve the objectives.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
Not just a solid waste issue, but recycling should include all our natural resources. Why? Because we only have one planet, unless you want to live in Mars.

“We’re encouraging the world to think of [recycling] scrap as the planet’s seventh resource.”
"For those unfamiliar with the six natural resources, they are air, coal, minerals, natural gas, oil and water. These represent the basics from which we create food and manufactured goods, as well as power our homes and cars. All of them are in limited supply, and increasing our global recycling rates will help preserve all six."
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Government told to introduce tax on disposable coffee cups ("plastic lined paper cups still end up as garbage")

Government told to introduce tax on disposable coffee cups ("plastic lined paper cups still end up as garbage") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

MPs have today called for drastic action to tackle the UK’s mountain of unrecycled disposable coffee cups, demanding a new 25p tax on every one used. The members of an influential Commons committee hit out at big-name coffee chains for failing to act on the growing problem and said if all cups are not recycled within five years an outright ban should be placed on them.

In a report published on Friday, they said the Government had “sat on its hands” as the country has proceeded to throw away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups a year.

Introducing a 25p “latte levy” on top of the price of a drink - a move backed by The Independent - would pay to improve the UK’s reprocessing facilities and “binfastructure” and ultimately change people’s behaviour, said Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee.

The Government has recently taken action to tackle plastic bags and is also under pressure to act more widely on non-recyclable plastics.

But with the UK’s burgeoning coffee shop culture, attention has now turned to the growing problem of difficult-to-recycle cups littering the streets and clogging up the waste-disposal systems.

And Starbucks has said the company will start a three-month trail next month of 5p charge for disposable cups in up to 25 London stores, adding that its trial of a 50p discount for customers using reusable cups in 2016 “did not move the needle in the way we thought it might”. Just 1.8 per cent of its customers currently use recyclable cups.

Bert Guevara's insight:
I am starting to feel guilty when I take coffee in disposable plastic-lined paper cups. Bringing my own coffee mug appears to be the practical response.
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13 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again ("vegetable recycling is a cool way of reducing food waste")

13 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again ("vegetable recycling is a cool way of reducing food waste") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Greetings from i Creative Ideas! No time or space for your own vegetable garden? No worries! You can still enjoy growing vegetables at home. There are some vegetables that you can regrow again and again from kitchen scraps. Here at i Creative Ideas, we have come up with a roundup …

Examples include lettuce, celery, bok choy, sweet potato and basil. They are super easy to grow. You’ll just need a little bit time and patience to take care of the new plants and make sure they have the necessary water and sunlight. But the benefits are huge. You will have your own organic vegetable garden with regular supply at essentially no cost! In addition, projects like these will be great activities or fun experiments for the kids. They will have fun watching the scraps sprout and regrow. It’s a great way for the kids to learn about recycling and how plants and food can grow. Sounds magical? Let’s get started!

Bert Guevara's insight:
Recycling of food waste is not limited to composting. Try vegetable regrowing - a cool idea. 
You don't need big agri land to do it. You may even grow your garden indoors, so long as there is sunlight.
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PARMS to build recycling facility for plastic sachets ("moving forward to address marine litter")

PARMS to build recycling facility for plastic sachets ("moving forward to address marine litter") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

THE Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS) is set to establish a P25-million facility that will recycle plastic sachets. In a statement, the multi-stakeholder group said the  recycling facility will be able to process more than 150 metric tons of waste per year, which will be converted into products such as pallets, school chairs and other high-value plastic products.

“PARMS is premised on developing and implementing a holistic and comprehensive program to increase resource recovery and reduce landfill dependence, leading toward ‘zero waste,’” PARMS founder and National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) Member Crispian Lao said in a statement.

The large demand for products in sachet sizes in the Philippines is putting a strain on the environment, especially since plastic sachets end up clogging waterways. The Philippines, in recent years, has been tagged as one of the biggest polluters of oceans due to plastic dumping.

A partnership supported by the NSWMC, PARMS is a multi-sectoral coalition composed of top consumer goods companies such as Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines; Liwayway Marketing Corporation; Monde Nissin Corp.; Nestlé Philippines Inc.; Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc.; Procter & Gamble Philippines; Unilever Philippines; Universal Robina Corporation; as well as Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Philippine Plastics Industry Association; and environmental nongovernment groups such as the Zero Waste Recycling Movement; and Philippine Business for the Environment.


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Perth is named a zero waste town ("zero waste and circular economy are two sides of the same coin")

Perth is named a zero waste town ("zero waste and circular economy are two sides of the same coin") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it


Fair City secures £900,000 funding for recycling projects

“We look forward to building partnerships that will encourage re-use and repair schemes, reduce food waste, encourage more sharing, increase recycling, improve resource efficiency and create economic opportunities through developing the circular economy.

“In doing so, we hope to inspire positive changes in Perth, which will have wide ranging social, economic and environmental benefits for everyone.”

Perthshire South and Kinross-shire MSP Roseanna Cunningham – who is also the cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and land reform at Holyrood – said: “Re-using and recycling more, and making the most of the food we buy and grow, is something we can all do to reduce waste and keep products and materials in high-value use for longer.

