Search Results for Tag: recycling
Disposable diapers may be a blessing for new parents. But they’re an environmental nightmare. They end up in landfills by the millions and the plastics in them can take hundreds of years to decompose.
To combat the problem, the UK’s first diaper recycling plant has opened in West Bromich in the Midlands. It will work with local operators who collect waste from hospitals, nursing homes and child care facilities. Operated by Canadian company Knowaste, the facility is to use technology to sterilize and separate the materials to recover plastic and fiber that can be used for making new products such as roof tiles and commercial tubes.
The company estimates that the plant, which will also recycle female hygiene products, will save about 110,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year. It plans to open a further four facilities in the coming years.
What do you think? Could something like this help to reduce the planet’s plastic footprint?
DateSeptember 13, 2011
Saving Green Technology
Recycling has become part of everyday life in many parts of the world, but that usually means recycling things like plastics, glass and paper. We often forget to recycle valuable materials that we actually really need, like metals. A new report from the UN says less than one third of the earth’s metals have a recycling rate more than 50%.
That creates a big–and ironic–problem: the green technology we want to invest in for the future depends on those materials, so if we don’t do a better job recycling them, we might not have enough to produce the clean energy we want. The metals used in semi-conductors, LED lights, hybrid car batteries or magnets in wind turbines are all precious materials that are disappearing fast.
The message from the European Environment Agency is clear: improve the recycling rates. So how can we do a better job recycling important metals? Tell us what you think!
DateMay 30, 2011
Ban on plastic bags?
“Fifty years ago, the single-use plastic bag was almost unheard of. Now we use them for a few minutes and they pollute our environment for decades,” says Janez Potocnik, Environment Commissioner of the the European Union. Each European uses 500 of these bags each year, most of them are used just once. In 2008 alone a total of 3.4 million tonnes of plastic bags were produced in Europe, that makes the same weight as two million cars.
Starting this week (18. May) the European Commission is seeking a solution. The approach is planed to be made with the help of European people and the bags manufacturers. The Commission calls everyone to a online-poll. Finally a tax or a ban on plastic bags is considered. The Commission called for suggestions on how to deal with the billions of bags used in the European Union each year. The public consultation will close at the end of August.
DateMay 20, 2011
Brazil’s Eco-friendly Fridges
E-waste, or electronic waste, is a major pollutant and poses a big threat to our environment. Things like computers, cell phones and tv's often end up in big landfills, and they can contain harmful contaminants that put us and the environment at risk. It's not just electronics–fridges, too, can release harmful gases into the atmosphere when they're thrown away.
But a new recycling program in Brazil's favelas has come up with a good–and green–solution. Old fridges that have been traded out for new ones are disposed of at a state-of-the-art recycling facility–and the entire process is done without releasing damaging pollutants into the atmosphere.
Take a look and let us know what you think!
DateMarch 7, 2011
Recycling in Bali – day 4: Tradition hard-pressed for answers
While shooting for our report about the garbage problem on the island of Bali, we were invited to attend a traditional Hindu dance ceremony in a little village temple. In Bali, Hinduism is blended with a very old religions entrenched in nature. Traditionally, people in the village used to live in balance with nature, like using banana-leafs to package or wrap food.
The dance in the video is a "flirting" dance. It's a way for the children to learn the rules and how to behave. But the traditional rules don't have an answer to the garbage problem. Many people dispose of their rubbish by just throwing it away, because they don't know what else to do. What they told me is, they see the problem and they wait for solutions.
(For those of you keen on finding out what our reporter looks like, check out the video at 1mins08secs.)
DateJanuary 14, 2011