Global News

Issue 26, December 2013

News from the President

David Newman

Dear Friends, Colleagues and ISWA Members

 

With Past President Atilio Savino and Gary Crawford, Chair of the Working Group on Climate Change, I spent a couple of days in Warsaw late November for the COP 19 conference on Climate Change. I promised a report back, so here it is.

 

We attended many of the side sessions and ISWA participated in organising two of them, the first with the Austrian Ministry of Environment to show how good waste management is possible and how Austria has achieved this; the second with the CCAP  and the Government of Finland to talk about financing climate change mitigation and adaptation. Gary made an excellent presentation on the potential of waste investments.

 

Both events were well attended, especially the second one, and great interest was expressed by the participants in developing waste projects within the climate change perspective.

 

I also attended the High Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition where ISWA put forward an ambitious workplan proposal for the next two years.

 

The main messages coming from Warsaw was that the progress towards a Treaty is continiung although with painful slowness, and that the principle of the responsibility of developed nations to finance adaptation and mitigation in less developed nations has been firmly established. The discussion now has turned as much to "reparation" as to finance, with some less developed nations calling upon the large emitters of GHG to pay for the damages these emissions cause ( the Philippine typhoon happened at the opening of the Conference and was a sad example of this) No-one expects much progress in Lima in 2014 but most parties seem to believe that a deal of some sort can be made in 2015 in Paris. Will it have meaning and help turn the climate damage around ? I have my doubts. I think we are doing too little too late, but a deal is better than nothing.

 

We shall participate in this process throughout the next two years bringing the message that good waste management plays a significant role in helping nations reduce their emissions while helping overall economic and social development too.

 

I wish you all a very Happy Festive Season and thank you for your support and interest in ISWA over 2013. See you next year.

 

Best wishes
David Newman
President, ISWA

Seasons Greetings from the General Secretariat

Alfons Walde, Aufstieg der Schifahrer (ascent of the skiers)

This picture by the Austrian painter and architect Alfons Walde (1891-1958) featuring the 'Ascent of the Skiers' in this beautiful alpine winter landscape, symbolises not just the festive season but also the beauty of an intact nature and the ascending development of ISWA during the last year.

 

The team of the ISWA General Secretariat wishes you a Happy Festive Season and a Successful and Sustainable New Year!

 

Alfred, Gerfried, Hermann, Jiao, Julia, Kim and Rachael

 

New ISWA Website launched!

The new ISWA website

After a few months of development work we proudly present the new ISWA website!

 

During the last years the number of hits on the ISWA website continuously increased due to the development of new contents and various promotion measures, attracting more than 22,000 hits per month in 2013. To make it even more attractive, now a complete revision of the ISWA website has been elaborated.

 

The main goals of the revision were a clearer and more modern lay out and a user friendly structure. A mobile version of the website which will be more suitable for mobile devices will follow soon.

 

We hope you like the new www.iswa.org

 

Please kindly report any malfunctions to iswa@remove-this.iswa.org, if possible please along with (a) screenshot(s) of any error messages. Thank you!

Video 'ISWA World Congress 2013' out now!

ISWA World Congress 2013, Opening Ceremony
ISWA World Congress 2013, Opening Ceremony

The official Video of the ISWA World Congress 2013 is out now!

 

This version is partly in German, but it nevertheless gives you a good impression on THE Waste Management even of the year. As already reported, almost 1,300 delegates from 84 countries gathered in the beautiful city of Vienna, which constituted once again a new record participation for the ISWA World Congress.

 

The participants were offered a lot during the 3 congress days, from the inspiring opening to the tropical closing ceremony, e.g. 250 speeches in 56 sessions, 180 poster presentations, an exceptional gala dinner and the ISWA Award Presentation Ceremony in the Vienna City Hall…

 

Enjoy the video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0evUxo_TQc

UNFCCC COP19: ISWA’s Side Events on Waste & Climate

FLTR: Atilio Savino, Gary Crawford, Julie Cerqueira (CCAP), Ash Sharma (NEFCO)
FLTR: Atilio Savino, Gary Crawford, Julie Cerqueira (CCAP), Ash Sharma (NEFCO)

ISWA had a strong presence at this year’s COP event which took place in Warsaw from 11-22 November, organising two side events.

 

The first event was held together with the Austrian Ministry of Environment and took place in the EU Pavilion on the 11th November. The programme involved the ISWA President David Newman and high level speakers from the Austrian Ministry of Environment, City of Vienna and Altstoff Recycling Austria. The side event focused on perspectives from the waste sector to support the climate agenda.

 

The second event which attracted a large audience of around 100 people was organised by ISWA in cooperation with CCAP; NEFCO; NOAK, and the Ministry of Environment, Peru. Atilio Savino and Gary Crawford represented ISWA. The event was titled “a shared vision of NAMAs: practical application and their role in an ambitious 2015 agreement”. Using concrete examples, the event discussed a shared vision of NAMAs, including how NAMAs can overcome barriers to private investment and scale up activities in the waste and other sectors. It also explored the role of climate finance in this vision and how to build from NAMAs to a 2015 agreement.

 

Presentations from the event are available in the ISWA Knowledge Base

ISWA Project Grant: 'Design4Recycling' wins German Lifestyle Award!

Supported by the ISWA Project Grant, the Working Group on Recycling and Waste Minimisation together with the Dutch National member NVRD set out a project in order to investigate whether it would be possible to drive changes in the production industry which would enhance the environmental performance and especially the recyclability of products.

 

Jeans was chosen as an example product since production and use of jeans has a high environmental impact, a low recycling rate, and nearly everybody owns one. In a first workshop participants from different European countries representing the total production chain of jeans discussed on the problems and challenges related to the recycling of jeans and brainstormed on the most promising ways to overcome these.  As a result of the workshop Design4Recycling of jeans was considered to be the best way forward.

 

The students who won the Design4Recycling workshop have been rewarded for their efforts during the Krefeld Fashion World 2013 where they received the German Lifestyle Award in the category Young Talents. The project team and ISWA is most proud of this result. Krefeld Fashion World is the largest open air fashion festival worldwide, and was visited last year by ca. 500.000 people. More information is available at: http://www.krefeldfashionworld.de/#!nachwuchs-design/c4xd

 

During the ISWA World Congress in Vienna the project has been presented in a special session dedicated to ISWA Grant Projects. A video on the project can be seen here: http://youtu.be/AGySJQrCf6A

Waste Management and Climate Change Forum in Incheon, Korea

Waste Management and Climate Change Forum Incheon, Korea

On the 21th of November, some fifty experts from six different countries gathered in Incheon, Korea, to attend the Waste Management and Climate Change Forum. The forum was organized by the 'SUDOKWON Landfill Site Management Corp.', the ISWA National Member 'Korea Society of Waste Management' (KSWM), and the 'Korea Waste Association'. The event was held in conjunction with an environmental exhibition and to attract interest of the Green Climate Fund Secretariat.

 

The objective of the symposium was to bring together domestic and foreign experts with the aim to share knowledge and thoughts on the theme waste management and climate change, particularly the contribution of waste management to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Discussions were focused on challenges and solutions concerning sustainable growth taking into account the climate change issue.

 

Speakers from various parts of the world provided presentations on this issue, i.e. Dr. Yong-Chil Seo (President of KSWM, Korea), Mr. Hermann Koller (Manging Director of ISWA, Austria), Dr. Pariatamby Agamuthu (Professor at University of Malaya, Malaysia), Dr. Timothy Townsend (Professor at University of Florida, USA), Mr. Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty (Environment Programme Coordinator at UNCRD), and Mr. Rudy Azrul Arifin (Director at the Ministry of Public Works, Indonesia). Dr. Jae Young Kim (Professor at Seoul National University, Korea) chaired the forum.

ISWA World Congress 2014: Call for abstracts

The ISWA 2014 Solid Waste World Congress will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 8-11 September 2014 and will present the most recent and relevant studies relating to the waste management sector during its three full days programme.

 

With the general theme (Re)Discovering a New World – Sustainable Solutions for a Healthy Future, the congress aims to highlight the perspectives and trends for future waste management practices to be applied in a newly shaped world leading to a healthy future. 

 

Authors may submit their abstracts through the Congress online tool and register as many papers as desired. 

 

Selected abstracts will be published in the Congress proceedings (ISBN classification) and a selection of the best submissions will be published in a special edition of the journal Waste Management & Research.

 

Abstract submission deadline is 24 January 2014.


We look forward to receiving your abstract! Click here to enter the online abstract submission tool.

Global Waste Management Outlook: Consultation Begins

UNEP IETC and ISWA are happy to announce that the preparation of the “Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO)” is underway. The GWMO aims to be the first of its kind, authoritative reference document succinctly addressing the global challenges, trends, financial models and policies across the waste sector.

 

Wide consultation with a broad group of stakeholders including decision makers, the world’s leading institutions and experts in waste management will be central to the development of the GWMO. The first consultations in the format of e-regional consultations are scheduled to take place from the 20 December 2013 to the 12 January 2014.

 

A first stakeholder consultation meeting was held  8-9 July at the UNESCO Headquarters, Paris with high level representatives from the USA, Austria, Japan and Singapore Governments’; the European Commission; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); a number of NGOs, private sector players such as Remondis, Veolia and Hitachi; and several reputable academics. Those present provided initial feedback and input to the audience and scope of content for the GWMO.

 

A highly experienced Editorial team has subsequently been selected who are now conscientiously working on finalising the annotated chapter outlines. The Editorial Team includes David Wilson as Editor in Chief; Costas Velis as Advisor and Contributor, Lead authors Ljiljana Rodic, Prasad Modak, and Otto Simonett; and Mona Iyer as Case Study Editor.

 

The final document will be concluded within the first quarter of 2015 and is proposed to be a valuable tool for decision makers offering a validated comparative analysis on the state of waste management around the globe, based on standardised policy indicators and benchmarks


UNEP IETC and ISWA are seeking further contributors to the project particularly sponsors to help support future in person consultations. If you are interested in contributing to the GWMO then please contact the GWMO Project Manager at Ainhoa.Carpintero@remove-this.unep.org

WM&R: Editor’s Pick for the December issue


Each month the Editor in Chief of ISWA's journal WM&R will be hand selecting a leading paper from WM&R which is then made freely available. The chosen article for December is:

“A framework for a decision support system for municipal solid waste landfill design” written by Ashley Verge and R Kerry Rowe.
The article is available at: http://bit.ly/1kCIfhD

 

You are also encouraged to take a peek at some of the other articles offered in the latest issue of WM&R. The December issue includes 11 papers covering a range of subjects challenging waste managers in both developed and developing countries on 5 continents.  Two papers, including that by Verge and Rowe, address the use of computer models as aids in the design of waste management facilities and systems, and the editorial covers the emerging field of sustainable materials management which considers the components of today’s waste stream as resources instead of valueless wastes.

 

The Editorial “‘Sustainable materials management’: A new international solid waste paradigm” written by Marc Rogoff is available at: http://wmr.sagepub.com/content/31/12/1187.full.pdf+html

ISWA welcomes two new Gold Members!

Keppel Seghers, Belgium
Ortadogu Enerji, Turkey

ISWA is happy to welcome and present two new Gold Members!

 

Please click on the logos to view the company profiles.

ISWA Cartoon

Cartoon on the EU waste hierarchy by Ana Penha

This Cartoon on the EU waste hierarchy (click to enlarge) has been designed by Ms Ana Penha from Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Ana sent it to us and asked if we would like to publish it on our newsletter. We thought this might be a good idea and maybe also could be the start of a cartoon series on waste management in our newsletter.

 

Thank you, Ana!

 

If you would like to have your cartoon published on the 'ISWA Global News' just send it to iswa@remove-this.iswa.org with the subject 'ISWA Cartoon'. We are looking forward to your submissions!

Profile: Dr. Alexei Atudorei (Romania)

Dr. Alexei Atudorei

Name and current position in ISWA

Dr. Alexei Atudorei, Member of the Board, Representative of the Regional Development Network Southeast Europe, Middle East and Mediterranean

 

Company and current position in your company

SC AQUA TECH SERVICE, Bucharest, Romania, General Manager. Private small family company involved in consultancy in water, wastewater and municipal waste management (set-up in 1993).

 

What is your background?

I graduated the Bucharest Technical University of Civil Engineering in 1979 I worked as a scientist in environmental protection from 1979 to 2007 at the Research and Development National Institute for Environmental Protection, in Bucharest, as scientist and senior scientist and from 1992 as Head of Environmental Engineering Department.

I took my PhD in 1998 – Anaerobic digestion of wastewater and municipal waste

I studied, after 1990, in Netherlands (anaerobic digestion), in Japan (industrial air pollution control) and in France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark (waste management – municipal, industrial, medical hazardous and non-hazardous waste).

 

Did you always work in the waste industry?

I started to work in waste from 1983 as a scientist, from 1992 as a consultant and from 2000 as a consultant and designer. In the period 2000 – 2006 I took part at the harmonization of Romanian legislation with UE legislation and after that I took part at the implementation of waste management projects at local, county and national level with local funds and EU funds (PHARE, ISPA and Romanian SOP Environment Program 2007 – 2015).

From 2000 all my projects are in municipal waste management (consultancy, design and technical assistance for implementation of projects for collection and transportation, transfer stations, sorting plants, composting, landfills and WtE plants).

 

Did you ever have a mentor or someone you found inspirational?

From Romania – Prof. Victor Ianuli from Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest which was my guide at the preparation of PhD thesis. When I started my thesis in 1994 he told me to focus my thesis in anaerobic digestion of municipal waste because at that time (and even now) there was a lack of experts in this field in Romania. And he was right. He passed away few years ago but I will always respect and regret him.

From USA – Professor George Tchobanoglous, his books starting with 1990’s are a guide for me in performing my activities in waste management.

As a rule – President John F Kennedy – Ask not your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country! This sentence motivates me for all my activities that I do, including the volunteer activities that I do for Romanian Association of Solid Waste Management (ARS) and ISWA.

 

What would you say is your greatest achievement to date?

Is not easy to say just one.

In terms of family – all of my family members, but mainly my nephew Luca, 3 years old. When I ask him about waste management/ecology, he goes to the fridge and shows me a fridge magnet with the message “Save the Earth – It’s the only planet with chocolate”.

In terms of my activities – to participate at projects for implementation in Romania of WtE plants after 2014 (as a part of integrated waste management systems)

As an individual – to became member of ARS, member of ISWA, member of ISWA Board and to contribute to the mission of ISWA “to promote and develop sustainable and professional waste management worldwide”.

So, finally with the aid and help of my parents, my professors, my family, my colleagues and my collaborators I am now member of ISWA Board. I succeeded but the hard work starts now.

 

Best advice that you ever received?

Do not forget that a mistake give you the opportunity to learn for the future.

Any mistakes close a door and open another door. We have to accept the fact that all our life we have to learn new things.

 

When not working, I enjoy…

To stay with my family, when I have time.

Listening to  music (Wagner,  and Rolling Stones).

To read (history, scientific, travel books).

I like to travel – I visited all the Napoleon battle fields (except Borodino in Russia).

Crossword puzzle.

I like wine but I love beer.

 

Why did you decide to become part of ISWA?

I am a member of Romanian Association of Solid Waste Management (ARS) from 2004 and as an ARS member I was involved in all the ISWA activities in Romania.

ARS is the National ISWA Member from more than 10 years and in all this time as member of ARS Board I was involved in the collaboration between ARS and ISWA.

 

When did you become nominated to your current position in ISWA?

At ISWA Congress 2013 in Vienna, Austria.

 

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the waste industry today?

As Mr. David Newman, ISWA President, said at ISWA Congress in Vienna, the big challenge for waste industry today is the fact that the waste industry does not cooperate and how to improve this situation. The waste industry represented by recycling companies cooperate and have representatives and offices in Bruxelles, which participate at the EC meetings concerning the legislation, targets, aso.

The rest of the waste industry represented by the companies involved in consultancy, design, construction, procurement of equipments and installations, operation of the facilities for waste management are in constant race to win the waste markets. Those companies do not cooperate, are in a constant race to enter in the markets and that means to offer the lower price for the services, which in many cases do not comply with the population wiliness and affordability to pay the tariffs for the services.

In my opinion the challenge is not how to invest in integrated waste management systems (local, regional, national) - it is on how to operate the systems. EU, WB, international donors, aso will be involved in investments but the sustainability of the investments depend on population affordability to pay the tariffs.

ISWA with the support of all the National, Gold and Silver Members from RDN can collect all the information and offer to the operators of the systems all the required information for  a sustainable operation of the systems.

 

Where do you see, if any, market opportunities for the waste industry?

As a representative of RDN I see market opportunities in all the countries of RDN that are ISWA Member or not ISWA Members. In the period 15/30 of November I travelled in Moldova, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and I took part at a conference in Novi Sad organized by SeSWA and at meetings in Moldova and Macedonia that are not ISWA members. There is a need of investments in those countries for implementation of waste management but which should take into consideration the local conditions. The countries from Southeast Europe, except Greece should implement in the first phase a “waste management – sanitation system” that means to close the dumps and to implement a system to collect and transport, in safety conditions, the municipal waste outside of the cities at a sanitary landfill. If some projects for sorting of packaging waste could be implemented is perfect, but the focus should be on “sanitation”.

I consider that those countries could not implement directly “integrated waste management systems” or “resources management systems”. Is not a problem of funds for implementation (the investments costs could be finance or co-financed WB, EU, international donors, aso ), is a problem of population wiliness and affordability to pay the tariffs for waste management services.

All the private or public companies of waste management from Western Europe should accept that is a time for each technology that will be implemented and they have to wait for the time when the technologies or the services will be possible to be paid by the population.

In the last three years I meet in Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Greece, aso, companies that wants to implement WtE plants in Southeast of Europe without taking into consideration the local conditions.

As I said there is a time for each one technology and service.

 

What do you think the future holds for the waste industry?

In my opinion the waste industry should accept the situation and to resist at the pressure (social, financial, political, environmental) and that should be done based on the local conditions.

That is not easy but could be done on “old” markets from EU but is not easy in the “new” markets from Southeast Europe, Middle East and Mediterranean.

The “old” markets are stabilized (legislation, competition, transparency) but in the “new” market there are important political problems (mainly).

ISWA as a professional association could not interfere to solve those political problems, but the local National Members, Gold and Silver Members could participate and give advise at the selection of the best technical, financial, economical and social options.

ISWA and ISWA National members are working in public interest in order to fulfil its declared scope “to promote and develop sustainable and professional waste management worldwide” and not to solve local/national political problems.

I consider that the message of Mr. David Newman, President of ISWA at the Vienna Congress, was “crystal clear” , the activities of ISWA in the next years will be focused on: “Health of the population and mitigation of GHG”.

ISWA 3 Months Trial Membership

ISWA 3 Months Trial Membership

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   News from around the Globe

WORLD: Global waste on pace to triple by 2100

The amount of garbage humans throw away is rising fast and won't peak this century without transformational changes in how we use and reuse materials, write former World Bank urban development specialist Dan Hoornweg and two colleagues. 

 

By 2100, they estimate, the growing global urban population will be producing three times as much waste as it does today. That level of waste carries serious consequences – physical and fiscal – for cities around the world. 

 

Hoornweg and co-author Perinaz Bhada-Tata expanded on their work from the 2012 World Bank report What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management to estimate the trajectory of solid waste growth globally and to determine when it might peak.

 

In the earlier report, they warned that global solid waste generation was on pace to increase 70 percent by 2025, rising from more than 3.5 million tonnes per day in 2010 to more than 6 million tonnes per day by 2025. The waste from cities alone is already enough to fill a line of trash trucks 5,000 kilometers long every day. The global cost of dealing with all that trash is rising too: from $205 billion a year in 2010 to $375 billion by 2025, with the sharpest cost increases in developing countries.

 

In the new article, appearing in the journal Nature, Hoornweg, Bhada-Tata, and Chris Kennedy forecast that if business continues as usual, solid waste generation rates will more than triple from today to exceed 11 million tonnes per day by 2100. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, where waste levels are the highest today at around 1.75 million tonnes per day but populations aren’t growing as quickly and waste reduction efforts are underway, are likely to see their trash levels peak by 2050 and then start to decline, the authors write. Asia-Pacific countries won't peak until 2075. How soon Sub-Saharan Africa's waste increase peaks will determine how soon the world’s trash problem begins to decline.  

 

The results hold serious consequences for public services, government budgets, and the space consumed by landfills. Already, Mexico City's Bordo Poniente and Shanghai's Laogang receive more than 10,000 tonnes of waste per day, and the world's more than 2,000 waste incinerators raise concerns about ash disposal and air pollution. Landfills, and uncollected waste, also contribute to climate change through the production of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

 

 

For the full story, please visit The World Bank

 

WORLD: Over 30 Nations meet to tackle Hazardous Waste trafficking

Some 100 representatives from national environmental authorities, customs, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector from more than 30 countries met today in Bangkok, Thailand, to foster cooperation among three networks combating the illegal traffic in hazardous wastes.

 

They participated in the Joint Meeting of the Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE), the Asian Network for Prevention of Illegal Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes(Asian NT) and the Regional Enforcement Network for Chemicals and Wastes (REN).

 

“As early as 1989 the global international community came together and condemned in the strongest terms the illegal traffic of hazardous wastes” said Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the only global treaty addressing this matter. “This is a crime that affects human health and the environment and knows no frontiers. Building the capacity of countries to be safe from the negative consequences of illegal traffic cannot be successful without the concerted efforts of the international community, and ENFORCE aims to do just that.”

 

Nearly 180 million tonnes of hazardous and household wastes are generated annually around the world, of which at least 9.3 million tonnes move from country to country each year, presumably legally1. However, many countries are receiving shipments which they never agreed to or that they are unable to properly dispose of. Preventing and combating illegal traffic of hazardous and other wastes is a critical challenge.

 

For the full story, please visit Eco Voice

WORLD: Waste upcycling could go global in just four years

Upcycling technologies could be adopted for waste materials on a mass scale globally by 2018, with intense activity in this sector already being experienced in North America and Europe.

 

According to new research from Frost and Sullivan, certain government bodies are already leading the charge such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and the European Commission. In addition, Asian countries have started to embrace this technology and it is expected they will catch up with the US and Europe by 2018. Within the US and Europe heavy funding and several incentives are already in place for companies to explore and capitalise upon these opportunities.

 

Waste upcycling could have various applications across industry including chemicals, metals, food processing, textile, paper and pulp, sugar, leather, glass, petrochemicals and polymers. Currently, the most number of patents for these processes are filed in China and USA followed by Japan. If this is backed up by adequate funding and support, it could help to scale up implementation on a commercial scale.

 

Upcycling has already been embraced by several leading manufacturers and waste service providers including Terracycle, O2 and Patagonia. Indeed, Patagonia has taken it one step further and is now using it as a lever to reduce its manufacturing waste. In July, it announced that it had embarked on an ambitious remanufacturing programme to continuously recycle its flip-flops, with the potential to reduce production waste by nearly a third.

 

Upcycling has also found favour with the circular economy movement where it is viewed as a better option than recycling as it centres more around material optimisation and less around product disassembly.

 

Source: edie

AUSTRALIA: Plastic not fantastic for Australian seas

Australian seas contain an invisible potential killer, put there by all of us, that is more deadly than any sharks, crocodiles, jellyfish or snakes.

 

The first in-depth test of its kind in waters around Australia found widespread pollution with micro-plastics, plastic particles less than 5.0mm long, which would go unnoticed by the casual observer. The research concludes there are on average more than 4000 pieces of plastic for each square kilometre of water.

 

AAP Newsagency reports scientists warn there could be disastrous effects on the food chain, including humans, unless action is taken to cut the amount of plastic being flushed away. Many of the plastics found contain toxic chemicals, which could work their way up the food chain to humans.

 

“There is increasing evidence that marine animals, ranging from plankton to whales, ingest large amounts of plastics loaded with pollutants, which may then be incorporated into the food chain,” said lead author and PhD student Julia Reisser, from the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute. “We need to decrease plastic waste and toxicity, regulate plastic disposal on land at an international level, and better enforce the laws prohibiting dumping plastics at sea.”

 

AAP reports the study, published today in the journal PLOS ONE, saw scientists from UWA and CSIRO dragnet 57 locations around Australia, plus waters near Fiji. They found evidence of micro-plastics at 53 sites, a 93 per cent hit rate. The majority came from broken down polyethylene and polypropylene, which are used to make fishing gear and disposable packaging like water bottles and plastic cups. The sources of the pollution could be both domestic and international.

 

For the full story, please visit EcoNews

AUSTRALIA: New funding for tackling waste management in Melbourne

Nearly $1.5 million is being invested by the Victorian Government to tackle planning restrictions on how close residents can live to new and existing waste management sites. The Local Buffer Support Program is designed to provide local government the right tools to plan for waste and resource recovery management facilities.

 

Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, said the funding was about taking action so that councils could make the right decisions on where waste and resource recovery sites were located. “Through this $1.46 million investment, the government is responding to land use challenges and tackling concerns such as odour that we know residents have when they are located too closely to waste management sites.”

 

Mr Smith said the Metropolitan Waste Management Group would work with local government and industry to develop planning policies and tools to strengthen buffers around 12 Melbourne priority waste sites. “The government’s investment over four years delivers on its commitments outlined in Plan Melbourne and Getting full value – the Victorian Waste and Resource Recovery Policy,” Mr Smith said. “Our vision for a better partnership between government, industry and community to deliver future waste management needs for a growing metropolitan Melbourne is coming into fruition.”

 

For the full article, please visit EnviroInfo

EUROPE: Ready Meals - Plant-based packaging breakthrough

A pilot production process has gone live to determine how commercially feasible it is to apply plant fibre-based packaging to wet food ready meals.

 

Following talks with a number of European supermarket chains, food packaging firm KCC has installed the line to apply its barrier coating to biodegradable food trays for the ready meals market. According to the company, fusing bagasse — a by-product of cane sugar production — with a waterproof barrier would make the trays the most environmentally friendly packaging on the market today.

 

Early tests have shown that the KCC barrier trays perform as well for durability, wet strength and effectiveness in cooking, as traditional trays. By contrast, the new tray can be microwaved, used in an oven, frozen and then either recycled as paper fibre or composted.

 

KCC Packaging's developer Kevin Clarke has nearly 40 years of experience in this market and is confident that the technology will prove successful. "In discussions with a number of supermarkets during our pilot production phase we see that environmental managers are realising the advantages that bagasse or bamboo trays have ... the ability to biodegrade, lower carbon footprint needing fewer carbon credits and subsequent reduced impact on landfill," he said. He added that since the barrier trays will be the same size as existing ones on the market, there will be no expensive changes necessary to the manufacturing process, allowing an easy changeover for food manufacturers.

 

Source: edie

UK: AD continues to drive organics recycling sector growth

Anaerobic digestion (AD) continues to drive growth in the UK organics recycling industry, according to the latest sector survey (ASORI), published by WRAP.

 

WRAP’s comprehensive study of the sector for the calendar year 2012 shows significant growth in the number of operational AD sites. The total input of organic waste processed via AD increased to 1.69 million tonnes in the calendar year 2012. Over half of the sites surveyed had begun operation in the period since the last survey, which covered 2010. The research also shows that the largest source of non-agricultural feedstock to AD is food waste, around a third of which is derived from local authority collections.

 

Composting input volumes also grew with a total contribution of 5.9 million tonnes in 2012, which constitutes a 4% increase on the 2010 survey, on a like-for-like basis. Agriculture and field horticulture continues to be the largest market for compost, taking 2.3 million tonnes of material.  Evidence from the survey suggests that sites producing compost to the BSI PAS 100 specification generally achieve a higher price for their outputs than sites which are not.

 

Ian Wardle, Head of Organics and Energy at WRAP, said: “It’s really positive to see continued growth across the sector. The report highlights some great things for the industry particularly around continued growth, improved quality and opportunities to generate higher revenue. The industry has always provided an excellent response to the survey with this year’s being the most comprehensive yet”.

 

The report was commissioned by WRAP, working in partnership with the Organics Recycling Group (ORG), Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the Environmental Services Association (ESA). It is widely recognised as the most definitive picture of the organics recycling industry.

 

The full survey can be found here

Source: WRAP website

UK: Labouring over the food waste dilemma

Labour has signalled its intention to introduce a landfill ban on food. But is it a credible, cost-effective and even practical policy? David Burrows reports.

 

Mary Creagh raised a few eyebrows at this year's Labour party conference in September when she said: "A One Nation Labour government will ban food from landfill so that less food gets wasted in the supermarket supply chain and more food gets eaten by hungry children."

 

As shadow environment secretary Creagh - who has just been made shadow transport secretary - has hinted at the policy before, but this was a clear statement of intent. And it was certainly a change of gear from Labour's waste paper in April, in which the only significant commitment was to "align England's recycling targets with those in Scotland and Wales".

 

But is this a realistic proposition or the first flurries of political grandstanding on the journey to the 2015 election? After all, the concept has neared approval before, only for an about turn following concerns over costs and quantities

 

Food waste is also very much in vogue, with a number of heavyweight reports having thrust the issue into the media spotlight (in September, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, for instance, suggested the waste stream costs the global economy £470B a year).

 

Serious or not, Creagh's comments have raised an interesting question: could a ban on sending food to landfill really work in this country? And does the UK have the infrastructure in place to deal with the 7.3M tonnes of food waste generated by households alone?

 

Nigel Mattravers is senior waste advisor at consultants Golder Associates (UK). He says the concept of diverting food waste from landfill is "laudable" and to be encouraged if there's a use for the material, for example to produce energy via anaerobic digestion (AD). Banning, however, brings a host of difficulties, he warns; not least defining when is food waste not food waste.

He adds: "There is also the need for infrastructure. Not all local authorities collect food waste and collection systems for commercial food waste are limited and difficult to manage. The other issue is whether there are the suitable treatment plants in place."

 

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