“In Scotland we are working towards ambitious targets on waste, with 70 per cent recycled or prepared for re-use by 2025, and a commitment to reduce food waste by a third by the same year.”

SNP politician Ms Cunningham added: “Action from households, communities and businesses is crucial to achieve this. That is why I am delighted to announced this funding which will help Scotland’s zero waste towns come up with new and innovative ideas to bring these targets within reach.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
Zero waste goals run parallel with circular economy goals. To go down to basics, they are not different from the 3 Rs. I do not recommend adding more R's if we cannot implement the 3 R's efficiently.

“We look forward to building partnerships that will encourage re-use and repair schemes, reduce food waste, encourage more sharing, increase recycling, improve resource efficiency and create economic opportunities through developing the circular economy. 
"In doing so, we hope to inspire positive changes in Perth, which will have wide ranging social, economic and environmental benefits for everyone.”
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Recycling Mysteries: Tires ("pros & cons of recycling tires; room for improvement")

Recycling Mysteries: Tires ("pros & cons of recycling tires; room for improvement") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Let’s be honest: Tires make the world go round. Unless you’re a professional speed walker, your method of transportation probably involves tires of some sort. 

But these tires don’t last forever. Whether it’s an irreparable flat or loss of tread, eventually tires need to be replaced. Some tires can be retreaded for a second life, but what happens to those that are due for disposal? Let’s break down the ins and outs of recycling and properly disposing of your worn out wheels.

The EPA estimates that 45 percent of all scrap tires are burned for energy, also known as tire-derived fuel (TDF). Since the average tire contains five gallons of oil, they can generate comparable energy to crude oil or coal. 

More than 40 percent of TDF goes to cement kilns, but other uses include paper factories and electric companies. This means that keeping tires out of landfills affects the ground you walk on, the paper you write on and the lights in your home and office. 

The trick with TDF is that tires must be shredded first, since whole tires would be too large for a furnace. Shredding recovers much of the metal in a tire, such as the rim and lead weights used for balance. The metal can be extracted and recycled, leaving crumb rubber to use as fuel.

There are ways that tires can be recycled into new products, and most of these uses take place after shredding, since there is more demand for crumb rubber than whole tires. 

Crumb rubber can be used as the surface for playgrounds, because its soft padding helps prevent injuries. However, there has been recent debate over this use because of the potential toxins that tires may release, including lead and mercury.

The most important question still remains: How do you actually recycle tires? For starters, many retailers that sell tires will accept a limited number when you make a purchase. If you’re in the market for new tires, be sure to ask if recycling your old ones is an option.

Bert Guevara's insight:
There is much room for improvement on the issue of tire recycling. In the meantime, worn-out tires are a problem in the Philippines. 
They tried building coral reefs from them, but it was a bad idea. They tried reprocessing it to fuel, but emissions are still problematic. 

"The most important question still remains: How do you actually recycle tires? For starters, many retailers that sell tires will accept a limited number when you make a purchase. If you’re in the market for new tires, be sure to ask if recycling your old ones is an option. ...
"If you can’t find anywhere to dispose of your old tires, consider a way to reuse them. You can build a tire swing for the kids, use them as a planter in your backyard, “make sushi” or even build a house!"
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China bans foreign waste – but what will happen to the world's recycling? ("every country on its own")

China bans foreign waste – but what will happen to the world's recycling? ("every country on its own") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

The world's largest recyclable materials importer will leave other countries searching for alternative waste management solutions.

The dominant position that China holds in global manufacturing means that for many years China has also been the largest global importer of many types of recyclable materials. Last year, Chinese manufacturers imported 7.3m metric tonnes of waste plastics from developed countries including the UK, the EU, the US and Japan. 

However, in July 2017, China announced big changes in the quality control placed on imported materials, notifying the World Trade Organisation that it will ban imports of 24 categories of recyclables and solid waste by the end of the year. This campaign against yang laji or “foreign garbage” applies to plastic, textiles and mixed paper and will result in China taking a lot less material as it replaces imported materials with recycled material collected in its own domestic market, from its growing middle-class and Western-influenced consumers. 

The impact of this will be far-reaching. China is the dominant market for recycled plastic. There are concerns that much of the waste that China currently imports, especially the lower grade materials, will have nowhere else to go. 

This applies equally to other countries including the EU27, where 87% of the recycled plastic collected was exported directly, or indirectly (via Hong Kong), to China. Japan and the US also rely on China to buy their recycled plastic. Last year, the US exported 1.42m tons of scrap plastics, worth an estimated US$495m to China.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The international recycling order is changing; China is reducing the types of waste it is accepting. This means that countries have to manage their own wastes the best way they can.

