Global Recycling Movement
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Global Recycling Movement
Big and small efforts worldwide to manage waste
Curated by Bert Guevara
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Making wealth from waste | Water, Land and Ecosystems ("human septic waste to fertilizer pellets")

Making wealth from waste | Water, Land and Ecosystems ("human septic waste to fertilizer pellets") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Work was in the early stages of a low-cost, mostly open-air plant that eventually is anticipated to produce 500 metric tons a year of fertilizer powder and pellets for the agriculture sector under the trademarked name “Fortifer.”
But what will be unusual about this fertilizer plant is the raw material that will be used: human waste from septic tanks and latrines in the area. To be more precise -- 12,600 cubic meters a year of waste when the plant is at full operation.

The fecal sludge to fertilizer pellet plant will be the first in West Africa under an innovative waste to food business model promoted by scientists from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which leads the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). IWMI scientists are also supporting the establishment of several other public-private partnerships in Ghana.

Rapid urbanization here in Ghana and many other parts of Africa and Asia is exerting massive pressure on already strained water and land resources. WLE’s Resource Recovery and Reuse (RRR) program is striving to reduce urbanization’s negative footprint on ecosystems by safely converting human waste into a resource that benefits farmers, improves sanitation, and generates new business opportunities.

Humans generate millions of tons of solid and liquid waste every day. In the developing world, many cities don’t have adequate treatment facilities for the fecal matter. Often the waste collects in sewers, household septic tanks or pit latrines – basic toilets that collect feces in a hole in the ground. Where treatment is lacking, waste ends up in water bodies or land. This leads to pollution of the water used on farms downstream, bringing urban fecal matter back up the food chain and to the urban household table. The result of this cycle is severe environmental pollution and public health problems.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Some day, this will be a necessary process for many countries who have not solved their sewage system. That includes the Philippines.

 

"For 15 years now, IWMI and its partners have studied technological options for recycling fecal sludge to improve sanitation and create a “circular economy”. The research has resulted in the production of various forms of pathogen-free organic fertilizers, including Fortifer.

"Laboratory analysis and pilot projects in Ghana showed that Fortifer is a safe product and can improve agricultural yields by 20 percent to 50 percent compared with the use of inorganic fertilizers, while also maintaining soil health."

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BusinessWorld | PHL joins UN waste program ("lapu-lapu and general santos cities up for piloting")

BusinessWorld | PHL joins UN waste program ("lapu-lapu and general santos cities up for piloting") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

The Philippines is one of five Asian countries taking part in the endeavor to be co-financed by all participating nations and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which committed $7.56 million to the project’s total budget. The project was approved by the GEF back in February of this year.
Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, and Vietnam will be joining the Philippines, with the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) serving as the local coordinating agency.
The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) is aiming to rectify shortcomings in the implementation of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Waste Management Act of 2000.
Current practice permits the release of toxic fumes, called persistent organic pollutants, or POPs, in breach of the Philippines’ international obligations. Populations must be protected under the Stockholm Convention, which addresses POPs’ impact on human health and the environment.
Best available technologies (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP) will be introduced to Lapu-Lapu City and General Santos City as part of the UN program.

Eligio T. Ildefonso, the NSWMC executive director, acknowledged the existence of laws governing proper waste disposal, but enforcement must be strengthened.
“It’s already in the law, we just need to be more aggressive in the implementation. Especially in the prohibition of burning,” said Mr. Ildefonso said.
“We need to improve the policy to craft one specific ordinance, so we can instill in the entire city the right regulations and standards of waste management. From here, we’ll replicate this in the other cities; in a span of five years, we’ll identify other opportunities to be included in the components so if funds run out, our national government may provide” he said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Why not in Metro Manila? UN solid waste program to pilot in Lapu-Lapu City and Gen. Santos City.

