#recycling

Plastics Industry Oversold Recycling to Americans, Now What?

by Zoey Shipley and Miro Korenha NPR and PBS Frontline recently announced a new joint investigation which has revealed that since the 1980s, “the plastics industry spent tens of millions of dollars promoting recycling through ads, recycling projects, and public relations, telling people plastic could be and should be recycled” all in an effort to […]

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Marin Woman Builds Effort to Get Amazon to Reuse Delivery Boxes

Marin Woman Builds Effort to Get Amazon to Reuse Delivery Boxes

Marin County, CA resident and former marketing consultant Carolyn Lund got fed up with all the waste she saw accumulating in her community as a result of Amazon deliveries. That’s why she set out to spearhead a local effort to get Amazon to pick up their used boxes. The Amazon to Reuse Boxes pilot program […]

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The Big Recyclability Problem of Wind Turbines

The Big Recyclability Problem of Wind Turbines

Wind energy has seen impressive growth in the United States over the past decade with offshore wind standing as the next big phase in renewable energy expansion. However, now that the first generation of wind turbines are nearing the end of their lifespan, we’re being faced with a growing sustainability concern: what to do with […]

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Can This Year’s Super Bowl Score Zero?

Can This Year’s Super Bowl Score Zero?

The organizers of Super Bowl LIV at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium have a game plan to get to zero — they want none of the big game’s expected 160,000 pounds of waste to end up in a landfill.  Our friends at National Geographic reported this week that the organizers’ plan is that aluminum cups and cans (yep no plastic ones) will go to a recycling center, utensils and napkins to a compost facility, and the rest to a plant where it will be burned for energy.

Why This Matters:  There is no bigger stage than the Super Bowl to send a message about reducing our trash “footprint.”

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One Gold Thing:  Silver and Bronze too — Olympic Medals Made From Recycled Electronics

One Gold Thing: Silver and Bronze too — Olympic Medals Made From Recycled Electronics

The new year is just around the corner, and looking ahead, 2020 is going to be a doozy.  But one thing we know everyone will be looking forward to is the summer Olympics, which begin on July 24th.  They will be held in Tokyo and the organizers are promising, under the theme “Be better, together […]

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A New Playbook For Addressing Ocean Plastics

A New Playbook For Addressing Ocean Plastics

In advance of the sixth Our Ocean Conference later this week, the Ocean Conservancy released its latest report on ocean plastics recommending content standards for recycled products to increase the demand for them and that they impose fees on producers depending on the amount of packaging material they put on the market or their plastic recycling/recovery targets in order to increase single-use plastic collection.

Why This Matters:  It is significant that a group of companies that are responsible for much of the plastic that is sold — companies like Dow, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola — were part of this effort and stand behind these recommendations.  They know they have a problem.  But it will take their action — urging Congress and state and local legislatures to enact the necessary laws and ordinances — to make their recommendations a reality.

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Unilever Makes Boldest Promise Yet on Reducing Plastics

Unilever Makes Boldest Promise Yet on Reducing Plastics

British/Dutch consumer products giant Unilever announced on Monday that by 2025 it will “make the blue planet blue again” by:

  • Cutting in half its use of virgin plastic, by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic;
  • Helping to collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells.

Why This Matters:  Unilever is making these moves unilaterally and not because it is forced to by government regulation.

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Amazon Under Fire for Increasing Plastic Packaging

Amazon Under Fire for Increasing Plastic Packaging

Reducing plastic has been a hot topic for corporate sustainability officers around the world. Our planet is literally drowning in plastic and with China’s recent policy to stop imports of plastic trash, there’s growing public pressure for retailers to drastically cut down on plastic packaging and to support recycling infrastructure. However, Amazon has made little […]

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World Agrees To Pact to Control Solid Waste, U.S. Not A Party

World Agrees To Pact to Control Solid Waste, U.S. Not A Party

The 186 nations who are a party to the United Nation’s Basel Convention on solid waste concluded a historic agreement late Friday that will require countries to monitor and control the movement of plastic waste between national borders in order to deal with the world’s plastic crisis.  Unfortunately, the United States was not involved in the negotiations or the final agreement because it is one of just two countries that has not ratified the Basel Convention.  

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Accelerating circular economy solutions

Accelerating circular economy solutions

Ever since China stopped accepting the bulk of our recyclable waste last year, the state of recycling in the United States has been in chaos as more cities are canceling their recycling programs. Part of the reason is that the stuff we dump into the blue recycling bin is often contaminated, but a bigger culprit […]

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Cities Struggle to Keep Recycling

Cities Struggle to Keep Recycling

As we have reported, China has stopped accepting U.S. trash for recycling, which leaves cities in a bind and many have had to cut back or stop recycling altogether. According to The New York Times, hundreds of cities across the country have had to drastically alter their recycling programs or cancel their programs amid increasing turmoil in global scrap markets.   Fiona Ma, the Treasurer of the State of California, put it bluntly, telling The Times, “We are in a crisis moment in the recycling movement right now.”

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Oregon’s bottle recovery program a smashing success

Oregon’s bottle recovery program a smashing success

NPR reported that Oregon’s bottle deposit system is recycling more containers than ever before despite major disruptions in global recycling markets. Last year, Oregon recycled 90 percent of the beverage containers covered by its bottle deposit system. The rate has jumped from 64 percent just two years ago, and the total number of bottles recycled reached […]

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