Big Names Go Circular and Waste to Energy in the Maldives
State of Waste News of the Week
Renewable Energy Projects and Energy from Waste in the Maldives
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) is funding 32 renewable energy projects in developing countries, including the Waste to Energy Project in Addu City, Maldives, which provides employment, waste management and sustainable energy, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions and providing a substitute for 3.5M litres of diesel annually.
Optimus - Turning Waste into Oil
Another innovative project, Optimus by start up PlastOil Europe, is turning plastic waste into oil for use in the petrochemical, refinery, power, and transport industries, as well as for use in ecological fuel and recycled plastic manufacturing.
While these great initiatives turn waste into energy, some of the biggest names in retail and manufacturing are looking to the future and actively reducing the waste they produce and moving towards circular economies.
Johnson and Johnson Commits to Sustainability and Innovative Waste Reduction
Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest healthcare product producers in the world, has committed $800 million to its health and sustainability drive, the Healthy Lives Mission. As part of this, they have committed to moving all of their consumer brands over to 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable plastic packaging and certified/post-consumer recycled paper- and pulp-based packaging by 2025. They are also redesigning their packaging to use less materials and use materials that are fully recyclable.
H&M Invests in Recycling Old Clothes into Materials for New Clothes
The fashion industry is well known for its massive contributions to waste globally and only 1% of clothing materials are recycled. As many manufacturers and retailers move towards circular economies and waste reduction, H&M has invested in ‘Looop technology’, which allows fabric from an old item of clothing to be deconstructed and then respun into yarn and woven or knitted into a new garment.
H&M has installed a small Looop machine in their store in Drottninggatan, Stockholm where customers can take an old garment and watch it be broken down and made into something else. The retailer hopes that this will encourage customers to bring in old clothes to be recycled as using recycled materials forms part of their sustainability goals.
Ikea is Launching a Buy Back Scheme on Black Friday
In a bid to help customers "take a stand against excessive consumption", Swedish furniture giant Ikea is launching a new ‘buy back’ scheme on Black Friday where customers can sell their used furniture back to Ikea for a voucher worth up to 50% of the original value. The voucher has no expiration date so customers do not have to buy something until they actually need it! The used furniture will eventually stock dedicated second hand Ikea stores.
Study finds 13.3 Quadrillion Plastic Fibers in California's Natural Environment
When we think of plastic waste the image that comes to mind is one of beaches strewn with plastic bottles and bags and straws. However, microplastics and microfibres are shedding from almost every plastic item we use on a daily basis. These tiny plastics end up in the environment and in our bodies.
A recent study looked at the number of plashttps://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/16/plastic-waste-microfibers-california-studytic microfibres, tiny fibres less than 5mm long, and found 13.3 quadrillion plastic fibers in California's natural environment. These tiny fibres shed from synthetic clothing when it is washed and then find their way into waterways and eventually the ocean, where they accumulate in the environment and the stomachs of fish and other animals. Once ingested, these tiny plastic fragments can prevent animals from eating or they can bind to other harmful chemicals in the ocean and make the animal sick.
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Johanna & Liza