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For all the years I’ve worked in the recycling business for Waste Management, I can tell you that the global challenges our industry is facing these days are without precedent.

Simply put, many of the items we all want to recycle are getting hard to market economically. This impacts our business, the environment and the recycling industry as a whole.

Today, the average contamination rate among communities and businesses sits at around 25%. That means that roughly 1 in 4 items placed in a recycling container is actually not recyclable through curbside programs, and this creates enormous problems for the recycling economy.

Read the full article and find out more about the problems for the recycling economy here.

By Brent Bell for Waste Management Media Room.

 

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On December 20, 2017, the sustainability team at PATA held a waste management workshop for PATA staff at PATA headquarters. We invited Gili Back, Sustainability Manager at Khiri Travel, as guest speaker to share best practice examples for waste management in a business environment here in Bangkok.

We kicked off the lunch with a delicious lunch from The Lunch Box, initiated and run by Gili Back. To reduce packaging waste from individual servings, we had a buffet-style lunch, served in reusable serving bowls with reusable plates and cutlery. Making a conscious choice about the food we served, we tried three different vegan lunch options, and encouraged PATA staff to try a dietary shift while thinking about the ingredients in our food and the impact eating meat makes on our environment.

   
Gili shared recycling practices and alternatives to single use disposable plastic that are available here in Thailand. She shared helpful tips for how to be more sustainable not only in the office but also at home. Gili then provided insights about how to correctly separate and recycle at the source, such as encouraging everyone to reduce and ultimately avoid plastic use by saying no to single use plastic straws and plastic bags. Gili explained the differences between recycling, composting, and disposal for a better understanding of waste separating practices. She also addressed common misconceptions about bioplastics, such as that bio based plastics are always biodegradable, and fossil-based plastics are never biodegradable or compostable.

Veronika, PATA’s Sustainability & Social Responsibility Associate then shared some astounding facts about waste in Bangkok. Did you know that Bangkokians use 8.1 million plastic bags per day? Learning this, we aim to do our part to improve our sustainability efforts at PATA by introducing new waste separation guidelines.

To put our new knowledge into practice, everyone participated in a fun team activity. Teams raced to correctly separate a bag filled with different types of waste from the office.

   
The winning team explained how they separated their waste to the other teams. We also discussed items that some teams weren’t sure how to categorise. Everyone received a reusable tumbler/water bottle carry bag as prize and was invited to personalise it. We then took our newly separated and repurposed it to create beautiful decorations for this holiday season.

   
   
Following this workshop, we introduced new colour-coded bins that are now in in office pantry to help everyone separate and recycling waste correctly in the future.

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Dr Amy Khor (left) speaks to Chef Lucas Glanville, director of culinary operations at Grand Hyatt Singapore, beside the Biomax Thermophilic Digester machine which recycles food waste for the hotel. ST PHOTO: TAN SUE-ANN

SINGAPORE – Grand Hyatt, a hotel near Orchard Road, has saved $100,000 a year, just by managing its waste. Instead of throwing food waste into the bin, the hotel staff transfer them into a machine known as the Biomax Thermophilic Digester. This technology recycles food waste such as vegetable, poultry, bones, egg shell, tissue paper and fruit peel from nine in-house restaurants and kitchens. The food waste is then converted into pathogen-free organic fertilisers which are used for the hotel’s landscaping purposes.

Find out more about this technology by reading the full article here.

By Sue-Ann Tan for The Straits Times.

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Cyprus struggles to manage waste as tourist numbers soar

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Tourists on a crowded, sun-drenched beach in the Cypriot resort of Ayia Napa tossed drinks cans into recycling bins as a record-breaking holiday season drew to a close.

With more visitors heading to Cyprus than ever, the Mediterranean island’s waste disposal system is under pressure, despite efforts to cut landfill use and encourage recycling, waste management and tourism, experts say.

Panicos Michael, manager of the five-star Alion Beach Hotel in Ayia Napa, said the rising number of visitors raised major issues. “I think that this will be a big challenge for the island in general to cope with the increased amount of waste that’s going to be produced,” he said.

Cyprus — seen as a regional safe spot shielded from the unrest that has hit other popular Mediterranean destinations — hosted a record 3.2 million visitors last year and looks set to top that by eight percent in 2017, official figures show.

Read the full article on the problematic waste situation on Cyprus here.

By unknown author for AFP.

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Credit: Shutterstock

 

There’s a big lie about plastic — that you can throw it away. But that’s not true; there is no “away.”

Plastic bottles, plastic bags, snack wrappers, foam takeout containers, foam coffee cups, packing materials: these common, everyday items make up 85% of our waste stream. These items aren’t biodegradable and our ability to recycle them is limited.

 

This societal reliance on throw-away plastic is strangling our environment — particularly our waterways.

More than eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans each year, where it kills animals and fouls waterways and beaches. This isn’t the work of careless litterbugs at the beach. Over 80% of ocean plastic comes from land-based sources. Even if you live inland and take care to properly dispose of your trash, there is a good chance some of your plastic waste has found its way to the sea.

 

Consider the American Great Lakes, where 80% of the litter along the shorelines is plastic. That trash doesn’t stay put — it flows through the canals and river systems through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Atlantic Ocean. A takeout container that blows off a Chicago landfill can wind up off the coast of Africa.

