On August 1st 1986, a local neighborhood organization in Vermont launched a campaign to ban the use of foam food packing in Mcdonalds and replace it with cardboard packaging. This campaign got so much publicity and raised numerous health, ecological and social concerns about the use of stryofoam, that in august 1st, 1990, McDonalds stopped using Styrofoam to package their food.
Conservation Strategies: Recycling and Substitution
Recycling Definition: The processing of industrial household waste so that materials can be reused
Why is Recycling Necessary? Large cities today generate as much as 20000 tonnes of garbage per day 2 planets needed by 2020 Humans using 30% more resources than sustainable Running up an ecological debt of $4tr (£2.5tr) to $4.5tr every year
Types of recycled wastes Plastics Glass Metals Paper Rubber
Pros and Cons of Recycling Aluminum Advantages: Saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions Recycling a single aluminum can saves enough to power a TV for 3 hours Quality of metal doesn’t diminish even after being recycled Creates jobs Disadvantages: Process pollutes water – adds metal ions into water, makes it poisonous Need land to fill the waste Transportation costs
General Example: Recycling Class 6) Treatment (Processing) 2) Glass Container Making 1)Raw Materials 4) Use at Home 3)Transportation to Retailers 5) The Bin Collection
Pros and Cons of Recycling Glass Advantages: Making glass from recycled materials cuts water pollution by 50% Glass can be recycled indefinite number of times Recycling one glass jar saves enough electricity to light a conventional60 watt bulb for 4 hours Creates Jobs! Disadvantages Still pollutes water Need land to fill the waste Transportation Costs
Local Case Study: Novelis Inc. (1) Warrington, Cheshire, UK Produces ingots from beverage cans, only aluminum can recycling plant in Europe Current Capacity – 135000 tonnes per year Initial Capital investment (1990) - £5 million Further Capital investment - £7 million 2009 over 97 tonnes of cans (approximately 6.3 million) were sent for reprocessing
Local Case Study: NovelisInc (2) The ‘closed recycling loop’ saves 95% of the energy required to make aluminum from its raw materials, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount The plant is currently registered the Environment Agency under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 2009 over 97 tonnes of cans (approximately 6.3 million) were sent for reprocessing
National Case Study: Recycling in Denmark Europe’s “greenest” countries 2003 suggest that 31% of all household waste was recycled 10,000 Danes are in the business of collecting waste - more than 0.1% of the entire population
Global Case Study: US and China US recycles about 28% of its waste 42% of all paper 40% of all plastic soft drink bottles 55% of all aluminium beer and soft drink cans 57% of all steel packaging 52% of all major appliances are now recycled
Global Case Study: Recycling in China China’s paper industry imported almost 20 million tonnes in, primarily from the US, Europe and Japan- NGO Forest Trend, 2006 USA exported 11.6 million tons of recovered paper and cardboard to China in 2008 – Takes up land China’s paper recycling industry prevented 54 million metric tons of wood being harvested for pulp – 2006 (BBC) Brings employment Con -The recovery process results in the release of waste liquids containing toxic substances, and cases of damage to the environment and public health emerge continuously. Also takes space to store the wastes.
Resource Substitution Definition: Substitution refers to the using one renewable resource than another. Renewable Resource: Resources that can be replaced by natural processes at a rate comparable or faster than rate of consumption.
General Example: Food Packing – Cardboard FOR Styrofoam An example of resource substitution is the use of Cardboard packaging rather than Styrofoamin food packaging.
Pros and Cons of Cardboard FOR Styrofoam Advantages: Environmental:
Production processes doesn’t emits a lot of toxic waste
General Example: Biofuel FOR petroleum based fuel Another example of resource substitution is the use of biofuel FOR petroleum based fuel. (AVIATION FUEL) Aviation Fuel: : Specialized type of petroleum-based fuel to power aircraft. Biofuel: Are any kind of fuel made from living things, or from the waste they produce
Pros and Cons of Biofuel FOR Petroleum based fuel Advantages: Growing plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere Biofuels reduce emissions by 50%-60% compared to fossil fuels Disadvantages: Still emits fossil fuels Less plants used for food/nutrition = rising food prices Reduced Biodiversity – Reduce habitat for animals and wild plants
Another example of resource substitution is the use of tap water rather than bottled water.
Pros and Cons of using tap water rather than bottled water Advantages:
Way, way cheaper. (Approx. 2000 times cheaper)
Tap water is more regulated than bottled water. While the Environmental Protection Agency enforces water quality standards for tap water, the FDA makes no such demands for bottle water.
Doesn’t produce as much waste. In the US, people but half a billion bottles of water every week.
In taste tests across the country, people consistently choose tap over bottled water.
Some sources of tap water might not be that clean. (Especially in developing countries)
Local Case Study: Cleveland’s Tap Water Fiji Water’s Ad Campaign. In the city of Cleveland, people didn’t want to drink water from the city water from the city tap. “The Label Says Fiji because it’s not bottled in Cleveland.” MANUFACTURED DEMAND
Local Case Study: Cleveland’s Tap Water Cleveland’s public utilities director Julius Ciaccia decided to put the two waters to the test: the results found 6.31 micrograms of arsenic per liter in the Fiji bottle. Cleveland tap water, on the other hand, had no measurable arsenic Cleveland’s NewsChannel5 held a blind taste test. The result? Testers preferred Cleveland water.
Local Case Study: Cleveland’s Tap Water Environmental Concern People in the U.S. buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week. That’s enough to circle the globe more than 5 times. Each year, making the plastic water bottles used in the U.S. takes enough oil and energy to fuel a millioncars What happens to all these bottles when we’re done? 80% percent end up in landfills, where they will sit for thousands of years
National Case Study “McToxins” What Happened? August 1st1987 - Vermont’s Organization for Cleanup launched a campaign to ban the use of foam food packaging in Mcdonalds and replace it with cardboard packaging. August 1st 1990- McDonalds joined forces with the Environmental Defense Fund and banned the use of Styrofoam to adopt cardboard packaging.
Eliminated over 300 million pounds of packaging. Note: That’s enough to keep Peoria, Illinois trash free for 10 years
Recycled 1 million tons of corrugated (card board) boxes. Reducing restaurant waste by 30%.
Global Case Study A Virgin Atlantic jumbo jet has flown between London's Heathrow and Amsterdam using fuel derived from a mixture of Brazilian babassu nuts and coconuts. Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson said the flight marked a "vital breakthrough" for the entire airline industry. Virgin's Boeing 747 had one of its four engines connected to an independent biofuel tank that it said could provide 20% of the engine's power. Could routinely be flying on plant power within 10 years.
Global Case Study: Disadvantages “High-altitude greenwash” Less air travel is the only answer Biofuels do very little to reduce emissions Increase global food prices Could led to DEFORESTATION