The plastic disclosure project
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The Plastic Disclosure Project. Shannon Davis University of California, Berkeley CHESC June 18, 2014. The Commodification of Waste: A Story of Plastic Recycling in Berkeley. Society & Environment B.S. with Honors Conservation Resource Studies B.S. Symbolism: a grey area.

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The Plastic Disclosure Project

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The Plastic Disclosure Project

Shannon Davis

University of California, Berkeley

CHESC June 18, 2014


The Commodification of Waste: A Story of Plastic Recycling in Berkeley

  • Society & Environment B.S. with Honors

  • Conservation Resource Studies B.S.


Symbolism: a grey area


Limitations with Resin Identification


UC Beyond the Bin


The Precursor to a Commodity


Dark humor or harsh reality?

Meanwhile, pteropods are in decline


Micro Plastics & Pteropods

  • Macro perspective on the “International Plastic Dilemma”

  • Pteropods = base of the marine food web

  • Synergistic effects on all trophic levels


The effect of plastic in the context of a changing climate


Mechanisms & Contributing Factors


City of Berkeley: MIXED bales contradict VHQ


“waste” embedded in the system


Is Commodification Recycling?

  • What is the difference between recycling, up-cycling, or down-cycling?

  • All plastics are not made equal (Type,Shape,Color,Grade)

  • Many names:

    • Waste?

    • Resource?

    • Raw material?

    • Scrap Plastic?

    • A commodity?

  • At what point is a material “recycled”?

    • Bale?

    • A ton?

    • Flake?

    • Pellet?

    • Actual “new” material or product?


Potential solutions: reduce reuse recycle REFORM


Conclusions & Recommendations

  • Up-cycling: (Single use) MULTI USE

  • Design a circular economy

  • DISCLOSURE! Beyond diversion rates

  • Utilize a “systems” approach

  • Examine upstream & downstream processes

  • Shift the burden: Extended Producer Responsibility

  • Internalize externalities-separate costs

  • RESEARCH more alternatives!

    • Social responsibility

    • Environmental responsibility

    • The role of POLICY

MIXED bales contradict VHQ


Questions?

  • Shannon Davis

  • [email protected]

  • Recycle.berkeley.edu


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