 

"Interventions for BAT will be the rehabilitation of dump sites by upgrading infrastructure, particularly the construction of recycling facilities, and the creation of a centralized system for cleaning scrap.
"For BEP, the UNIDO and the five countries will focus on improved waste collection and segregation, avoidance of waste containing chlorine or bromine content, and the technical training of waste personnel."

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7 Reasons Why Recycling Is Not a Waste: A Response to 'The Reign of Recycling' | Sustainable Brands

7 Reasons Why Recycling Is Not a Waste: A Response to 'The Reign of Recycling' | Sustainable Brands | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Recycling in the United States is an economically unsustainable trend — or at least that’s what New York Times writer John Tierney recently argued in his opinion piece, “The Reign of Recycling." Tierney’s arguments focus almost entirely on the inefficiency and economic viability of recycling, and that linear disposal methods are successful enough for the sake of cost-effectiveness and profitability. I believe that this is a dangerous conclusion to make in the 21st century, a time where the need for long-term sustainability strategies and circular waste solutions are more apparent than ever.

We know full well the function economics play in recycling. If the value of a potentially recyclable commodity is higher than collection, logistic and processing costs, there is an economic incentive to recycle. But what about obviously less recyclable materials, such as multilayered films or plastic sachet packaging — materials that are, universally, considered non-recyclable? To go along with Tierney’s argument, landfilling and incineration are the only economically viable alternatives.

This focus on short-term economic viability is problematic, as it disregards the critical need for a more circular system of manufacturing and consumption. We don’t push for better education or health care based on whether they are economically justifiable institutions — we do it because there is a social imperative. Telling corporations and the public that recycling — save for a very select few materials — is essentially a waste undermines the need for more comprehensive strategies supporting sustainable development: reusing materials when we can, recycling those materials when we can’t, and decreasing the consumption of unsustainable materials bound for landfill.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Our world is a finite source of raw materials needed by a consumption-driven economy. Recycling cannot be removed from the equation of sustainability.


"Recycled material in general can be a great way to build supply chain security overall. My company, for example, works with dozens of manufacturers to facilitate the collection and recycling of their pre- and post-consumer product and packaging waste. In a variety of these partnerships, after aggregating the collected waste we send it back to the manufacturer, where the recycled material is reintegrated into existing supply chains. It reduces waste and costs, and gives the company a competitive edge in the market."

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The 5p plastic bag charge: All you need to know - BBC News ("a more sustainable and practical policy")

The 5p plastic bag charge: All you need to know - BBC News ("a more sustainable and practical policy") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
On 5 October supermarkets in England will start charging 5p for using plastic bags. Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know about the price hike.

Shoppers are to be charged 5p for every new plastic bag they use at large stores in England.

The charge applies only to shops or chains with 250 or more full-time employees.

Plastic bags at airport shops or on board trains, planes or ships, will not be included, and neither will paper bags.

England is the last country in the UK to start charging for plastic bags.

The number of plastic bags handed out by supermarkets in England in 2014 rose to 7.64bn - 200 million more than in 2013.

Figures collected by waste-reduction body Wrap, on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), show that the figure has steadily increased for the past four years.

In 2010 almost 6.3bn were used.

Campaigners argue that the bags blight streets, spoil the countryside, and damage wildlife, seas and coastline.

Ministers think introducing a 5p charge will stop shoppers using as many new bags, and encourage people to re-use old ones.

The government hopes to see an 80% reduction in plastic bag use in supermarkets, and a 50% fall on the high street.

Over the next decade it hopes the charge will raise:

Up to £730m for good causes£60m savings in litter clean-up costs£13m in carbon savings

The charge was a policy championed by the Liberal Democrats in the previous coalition government.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The more guilty culprit is the FREE plastic shopping bag. It's lack of value makes it a candidate to become a piece of garbage. 

By putting a tax or fee for its use, automatically changes the behavior of the plastic shopping bag user. Conservatively, an 80% reduction can be easily realized.

 

"Ministers think introducing a 5p charge will stop shoppers using as many new bags, and encourage people to re-use old ones.

