Posts with term ZWB X

VetPartners practices are committed to improving lives – and the planet

VetPartners is trialling zero waste boxes for PPE at 130 of its largest sites across the UK. The boxes are provided by TerraCycle, a company specialising in hard-to-recycle waste, and all types of PPE, including masks, gloves and aprons worn by clinical team members when treating patients, can be disposed of in the boxes as long as they are not contaminated with animal, pharmaceutical or liquid waste.

Halloween candy wrappers are an environmental horror

The National Retail Federation estimates that $2.6 billion was spent on candy for Halloween 2019. Most candy wrappers contain plastic and aluminum and cannot be recycled, says a June 23, 2019 article at candyclub.com. “Recycling mixed materials like candy wrappers or potato chip bags is simply too labor-intensive and expensive to be worth it.” Candy wrappers are often too small to pass through a recycling machine so they are diverted to a landfill where plastics make up almost 20% of all municipal solid waste, says RTS, a waste handling service headquartered in New York.

Face Masks: New Solutions to Reduce Their Negative Impact on the Environment

With the international spread of Covid-19, the global use of face masks or personal protective equipment (PPE) seems set to continue to increase. But keeping ourselves safe should not be at the cost of the planet. Organizations are developing new solutions to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Waste management company TerraCycle has Zero Waste Boxes to collect and recycle PPE, face masks and disposable gloves, explained Julia Chevalier, PR Manager at TerraCycle Europe.

Tips for a Low-Waste, Low-Risk Halloween

The scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the ghosts, or goblins, or ghouls. It’s the amount of waste generated in celebration of the holiday. From the literal tons (300,000 to be exact) of candy we purchase, individually-wrapped in single-use plastic and often times thrown out before it’s eaten, to the mass amount of decorations big box stores put on display as early as July, we have a Halloween consumption problem. Don’t get spooked yet though! As the St. Louis City Mayor announces Halloween is not canceled, the city has released official guidelines for a safe Halloween. Read on to see our tips for a low-waste holiday.

Tip 1: A Better Halloween Costume

Skip purchasing a brand-new Halloween costume this year and create your own from pieces you already have. Not the crafting-type? See what your friends or family might have in their closets, and arrange a porch drop-off/pick-up. The city is not recommending shopping in-store for costumes, so try calling local thrift stores instead to see what they might have and arrange curbside pick-up (small businesses could use some love). If you do end up purchasing something new, recycle the packaging (if possible) and donate the costume afterward if you don’t plan on re-wearing it. If the costume’s condition is beyond another use, stop by Remains, a local clothing and textile recycling business. Your costume deserves the chance at an enjoyable afterlife, not one trapped haunting a landfill. Don’t forget your reusable face mask!

Tip 2: Earth-Friendly Treats

Most Halloween candy comes individually wrapped in single-use, nonrecyclable plastic, and with Americans having spent roughly $2.6 billion on candy in 2018, that adds up to a lot of plastic waste. Consider passing out a more sustainable option this year. Hershey’s Kisses come wrapped in tin foil and Milk Duds, Junior Mints, and Dots come in cardboard boxes. You could also hand out canned beverages or oranges as another more eco-friendly option as well. As the city asks residents to leave individually wrapped treats out, use paper bags instead of plastic. If you’re wondering what to do with the post-Halloween accumulation of candy wrappers, check out TerraCycle’s recycling program.

Tip 3: Compost Your Pumpkin

1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins are thrown out each year once Halloween has passed. Most of them end up in landfills where they decompose, producing methane, and contributing to climate change. Instead of just trashing your pumpkin, repurpose it! Eat the seeds, make a soup or veggie stock, bake pumpkin bread, or even just compost it in your own backyard. Critters like chickens and squirrels love the tasty treat too.

Tip 4: Decorate DIY-sely

We all know Halloween decorations get cuter and cuter each year, with every Target trip resulting in “just one more” fire mantel addition. However, they aren’t always very sustainable.   If you are looking to shop for new decorations this year, try to shop second-hand first. If shopping new, purchase items you know will last year after year, and before making a purchase, ask yourself if it’s something you really want to add to your collection. Investing in a few well-made decorations is ultimately better than having to repurchase new ones each time Halloween rolls around. Another great option? Nature! Display pumpkins and gourds that can be composted or used for baking once the holiday is over. Leaves, twigs, fall flowers, and hay bales make for great inclusions too.

Tip 5: (Ding-Dong) Ditch the Treat Bucket

Skip the plastic treat bucket this year, and instead use a pillowcase or reusable bag to collect candy with. You’ll save yourself money and you’ll have something that can last you through the years!   Ready to make this Halloween the safest and most spooktacular yet? Try out some of our tips above and tag us in your low-waste Halloween tricks on social media. Remember to social distance, wear a mask, and practice proper handwashing. Happy Halloween from our team to you!   @stlouisearthday

Tips for a Low-Waste, Low Risk Halloween

The scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the ghosts, or goblins, or ghouls. It’s the amount of waste generated in celebration of the holiday. From the literal tons (300,000 to be exact) of candy we purchase, individually-wrapped in single-use plastic and often times thrown out before it’s eaten, to the mass amount of decorations big box stores put on display as early as July, we have a Halloween consumption problem. Don’t get spooked yet though! As the St. Louis City Mayor announcesHalloween is not canceled, the city has released official guidelines for a safe Halloween. Read on to see our tips for a low-waste holiday.

