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Recycling considered harmful?. Yui-Wah (Clement) Lee leeyuiwah@gmail.com. A special seminar for World Oceans Day 2012. From the project “Journey to Midway” (3 mins 54 secs ). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai3IKO\_afqs. Location of Midway Atoll – 2000 miles from any other continents.

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recycling considered harmful

Recycling considered harmful?

Yui-Wah (Clement) Leeleeyuiwah@gmail.com

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)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai3IKO_afqs

slide6
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
slide7
Captain Charles Moore: On the Sea of Plastic (00:07:23)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrAShtolieg

slide9
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])
slide12
#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

slide13
How about #1 (PETE) ?
  • Said to be the most readily recyclable type of plastic
slide14
The story of bottled water (8 mins 3 secs)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se12y9hSOM0

slide15
Water bottle recycling
  • Water bottles recycling rate: ~12-23% [1][2]
slide20
Try this on Chris Jordon’s website

http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/rtn/#plastic-bags

slide23
Plastic bag recycling
  • Plastic bags recycling rate: ~6% [3]
  • 57% of US post-consumer plastic bags are actually exported [3]
slide24
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 ?

slide25
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
slide26
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
slide28
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
slide29
From the documentary “Bag It”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRjPkl_4lmM

slide31
Back to Tap

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjyLABrtmqA#!

slide32
Great Pacific Garbage Patch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsx3eTjdWgY

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