"The government hopes to see an 80% reduction in plastic bag use in supermarkets, and a 50% fall on the high street."

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Sustainable, low carbon, synthetic concrete to be made in Wales from recycled plastic waste diverted from landfill

Sustainable, low carbon, synthetic concrete to be made in Wales from recycled plastic waste diverted from landfill | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Affresol is planning to create more than 60 roles at its site on Swansea West Business Park over the next three years

“Affresol has made a considerable investment in developing what is a highly innovative product and I am pleased the Welsh Government is supporting its expansion that will increase capacity to meet existing and emerging markets and create jobs.”

Mr McPherson said: “This is an exciting and challenging time for the company. The opportunity in the Rail sector has huge potential both here in the UK and across the rest of the EU. This investment will be the platform that will enable Affresol to be in prime position to capitalize on the upgrading of the rail sector over the next 25 years.

“Support from the Welsh Government will help us build and install a new hi-tech automated production line and expand our base in Swansea, creating jobs for local people.”

TPR® synthetic concrete sections provide a more effective and sustainable alternative to a traditional concrete sectional garage and are supplied to Housing Associations and secure parking service providers across the whole of the UK.

These prefabricated outbuildings are secure, flexible and affordable and used as storage units and enclosures for a number of uses including mobility scooter storage, ground source heat pumps, housing electrical equipment, and water tank storage for sprinkler systems. They are even being used as Beach Huts by some local authorities.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is the solid waste management direction I wish the Philippines is heading to. Changing the consumer mindset on recycling should be accompanied with viable alternatives to dumping. The present government policy of dumping in landfills is planting a wrong disposal mindset on its people.

 

"The company has developed TPR (Thermo Polymerized Rock) – a sustainable, low carbon, synthetic concrete product using recycled mixed plastic waste diverted from landfill."

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Isle Of Bute Becomes A Zero Waste Island - CIWM Journal Online ("this is the second of its kind")

Isle Of Bute Becomes A Zero Waste Island - CIWM Journal Online ("this is the second of its kind") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Scotland’s second Zero Waste Town was launched thanks to the backing of a national waste reduction campaign led by Zero Waste Scotland.

The Isle of Bute is the second part of Scotland so far to join the Zero Waste Towns initiative, which harnesses the efforts of residents and businesses to reduce waste, recycle more, and use resources – such as waste electrical equipment – efficiently.

Fyne Futures Ltd, a charity committed to environmental sustainability on the Isle of Bute, will receive support worth £200,000 to implement the initiative locally via a series of projects over the next two years.

Last year, Dunbar in East Lothian became Scotland’s first Zero Waste Town. Both Dunbar and Bute join a growing network of Zero Waste municipalities throughout Europe and across the world, including towns in Holland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Romania.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The Zero Waste Towns initiative recognises the crucial role that communities play in changing people’s behaviour to reduce and prevent waste. Both Zero Waste Scotland and our partners at the Scottish Government are committed to promoting community-level action in as many towns in Scotland as possible in order to meet our target recycling rate of 70 per cent and reduce waste by 15 percent in Scotland by 2025.

“As part of this intensive approach, our first priority on Bute will be to inspire, educate and empower communities with the knowledge and skills to prevent waste, increase resource efficiency and thus reduce landfill costs and create jobs. We will also look at the impact and outcomes of each project to help us make the most of similar future projects within other Scottish communities.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

A number of community-led initiatives will be introduced, including:

- The launch of an enhanced recycling collection trial in the Bush/Serpentine area, to deliver recycling kits to over 500 households with the objective of increasing the current 40% participation rate to 90%.  A larger variation of plastic types will be accepted and kerbside textile collection will be offered;

- The introduction of a pilot food waste collection service with up to 50 households and a training hub for food composting;

- Additional recycling facilities;

- The launch of a community engagement programme to raise awareness of the multiple benefits of waste prevention and increase volunteers;