Enjoy A Safe, Fun, And Earth-Friendly Halloween In Iowa City

This coming Halloween may be unlike past years due to COVID-19, but there are still plenty of ways to have a safe, spooky, and Earth-friendly holiday.
Iowa City's recycling coordinator Jane Wilch has a Jack-o'-lantern filled with fun ideas on how to have a green Halloween this year. 
Durable, reusable, recyclable Halloween decorations. Choose decorations that you can use year after year. For recyclable decorations, look for plastics that are #1-5 or #7, as #6 and unlabeled plastics are not recyclable. Avoid metallic or glitter-coated decorations, as these cannot be recycled. Questions? Check out icgov.org/recycle.

PPE Use Protects Us Against Coronavirus, but It’s Harming the Oceans

Did you know that 91% of the plastic produced has never been recycled? Yet calls to eliminate single-use plastics have been lost in the panic of a new pandemic and the rush to secure personal protective equipment (PPE). And many of these items — including disposable masks, gloves, and antibacterial wipes — are designed for one-time use. Unfortunately, so many people improperly dispose of PPE that we are experiencing a “plastic pandemic” on our streets, public transport, green space, and beaches, according to the Alliance to End Plastic Waste’s Jacob Duer. Improperly discarded PPE is already contributing to plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Here’s why this is a problem and what you and your community can do to reduce PPE waste.

The Problem: PPE in Our Oceans

Gary Stokes, the founder of marine conservation group OceansAsia, reported collecting 70 masks along 100 yards of beach near Hong Kong during a trip to the uninhabited Soko Islands in February when the pandemic had only just begun. Here’s how they got there: When we don’t throw waste into a secure garbage can, wind can blow it into the gutter where it mixes with rainwater and is washed out to the rivers and sea. From there, it washes to near and far shores. Marine animals like turtles and fish often mistake this waste for food. Ingesting it can lead to a slow and painful death. And plastic waste, like gloves, never fully degrades in water. Instead, it breaks into smaller pieces called microplastics. Plastics are, pun intended, a mixed bag. Today, many consider them a necessary evil: Masks are proven to slow the spread of COVID-19, and when we don’t wear them correctly, more people become sick, hospitals use more resources, and we create more waste. Currently, we use approximately 129 billion face masks every single month.

What We Can Do to Reduce PPE Waste

Due to both material and contamination issues, single-use PPE can’t be recycled in your curbside bin (and check out TerraCycle’s paid option for recycling disposable gloves). That has not translated into high PPE recycling rates, so we must use less of it and dispose of what we use correctly.

Say No to Single-Use

The World Health Organization recommends fabric masks, which are at least equally effective as their short-term counterparts. Their website offers guidance for sewing, caring for, and wearing your fabric mask correctly. To keep yourself and others safe, disinfect and change your reusable mask regularly. Wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds each time, instead of using plastic gloves or hand sanitizer. Hot water and soap are the best way to prevent the spread of infection.

Discard Single-Use PPE Safely

Disposing of PPE improperly puts essential workers and your neighbors at risk of getting infected. Take an extra step to protect them before placing your masks and gloves in a recycling bin. Use a reusable bag that can be sealed to store used PPE while on the go and dispose of it in the bin at home, sealing the bag before pick-up.

Make It Easier to Properly Dispose of PPE

Businesses can use behavioral insights to combat PPE litter and “[make] trash cans convenient and conspicuous by tracing a path to them with green foot-step stickers, or [place] more of them in a given area” where people commonly remove PPE.

Use Educational Messaging

People respond well to motivational messaging and concrete calls-to-action in PPE disposal areas. Research has found that “emphasizing people’s duty to protect frontline workers can be effective.”

Enforce Littering Fines

Municipalities in Massachusetts and New York have imposed hefty fines on PPE littering, yet the threat is not enough to stop bad behavior when fines are not enforced. The best road may be to combine existing fines with educational campaigns to mobilize the public and create a collaborative rather than punishing atmosphere. When it comes to protecting our oceans, we’re all in this together. Feature image courtesy of Brian Yurasits on Unsplash.

How to Recycle Pillows

Most of us use pillows every single night as we sleep and we often lounge on them while we park on couches. Pillows help make us cozy and comfortable, but what do you do with your pillow when it is completely worn out or is damaged beyond repair? There are few options for recycling but pillows have lots of potential for upcycling and reuse. Donating pillows may also be a great way to help you reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill.

Keep the planet safe by recycling PPE waste

These unprecedented COVID-19 times have underscored that single use materials are still a highly reliable and affordable solution for personal protection. Although this new reality has highlighted the public necessity for these items, it has also brought into stark contrast our vulnerabilities to pollution. Between the end of February and mid-April this year, more than a billion items of personal protective equipment were given out in the UK alone. This spike in consumption is forcing us to rethink our attitude to recycling and find a sustainable solution for this kind of waste, which would otherwise end up in landfill or often simply be littered on the streets. As the leading experts in traditionally “non-recyclable” waste, TerraCycle provides a unique recycling solution for all types of single-use PPE, which aren’t recyclable through conventional recycling facilities, giving them a new life in a variety of forms.