Recycling updates from TreeZero

Produced but never eaten: a visual guide to food waste

Whether the wastage is measured in tonnes of spoiled goods, hectares of agricultural land or household expenditure, the scale is frightening – Kate Lyons, Glenn Swann and Cath Levett – Each year 1.3bn tonnes of food, about a third of all that is produced, is wasted, including about 45% of all fruit and vegetables, 35% of fish and seafood, 30% of cereals, 20% of dairy products and 20% of meat.


Behind the scenes look at the orange bag recycling program

The bright orange Hefty EnergyBags were introduced in mid-April, in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, and Garden City, just after China’s ban on imported plastics. This was the plan for these cities to alleviate landfill costs and do their part to protect the environment. So what does go in the orange bag? Curb It Boise has your list, here.



Walkers answers critics with launch of UK crisp packet recycling plan.

Manufacturer to collect and repurpose packaging after campaign against firm’s waste. From December, crisp eaters will be able to deposit empty packets, regardless of the brand, at hundreds of collection points or post them in a box or envelope free of charge to the recycling firm TerraCycle.



Drowning in Plastic review

a rallying cry to ditch plastic, but is it too late? Wildlife biologist Liz Bonnin investigates the scale of the plastic crisis in the ocean and what we are doing about it. In Drowning In Plastic, (BBC One)wildlife biologist Liz Bonnin watches a team of scientists examine flesh-footed shearwater chicks as they emerge from their burrows for the first time. They are just three months old and have never seen the sea. And yet, as one is made to swallow water and vomit into a bowl, 20 jagged pieces of plastic emerge. “They’re gradually feeding their chicks to death,” whispers Bonnin, aghast, in despair, and crying, which is pretty much how I remained for the rest of this feature-length documentary. The scientist explains that 20 pieces of plastic is not actually that much. The record, found inside a single chick, is 260.



University of Michigan Spilling the tea on the U’s number one contaminant to recycling

by Katherina Sourine 

According to Keith Soster, director of Student Engagement at Michigan Dining, Starbucks cups commonly used for coffee and tea specifically contaminate University of Michigan recycling bins most frequently. Angela Porta, outreach and zero waste coordinator at Recycle Ann Arbor, said the city of Ann Arbor is not able to recycle these cups either, citing reasons such as food contamination and the wax lining to the cup. Tracy Artley, waste reduction and recycling program manager for the Office of Campus Sustainability. “Recycling is this great environmental effort, but at heart, it’s an economic effort,” she said. “When we recycle things, they get sorted out and set out for recycling. They are being recycled for purchasing by a manufacturer who wants to make something new out of that. With coffee cups, there’s no company, at least around the state, that wants these paper coffee cups.” Artley described various efforts put forth by companies such as Starbucks and Tim Hortons to implement paper cup recycling strategies. None have been fully successful.
Recent reports estimate 16 billion coffee cups are used each year. During the transition to compostable packaging, a company called World Centric helped the University acquire approximately 200 types of compostable packaging, replacing the existing, unregulated packaging for cafe foods and drinks with compostable material which can be mistaken for plastic, but is in fact compostable.


Eos Launches National Recycling Program Via TerraCycle

Eos Products, known for its lip balms, shave creams and hand and body lotions, has partnered with TerraCycle, a global leader in recycling complex materials. TerraCycle gives eos a platform for North American consumers to have their eos products recycled into durable materials, such as park benches, picnic tables and bike racks. “Aligning with a partner like TerraCycle to ensure a free and easy way for our consumers to recycle was incredibly important to us as we continue to grow our sustainability efforts,” said eos Chief Marketing Officer Soyoung Kang in a statement. “We know our eos consumers share our commitment to preserving the planet, and now, with the help of TerraCycle, we’re excited to rollout this nationwide recycling program that makes all eos product packaging 100 percent recyclable.” Participating in the eos recycling program is free and simple. Consumers register for the program via TerraCycle and use any existing box or envelope to package empty eos products. All participants are incentivized to recycle with the opportunity for their product shipment to result in a charitable donation. For every 1 pound of empty eos product shipped, collectors can earn $1 to donate to a school or nonprofit organization of their choice.


Columbia Launches Updated Recycling Signage

Facilities Operations collaborated with the Environmental Stewardship office to create new recycling and trash signage for public spaces on campus. The new signage features increased specificity and detail on what can be thrown into each bin, and includes visual icons to further aid users. The icons were voted on and selected by members of the Sustainable Leaders Network.



COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR – 5 Issues Regarding Compostable Foodservice Ware

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 – 10 am – 11 am PST | 1 pm – 2 pm EST 

Sponsored by Rubicon Global and Sustainable Brands

The biggest talking point at restaurants this year is not what is on the menu, but what meals are being served with. Foodservice ware has become more of a focus in 2018 with companies choosing to take a stand against plastic straws and cities and states taking a stand against food waste. Just because regulations are forcing companies to make decisions, doesn’t mean every business is well prepared to implement a plan. This webinar will outline options for alternate foodservice ware as well as food scraps. The presentation will also speak to best practices for managing consumers, back-of-house staff and landlords before implementing organic waste programs. Finally, listeners will take away tips on additional considerations franchisees and restaurant owners must consider such
as space issues and government mandates. What You Will Learn In this webinar, attendees will be presented with these takeaways:

  1. Uncover the latest trends in sustainable foodservice ware and plastic straw alternatives
  2. Learn how to take part in the stand against food waste by implementing an actionable plan at your business
  3. Gain insights into government mandates, food waste recycling barriers and onsite organic options



Welcome to the future? Coca-Cola China integrates retail, recycling and AI technology in vending machine

The Coca-Cola Company has launched a new vending machine concept in China where consumers can purchase beverages, as well as return and recycle used bottles and cans, marking the first concept equipment to combine beverage sales and packaging recycling by Coca-Cola China. The vending machine also uses AI technology such as facial recognition and sound interaction to provide an interactive experience to the consumers.