- The launch of a programme aimed at local businesses to help them to make changes necessary to prevent waste and increase resource efficiency;

- A project to set up the facilities needed to launch a collection and re-use service for used and waste electrical equipment (UEEE and WEEE)Increasing the quantity and quality of the recyclable goods collected, including biodegradable waste

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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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New research shows just how much better recycled paper is for forests ("only 1% of GHG emissions")

New research shows just how much better recycled paper is for forests ("only 1% of GHG emissions") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
The results of a new study pitting recycled paper against paper made from virgin fibers aren't all that surprising, but notable all the same.

A new life cycle analysis shows the substantial environmental benefits of 100 percent recycled paper over paper made from virgin wood fiber.

The study, conducted by SCS Global Services on behalf of New Leaf Paper, a company that specializes in “tree free” paper, is the first to use a new standard for evaluating the environmental impacts of a product’s complete life cycle. The results are perhaps not that surprising, but notable all the same.

SCS Global Services compared the environmental and human health impacts of 2,500 tons of New Leaf’s Reincarnation paper — 100 percent post-consumer coated paper — with the impacts from 2,500 tons of comparable virgin coated papers produced by three North American mills.

The analysis revealed that the recycled paper had less than one percent of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change and ocean acidification as the virgin paper, while using one-fourth of the water.

The use of recycled fibers, of course, also meant no logging occurred for New Leaf’s paper. The three virgin paper mills, on the other hand, required the harvesting of between nine and 18 million cubic feet of wood.

Recycled paper avoids the associated impacts that logging brings with it, too. For instance, the harvesting of the wood fed into just one of the virgin paper mills disturbed the habitat for 115 different endangered species. New Leaf’s recycled paper had no impact on rivers and wetlands, either, whereas the three virgin papers each impacted more than 600 watersheds.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Are you using recycled paper? Here's why you should, for the sake of the planet.


"The analysis revealed that the recycled paper had less than one percent of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change and ocean acidification as the virgin paper, while using one-fourth of the water."

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MIT scientist develops method for turning pollution into printer ink : TreeHugger ("new bright idea?")

MIT scientist develops method for turning pollution into printer ink : TreeHugger ("new bright idea?") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
If we can turn smog into jewelry, why not printer ink?

Printing ink, especially the basic black ink found in printers and copy machines just about everywhere, is a cash cow for some companies, but one scientist believes we can make it easily enough with the soot present in the air of polluted cities. Anirudh Sharma, a graduate of the MIT Media Lab, says that companies such as HP and Canon make some 70% of their profits by selling printer ink cartridges made using "complex chemical procedures" at a 400% margin, but his invention, if perfected and scaled up, might take that model and turn it on its head.

"Usually, people don't know about this, but the ink you're buying is nothing. It's just carbon black mixed with a few chemicals, and that's all. If you're making your own ink, the cost would definitely be much, much lower." - Sharma

According to Sharma's website, his Kaala-printer contraption (kaala means black) was conceived of during a trip to his home country of India, where heavy smog and soot are an everyday occurrence in the crowded cities, which led him to wonder if the soot in the air could be repurposed into ink for printers.

Sharma built a demo device that can pull soot from a burning candle and accumulate it in a modified syringe, which is then used to fill a modified HP inkjet cartridge with a mixture of the soot, vodka, and olive oil. When the cartridge is integrated with anArduino ink shield, this decidedly low-tech ink can be used to print at a 96 dpi resolution.

Bert Guevara's insight:
If we can turn smog into jewelry, why not printer ink?

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What Does a National Call For Food Waste Reduction Mean? ("a timely movement for lifestyle change")

What Does a National Call For Food Waste Reduction Mean? ("a timely movement for lifestyle change") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
On September 16, 2015, the USDA and EPA announced the first-ever national food waste reduction goal, with hopes of reducing food waste 50% by 2030.