From there, the damage gets far worse. Once in the ocean, plastic eventually breaks into micro-particles that cause toxins to enter the food chain.

A single discarded piece of plastic breaks down into millions — and these bits are mistaken for food and ingested by even the smallest organisms on the oceanic food chain. Contaminated zooplankton feed on phytoplankton, which are fed on by small fish, who are fed on by squid — and so it goes on up to our dinner plates.

 

Read the full article here.

 

By Julie Anderson from Los Angeles Time

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Plastic has dominated the in-flight experience, but airlines including Iberia and Qantas are experimenting with ways to reduce packaging. Photograph: Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images
Airlines generated 5.2m tonnes of waste in 2016, most of which went to landfill or incineration – and it cost them £400m.

You probably know about the waste problem in our oceans. But how about the one in our skies?

Airline passengers generated 5.2m tonnes of waste in 2016, most of which went to landfill or incineration, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates. That’s the weight of about 2.6m cars. And it’s a figure set to double over the next 15 years.

Toilet waste is included in that statistic. But so are miniature wine bottles, half-eaten lunch trays, unused toothbrushes and other hallmarks of air travel.

Once a plane has landed, huge volumes of disposable items are thrown away, says Matt Rance, chief executive of MNH Sustainable Cabin Services, a company that advises airlines on waste reduction. “It’s almost like taking a tube, tipping it upside down, emptying it out and then saying ‘right, fill it up with new stuff again’.”

The airline industry has taken flak for its growing greenhouse gas emissions as passenger numbers rise. But could its massive waste footprint be solved without affecting the sector’s growth?

 

Read the full article here.

By Olivia Boyd from The Guardian.

 

 

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Waste disposal is expensive – for your pocket and for our planet, our only home.

ed_DSC0499_lowAccording to Green Hotelier’s “Waste Management,” a hotel guest generates about 1kg (2lb) of waste per night, more than half of it in paper, plastic and cardboard. In addition to negative environmental impact, minimizing the amount of waste a business produces is important because waste has rising cost implications in both disposal and initial purchase, if the materials are not used. As described by Green Hotelier, in the UK, for example, landfilling costs are now £48 per tonne (1.1 tons) compared to £18 a tonne in 2005.

Tourism operators generate a range of different wastes. The size and type of operation will influence how much waste is produced. The location of the tourism operation will also affect the impact its waste has on the surrounding community and environment. By considering the availability of possible reuse and recycling options, we help reduce waste to landfills.

Reducing the amount of waste is one of the simplest and most effective ways for tourism operators to both reduce their environmental impact and improve their bottom line. Here are some more resources to help you start:

Best Marine and Wildlife Tourism Provider – 2015 InSPIRE Awards

siddhalepaHealth Resort is nestled amidst tropical gardens along the picturesque coastal belt of Wadduwa Sri Lanka. Offering a unique combination of health, luxury and relaxation, this serene resort is part of the renowned Hettigoda Group – the creators of one of Sri Lanka’s much loved brands ‘Siddhalepa’.

Facing the sparkling blue Indian Ocean and secluded amidst tropical gardens, the resort combines contemporary luxury with age old traditions – not just in the healing therapies offered, but also in the architecture and the ambience. Set amidst an extensive tropical garden covering over 7 acres of Ayurvedic medicinal plants and trees it is a natural haven of beauty and a healing sanctuary of serenity and peace. Especially prepared dishes based on the Ayurvedic physician’s recommendation are served to guests who are undergoing treatment. While the focus is on authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, guests also have a choice of Chinese, Indian or Western food and the stylish speciality restaurant with beautiful views of the ocean offers an A La Carte menu.

The Ayurvedic spa at Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort been recently revamped to have a completely new theme emulating Sri Lankan heritage, and many novel facilities such as individual water features are added to treatment rooms. Innovative treatments including a sea water Jacuzzi is included to the existing spa treatment menu. The spa specialises in providing a range of traditional Ayurvedic treatments that cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate, using 100% natural resources under the supervision of experienced Ayurveda physicians. All treatments and therapies are based on ancient Ayurveda methods handed down over generations and the parent company, Hettigoda Industries manufacture all the products used – with 100% natural ingredients, mostly grown at own plantations. With their own training centre, even the doctors and therapists are trained by Siddhalepa guaranteeing the exceptional standards of quality offered to guests. From its inception, the resort has been dedicated to being environmentally conscious right from the architectural design to their day to day operations and the recent renovations also ensure further introductions of eco-friendly means and methods. The hotel’s green practices come under three categories: Energy Conservation, Water management and waste management.

 

For more information: Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort Resorts website

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There is an enormous potential for reclamation and reuse of rubber in developing countries. There is a large wastage of rubber tyres in many countries and the aim of this brief is to give some ideas for what can be done with this valuable resource.

by www.practicalaction.org
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This technical brief begins by describing the characteristics of organic waste, its sources and the particular hazards, challenges and opportunities it presents. It goes on to present a number of options for processing organic waste, including use as animal feed, biogas digesting, and composting. It is particularly intended for project engineers, planners or managers in municipalities, NGOs and businesses.

by www.practicalaction.org

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