Author Archives: Mark Thompson

Recycling costs are rising fast. This is why.

Connecticut recycling operations are struggling to cope with increasing financial pressures involving plunging prices for recycled materials, higher trucking costs, growing difficulties sorting trash and worries about President Donald Trump’s tariff wars. As their profits drop and expenses rise, many recycling operators are beginning to pass those costs on to municipalities and consumers. To read…

Young people say not recycling is a dealbreaker

Is “green” the new sexy? According to new research, 62 percent of Americans consider it a turn-off if somebody doesn’t recycle! The statistic emerged in a new study of 2,000 Americans examining the country’s relationship with recycling and found that you may want to add “I recycle” to your dating profile bio. It seems to…

China’s ban on trash imports shifts waste crisis to Southeast Asia

As plastic scrap piles up, Malaysia and others fight back! When President Donald Trump signed legislation renewing the federal marine debris program, he blamed Asia for fouling the world’s oceans. He named Japan, China, and “many, many countries” for dumping plastic waste that floats over to the West Coast. What Trump didn’t acknowledge is that…

China tightens ban on solid waste imports!

The Chinese government has introduced a tightened ban on solid waste imports. Effective on Dec. 31, 2018, 32 types of solid waste will be banned from imports, according to the document released by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Ministry of Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the General Administration of Customs….

“Plastic Island” Imagines the Possibilities of Reusing Oceanic Waste in Architecture

With rising sea levels and incessant consumption of plastic, the state of the earth’s oceans is rapidly deteriorating. Instead of discarding or burning this plastic, architects Erik Goksøyr and Emily-Claire Goksøyr questioned whether any architectural potential exists in this neglected material. By conducting an extensive material study, the duo designed three prototypes to postulate this theory. To read the…

China’s new role in the global recycling economy

A keynote session during last week’s Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference examined what effects China’s regulations are having and what comes next for new market developments. Although China’s National Sword regulations might have caught some foreign recyclers off guard, economic and social indicators show the momentum had been building for years, said Andrew Coflan, an…

Zero-waste stores pop up in the US, targeting shoppers tired of all the waste

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that containers and packaging make up 23 percent of landfill waste, and plastic pollution is literally strangling the life out of the ocean. Grocers are increasingly under pressure to reduce their waste footprint. Refed calculates the amount of food wasted by the retail sector represents $18.2 billion a year in lost…

Swamped with plastic waste: Malaysia struggles as global scrap piles up

Pulau Indah – ironically, the name means “beautiful island” in Malay – is one of many towns in Malaysia where illegal plastic recycling factories have popped up in recent months as the Southeast Asian nation became the top choice for plastic waste exporters from around the world. The trigger for this dumping deluge was a…

Plastic waste piling up in Japan after Chinese import ban

Plastic waste is piling up in Japan with many local governments struggling to cope after China banned the import of such waste late last year, Environment Ministry data showed Thursday. According to about a quarter of 102 local governments that responded to a ministry survey, the amount of plastic waste stored at local scrap companies…

Fashion Bosses To Be Questioned Over Industry Sustainability

Fashion bosses will be asked to reveal the steps they are taking to improve the sustainability of their operations and reduce the environmental impact of the clothes that they sell, as part of an inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry by Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC). Clothing manufacturing produces carbon emissions, contributing to…