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

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recycling considered harmful

Recycling considered harmful?

Yui-Wah (Clement)

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)

Great Pacific Garbage Patch
  • 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 the Sea of Plastic (00:07:23)

Plastic: a few facts
  • 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

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) ?
  • Said to be the most readily recyclable type of plastic
The story of bottled water (8 mins 3 secs)

Water bottle recycling
  • Water bottles recycling rate: ~12-23% [1][2]
Try this on Chris Jordon’s website

Plastic bag recycling
  • Plastic bags recycling rate: ~6% [3]
  • 57% of US post-consumer plastic bags are actually exported [3]
Recycling considered harmful ?
  • “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 ?
  • 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,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
  • 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”

Back to Tap!

Great Pacific Garbage Patch