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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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Mining waste emissions to land and water in Australia Mining waste emissions to land and water in Australia
PRTRs (Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers) are databases of chemical releases to air, land and water from factories or other sources. Targeting a broad public audience, they support our right to information on toxic waste and air pollution. The Australian National Pollutant Inventory (NPI), for instance, not only provides the public with free access to data on its website but also helps facilities estimate and report emissions.
01 Oct 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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168 Parties to the Basel Convention in 2006 168 Parties to the Basel Convention in 2006
By the 1980s, the international community launched treaty negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme. In March 1989, they adopted the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. The treaty entered into force in 1992.
15 Dec 2006 - by Cécile Marin, Emmanuelle Bournay
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Household expenditure per capita, selected countries Household expenditure per capita, selected countries
The list of products we used to keep for years and now dispose of instantly is almost endless: tissues, face wipes, razors, kitchen wipes, serviettes, nappies, plastic bags, toner cartridges, cameras and barbecues, to name just a few.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Mining and ore waste Mining and ore waste
Mining waste takes up a great deal of space, blights the landscape and often affects local habitats. By its very nature it can constitute a serious safety hazard. Poor management may allow acidic and metals containing drainage to the environmnent, it can result in contaminated dusts be spread by the wind, and can also pose a physical risk. Indeed, the failure of structures such as dams built to contain mining waste has lead to many accidental sp...
15 Dec 2006 - by Diana Rizzolio
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Major merchandise ports [and likely waste transit points] Major merchandise ports [and likely waste transit points]
Unscrupulous waste trade became a serious concern in the 1980s due to three converging factors: increasing amounts of hazardous waste; inadequate processing plants; and stricter regulations in the developed world with growing environmental awareness. Managing special waste streams properly became expensive, apparently too costly for some. Filthy shipments started travelling round the world.
15 Dec 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay
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Cell phone composition Cell phone composition
It is impossible to detail all the types of waste directly or indirectly involved in manufacturing mobile phones. In developed countries production processes manage to keep sensitive materials in a closed circuit, without any waste escaping to the outside world. Production – “Made in Elsewhere” – does not usually take place where the phones are most widespread. Degrees of efficiency in health and environmental protection vary. In some assembly ...
01 Oct 2006 - by Cécile Marin
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Consumer items in China Consumer items in China
The impact of income on lifestyle is apparent in China like elsewhere. There has been a massive surge in all consumer goods with rising income in towns. The same trend can be observed to a much lesser extent in the country.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Transboundary movements of waste among Parties to the Convention Transboundary movements of waste among Parties to the Convention
Describing and quantifying global trade in waste is difficult. The official figures compiled by the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal are a good start, but have their limitations. Reporting is based on collaboration by member states and the Convention has no means of obliging any state to do so.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Mining and quarrying waste quantities in Europe Mining and quarrying waste quantities in Europe
At 29 per cent of total wastes generated and with over 400 million tonnes of materials, mining and quarrying account for the largest stream of waste generated by countries that are members of the Euro pean Environment Agency.
15 Dec 2006 - by Diana Rizzolio
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Paper lifecycle comparison Paper lifecycle comparison
Statistics from the Paper Task Force show virgin paper (from tree harvesting to the landfill) versus and recycled paper (from collection to recycling again) and their respective environmental impacts by various by-products.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Packaging waste composition in the UK Packaging waste composition in the UK
According to Residua, a UK company working on solid waste issues, about 50 per cent of European goods are wrapped in plastic (17 per cent by weight). There are many types of plastic packaging: plastic bottles are often made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), yoghurt pots are mostly polypropylene (PP), wrapping film, bin liners and flexible containers are usually low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and so on. This diversity partly explains why re...
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Waste scavengers of Buenos Aires Waste scavengers of Buenos Aires
In Buenos Aires informal waste collectors recover 9 to 17 per cent of municipal waste, representing an estimated saving for the municipality of US$30 000 to US$70 000 a day or US$3.5 to US$7 per collector. Scavenger households earn an average of US$58.4 a week. Despite their role in the economy, the working conditions of Buenos Aires cartoneros and their counterparts in other cities in the developing world are very poor, working mainly at ni...
15 Dec 2006 - by Stéphane Kluser
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Number of cars to be scrapped in Europe Number of cars to be scrapped in Europe
Scrapped cars or “end-of life vehicles” are not collected as bulky waste, but they too pose problems because of their size and disparate components. Given car production trends this is an issue that demands serious consideration.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Waste management choices in Europe Waste management choices in Europe
Not long ago the amount and composition of waste was such that it could be simply diluted and dispersed into the environment. Most items were reused and only a few remained, that would not decompose naturally. With industrialisation and rising urban density, a new concept followed: collect and dump out of sight. The aim was to eliminate waste or at least protect the population from it. This generally involved either openly burning it (still pract...
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Who is involved? (The making of international legislation) Who is involved? (The making of international legislation)
Recognizing that industrial society must fix this major flaw in the system, governments and many forward-looking companies started exploring solutions as early as the 1970s. The strong activism of civil society organizations and the interest of the media in cases of toxic waste dumping were central in bringing the issue on the international agenda. By the 1980s, the international community launched treaty negotiations under the auspices of the Un...
15 Dec 2006 - by Cécile Marin, Emmanuelle Bournay
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A history of waste management A history of waste management
A visual timeline of historical waste manaement. From the first recorded landfill created in Knossos in 3000 B.C. to the English parliament banning waste disposal in public waterways and ditches in 1388 to the establishment of The Basel Convention in 1992.
15 Dec 2006 - by Diana Rizzolio, Emmanuelle Bournay
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Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) Seaport project: a European initiative to control international waste shipments Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) Seaport project: a European initiative to control international waste shipments
Combating waste trafficking demands international cooperation and a high-level of scientific expertise (to analyse the composition of waste, for instance). This is primarily the task of customs and port authorities, but initiatives for broader cooperation are developing, such as the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL), which controls shipments in major European ports.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Paper and paperboard production Paper and paperboard production
Though it is based on wood, a natural renewable resource, the pulp and paper industry is one of the worst sources of pollution. It absorbs more than 40 per cent of all timber felled worldwide. Despite the development of digital communications tools global paper production is expected to increase by 2.2 per cent a year from 330 million tonnes at present to 440 million tonnes worldwide by 2015. The main growth areas are Asia and Eastern Europe, but...
07 Nov 2006 - by Cécile Marin
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