"However, in July 2017, China announced big changes in the quality control placed on imported materials, notifying the World Trade Organisation that it will ban imports of 24 categories of recyclables and solid waste by the end of the year. This campaign against yang laji or “foreign garbage” applies to plastic, textiles and mixed paper and will result in China taking a lot less material as it replaces imported materials with recycled material collected in its own domestic market, from its growing middle-class and Western-influenced consumers."
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DIY - Make Your Own Bath Mat with Recycled Wine Corks ("tell your bartender to collect them for you")

DIY - Make Your Own Bath Mat with Recycled Wine Corks ("tell your bartender to collect them for you") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Ready to uncork your creativity? Make your own natural bath mat with recycled wine corks with these easy DIY project steps. Step onto natural creativity.

Enjoy a glass of wine with a bath? Why not indulge your passion for fine wine by recycling all of those corks you’ve been collecting and creating a stylish eco-chic recycled wine cork bath mat? 

Wait, what? How could you possibly consider putting wine corks in a bathroom of all places? Think about it. Cork is the preferred method to sealing wine bottles, known for its ability to lock out liquid, and keep vino fresh. If it’s good enough to preserve your favorite bottles of wine, shouldn’t it be durable enough to craft with?

Cork has amazing properties that are highly desired in bathroom décor, too. Cork is inherently antimicrobial, antibacterial, hypoallergenic and resists mildew. You know, all of the benefits that companies try to impart on their products with the use of chemical additives to non-natural fibers and materials. Yet cork offers them up naturally, in a material that comes from the bark of a tree and is a more sustainable choice.

Now go uncork your creative side – and that favorite bottle of wine!

Bert Guevara's insight:
Wine lovers, check this out! Tell your favorite bartender not to throw those cork seals away. You will be amazed at cork's properties.

"Cork has amazing properties that are highly desired in bathroom décor, too. Cork is inherently antimicrobial, antibacterial, hypoallergenic and resists mildew. You know, all of the benefits that companies try to impart on their products with the use of chemical additives to non-natural fibers and materials. Yet cork offers them up naturally, in a material that comes from the bark of a tree and is a more sustainable choice."
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Surprising Ways Today’s Trends Affect Paper Recyclers - Earth911.com ("the industry has to adapt")

Surprising Ways Today’s Trends Affect Paper Recyclers - Earth911.com ("the industry has to adapt") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

How has the Internet, the downfall of newspapers, and advancing technology in product design changed the way paper recyclers do business?

Let’s start with what is arguably the most transformative invention of our time: the Internet. As we consume more media online, that’s led to a decline in reading printed materials. “You can imagine that newspapers over the last two decades have dropped significantly in terms of readership, thickness of the newspaper, number of pages in newspaper, and in some markets number of days it’s published,” says Myles Cohen, president of Pratt Recycling, a division of Pratt Industries, one of the world’s largest packaging and recycling companies. “The amount of newspaper in the residential stream is down 60 to 80 percent over the past 15 years.”

That drop-off goes for magazines, too. And while you may feel like you get a lot of junk mail, it’s nothing compared to what it used to be — unsolicited catalogs and brochures have declined significantly.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, this makes a difference when it comes to recycling. But fortunately for those who deal with the paper stream, there’s been something to replace all that lost newsprint: cardboard.

Now, you can buy things online with just the click of a button, and in some cases, have it delivered to your door in mere minutes. That’s led to far more cardboard in the residential recycling stream than ever before. In many ways, this is good for recyclers. “Corrugated cardboard is quite a valuable scrap paper product,” says Bernie Lee, a research analyst at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). “The strength of fibers is highly valued in the secondary market.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
No one can predict exactly what innovations are on the horizon, but as these developments unfold, paper recyclers will continue to adapt, as they always have, in an effort to most efficiently take the paper we already have and turn it into something new.

"What does this all mean for paper recyclers? The majority of their business still comes from the commercial stream, and that has changed much less than the residential stream. Still, they must prepare for what’s on the horizon. Cohen thinks cardboard will only grow. “There’s going to be a demand for more and more paper,” he says. “Now instead of a manufacturer putting 24 of its products in one box and shipping that box to a store, they’re shipping that box to a distribution center and now there are 24 boxes that get shipped again to people’s homes.”
"Lee also points out that there’s a lot of uncertainty in the market right now, given that China has announced it plans to stop importing select scrap and waste materials, including unsorted scrap paper, by the end of the year."
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Finally, a sandwich bag that's endlessly reusable ("going reusable is best with right materials")

Finally, a sandwich bag that's endlessly reusable ("going reusable is best with right materials") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

These flexible, airtight, watertight "bbagz" are made of platinum silicone, are multipurpose, and will last indefinitely. Going Zero Waste just got a whole lot easier.

It’s time to say goodbye to plastic Ziploc bags forever! A cool new product called bbagz has just been launched, and it does everything a plastic sandwich bag can do – and much more. These bags are made from 100 platinum silicone. They are boilable, bakeable, sterilizable, dishwasher-safe, airtight and watertight, not to mention multipurpose and endlessly reusable. 

Launched by a Canadian entrepreneur named Andrew Stromotich from British Columbia, bbagz are a solution to the huge problem of single-use plastics that are currently suffocating our planet. An estimated 1 trillion plastic bags and $124 billion-worth of disposable food containers are used annually. That adds up to a horrifying 84 pounds of plastic bags per American citizen. These bags end up in waterways and oceans, where it’s estimated the amount of plastic will exceed marine life by 2050. 

