Your Plastic Bags Are Releasing Greenhouse Gases

Plastics collected at Kailua Beach. New research suggests that plastics can emit greenhouse gases when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, and that smaller pieces emit more of this gas than do smaller pieces. Credit: Sarah-Jeanne Royer There may be a hidden source of greenhouse gas that we aren’t accounting for. Plastic may release the heat-trapping, climate-warming gases as soon as it’s exposed to light, new research from the University of Hawaii at Manoa has found. Light not only breaks down plastic, but also releases methane and ethylene — two of the most problematic greenhouse gases. Though the gases from degrading plastic…
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Nestlé receives ISRI’s 2019 Design for Recycling award

In recognition of its innovative use of recycled plastic and its product design centered on recycling, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has named Stamford, Connecticut-based Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) as its 2019 Design for Recycling (DFR) award winner. The DFR award is given annually to the most innovative contribution to products designed with recycling in mind. NWNA received the award specifically for the design of its Nestlé Pure Life 700-milliliter bottle made from 100 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate plastic (rPET). “The Design for Recycling award recognizes proactive steps made by manufacturers that have actively incorporated its principles into products and…
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In 2018 adidas produced more than five million pairs of shoes containing recycled plastic waste. The company now plans to more than double that figure this year. As outcome of a cooperation between the sporting goods manufacturer and the environmental organization and global collaboration network Parley for the Oceans, plastic waste is intercepted on beaches, such as the Maldives, before it can reach the oceans. That upcycled plastic waste is made into a yarn becoming a key component of the upper material of adidas footwear. In addition to footwear, the company also produces apparel from the recycled material, such as…
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China to cut ‘waste’ imports to zero in 2020

China aims to cut “solid waste” imports to zero by next year as it seeks to reduce pollution and encourage recyclers to manage the increasing volumes of domestic trash, a senior environment ministry official reports to Reuters. In the Reuters report, Qiu Qiwen, director of Ministry Ecology and Environment (MEE) solid waste division, says, “China will further tighten restrictions on waste imports and eventually aims to realize zero waste imports by 2020.” “Solid waste” imports to China already have been decreasing. According to MEE reports, China imported about 22.6 million metric tons of solid waste in 2018, which is down 47…
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Plastics, the environment and human health: current consensus and future trends

Plastics have transformed everyday life; usage is increasing and annual production is likely to exceed 300 million tonnes by 2010. In this concluding paper to the Theme Issue on Plastics, the Environment and Human Health, we synthesize current understanding of the benefits and concerns sur-rounding the use of plastics and look to future priorities, challenges and opportunities. It is evident that plastics bring many societal benefits and offer future technological and medical advances. However, concerns about usage and disposal are diverse and include accumulation of waste in landfills and in natural habitats, physical problems for wildlife resulting from ingestion or…
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The future of automotive lithium-ion battery recycling: Charting a sustainable course

Abstract This paper looks ahead, beyond the projected large-scale market penetration of vehicles containing advanced batteries, to the time when the spent batteries will be ready for final disposition. It describes a working system for recycling, using lead–acid battery recycling as a model. Recycling of automotive lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries is more complicated and not yet established because few end-of-life batteries will need recycling for another decade. There is thus the opportunity now to obviate some of the technical, economic, and institutional roadblocks that might arise. The paper considers what actions can be started now to avoid the impediments to recycling and ensure that…
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Rigid plastics and film recycling see growth in 2016

Recycling of nonbottle rigid plastics and plastic wraps, bags and flexible film packaging (collectively known as film) grew by 10 percent in 2016, according to two reports from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington. More than 1.46 billion pounds of rigid plastics were collected for recycling, while 1.3 billion pounds of film were collected for recycling. The “۲۰۱۶ National Post-Consumer Non-Bottle Rigid Plastic Recycling Report” and the “۲۰۱۶ National Post-Consumer Plastic Bag and Film Recycling Report” were released at the annual Plastics Recycling Conference, which took place in Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 19-21. The reports also show dramatic long-term growth in both plastics recycling categories, the ACC says.…
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Bumper Crop

Recyclers know how to remove bumpers from end-of-life vehicles and process them into feedstock. High costs, low value, and little demand for postconsumer material are what keep this market from growing, they say. September/October 2017 Recyclers know how to remove bumpers from end-of-life vehicles and process them into feedstock. High costs, low value, and little demand for postconsumer material are what keep this market from growing, they Rachel H. Pollack In an industrial park on the outskirts of Baltimore, four employees of LKQ Corp. (Chicago) stand on a loading dock and unload and sort through a 53-foot trailer load…
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Toward Total Car Recycling

Carmakers around the world are working with scrap recyclers and other groups to solve current car recycling problems and prevent future ones. September/October 1992 Carmakers around the world are working with scrap recyclers and other groups to solve current car recycling problems and prevent future ones. BY KENT KISER Kent Kiser is associate editor of Scrap Processing and Recycling. Imagine if cars were 100-percent recyclable.  At the end of their useful lives, they could be easily disassembled, with most parts being resold as replacements or reused as feedstock for new car parts or raw material for nonautomotive applications. The remaining “clean” hulk could then be…
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China scrap plastic imports may drop 95%

Scrap plastic imported into China this year will likely plummet from 2017 levels, possibly to less than 5% of what it was last year, according to an estimate from a Chinese plastics recycling organisation. Steve Wong, the executive president of the Beijing-based China Scrap Plastics Association, said China has authorised import permits for only about 375 million pounds of plastic for recycling, or 3% of the 12.9 billion pounds imported in 2017. “In 2018, at this moment, this is only a projection. Up to last month, only 40,000 tonnes (88.1 million pounds) of plastic scrap was allowed or approved by…
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