Summary of “An Ocean Plastics Field Trip for Corporate Executives”

The choice still seems inspired, because as the factions of environmentalists and plastics executives arrive, the chill on the ship is palpable, and the only way Ford’s vision of some sort of Paris Accord for plastics is going to happen is if a whole lot of icebreaking goes down.
While Greenpeace may be the most anti-corporate of the greens on board, it’s not alone: Break Free from Plastic, Upstream, Ocean Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the 5 Gyres Institute are all here to hash it out with Dow, Procter and Gamble, Coca-Cola, Nestl√© Waters, GE, Colgate-Palmolive, Hasbro, Mary Kay, Kimberly-Clark, Clorox, HP, and other industry behemoths.
A former Marine with a buzz cut and unyielding blue eyes, he’s been crusading against ocean plastics for 15 years.
In the U.S., which has a well-developed waste-management system, only about 2 percent of recycled plastic gets mishandled, meaning it could potentially wind up in the ocean.
Bonnie Monteleone¬≠-a North Carolina artist who creates Hokusai waves out of ocean plastic-is schmoozing with Ellen Jackowski of HP, which is incorporating millions of Haiti’s plastic bottles into ink cartridges.
Coca-Cola-which has spewed plastic across the planet like few other companies and has staunchly opposed bottle bills, one of the most effective ways to increase recycling rates-has not been a leader on fixing the plastics crisis.
There’s a grim consensus that the plastics crisis is much more than an ocean issue.
A group including executives from Dow and the World Bank proposes a fee on virgin plastics, to be used as a credit to reduce the cost of using recycled plastic.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A scrappy solution to the fashion industry’s giant waste problem”

Last school year, Maione started bringing her students at Parsons School of Design here to give them a first-hand look at the current state wastefulness on the maker side of the fashion industry.
In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that individual Americans generated 16 million tons of textile waste.
Consumer kondo-ing isn’t even the biggest source of the fashion industry’s waste problem.
Although no one is keeping exact track of the scale, commercial textile waste is estimated to account for about 40 times as much fashion waste as residential dumping.
There are laws in place that are supposed to reduce fashion manufacturing waste.
New York City actually requires companies that generate waste consisting of more than 10 percent textiles to recycle rather than trash their excess fabric.
Tracking companies’ waste is challenging; making the recycling law difficult to enforce.
Companies aren’t required to report their waste streams to the city, nor does the city’s Department of Sanitation pick up trash from commercial businesses.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Plastic Industry’s Fight to Keep Polluting the World”

“The industry has no idea what they’re putting in the plastic and who’s putting it in,” said Andrew Turner, a British chemist who recently found toxic chemicals in 40 percent of the black plastic toys, thermoses, cocktail stirrers, and utensils he tested.
“Plastics recycling is not a realistic solution to the plastic pollution crisis. Most consumer plastics are economically impractical to recycle based on market conditions alone,” Rep. Alan Lowenthal and Sen. Tom Udall wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump in June, noting that the “Spread of single-use plastic products has led to widespread pollution of plastic in the U.S. and has caused a growing financial burden on state agencies, local governments and taxpayers for remediation.”
Patty Long, interim president and chief executive officer of the Plastics Industry Association, the group that convened the Texas meeting, also acknowledged the pain of being the public face of an industry held responsible for the devastation of the natural world.
Asked about the apparent dissonance between its sustainability pledge and participation in the Plastics Industry Association, Walmart provided an emailed statement saying that “Walmart’s aspiration is to achieve zero plastic waste. We are taking actions across our business to use less plastic, recycle more and support innovations to improve plastic waste reduction systems.” The statement also said that Walmart has “Asked our suppliers to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging, increase packaging recyclability and increase recycled content, and to help us educate customers on reducing, reusing and recycling plastic.”
According to Jan Dell, an engineer who worked as a corporate sustainability consultant before creating The Last Beach Cleanup, an organization that confronts plastics pollution, the Recycling Partnership and other nonprofits supported by the plastics industry are using misleading information to ease concerns that otherwise might lead consumers to stop buying plastic.
In January, Taco Bell also crowed over its own new plastic lids, as if creating more plastic would somehow fix the plastics crisis.
The public-private partnership run by the ACC, which encourages the recycling of plastic bags through 18,000 plastic film collection sites around the country and promotes the idea that plastic bags can be recycled, launched a new effort in Connecticut in 2017 that coincided with the state’s consideration of a tax on plastic bags.
Even as WRAP promotes the message that plastic film can and should be recycled, and scolds people who don’t put plastic bags in recycle bins, many of the used bags and other plastic waste it collects wind up being burned or sent to landfills.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is This Man the Elon Musk of E-Waste?”

Eric Lundgren, the 33-year-old, fedora-wearing CEO of a major electronic waste recycling plant in Los Angeles, could be called both the Elon Musk and the Edward Snowden of e-waste.
Lundgren’s court case and electronic creations have made him an icon for the Right to Repair Movement and e-waste reuse.
E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world and in the U.S. Forty percent of toxic metals in landfills-that we’re breathing in our air, that enter our water stream, and then we’re eating in our food-come directly from e-waste.
It’s a horrific sight, and if you would go there, you’d understand why I care so much, and why I’m trying so desperately to stop e-waste here in the U.S. How do you plan to stop e-waste in the U.S.?
What have you learned about how to motivate corporations to recycle their e-waste?
Now, my company is repairing, reusing, and recycling e-waste to the tune of 43 million pounds every year.
We could lead the world in sustainability for e-waste, rather than leading the world in exporting our e-waste to other countries.
One way to reduce e-waste is to make electronics modular, where you can just pop off a chip in your phone, replace it with a new one, and have the next generation phone without throwing away all the other working components.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is This Man the Elon Musk of E-Waste?”

Eric Lundgren, the 33-year-old, fedora-wearing CEO of a major electronic waste recycling plant in Los Angeles, could be called both the Elon Musk and the Edward Snowden of e-waste.
Lundgren’s court case and electronic creations have made him an icon for the Right to Repair Movement and e-waste reuse.
E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world and in the U.S. Forty percent of toxic metals in landfills-that we’re breathing in our air, that enter our water stream, and then we’re eating in our food-come directly from e-waste.
It’s a horrific sight, and if you would go there, you’d understand why I care so much, and why I’m trying so desperately to stop e-waste here in the U.S. How do you plan to stop e-waste in the U.S.?
What have you learned about how to motivate corporations to recycle their e-waste?
Now, my company is repairing, reusing, and recycling e-waste to the tune of 43 million pounds every year.
We could lead the world in sustainability for e-waste, rather than leading the world in exporting our e-waste to other countries.
One way to reduce e-waste is to make electronics modular, where you can just pop off a chip in your phone, replace it with a new one, and have the next generation phone without throwing away all the other working components.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Recycling Is Broken”

The recycling industry-which operates with next to no federal guidance despite processing a quarter of America’s waste-is in an existential struggle to chart a new path forward for itself.
Most of us think of recycling as a service our city provides, but in reality it’s a business.
The effect on the U.S. recycling business was, as one industry expert put it, like an “Earthquake.” Mixed paper and plastic exports to China plunged more than 90 percent between January 2017 and January 2018, according to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Anne Germain, Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs at the National Waste and Recycling Association, an industry trade group, told me that mixed paper went from selling for about $100 a ton to a high of about $3 a ton.
Ultimately, the effects have rippled back to the cities which, faced with soaring costs to keep recycling afloat, have been forced to make hard choices, whether that’s sending recyclables to a landfill or paring down the list of items they’ll accept.
McGrath said if Philly can convince residents to stop tossing plastic bags in the recycling bin, that alone would be a big deal.
Germain said public education was something the recycling industry as a whole had let slide over the years.
While a better educated public would translate to a cleaner, more profitable recycling stream, there’s also a desperate need for new manufacturers to fill the China-shaped void.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to solve the world’s plastics problem: Bring back the milk man”

To American families, a third of which are still getting their milk from a milk man, plastic is a wonder package.
They’re working together on a project known as Loop, announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.
Szaky said TerraCycle asked the Loop partners to design packages that can survive at least 100 reuses.
Carbon emissions from trucking and other factors could outweigh the environmental benefits of Loop if packages are only reused a few times, or if the transportation system is too spread out.
To maximize the number of reuses, Loop packages are made out of durable materials like stainless steel, aluminum, glass and engineered plastic, which is stronger than disposable plastic.
Sourced from Life Magazine Can the milk man make a comeback?For the largest players, Loop is a relatively small experiment.
To make Loop work, she added, TerraCycle will “Need the right investments, the right consumer goods partners.” And “They’re going to really need to understand how to make the consumer experience better than what they have today.” And with so many big companies on board, they have a “Solid shot,” she said.
Photo Illustration: Getty Images / Loop / CNN. If TerraCycle manages to find a solution to plastics pollution – to dust off the milk man, spruce him up, give him a website and get people to shop – things will start to change.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Era Of Easy Recycling May Be Coming To An End”

The growth of single-stream recycling tracks with the growth of recycling overall in this country.
Some of the problems with contaminated recycling are endemic to the process of single-sort itself, said Susan Collins, executive director of the nonprofit Container Recycling Institute.
Single-stream recycling produced the highest rate of loss at the processing stage – essentially, the most stuff put in recycling bins that couldn’t actually be recycled.
Compared with the existing system, gross tons of recycling collected at the curb increased by 20 percent, but there was a net decrease of 12 percent in tons of material that left the sorting facility ready for recycling.
When more recyclables means less recycling Comparison of recycling systems to a baseline multi-stream, biweekly collection system over 14 months in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a 2002 study.
The risk of contaminated recycling offsetting gains in recycling participation has become a real issue over the past five to 10 years as single-stream systems have grown in popularity, said Bernie Lee, a commodities research analyst with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a trade association.
Single stream makes it easier and cheaper to collect recycling – you need fewer staffers to operate fewer trucks, which collect recycling more efficiently, and require less fuel to run.
Part of what made single-stream recycling such a good deal was the Chinese market for contaminated recycling.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The plastic backlash: what’s behind our sudden rage”

A journalist at the Daily Mail, which was one of the first newspapers on the plastic beat, told me that they received more mail about plastic than any other environmental issue.
“How is plastic public enemy No 1? That should be climate change.” Other scientists I spoke to downplayed plastic pollution as one problem among many, albeit one that had crowded out public interest in more pressing problems.
New York City instituted a tax on plastic bottles in 1971, Congress debated a ban on all non-returnable containers in 1973, and the state of Hawaii banned plastic bottles entirely in 1977.
The New York City plastic bottle tax was struck down by the state supreme court the same year it was levied, following a lawsuit by the Society for the Plastics Industry alleging unfair treatment; Hawaii’s plastic bottle ban was struck down in a state circuit court in 1979 after a similar lawsuit from a drinks company; the congressional ban never got off the ground after lobbyists claimed it would hurt manufacturing jobs.
In 1988, the Society of the Plastics Industry trade association founded the Council for Solid Waste Solutions to promote plastic recycling in cities, claiming that they could recycle 25% of plastic bottles by 1995.
A plastic bottle cannot be recycled to make a plastic bottle of the same quality.
Recycling became largely state-funded, and plastic was hauled away along with the home rubbish pickup, while the industry continued to pump out more and more plastic.
Seven of the 10 largest plastic producers are still oil and natural gas companies – as long as they are extracting fossil fuels, there will be a huge incentive to make plastic.

The orginal article.

Summary of “5 recycling myths busted”

Last Earth Day, I published a column in the Washington Post on common recycling myths.
Most experts agree that recycling remains an important way to reduce litter and waste and to recover valuable materials, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving significant amounts of energy and water.
With the rise of “Single-stream” recycling systems in the late 1990s, the number of people partaking in recycling skyrocketed.
Consumers in many areas no longer had to sort their recycling by the type of material, let alone by the color of the glass or the numbered category stamped on the bottom of plastics.
Today, about a quarter of everything consumers place in recycling bins ultimately can’t be recycled by the programs that collect them.
Occasional news reports warn of garbage collectors tossing carefully sorted piles into the landfill, people often decry the fuel used by recycling trucks, and critics debate the merits of using public funding to start or support private recycling programs.
Recycling aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy needed to make new cans from raw materials.
Recycling steel and tin cans saves 60 to 74 percent; recycling paper saves about 60 percent; and recycling plastic and glass saves about one-third of the energy compared to making those products from virgin materials.

The orginal article.