Cities are major contributors to – and battlegrounds of – climate change. According to a report from the UN Habitat, cities pump out roughly 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions whilst just occupying just 2 percent of the Earth’s land. Effective waste management and more intelligent use of material resources can not only play a significant role in reducing such emissions, but help urban environments prosper through improved public health impacts and citizen enterprise.
Government to tackle ‘throwaway culture’ by cutting VAT on fixing everything from bicycles to washing machines.
Swedes may also be able to claim back from income tax half of the labour cost on repairs. Photograph: Phil Banko/Getty Images
The Swedish government is introducing tax breaks on repairs to everything from bicycles to washing machines so it will no longer make sense to throw out old or broken items and buy new ones.
A smart machine can convert plastics into oil without any pre-treatments
A Japanese company called Blest created a small, very safe and easy to use machine that can convert several types of plastic back into oil. “If we burn the plastic, we generate toxins and a large amount of CO2. If we convert it into oil, we save CO2 and at the same time increase people’s awareness about the value of plastic garbage,” says Akinori Ito, CEO of Blest.
What to do with packaging and paper products that don’t currently have value in recycling markets
In its article Matt Prindiville, Associate Director of UPSTREAM, tries to find the solution for the problem of packaging and paper products that don’t currently have value in recycling markets. Although producers operating in British Columbia − who are responsible for meeting a 75% waste diversion target for packaging and printed paper (PPP) − want to collect as many containers, newspapers, cans and other products as possible, they also collect non-recyclable materials in the meantime.
The European Environmental Bureau shows directions to the Greek Presidency
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) developed a memorandum for the Greek presidency reflecting the issues that the EEB would like to see advanced during the presidency of Greece. The memorandum elaborates and expands upon the Ten Green Tests which were prepared in consultation with the EEB Board, which has representatives from 27 countries. These tests will be used to evaluate, at the end of June 2014, the performance of the Presidency in the months to come.
Denmark radically changes its current incineration based waste management policy
Although Denmark is perceived to be a green country, it is not so widely known that the waste management system of Denmark is based on incinerating waste. Denmark is one of EU countries that generate more waste per capita, and is world leader in incineration of household waste, burning 80% of it. Most household waste is not separately collected, and recycling rates are as low as 22%. Most organic waste, which is 90% water, ends up in incinerators.
The most hazardous plastics and certain plastic bags should be banned by 2020
According to the European Parliament’s newly voted resolution, the most hazardous plastics and certain plastic bags should be banned by 2020 as a part of an EU strategy to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment. Besides the resolution, MEPs highlighted that the EU should also introduce binding plastic waste recycling targets as well.
56 percent of respondents support new EU waste targets according to the results of the consultation on European Waste Management Targets
The results of the consultation on the European Waste Management Targets have been published, and are available on the official website for the Targets Review Project. The project was delivered by Eunomia Research & Consulting with support from the Oko-Institut, Copenhagen Resource Institute, ARGUS, and Satsuma Media, and aimed at the review of the targets of the Waste Framework Directive, the Landfill Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
The new 5-year work programme of EEA sets new environmental policy priorities
The new 5-year work programme of the European Environment Agency (EEA) − starting from 2014 − sets new environmental priorities for the upcoming years. The basis of the new priorities is the 7th Environmental Action Programme (EAP), which has been approved at the end of 2013. The key topics of the new programme include ensuring a healthy environment and a resource efficient economy for human well-being.