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Recycling considered harmful?. Yui-Wah (Clement) Lee [email protected] A special seminar for World Oceans Day 2012. From the project “Journey to Midway” (3 mins 54 secs ). Location of Midway Atoll – 2000 miles from any other continents.

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Recycling considered harmful

Recycling considered harmful?

Yui-Wah (Clement) [email protected]

A special seminar for World Oceans Day 2012

From the project journey to midway 3 mins 54 secs
From the project “Journey to Midway” (3 mins 54 secs)

Life Magazine 1955 continents – “Throwaway Living”

Debris boom on continentsBallona Creeknear Los Angeles

Great Pacific Garbage Patch continents

  • The one in North Pacific: twice the size of Texas

  • Formed due to Gyre

  • Characterized by exceptionally high concentration of plastics, chemical sludge, and other marine debris

Captain Charles Moore: On continents the Sea of Plastic (00:07:23)

Plastic: a few facts haven’t I?

  • Only 8 percents are recovered for recycling

  • The Resin Identification Coding System for plastic, was introduced by SPI, the plastics industry trade association.

    • “Contrary to common belief, just because a plastic product has the resin number in a triangle, which looks very similar to the recycling symbol, it does not mean it is collected for recycling.” -- US EPA

  • (Source: US Environmental Protection Agency [1])

#6 (PS or Polystyrene) – notoriously difficult to recycle haven’t I?

I am now lobbying Facilities Management to encourage employees to bring their own mugs to cafeteria

PS (Polystyrene) is notoriously difficult to recycle. Most places still do not accept it

How about #1 (PETE) ? haven’t I?

  • Said to be the most readily recyclable type of plastic

The story of bottled water (8 haven’t I?mins 3 secs)

Water bottle recycling haven’t I?

  • Water bottles recycling rate: ~12-23% [1][2]

Avoid bottled water haven’t I?

Try this on Chris Jordon’s website haven’t I?

60,000 plastic bags, the number haven’t I?used in the US every 5 seconds

Plastic bag recycling haven’t I?

  • Plastic bags recycling rate: ~6% [3]

  • 57% of US post-consumer plastic bags are actually exported [3]

Recycling considered harmful ? haven’t I?

  • “We have a recycling program”  Look at the fine print!

  • Recycling is good only if the use of the product is necessary.

  • Recycling is bad when it is used as an excuse to justify the use of unnecessary products

  • Recycling is bad when it gives a false sense of security

Reduce or Recycle ?

Plastic or Paper ? haven’t I?

  • That is a wrong question!

  • The answer should be “Neither of both” -- We can simply use reusable cloth bags or shopping baskets

But I use the grocery bags to line my trash bin, haven’t I?so they are not wasted, are they?!

  • 5-bag rule

  • In addition to carryout bags, there are still bread and produce bags

  • Consider using produce bags to line trash bins

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle + Rethinking haven’t I?

  • On top of the 3 R’s , I think another R is more important – Rethinking

  • Rethinking about the impact of our consumer habits

From the documentary “Bag It” haven’t I?

Bonus videos haven’t I?

Back to Tap haven’t I?!

Great Pacific Garbage Patch haven’t I?