It becomes easy to ditch single-use plastics when there’s a good alternative out there. Enter bbagz, which are flexible like plastic, quick and easy to seal, lightweight, and unbreakable. They are free from bisphenol-A, bisphenol-S (a common substitute for BPA that has its own share of health concerns), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and phthalates, and can be paired with an anodized aluminum clasp for a watertight seal.

Bert Guevara's insight:
I am always in favor of REUSING packaging materials, so long as they make more sense. The price is always a major factor though, which determines whether you can make the switch right away.

"The silicone with which these bags are made has a pure platinum catalyst (rather than the typical tin catalyst); platinum is usually reserved for medical use but is now gaining traction in the food industry. It is clean and inert, which means that the material has an indefinite lifespan; it will not degrade and is infinitely re-purposable, meaning it will not end up in a landfill in a couple years’ time."
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Makati's 2016 garbage hauling costs lowest since 2007 – COA ("doesn't this mean that law is doable?")

Makati's 2016 garbage hauling costs lowest since 2007 – COA ("doesn't this mean that law is doable?") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

The drop in expenses is attributed to the local government's environmental programs, according to the Commission on Audit.

According to state auditors, Makati City's intensive pro-environment programs such as the Urban Greening, Waste Reduction, and Diversification Program, and the enforcement of the Solid Waste Management Code based on the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, helped the government save money. 

Enacted under Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act orders all local government units to decentralize garbage collection. Barangays are tasked to teach residents how to segregate trash properly.

The COA report noted that the partnership between barangays and the Makati Environment Cooperative has been "instrumental in the sustained implementation of the barangay waste segregation and waste recovery program." Projects such as color-coded pushcarts, for instance, help monitor collection activities.

COA also lauded "Basura'y Bawasan, Balik-gamitin at Baguhin ang Anyo sa Pasko" (3B sa Pasko), a program that gives incentives to residents making creative use of recycled products.

"The [3B sa Pasko] program is among the many notable projects of Makati that aim to effectively reduce the volume of waste generated in the city," state auditors said. "The anti-smoke belching campaign and the anti-smoking ordinances are also continuously implemented."

Bert Guevara's insight:
The Makati CENRO is serious with their task of implementing R.A. 9003. Now the fruits of their labor are being acknowledged.

"The COA report noted that the partnership between barangays and the Makati Environment Cooperative has been "instrumental in the sustained implementation of the barangay waste segregation and waste recovery program." Projects such as color-coded pushcarts, for instance, help monitor collection activities."
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China's Recycling Ban: What Do We Do with Our Plastics Now? ("we own up to our own waste and be part of the solution")

China's Recycling Ban: What Do We Do with Our Plastics Now? ("we own up to our own waste and be part of the solution") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

But as of Jan. 1, 2018, China’s put the kibosh on many of these imports; they are no longer allowing us to send over much of the plastic and paper we’ve been shipping there for decades. What gives?

In a July 2017 filing with the World Trade Organization (WTO), China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection announced that they would no longer be taking imports of mixed paper, post-consumer plastics (including difficult-to-recycle types #3 to #7) and vanadium slag. Furthermore, starting in March 2018, they would be setting a prohibitive contamination limit of 0.5 percent on all other waste imports. This limit is so restrictive that it effectively furthers the original ban.

But why would they do this?

Well, for the past two decades, the recyclables China has been importing from other countries have had a high rate of contamination — we’re talking anything from minor impurities to full-on hazardous waste. The toxins from these materials were being released into the environment during the recycling process, and contaminated waste was being dumped into rivers. These problems combined to form serious air-quality issues, polluted drinking water and, ultimately, a public health crisis.

In short, China was tired of us dumping our environmental issues onto their shoulders and they decided to fight back.

We can’t blame China for wanting to take care of their country — after all, any deterioration of Chinese environmental conditions has a global impact. However, even if their good intentions are realized, the ban is likely to cause environmental problems in other parts of the world as recyclers are now desperately sending their waste to countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

But here’s the thing: The rest of the world can’t make up for the sheer volume of waste we’re creating. Three months into the ban and waste has already started to build up. Materials that were once deemed recyclable are ending up in landfills and incinerators. More virgin materials are being mined and manufactured to make up for production demands.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The myths of recycling has collapsed and we need to get up from our seats of complacency and be part of the solution.