A publicly stated goal means that governmental leaders are recognizing food waste as a real problem. Even though the statistics are alarming - one third of food in the United States currently goes to waste, amounting to $165 billion in lost value - efforts to minimize food waste are a full generation behind initiatives regarding more traditional recyclable products (e.g. paper and plastics).

All of that may be changing though. Food & Wine magazine is calling food waste “probably the most discussed food-related topic of the year,” and the issue is also catching the attention of political commentators, such as John Oliver. What’s significant about this media attention is the role it plays in influencing the prioritization of food waste reduction initiatives from citizens and national leaders.

Ultimately, public awareness is key in successfully reaching the goal, and better education among food companies, nonprofits and consumers about legislation is essential. Although it’s a common misconception that food companies can be sued for donating surplus food, the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act actually protects businesses from lawsuits when making food donations. Understanding this is imperative, especially now that the Commercial Food Waste Disposal Ban went into effect in Massachusetts in October 2014, which prevents businesses from throwing away more than one ton of food per week. With American food waste policy just beginning to take shape, the U.S. is following guidance from U.N. Food Programme goals and France’s recent decision to make edible food waste illegal for businesses.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Developing countries like the Philippines stand to benefit much from a program like this. Poverty alleviation can be one of its beneficiaries.


"A publicly stated goal means that governmental leaders are recognizing food waste as a real problem. Even though the statistics are alarming - one third of food in the United States currently goes to waste, amounting to $165 billion in lost value - efforts to minimize food waste are a full generation behind initiatives regarding more traditional recyclable products (e.g. paper and plastics)."

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What can we do about food waste? Fresh facts for restaurant, catering and hospitality staff www - YouTube

http://www.cateringmadridbarato.es Food waste is a valuable resource, this video from Zero Waste SA will motivate those working in the restaurant, catering a...

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Food waste management makes a lot of sense and practicality.

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City Hall orders closure of QC's ‘unsanitary’ Balintawak Market ("bad waste mgmt cost their income")

City Hall orders closure of QC's ‘unsanitary’ Balintawak Market ("bad waste mgmt cost their income") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
The Balintawak public market is going to be shut down after the Quezon City government found it too unsanitary to continue operating.
The Balintawak Market suffers from a waste management problem: All trash goes directly into the Toctocan Creek and  slaughterhouses in the market were found to be filthy. "Kawawa naman bumibili diyan," the mayor said. Balintawak public market's cleanliness problem has been discussed since 2009 and the Quezon City government waited on the market's management to comply with sanitary protocols for six years. "We've always been advising them, 'O naasan na ang compliance n'yo?' Para nga kaming mga sirang plaka," City Market Administration and Development Department officer-in-charge Malou Arrieta explained. "Kumbaga, iyong toleration namin for their compliance eh nandito na sa maximum kasi masyado nang malaki ang impact," she added. Shutting down the market may address cleanliness issues in the area, but it will leave the vendors jobless. "Mawawalan po kami ng hanapbuhay. Siyempre kawawa rin kami na mahirap," vendor Andang said. And when they lose their source of income, their families will suffer. "Marami po talaga ang magugutom. Sigurado ho iyon. Dito lang po kami kumukuha ng kabuhayan," vendor Vicky Santos said. 

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a bad precedent. Without anyone providing a solution to the waste management problem - neither government, business, civil society, church - the quickest way out was to ban the market. This is as simplistic as banning plastic bags and styro.

I wish our leaders stop pointing fingers and pinning the blame on everyone else, except themselves.

It shouldn't have come to this!

 

"We've always been advising them, 'O naasan na ang compliance n'yo?' Para nga kaming mga sirang plaka," City Market Administration and Development Department officer-in-charge Malou Arrieta explained. "Kumbaga, iyong toleration namin for their compliance eh nandito na sa maximum kasi masyado nang malaki ang impact," she added. (No mention of any government initiative; just warnings.)
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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, 2015 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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