The following is a round up of the latest zero waste news from around the World.
South China Morning Post: China Waste Import Rules Looming
With Hong Kong reportedly throwing away 5.2 million plastic bottles every single day, China’s new waste import rules means that its recycling facilities will not be able to deal with the disposal problem.
A recent study by The Baptist University found that the future looks bleak for half of Hong Kong recyclers with new China’s new regulations looming as they were already losing money even before the new regulations were imposed.
Researchers visited 205 recycling plants and discovered that the industry also faces a manpower shortage, long working hours and a risky occupational environment. 70 per cent of the plants visited were small businesses with fewer than five workers. Read more
The Guardian: Britain’s Plastic Footprint
An investigation by the Guardian newspaper has revealed that Britain’s leading supermarkets keep information on their plastic footprint secret. It found that more than 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste from food and beverage products is produced every year. The devastating impact on the environment equates to filling enough 10-yard skips to extend from London to Sydney, or cover the whole of Greater London to a depth of 2.5cm. The revelations add to the growing public concern about the damage plastic does to our natural world. Read more
CBC News in Canada: Cups, Containers and Bags
Vancouver is seeking ways to reduce the amount of cups, containers and bags that enter the waste facilities each year. 2.6 million cups alone are thrown away weekly even though they are recyclable. A temporary storefront at 511 West Broadway has been created to enable residents to submit their ideas on how to prevent coffee cups and other items from ending up in landfills. Read more
Chicago Tribune: McDonalds
McDonald’s have announced that they will recycle packaging in around 37,000 restaurants globally by 2025, as well as that all of its packaging will originate from renewable, recycled or certified sources where no deforestation occurs.
It is hoped that the move could pressure other large companies to follow suit as increasingly, consumers and investors are demanding corporations make commitments on such global issues as environmental sustainability and animal welfare. Read more
TheTimes: Shops charge 50% more for loose fruit
A minimum of 50 per cent of the produce at Britain’s leading supermarkets was discovered to be between 10 per cent and 54 per cent more expensive loose than wrapped in single-use plastic, according to Money Saving Expert research. Only Waitrose sold all the fresh produce included in the survey at a lower price when loose rather than packaged.
As part of the government’s 25-year environment plan, Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that she wanted all supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles in which all the food was sold loose. The government will be issuing a call for evidence in February on taxes or charges for single-use plastics. Read more