In short, China was tired of us dumping our environmental issues onto their shoulders and they decided to fight back.
Though things may seem dark at the moment, there is hope for the future. The China recycling ban has the potential to set in motion a far more progressive disposal and recycling system in developed countries around the world. In fact, Lloyd Alter of Treehugger has already pointed out that this may be a “Sputnik Moment” for the plastics and recycling industry. This is our opportunity to move away from the belief that everything can and should be recycled. We should instead be furthering the cause of waste prevention, reuse, eco-design and, of course, a circular economy.
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World Service - World Hacks - Nine brilliant ideas for recycling waste ("if there is a will, there is a way")

World Service -  World Hacks - Nine brilliant ideas for recycling waste ("if there is a will, there is a way") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Fatbergs into fuel, plastic into clothes. It's time to get imaginative with your recycling:


1. Turn fatbergs into fuel


2. Turning rubbish into jewellery and furniture


3. Use plastic bottles for bricks


4. Make a bicycle helmet out of paper


5. Recycle old plastic to make clothes


6. Build a children's library from books found in the rubbish


7. Make a bike from a bamboo


8. Build furniture from cow dung


9. Make compost from your underwear

Bert Guevara's insight:
Many recycling ideas look crazy or weird in the beginning, but may later on become a hit. Check out these videos put together by BBC.
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13 Plastic Bottle Vertical Garden Ideas | Soda Bottle Garden ("fantastic up-cycling ideas for vertical gardens")

13 Plastic Bottle Vertical Garden Ideas | Soda Bottle Garden ("fantastic up-cycling ideas for vertical gardens") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

These 13 plastic bottle vertical garden ideas will interest you if you are a creative person, DIY lover and love to grow plants.

1. Window Farm

A windowfarm will let you do a lot with the little amount of space you have. The indoor windowfarms allows the crops to take full advantage of the light and vertical space available at the windows.

2. Plastic Bottles on Walls

Follow this amazing idea for growing small leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, fenugreek and spinach, herbs and medicinal plants. This plastic bottle vertical garden is made of by stringing the bottles horizontally in a grid along an interior wall, which then filled up by substrate and herbs.

3. Plastic Bottle Tower Garden

A remarkable kitchen garden with plastic bottles with minimal means and efforts. It can be set up easily and does not require regular watering. Here is the tutorial with more images of it.

4. Growing Cactus in Hanging Plastic Bottles

Do you want to create a low maintenance vertical soda bottle garden? Follow this idea. All that is required is bottles cut in half, cactus plants or succulents, and many colorful threads to get a really cool decorative effect.

5. Half Plastic Bottle Vertical Garden on Wooden Frame

6. Green Soda Bottle Vertical Garden

7. Another Vertical Garden

8. Bottles Hanging on String

9. Plastic Bottles Hanging on Net

10. Inspiring Plastic Bottle Garden

Plastic bottles are mounted on the wall for utilizing the vertical space. Bushy and trailing plants like lettuces and strawberries hide the structure, creating a nice ‘green wall’ effect.

11. Hanging Soda Bottle Garden

12. Vertical Plastic Bottle Herb Garden

13. Pyramid Plastic Bottle Garden

Bert Guevara's insight:
These 13 plastic bottle vertical garden ideas will interest you if you are a creative person, DIY lover and love to grow plants.

"This way you can use plastic bottles to make something amazing out of them. Repurpose those old bottles, which you usually throw away to grow your favorite plants either indoor or outdoor and help to save our environment."
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Op-Ed: Recycling Must Be Included in Infrastructure Bill - Earth911.com ("paradigm shift to a circular economy")

Op-Ed: Recycling Must Be Included in Infrastructure Bill - Earth911.com ("paradigm shift to a circular economy") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

As Congress and the Trump administration contemplate a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure, the question of how to use those dollars looms large. If the focus is just asphalt and concrete, it will miss the heart of American manufacturing.

At the top of manufacturers’ needs is access to good, consistent, high-quality feedstocks to make into new products. Let’s help meet that need with some of the best possible domestic sources of raw materials: the paper, plastics, glass, metals and packaging discarded by U.S. homes and businesses. That means including funding for improved recycling in the infrastructure bill as a way to ensure long-term reliable supply created right here at home.

We cannot thrive as a country if we don’t connect environmental health and infrastructure. That’s where recycling comes in. When it comes to manufacturing goods, we have two choices: take materials from the earth or keep them in cycle. Keeping them in the cycle saves an enormous amount of energy and keeps us from creating more methane-spewing landfills. More than 150 million Americans “vote” for keeping materials in the cycle by putting out their recycling bin every week. As materials move through that cycle, they create jobs every single step of the way.

Congress members have a golden opportunity to help their hometowns and their districts with funding for recycling in the federal infrastructure bill. These dollars could help communities provide universal recycling access to their households through the procurement of recycling carts, trucks and other equipment (all of which is also made in America). Further, Congress should use this infrastructure bill to move the country toward a more circular economy, one in which manufacturers design and produce products with the intent of reusing materials again in the future. Do you know who is already making these kinds of bold moves? China. And who will be our greatest economic competitor in the decades to come? China.

Bert Guevara's insight:
If landfills are obsolete and natural resources depleting, the shift to a CIRCULAR ECONOMY should be part of the investment budget.

"Congress members have a golden opportunity to help their hometowns and their districts with funding for recycling in the federal infrastructure bill. These dollars could help communities provide universal recycling access to their households through the procurement of recycling carts, trucks and other equipment (all of which is also made in America). Further, Congress should use this infrastructure bill to move the country toward a more circular economy, one in which manufacturers design and produce products with the intent of reusing materials again in the future. Do you know who is already making these kinds of bold moves? China. And who will be our greatest economic competitor in the decades to come? China."
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Can circular fashion reduce industry waste? ("the idea is promising but so much more has to be done")

Can circular fashion reduce industry waste? ("the idea is promising but so much more has to be done") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Under a new initiative from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a group of companies and nonprofits are supporting a new initiative aimed to reduce clothing waste.

While it's great to donate or recycle your clothes when you're done with them, only about 15 percent of our clothes get made into "shoddy," which is cheap fabric made from ripped up garments, or reused in another way. Less than 5 percent of what's donated makes its way to thrift store shelves. Less than 1 percent of clothing is recycled into new clothing. All the rest is landfilled.

Making clothes takes a tremendous amount of energy. Polyester production has doubled in the last 15 years, but polyester is made from oil and gas, which are environmentally costly to extract from the earth, and polyester won't biodegrade. About 30 percent of all clothes are made from cotton, a water-intensive crop that often uses pesticides and insecticides. Dyeing cotton takes more water and chemicals, and then the material is flown around the world to be sewed (sometimes in sweatshop-like conditions) before it's shipped again (burning more fossil fuels) to us in the U.S.

Fashion production needs a makeover, and as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has so boldly stated: "Our textile system is broken." The foundation's mission is to "accelerate the transition to a circular economy," and they recently launched the Circular Fibres Initiative targeting the fashion industry. Stella McCartney, H&M, Lenzing, NIKE Inc., and more than 30 other organizations have signed on to support the effort.

Bert Guevara's insight:
We cannot do away with clothes during our lifetime. But if 99% end up in landfills, then something is terribly broken in the system. The talk on "circular economy" is a welcome idea. 

"While it's great to donate or recycle your clothes when you're done with them, only about 15 percent of our clothes get made into "shoddy," which is cheap fabric made from ripped up garments, or reused in another way. Less than 5 percent of what's donated makes its way to thrift store shelves. Less than 1 percent of clothing is recycled into new clothing. All the rest is landfilled."
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The Future of Recycling, as Predicted by Today's Young Professionals - Earth911.com ("it will be a different world for recycling and we have to adapt")

The Future of Recycling, as Predicted by Today's Young Professionals - Earth911.com ("it will be a different world for recycling and we have to adapt") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
The recyclers of 1987 might never have imagined the world we live in today: the rise of plastic packaging; the ubiquity of small electronic devices; the internet and cellular communications; X-ray, laser and optical scrap separation; or the emergence of China as a destination for scrap. Scrap magazine asked young recycling professionals from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) to do just that — to look ahead 30 years and give their predictions about what the scrap recycling industry will look like in 2047.
The North American scrap industry will have fewer, larger companies 30 years from now, these recyclers say. “I think the landscape of the recycling industry will change” as companies get larger through “acquisitions, mergers, or organic growth,” says Sean Daoud, treasurer of PNW Metal Recycling in Longview, Washington. Larger companies will be better able to contend with higher “operating costs, a rise in asset prices, [greater] capital requirements, and regulation,” says Sammy Holaschutz, nonferrous trader at W Silver Recycling in El Paso, Texas. Daoud agrees. As new laws and regulations “put a heavy burden on corporations … [a] larger and more influential company will carry weight when trying to lobby for or against certain topics,” he says.
European and Asian ownership of U.S. scrap companies will increase, says Ross Stineman, Northern region buyer for PSC Metals in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. And the industry’s geographic reach will expand into “places that are less dense with scrap facilities currently,” says Zachary Mallin, vice president of Mallin Cos. in Kansas City, Missouri. Sean Kelly, managing partner and sustainability lead at Solvus Global in West Boylston, Massachusetts, sees the North American scrap industry moving in the direction of China in that “centralized recycling hubs will become prevalent and required.”
Bert Guevara's insight:
Much of the packaging and commodities have changed since recycling became a by-word. Check out what young professionals are predicting will happen to the recycling industry.

"The recyclers of 1987 might never have imagined the world we live in today: the rise of plastic packaging; the ubiquity of small electronic devices; the internet and cellular communications; X-ray, laser and optical scrap separation; or the emergence of China as a destination for scrap. Scrap magazine asked young recycling professionals from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) to do just that — to look ahead 30 years and give their predictions about what the scrap recycling industry will look like in 2047."
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The Dutch have built a cycle lane from used toilet paper ("good materials research leads to amazing recycling")

The Dutch have built a cycle lane from used toilet paper ("good materials research leads to amazing recycling") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Can you imagine cycling on a road made from used toilet paper? The Dutch – known for their love of two-wheeled transport – are doing just that, thanks to an innovative waste recycling scheme.

Cellulose is the main ingredient in paper, but the plant-based fiber has many other industrial uses too.

The toilet paper flushes through to a waste treatment plant where it is filtered out, cleaned and sterilized at very high temperatures. The end result is a fluffy material or pellet that can be used in asphalt.

It can also be used for bioplastics and building materials. Much of the toilet paper in the Netherlands is high quality, which means that it is high in cellulose, resulting in a better end-product.

