Tag: Recycle

Overhauling the Packaging of Consumer Brands | Circular Economy

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 13, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

With the advent of the global circular economy movement, it soon becomes clear just how many everyday items can’t be recycled. It’s quite alarming. We’ll never reach zero waste unless we find innovative solutions to meet this imperative.

Take plastic, for example. The following plastic packaging/ additional items cannot be recycled:

  • plastic single use shopping bags
  • straws
  • plastic film wrap
  • frozen food bags (nearly all vegetables are sold in non-recyclable bags)
  • cereal box liner
  • chip bags
  • granola bar, candy bar and nearly all snack items wrappers
  • six-pack rings
  • plastic hangers
  • any plastic containers that can’t be cleaned, ie toothpaste tubes

Back before I was aware that these particular pieces couldn’t be recycled, it was exciting to end the month with an empty kitchen garbage bin. But now that I’m in the know, and I see the waste stack up, I feel maximum frustration. We have to stop, focus and fix.

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.09.07 PM.png Thankfully, innovative sustainability companies have done just that. According to Healthy Human, the following are the top sustainable packaging innovations of 2019:

  • Loop, Returnity and Share Pack – companies that enable consumers to conveniently return packaging either by dropping off at targeted locations, or sending back in company provided totes
  • Plant based packaging – plastics made from plants
  • Edible packaging – typically this is seaweed, hopefully they’ll soon find additional alternatives
  • Plantable packaging – contains seeds so the packaging can be planted after use
  • Compostable plastic alternatives
  • Minimal packaging design
  • Upcycled or recycled packaging

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Sustainable packaging solutions are here. All we need now is to grow demand which will come from our consumer decision making. We simply must be motivated to seek these sustainably packaged products out and use our wallets to influence corporations to switch. If we all refuse to buy particular brands because of the packaging, corporations will soon wise up.

We can DO THIS!~

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Are You Ever Confused About What Can Be Recycled? | Check Out This Link

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 10, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Recycling has the world’s undivided attention as we strive to reach our lofty goal of zero waste.  Proper recycling is of the utmost importance in the new circular economy era. As we attempt to deposit each item into the correct bin, it’s become more clear that the packaging industry has to be overhauled.

  • Paper labels stickered to a glass container is a very big problem. When glass is pure,  it’s 100% recyclable. When paper stickers are added to the mix, it changes everything.
  • How about the bubble wrap mailing envelopes? Paper on the outside, plastic inside. These can’y be recycled, which is unacceptable.
  • Toothpaste has to have a package redesign as well. It’s impossible to recycle toothpaste tubes because they can’t be cleaned.
  • Plastic bags can’t be recycled. This includes bread bags, frozen fruit and vegetables, Saran wrap, sandwich bags, etc.
  • If we can’t reuse or recycle, we must refuse.

On the subject of cleaning, any plastic container that’s dirty cannot be recycled. Plastic packaging with skinny necks, and there are many, are a very serious problem. The hair conditioner I use, is nearly impossible to clean. I have to work so hard at it, I become aggravated at the selfish business practices of the manufacturer. My time is very valuable. Being forced to be clever and resourceful after a long day of work, so that the manufacturer’s job is easier, isn’t right.

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Here’s an exceptional link that makes recycling super easy. Just enter the name of the item you want to recycle, and it will tell you how to take care of it.

By the way, plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled either. ZeroWaste.gov recommends that these be recycled by returning them to the store where they came from. Excellent idea! Better yet, invest in reusable bags to make your life easier, and the world a better place.~

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Tree Crisis Compounds Climate Crisis | Quick Action

Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 3, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

With such an overwhelming blow to rainforests in the Amazon last week —  4,000 new fires detected in less than 48 hours, and 80,000 total fires in 2019 — we must move swiftly to replant and reforest on every continent.

The Amazon is considered the “lungs of the world.”  On average, we lose 65 trees every minute, 93,600 trees every day, and 34.16 million trees every year. This in and of itself is a human civilization-threatening reality. With the global population rising, and carbon sequestration falling, the only way to save more lives is to immediately act in response to the recent escalation in the destruction of the globe’s forests.

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The Path Forward must be a global commitment to:

  1. Lower carbon emissions faster
  2. Increase carbon sequestration faster through conservation, replanting as well other natural carbon sinks, most notably soil
  3. Cut back on paper products (we have to sacrifice our love of lush, fluffy double-ply anything)

Students love getting involved with climate action. So with the new school year beginning, let’s create a game plan. How about every American student planting 10 trees per school year? Some countries already require this.

  • Planting trees in groups is a lot of fun
  • Students can fundraise together, form an after school club and have meetings to decide where they’ll plant trees, as well as what types of trees
  • Working on a life-saving and planet-saving project brings out the best in us, builds character, and rewards with a new perspective on life
  • This can also be a fun family project on weekends
  • Best time to plant trees is the fall & the spring, September is an excellent month to get started

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There are many more benefits we receive from trees than just oxygen. Trees become friends. They are wonderful listeners. They nurture and support. Trees teach lessons about growing roots, and patience… the benefits of sunshine, as well as rain. Trees stay in our lives for a long time, providing stability. They grace us with shade and shelter. Trees share secrets about what it takes to grow big and strong. Trees are wonderful companions for students. A student tree force will provide many cures, not only for the environment and the climate crisis, but also for society in general.

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Enriching the soil all around us with more nutrients through composting, will also increase sequestration. Every restaurant and home should compost. No more using the sink disposal!

Steady daily pacing of recycling, composting, planting trees, switching to solar, walking more, driving less… will get us on our way to new green habits, and a less frightening future.

We can do this!

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Recycling Cancelled in Jackson, MS | Climate Action

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | August 20, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

It’s alarming to learn that Jackson, MS has cancelled it’s curbside recycling program with Waste Management effective September 1, 2019, claiming that there aren’t enough residents recycling to continue paying the cost. Why does Jackson allow residents not to recycle? It seems that most towns and cities would initiate a marketing campaign to lure their residents on board with the importance of recycling. Recycling is typically the very first step we all take to help cut carbon.

It’s imperative that everyone on earth understand that the climate crisis erupted from unrestrained small actions by the global public, particularly Americans as a result of our wealth, and that all it takes to cut carbon is for each of us to focus on these same small actions. We each have to lower our own carbon footprints.to an optimal range from 4-7 million metric tons of carbon per year. Americans currently average 20 million metric tons of carbon annually.

Recycling is a must. So many of our products are now manufactured from recycled material rather than virgin. Using recycled material to manufacture new products creates a substantial energy savings which cuts carbon emissions. Every little bit helps. For a city like Jackson, MS to have a convenient curbside recycling service, there’s no reason for residents to not step up. Many towns have to rely on recycling centers which are drive to sites and can be very annoying, yet these residents establish weekly habits that make it work.

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Every single day there’s another alarming headline warning of the perilous climate crisis we now find ourselves embattled in. There’s no time to delay. There’s no excuse for not complying with basics like recycling.

To cut carbon significantly, and lower our carbon footprints to 7 metric tons per year, we only need to focus on 4 areas of concern:

  1. Household energy – go solar!
  2. Transportation – EV cars, walk, public transportation
  3. Food –  minimize dairy and red meat
  4. Stuff – buy less stuff, always recycle

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Recycling is mandatory. We can do this!

 

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