Tag Archives: plastic

Coffee cups piled high as waste

Latest zero waste news up-date – January 2018

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

 

Tanja Wessels

A Fashionable Divorce

Discover how Tanja Wessels instigated her divorce from the addictive habit of shopping. Here she writes for LoopUnite! on the impact the fashion industry has on the environment, and her passion for generating a movement across Asia to put all things green and mindful on the radar.

“Fashion’s impact on the environment is coming under increasing scrutiny. Our love for high turnover and low prices is bound to come at a price, but we are only starting to understand how high it actually is. It’s funny how mind shifts creep up on us, yet once aware of them we are left feeling as though someone has changed the wallpaper in our brains.

‘How did I not see that before?’ we ponder, scratching our newly decorated craniums.

I’ve never been a 10k-instagram-fashion-blogger-leaning-against-a-hip-neighbourhood-wall-in-something-I’ve-just rolled-out-of bed-in, watching the LIKES roll in like a Macau slot machine. But fashion is a wonderful tool for self-expression, and I am no stranger to her seductive pull.

Less charmed by the industry, and pace at which it is running, is Mother Earth. She won’t be hashtagging trends anytime soon, unless we rethink our relationship with fast fashion.

The New York Times ran a quiet little piece on Friday 21st of July leaving me dumbfounded, while the numbers loudly raced around my Elle Décor’d mind. Author Tatiana Schlossberg wrote that from the 1950s to today, 8.3 metric tons of plastic have been produced, about half of it since 2004. The article looks at a new study in science advances offering the first analysis of all mass-produced plastics ever manufactured. This is the part where you should take a seat.

According to previous studies, scientists estimate that five million to 13 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year. Contamination in rivers and streams, as well as on land, the new data shows, is on the rise and most of that is from clothing, in the form of microscopic pieces of synthetic fibres. Clothing – that fun, innocent item we all love (and need – to avoid prison for public nudity) is choking our planet more than we ever could have imagined.

This noir news piece did let permit me one ray of light – last May I vowed not to buy a single item of new clothing for a year, and with the latest data in hand, I feel more dedicated than ever.

Inspired by local environmental NGO, Redress, I undertook this personal experiment to “Become a Citizen, not a Consumer” in the words of founder, Dr Christina Dean and to see if I could get off that buy/wear/don’t-wear-but-buy-anyway hamster wheel.

It took a while to break the habit of popping into Zara for a “little something” in between weekly errand running. But break it I did. I now go in for the aircon on particularly hot days and look at rows and rows of textiles that will end up God knows where. I feel like a reformed smoker gazing at cartons of cigarettes in the airport Duty Free section.

The upsides to ditching fast fashion are plentiful. I am very creative with what I have, grateful for sisterly hand-me-downs, bold with second-hand shop purchases and swap like a demon. And besties with my tailor.

Green Ladies has been a delightful find and when I get complimented on anything I’m wearing, the words “it’s second hand!” rush out my mouth faster than political Tweets from the US.

This is a movement I am deeply proud to be part of, and one I can see lasting well beyond this season. The year-long separation from fast fashion looks to turn into a full-fledged divorce. I’m learning too much to turn a blind eye, no matter how fetching the latest style is.”

Tanja Wessels is creating a regional platform ‘All In–Asia’, connecting environmentalists, sharing resources, generating a movement across Asia, and putting all things green and mindful on the radar. You can follow her progress on Instagram @allinasia

Biography

Tanja Wessels is a bi-lingual translator and feature writer for  Macau Closer magazine. She has interviewed many famous names from around the World, including David Beckham, Laurie Anderson, LMFAO and Tom Dixon. Tanja also covers major events, including Burning Man Festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, and is author of a monthly music column focusing on hand-picked emerging and independent artists in the world of music.

Fibres from textiles

Fish for thought!

Studies suggest there are 300 billion pieces of microplastic in the Arctic Ocean alone, presenting a serious risk to life and human health, with scrubs, toothpaste and shower gels just a few of the culprits. However, help is at hand as Sweden leads the way in its aim to ban rinse off exfoliation or cleansing cosmetic products containing plastic microbeads by 2020. Continue reading