Treated in the normal way, the toilet paper would remain in the sludge and be burned at the waste treatment plant.

It’s a cost-effective business model, claims the company. Carlijn Lahaye, CirTec’s Managing Director, told the BBC: “You remove something that is a burden in the waste treatment process plus you turn it into a high-value product that you can sell.”

The company says it is recovering about 400 kg of cellulose a day. Some of this is exported to England where it is used as a raw material to produce bio-composite. The remaining cellulose is used for the production and development of other products.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Can you imagine cycling on a road made from used toilet paper? The Dutch – known for their love of two-wheeled transport – are doing just that, thanks to an innovative waste recycling scheme.

"The toilet paper flushes through to a waste treatment plant where it is filtered out, cleaned and sterilized at very high temperatures. The end result is a fluffy material or pellet that can be used in asphalt. 
"It can also be used for bioplastics and building materials. Much of the toilet paper in the Netherlands is high quality, which means that it is high in cellulose, resulting in a better end-product."
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5 Fun Ways to Reuse Shampoo and Lotion Bottles - Earth911.com ("check upcycling ideas")

5 Fun Ways to Reuse Shampoo and Lotion Bottles - Earth911.com ("check upcycling ideas") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Trying to figure out how to reuse empty shampoo bottles? Here's 5 awesome DIY shampoo bottle projects that will give your bottles new life.

1. Cell phone charging caddy 

Make It & Love It blogger Ashley Johnston was sick of tripping over obnoxious wires while she and her husband charged their smartphones, so she came up with this ingenious solution. 

Created from an upcycled lotion bottle, this convenient caddy makes it easy to charge your phone at any outlet without leaving a trail of wire across the floor.

2. Plastic bottle necklace 

This chevron statement necklace is so chic and sophisticated, you’d never guess it was made from reused plastic bottles.

3. Hanging storage bins

Created with a simple cutting technique, this storage setup is versatile enough to be made from whatever empty shampoo or lotion bottles you happen to have around the house.

4. Bright and bold mobile

Perfect for a playroom or nursery, this colorful mobile is made almost entirely from recycled shampoo bottles. 

Dreamed up by Kimberlie Kohler at B.B. Bellezza, this fun hanging mobile is held together by embroidery floss and ribbon — two materials the blogger happened to have on hand — but she encourages readers to get creative and stay away from the craft store.

5. Recycled owl kids’ project

Made from recycled shampoo and soap bottles, these darling owls are the perfect project for a lazy afternoon at home with the kids.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Here are some DIY upcycling ideas for shampoo and lotion bottles. This is applicable if you have not shifted to the sachet economy yet.

"The plastic bottles used to package common bathroom products like shampoo, lotion and body wash are indeed recyclable. 
"But if you’re looking for a creative way to repurpose them first, there are loads of options to choose from. Stuck for ideas? Check out these five inventive craft projects that transform the humble plastic bottle into everything from useful storage to home décor."
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How to Keep Plastics Out of the Ocean - Earth911.com ("opt to using recycled plastic rather than virgin")

How to Keep Plastics Out of the Ocean - Earth911.com ("opt to using recycled plastic rather than virgin") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Envision Plastics works to stop plastic pollution before it starts, then turn that plastic into new products like sunglasses and packaging.

“Eighty percent of plastics in oceans come from coastal countries, most of which don’t have a waste management program to properly dispose of trash,” says Lewis. “When plastic is littered and it rains, that material ends up in the ocean.” 

So how do we keep that material off the ground and instead divert it into a recycling stream? While education is important, incentivization is more effective. 

Envision goes one step further than sponsoring beach clean-ups by creating local collection programs in countries with the biggest needs. A person can fill up bags with HDPE bottles before they ever hit the water. She or he will be paid by Envision’s partner for the plastic collected, and in one case, filling up one sack pays enough money to feed a family of four for a week. Envision then buys and recycles the plastic resin.

Collecting 10 million pounds of plastic only works if companies are using the recycled resin. Unfortunately, it’s often cheaper to manufacture plastic from virgin material than recycled content, which influences manufacturers’ decisions.

“In our opinion, the use of virgin plastics needs to cease,” says Norton Point CEO Rob Ianelli. “The planet simply cannot support any additional mismanaged plastic that is not bound for recycling.”

“Our customers deserve to know where the plastic comes from so they can further educate themselves on the issue and truly grasp the scale and scope of how big this problem is,” says Ianelli. “Traceability and chain of custody are paramount for our brand and business operations.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
Earth911 and PARMS agree with me that the best way to handle marine plastic debris is to incentivize recycling and to ensure the sustainability of the by-products.

“Eighty percent of plastics in oceans come from coastal countries, most of which don’t have a waste management program to properly dispose of trash,” says Lewis. “When plastic is littered and it rains, that material ends up in the ocean.”
So how do we keep that material off the ground and instead divert it into a recycling stream? While education is important, incentivization is more effective.
“In our opinion, the use of virgin plastics needs to cease,” says Norton Point CEO Rob Ianelli. “The planet simply cannot support any additional mismanaged plastic that is not bound for recycling.”
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Repurposed Furniture Ideas You Have to See - Earth911.com ("never ending stream of ideas")

Repurposed Furniture Ideas You Have to See - Earth911.com ("never ending stream of ideas") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

If you're looking for repurposed furniture ideas, turn skateboards into shelves and radiators into desks, or just try a piece of furniture in another room.