Bottles Collected at Tampa Beach Cleanup Will Be Recycled and Reused to Make New Coca-Cola Bottles

By: Benjamin Nylin

Plastic bottles collected from Tampa Bay beaches and waterways will make their way to local store shelves within a month as part of a pilot recycling and reuse program launched by The CocaCola Company and Coca-Cola Beverages Florida. More than 150 volunteers from Coca-Cola Beverages Florida joined forces with Ocean Conservancy on Sept. 15 to collect trash and recyclables the Tampa marina across the beaches of St. Petersburg. All plastic bottles collected will be recycled in the area and return to the Tampa/St. Petersburg market by mid-October as Coca-Cola 20-oz. bottles made with small amounts of recycled PET collected from the cleanup.


Timberland, Community Recycling help consumers recycle

Beginning this week, consumers can easily recycle their gently used footwear, apparel and accessories through Community Recyling, either online or at one of 65 Timberland stores across the US. Online shoppers simply pack up items they wish to donate in a box or bag, print a free shipping label, and post their packaged recyclables at a local UPS drop-off location. Or, they can visit a Timberland store and drop off their gently used items in a shipping box sleeve. In addition to doing good, participants receive 10 per cent off their next Timberland purchase. After being sent to Community Recycling’s facilities in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, the gently used items are sorted into two streams – reuse and recycling. Most (roughly 95 per cent) are appropriate for reuse and are distributed to Community Recycling’s network of entrepreneurs either in the US or one of 50 countries around the world, who sell them and create a livelihood for themselves and their families. Items earmarked for recycling (roughly 5 per cent) make their way to vendors who grind them down and reform them into materials that can be used for insulation, carpet padding, industrial rags and more. Whichever stream the items follow, they contribute to helping people, communities and the planet. Since more than 70 per cent of the world depends on second-hand clothing and accessories, recycled items drive social good, and support millions of people in need. Community Recycling’s mission is to highlight the personal experience inherent in recycling clothing, shoes and accessories.



Kazakhstan to ban plastic, paper and glass burying by 2019, construction and food waste by 2021

Kazakhstan will be employing sustainable waste management to reduce environmental pollution and increase the volume of recycling to 40 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050, said Kazakh Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev at an Oct. 2 cabinet meeting.



Containerboard mill on the way in Pacific Northwest

McKinley, which is a subsidiary of Mexican paper giant Bio Pappel, announced last week that it plans to reopen the Port Angeles mill in September 2019. The paper mill has been idled for about a year and a half. The facility will be converted with “state of the art machinery and equipment” to produce 250,000 tons of containerboard per year, the company said in a press release. The converted mill will “produce paper without cutting trees,” the company wrote. A spokesperson could not yet confirm the fiber grades the mill will consume but said it would likely be 100 percent OCC. With the Washington mill, the company will have a total containerboard capacity of 500,000 tons in the U.S. and 1.5 million tons in Mexico. “The company would consider additional investments and strategic alliances in the Northwest USA to deploy a corrugated box system to integrate its paper production into more value-added paper products,” McKinley said in the release. Bio Pappel operates 30 production facilities and 13 recycled paper collection centers in the U.S. and Latin America.



Empty, Clean and Dry. King County re-education campaign

“We need to eliminate the contamination,” says Pat McLaughlin with King Co. Solid Waste Division. “The best way to do that is at home.” McLaughlin has run the waste division for six years now and says luckily the Chinese restrictions on mixed paper and plastics only affects 14 percent of our overall recycling. But, the county thought it was a good time to take their customers, that’s all of us, back to school. “We’re surrounded by people who want to do the right thing,” says McLaughlin. He says King County landfills are running out of room. The best way to extend the ten years we have left is for each and every one of us to recycle right. About 70 percent of what we throw away could be recycled. “If we don’t put those resources in the right bin: empty, clean and dry– then we’re actually at risk of contaminating the good resources that are in there,” says McLaughlin.



APR Releases Plastics Sorting Best Management Practices Guide

Facilitating Consistent Data Collection Across Multiple Programs Nationwide. In an effort to facilitate greater consistency in plastic sorting, the Association of Plastic Recyclers recently announced the development of The APR Plastic Sorting Best Management Practices Guide to standardize how data is collected in studies that seek to identify the composition of plastics in the waste and recycling stream. The goal of the guide is part of an overall effort by APR, the leading international trade organization representing the plastics recycling industry, to optimize plastics recycling across North America and beyond. Developed in conjunction with the American Chemistry Council and More Recycling, the tool was unveiled during an APR Web Seminar last week.


All Austin, TX food businesses now required to divert organics

Business including restaurants, bars, farmers markets and grocery stores — to divert organic materials from landfills. The deadline to comply with the ordinance was Oct. 1, in keeping with the overall goal of achieving “zero waste” by 2040 set by the city’s Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO).