On Bonfires outside Bucharest, Waste from Western Europe

via Balkan Insight

plastic scrap

Besides Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria have also become significant destinations for waste from Western Europe since China closed its doors. Much ends up being burned or buried, with dire consequences for the environment and public health.

On May 12, border officials in southern Romania stopped three trucks loaded with 59 tons of waste trying to enter from Bulgaria. The drivers’ paperwork did not entirely match the contents – steel, plastic and scrap metal – so the convoy was turned back.

Read the full story here: https://balkaninsight.com/2021/05/24/on-bonfires-outside-bucharest-waste-from-western-europe/

Doosan outlines plan to produce hydrogen from plastic waste

via GlobalConstructionReview.com

South Korean equipment maker Doosan Heavy Industries has signed a memorandum of understanding with another Korean company to develop the technology to produce hydrogen from waste plastics and vinyl.

Doosan has teamed up with RevoTech, a plastic pyrolysis specialist, to carry out the work. RevoTech will handle the thermal decomposition of the plastic waste to produce gas, and Doosan Heavy will develop facilities and processes to extract hydrogen from it.

Read the full story here: https://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/doosan-outlines-plan-produce-hydrogen-plastic-wast/

A high-altitude clean-up in Bolivia’s Valley of the Souls

via Reuters

In Bolivia’s Valley of the Souls, razor sharp rock formations pierce the blue sky above the nearby highland city of La Paz, from where urban sprawl over years has left the picturesque spot littered with plastic waste and construction rubble.

Now the rocky canyon is getting a clean up amid a wider push to spruce up the South American country’s scenic spots and waterways, with hundreds of volunteers, aided by heavy machinery, shifting over 15 tons of debris in the last week.

Read the full story here: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/high-altitude-clean-up-bolivias-valley-souls-2021-05-04/

IEEFA Says Formosa Plastics Plant Not Financially Viable

via Big Easy Magazine

Photo credit: zapravka2

In a March 23rd article, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said that Formosa’s new plastic plant being built in “Cancer Alley” in St. James Parish, would not be financially sustainable, writing, “IEEFA finds that the project will begin operations at a time of market oversupply, lower petrochemical prices, strong competition for market share, restrictive trade policies, environmental regulatory challenges, judicial findings of historic racial discrimination, popular opposition, rising construction costs, and a weakened bond rating. The report urges the cancellation of ‘this ill-advised project, which should be abandoned in light of its weak fundamentals.’”

Among those reasons the Formosa plant seems unviable, they write, that the plant, which was proposed as a $9.7 billion dollar project has already now ballooned to $12 billion. Along with that, they also add that with the likelihood of recycling increasing that the, “Long-term demand for virgin plastic production will likely decline as recycling and bans on single-use plastic increase.”

Read the full story here: https://www.bigeasymagazine.com/2021/03/26/ieefa-says-formosa-plastics-plant-not-financially-viable/

Discarded Face Masks Used to Improve Road Materials

via ThomasNet.com

According to a report in New Atlas, the masks are being utilized in a material called recycled concrete aggregate – or RCA – that’s mostly made up of processed building rubble. In this case, the “recipe” is being tweaked and 1% of the traditional RCA is being replaced with the non-woven layers of plastic found in shredded masks.

The scientists are not only able to find a use for the discarded masks that doesn’t involve a landfill or an incinerator, but they also provide a benefit: the end product, which still meets civil engineering standards for road base layers, has improved flexibility over previous formulas. And while a road that’s one percent mask doesn’t sound like it’s making a dent, think of it this way: the scientists say that if their material were used to build a two-way roadway that’s just one kilometer in length, it would divert about 3 million masks from the landfills.

Read the full story here: https://bit.ly/3qdLzIT

Single-use plastic bag ban begins in Delaware

via Delaware State News

DOVER — Customers in the checkout lines at grocery, retail and convenience stores throughout Delaware should be prepared for a new way of conducting business starting New Year’s Day.

That’s because consumers and some businesses in Delaware will no longer be able to use or distribute single-use plastic carryout bags at the point of sale.

Read the full story here: https://delawarestatenews.net/news/single-use-plastic-bag-ban-begins-in-delaware/

SeaChange uses plasma arc technology to save the oceans from plastic waste

via Inhabitat.com

SeaChange will outfit its ships with something called the Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM). The PEM uses plasma arc technology to zap plastic and other trash before it enters the ocean. Plastic is shredded before it enters the Plasma Arc Zone.

Instead of leaving harmful residues like conventional waste treatment methods, plasma arc technology uses high temperature and high electrical energy to heat waste, mostly by radiation. Organic material can be burned down into a combustible gas called syngas, which can be used as clean fuel for SeaChange’s ships. Inorganic components wind up as glassy slag. This reusable black glass is said to be nontoxic and safe for marine life.

Read the full story here: https://inhabitat.com/seachange-uses-plasma-arc-technology-to-save-the-oceans-from-plastic-waste/

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled

via NPR

Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry containers, yogurt cups.

None of this plastic will be turned into new plastic things. All of it is buried.

“To me that felt like it was a betrayal of the public trust,” she said. “I had been lying to people … unwittingly.”

Read the full story here: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/897692090/how-big-oil-misled-the-public-into-believing-plastic-would-be-recycled

An audio version of this story aired on NPR’s Planet Money

ISRI adopts position on minimum recycled plastic content

via Recycling Magazine

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ (ISRI) new position on minimum recycled plastic content encourages efforts that will help spur demand for recycled plastics. It also aims to increase the commitment by stakeholders throughout the supply chain to ensure plastics are responsibly manufactured, collected, and recycled into new products.

Plastics are a diverse, versatile group of materials that are used in nearly all aspects of daily life, from life-saving medical supplies to light-weight food packaging. However, despite the benefits plastics offer, many remained concerned about high levels of plastic waste entering the natural environment. To avoid further environmental harm, it is imperative that all plastics be handled responsibly at end of life.

Read the full story here: https://www.recycling-magazine.com/2020/08/18/isri-adopts-position-on-minimum-recycled-plastic-content/

COVID-19 Lays Waste to Many US Recycling Programs

via Manufacturing Business Technology

Many items designated as reusable, communal or secondhand have been temporarily barred to minimize person-to-person exposure. This is producing higher volumes of waste.

Grocers, whether by state decree or on their own, have brought back single-use plastic bags. Even IKEA has suspended use of its signature yellow reusable in-store bags. Plastic industry lobbyists have also pushed to eliminate plastic bag bans altogether, claiming that reusable bags pose a public health risk.

Read the full story here: https://www.mbtmag.com/home/news/21138099/covid19-lays-waste-to-many-us-recycling-programs