This will be our biggest ever Recycle Week.
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.
However, in JulyChina 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.
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.
Japan and the US also rely on China to buy their recycled plastic. Last year, the US exported 1. Plastic problems So what will happen to the plastic these countries collect through household recycling systems once the Chinese refuse to accept it?
What are the alternatives? Plastics collected for recycling could go to energy recovery incineration. They are, after all, a fossil-fuel based material and burn extremely well — so on a positive note, they could generate electricity and improve energy self-sufficiency.
They could also go to landfill not ideal — imagine the press headlines. Alternatively, materials could be stored until new markets are found.
This also brings problems, however — there have been hundreds of fires at sites where recyclable materials are stored. Time to change our relationship with plastic?
While it is a reliable material, taking many forms from cling film surround wrap to flexible packaging to rigid materials used in electronic items, the problems caused by plastic, most notably litter and ocean plasticsare receiving increasing attention.
One way forward might be to limit its functions. Many disposable items are made from plastic. Some of them are disposable by necessity for hygiene purposes — for instance, blood bags and other medical items — but many others are disposable for convenience.
Deposit and return schemes for plastic bottles and drink cans could also incentivise behaviour. Micro-beadswidely used in cosmetics as exfoliantsare now a target as the damage they do becomes increasingly apparent and the UK government has announced plans to ban their use in some products.
Many local authorities collect recycling that is jumbled together. But a major side effect of this type of collection is that while it is convenient for the householder, there are high contamination levels which leads to reduced material quality.
This will mean it is either sold for lower prices into a limited market, will need to be reprocessed through sorting plants, or will be incinerated or put in landfill. But changes to recycling collections and reprocessing to improve the quality of materials could be expensive.
Alternatively, recycled plastic could be used to provide chemicals to the petrochemical sector, fuels to the transport and aviation sectors, food packaging and many other applications. The current situation offers us an opportunity to find new solutions to our waste problem, increase the proportion of recycled plastic in our own manufactured products, improve the quality of recovered materials and to use recycled material in new ways.
Read the original article.Keep America Beautiful Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment.
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We inspire and educate people to take action every day. Jul 19, · A researcher tallied how much has been manufactured since plastic's invention: "Eight point three billion metric tons of plastics produced so far. That's just really a staggering amount.".
Nespresso USA brings luxury coffee and espresso machine straight from the café and into your kitchen. Recycling Campaigns: factors affecting success and failures Uploaded by Antonis Mavropoulos This is a presentation dedicated to outline how human evolution has created barriers to recycling behavior and what tools are available to overlap them.5/5(1).