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Emissions of carbon dioxide, in Africa and selected OECD countries Emissions of carbon dioxide, in Africa and selected OECD countries
Africa represents only a small fraction, 3.6%, out of the total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year, yet 14% of the population of the world lives here. The emissions per inhabitant in Libya, the Seychelles and South Africa are on the level of the lowest among OECD countries with the other African countries trailing lower behind them. Regionally, emissions (both per capita and in total) are at their highest in North Africa and in the country o...
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Pesticides stockpiles in Africa Pesticides stockpiles in Africa
Mountains of obsolete pesticides are stockpiled in Africa. Problems with labelling, storage, and the supply of unsuitable products, means that they sit around unused, some for as long as 40 years. They include poisons long ago banned (e.g. DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane, heptachlor, and others). In some cases the pesticides have leaked from damaged containers. Unable to dispose of them safely the likelihood is that the piles will continue to gr...
02 Nov 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Major bottled water exporters and importers Major bottled water exporters and importers
The maps illustrate the crazy logic of today’s global trade. Exchange is no longer based on local needs or resource availability (in most countries where large amounts of bottled water are consumed, the tap water is perfectly drinkable), with unnecessary exchange involving major importers that are also major exporters (France, Germany and Belgium).
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Heftingsdalen shipping area Heftingsdalen shipping area
At the entrance to the plant, which covers more than 15 hectares, a sign announces:“Compost, bark and wood shavings for sale”. Other waste is separated, packed and redirected to logistics centres elsewhere in Norway and Sweden. Jens Christian Fjelldal, the head of the plant, explains that they sell a range of more than 200 recycled materials to buyers in Europe and even South America and Asia. The recycling activity pays its way, enabling the t...
15 Dec 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz
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Waste collection in Curitiba Waste collection in Curitiba
In the 1980s severe hygienic problems plagued parts of Curitiba where housing development was uncontrolled. The winding streets were too narrow for council trucks and waste rotting in the open caused disease. In 1989 the council decided to act. It sent environmental education teams into affected areas where they joined forces with neighbourhood associations to organise waste collection by local people.
15 Dec 2006 - by Cécile Marin
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Packaging waste production per capita in Europe Packaging waste production per capita in Europe
The manufacture of packaging itself generates waste and by defi nition it has a particularly short lifespan. It turns into waste as soon as its contents reaches its destination. This is certainly a blessing for the packaging sector – and the related plastics, paper and printing industries – but it presents a serious challenge for waste management.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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World Population World Population
The goods we accumulate today will pile up as waste tomorrow, and more yet in view of the global trends. Projections tell us that there will be 9 000 million people on Earth by 2050. According to the Global Footprint Network life on Earth would not even be sustainable for 2 000 million people consuming at the same rate as in the richest countries today.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Radioactive waste hotspots and transboundary pollution in Central Asia’s Ferghana Valley Radioactive waste hotspots and transboundary pollution in Central Asia’s Ferghana Valley
The Soviet Union used the Ferghana Valley as one of its main sources of metal and uranium ore. The area has many nuclear waste storage sites, abandoned uranium mines with poorly secured tailing dams and nuclear reactors that pose a severe security hazard. Tailings are exposed to wind erosion and easily accessible to grazing animals.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Typical hazardous wastes generated by selected manufacturing industries Typical hazardous wastes generated by selected manufacturing industries
Industry is the top producer of waste in developed countries. A large proportion of industrial waste is hazardous, because industrial processes often involve chemicals. Cleaner production – reducing the amount of problematic components in a product and additives used in the production process – waste avoidance and a life cycle approach to waste management are attempts in the right direction.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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What is e-waste? What is e-waste?
A growing share of municipal waste contains electronic or electric products. E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams and makes up approximately 4 per cent of municipal waste in the European Union. In the US, between 14 and 20 million PC’s become obsolete every year. The picture is similar all over the world and e-waste is increasing steadily.
15 Dec 2006 - by Claudia Heberlein
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Energy consumption per capita (2004) Energy consumption per capita (2004)
According to current forecasts the world’s energy requirements will have risen by more than 50 per cent by 2030. Oil and natural gas will account for more than 60 per cent of the increase. During the same time period renewable energy growth is lower.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Waste at every stage Waste at every stage
The squares are proportionnal to the estimated amounts of waste generated by sector in 2002, in the OECD countries (in million tonnes). Waste is produced from the very beginning of the life cycle of a product, long before we as consumers are aware of it.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Everyday alternatives: biodegradable, disposable or conventional tableware? Everyday alternatives: biodegradable, disposable or conventional tableware?
The priority is to decrease the amount of waste we generate. Only then should we will be proud of the high rates for recycling some countries report (see examples for glass and paper). Glass recycling scores best, perhaps because an old habit has never been lost. Many countries still have a deposit on glass bottles (Scandinavia) or have even expanded it (Germany).
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Population by income level Population by income level
The rich world consumes more and thus produces more waste. The World Bank classification based on gross national income per capita is an indication of the global consumption level. Over the last two decades the world as a whole did not get any richer but China and Indonesia, two densely populated countries, entered the 'middle income world', as defined by the World Bank. Consumer items are available to a growing number of individuals, particular...
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Number of planes to be dismantled worldwide Number of planes to be dismantled worldwide
At the end of their service life airliners may prove useful in many ways. They often fly as freighters for several years. When finally grounded they are scavenged for spare parts for other aircrafts, or used for training aircrews and firefighters. Sometimes sheet metal is cut off and melted down.
15 Dec 2006 - by Cécile Marin
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Recycling Rates for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries Recycling Rates for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries
Reusing and recycling are natural survival strategies for many people in the developing world. In rich countries we abandoned the habit and are now relearning how to reuse and recycle. Public rubbish collection and a well established recycling industry do a big part of the job for us.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Hazardous waste generation Hazardous waste generation
In Europe the manufacturing sector produces large amounts of hazardous waste. This graphic shows the ratio between the manufacturing sector and all other sectors in selected European countries from 2002 figures.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Nuclear waste generation Nuclear waste generation
More than three-quarters of nuclear reactors currently in service are more than 20 years old. After an average service life of 30 years it takes 20 more years to dismantle them. The spent fuel figures for 2002 are national projections. Quantities fluctuated strongly in the United Kingdom, partly due to variations in electricity output from nuclear power. Decommissioning of several older power stations explains the peaks.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Consumption appeal Consumption appeal
The marketing and advertising industry is constantly teasing us with trendy, cool and largely superfluous products. To judge by investment in advertising, it takes more and more to achieve the same effect. With all that stimulation it is an effort asking just what we stand to gain.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Household waste and recycling in England Household waste and recycling in England
In 1999, the British consultant BioRegional thought up an innovative way of dealing with waste paper. Surely offices could sort their own paper and, after local reprocessing, reuse it? Local Paper for London now recycles more than 2000 tonnes of paper a year, cutting the paper bill by 20 per cent for 400 organisations (schools, government bodies, firms, etc.) taking part in the scheme.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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