Aug 232017
 
A Tsunami Hits the Recycling World, and We’ll All Feel it Soon  August 22nd, 2017  David Baggs Whether you felt it or not, the earth shaking actions that unfolded recently will ultimately have an impact on every one of us. Late last month, China notified the World Trade Organization that by the end of 2017 it will ban imports of 24 types of rubbish as part of a campaign against "foreign garbage" and environmental pollution. Anyone who cares for the planet or is a ratepayer or who relies on kerbside recycling or a reliable supply of commonly recycled plastics for manufacturing will likely sooner or later be affected by the additional costs and environmental burdens that this recent decision by China will create in the short to medium term while the developed world waste processing and manufacturing industries change gears and re-establishes recyclate reprocessing for use in their products. The decision creates massive  policy and physical challenges for all levels of government and industry. The official announcement to the WTO foreshadowed that China will forbid the import of four classes and 24 kinds of solid wastes, including plastics waste from living sources, vanadium slag, unsorted waste paper and waste textile materials. The major China HS categories being banned include the following types of materials: Scrap or waste plastic Waste of wool or of fine or coarse animal hair, including yarn waste but excluding garnetted stock (garnetted textiles are typically waste materials that have been reduces to a fibrous state for reuse in textile manufacturing) Garnetted stock of wool or of fine or coarse animal hair Cotton waste (including yarn waste and garnetted stock) Waste (including noils (short fibres), yarn waste and garnetted stock) of man-made fibres Used or new rags, scrap twine, cordage, rope and cables and worn out articles of twine, cordage, rope or cables, of textile materials Slag, dross (other than granulated slag), scalings and other waste from the manufacture of iron or steel Ash and residues (other than from the manufacture of iron or steel), containing arsenic, metals or their compounds ‘Other’, including unsorted waste and scrap. The five types of waste plastics that China is banning have China HS individual codes as shown as below: 3915100000 – Ethylene polymer scrap and waste 3915200000 – Styrene polymer scrap and waste 3915300000 – Vinyl chloride polymer scrap and waste 3915901000 – Polyethylene terephthalate 3915909000 – Other related waste (more…)
Jan 192017
 
Ocean Legacy has a task not even Sisyphean would envy: picking up, sorting and recycling the vast amount of plastic that ends up on our shores. This article is from Hakai Magazine, an online publication about science and society in coastal ecosystems. Read more stories like this at hakaimagazine.com.       On a sunny afternoon in September, a barge roughly the size of a dump truck pulls into Delta, British Columbia, piled high with marine debris. Foam, plastic bottles, frayed rope—all of it hand-picked by dozens of volunteers from the western shores of Vancouver Island and stashed inside 200 giant white bags. “Too bad that ain’t gold,” a bystander remarks from the dock. “You just wait,” replies Chloé Dubois, standing on deck, “one day it will be.” Dubois, the executive director of Ocean Legacy, one of a handful of organizations that took part in what was dubbed the largest marine debris cleanup in Canada over the summer of 2016, is startlingly passionate about plastic—something people throw away every single day. The month before the barge’s arrival, I joined Ocean Legacy’s cleanup of Mquqwin/Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park and saw Dubois work 12-hour days sorting foam, dragging giant necklaces of buoys across the scorching sand, and moving crinkly sacks so full of water bottles they dwarfed her meter-and-a-half height. She cleans with full knowledge that the beaches will be covered in plastic again in a few weeks’ time. Read Full Article Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)