When a passion for repurposing is focused on furniture, the opportunities are limitless. Discarded street signs and broken skateboards provide vibrant patterns for tables and seats. A vintage radiator is a showpiece as the base on a desk. Empty toilets evoke smiles as a whimsical way to display potted plants. 

Whether shopping for upcycled products, embellishing pieces you already own or embarking on a unique DIY design, repurposing is exciting, economical and satisfying. Sometimes it’s also delightfully outrageous. Ideally, it’s kind to the planet. 

For repurposing and repurposed furniture ideas, we tapped into the wisdom of innovative artisans, shop owners and DIYers.


Bert Guevara's insight:
Check out the site for new ideas on up-cycling.
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Reducing food loss is key to end hunger and undernutrition by 2025 ("food waste argument is strong")

Reducing food loss is key to end hunger and undernutrition by 2025 ("food waste argument is strong") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
To end hunger and undernutrition by 2025—the goal of IFPRI-led Compact2025—reducing food waste and loss must be part of the solution. Globally, about a third of all food is lost or wasted every year—accounting for a quarter of the calories that would have been available for human consumption. In a world where 1 in 9 people go hungry, food loss and waste are urgent issues for hunger reduction.
Food loss also implies losses in nutrition, due to the loss of nutritious crops or deteriorating quality. Nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables have the highest loss and wastage rates of any food products. Further, while there is limited information on micronutrient losses in food value chains, studies have estimated Vitamin A losses occur from food loss and waste. Considering the micronutrient deficiencies worldwide, nutrient losses could have significant impacts on efforts to reduce hidden hunger and undernutrition.
Food safety concerns also lead to quality losses and can have devastating impacts on nutrition and health. For example, aflatoxin contamination in Africa is a significant concern due to health risks from exposure as well as the lack of market incentives to improve safety standards. Without improvements along the product value chain, this hinders consumers as well as smallholder farmers from fully benefiting from high-quality, nutritious foods.
Moreover, about $940 billion worth of food is lost or wasted each year throughout the entire food supply chain. In developing countries, food losses have significant implications on the income of smallholder farmers, who dominate food production and account for a large proportion of the poor and undernourished populations. On-farm losses reduce the quantity of crops to be sold, thereby reducing the income of farmers, especially smallholders.
Bert Guevara's insight:
The time has come to treat food wastage as an economic issue. Practical thinking points us to the need for innovation in the recovery program.

"In order to address food loss in developing countries, a whole value-chain approach is necessary. Solutions should not only benefit consumers with lower prices and greater nutrition value, but also support smallholder farmers. While many interventions target storage, conclusions from various studies suggest that targeting other points along the value chain is worthwhile. Furthermore, innovative policy solutions for smallholders could have great impact. It will be critical for policy makers and actors along the food value chain to use these insights to take action. Compact2025 can play a key role in bringing together stakeholders to engage at the country level, stimulate innovation, and support learning and partnerships."
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7 Strategies for a Zero-Waste Lunch - Earth911.com ("developing the right habits is easy")

7 Strategies for a Zero-Waste Lunch - Earth911.com ("developing the right habits is easy") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Zero-waste lunches are both a good way to save natural resources and money. Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way toward lunchtime waste reduction. 

1. Pack a Lunch from Home for Work or School

Bringing a lunch from home is also a helpful way to have more control of the quality of your food, ideally using organic and locally sourced ingredients (and fewer processed snacks).

2. Use Reusable Food Containers

Use reusable containers and bags for sandwiches, soups, yogurt, salads and entrees. To avoid a messy situation, store liquids in leak-free containers such as mason jars.

3. Source Locally Produced Foods

To save energy and to support local farmers, source as much food from local farms as possible. Frequent your farmers market, join a CSA farm, start a backyard garden and look for locally grown foods at the grocery store.

4. Make Your Own Snacks and Condiments

Back in the old days, people made virtually everything themselves from scratch.

5. Prevent Food Waste

Pack realistic quantities, especially if you cannot refrigerate perishable items. You can always pack less-perishable snack foods such as nuts or an apple to round out a meal.

6. Avoid Getting Carryout Food with Excessive Packaging

If possible, skip the disposable silverware, bag and napkins by using your own reusable ones, and forgo the condiment packets if you won’t use them. Keep in mind that some food packaging is recyclable if you remove the food waste.

7. Find a Recycling and Compost Bin

Bert Guevara's insight:
A guilt-free lunch is not only avoiding the excess carbs, calories and cholesterol. It is also avoiding waste.

"A glimpse inside a break room garbage can at work likely reveals an astonishing amount of waste from snacks and lunches. In fact, nearly half of the solid waste stream is comprised of packaging and paper goods, according to As You Sow, and food packaging is a primary culprit."
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