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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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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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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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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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Household Waste, Heftingsdalen Household Waste, Heftingsdalen
In 2005 household waste output was up by 10 000 tonnes on 2000, rising from 15 000 to 25 000 tonnes for almost the same population. Nor does this include 20 000 tonnes of business waste (construction, light industry and service sector). In all Heftingsdalen processes about 45 000 tonnes of waste, making an average of 720 kilograms per person per year.
15 Dec 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz
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Trafficking waste stories Trafficking waste stories
Despite international efforts to halt dumping of illegal waste outrageous incidents occur. Collating relevant data is difficult but there is no doubt about the damage. Toxic waste causes long-term poisoning of soil and water, affecting people’s health and living conditions, sometimes irreversibly. It mainly involves slow processes that must be monitored for years to be detected and proven (let alone remedied).
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Total bottled water consumption Total bottled water consumption
Why would any country import goods already produced at home or nearby? One explanation is straight forward: It may be cheaper to buy abroad than produce locally or the necessary know-how is not available locally. In some cases a famous brand or the country of origin is a guarantee of quality.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Major waste exporters, Major waste receivers Major waste exporters, Major waste receivers
Some countries, for example the Netherlands and Belgium, seem to act as “waste dispatchers”. Their figures suggest that they are the top waste exporters, a fact that reflects neither the waste they produce (given their population) nor their internal processing capacity. Presumably large amounts of hazardous waste are simply passing through Antwerp, Rotterdam and other industrial ports on the North Sea.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Global household expenditure Global household expenditure
Several trends characterise modern consumer goods. Our appetite for them continues to grow, with product ranges growing too. Meanwhile the average lifespan of many products is shortening. 80% of what we make is thrown away within six months of production. Each product contains more components and they are usually more difficult to biodegrade than before. All of which complicates the way products are processed once they become waste.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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About the difficulties of classifying waste (and counting it) About the difficulties of classifying waste (and counting it)
A multitude of approaches exists to classify the various categories of waste. Waste can be sorted either by its origin (what activity has created it?), by its composition (what is it made of?), by the level of danger it poses to humans and the environment, or by the way it is managed and treated. Each of these approaches will lead to a list of wastes, and often those definitions are overlapping – yet another fact that complicates the collection ...
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Mining waste generated from aluminium production Mining waste generated from aluminium production
The production of aluminium involves three main stages: mining bauxite ore, refining bauxite to alumina (Al2O3), and then smelting alumina to produce aluminium. Bauxite comes from open mines mainly located in tropical and subtropical regions. On average it takes 4 to 5 tonnes of bauxite to produce 2 tonnes of alumina, yielding 1 tonne of aluminium. The main solid by-product of the alumina extraction (Bayer process) is red mud and roughly 3 tonnes...
15 Dec 2006 - by Cécile Marin, Emmanuelle Bournay
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Share of packaging waste in total household waste (OECD) Share of packaging waste in total household waste (OECD)
Once a product is manufactured and ready to be sold, it must be distributed. To protect it from dirt and shocks, to make it easier to store, but also to make it look appealing, a whole science has developed to design the most suitable wrappings. The variety of products demands a huge diversity of packaging and a wide range of materials: cardboard boxes, glass jars, plastic bags, plastic film, aluminium wrappers and expanded polystyrene, to...
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Mobile phone subscribers Mobile phone subscribers
Mobile phones were launched in 1984 and the market has been booming ever since. In 20 years they have spread like wildfire. By September 2004 there were 344 million subscribers (out of a population of 380 million) in the 15 (old) members of the European Union. According to Nokia there will be 2 000 million cellphone users worldwide by 2008.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Caviar imports to Japan, European Union and United States Caviar imports to Japan, European Union and United States
The Caspian area is the world’s main producer of wild caviar (83% in 2003) and supplies the three largest markets, the European Union, Japan and the USA. The construction of several hydroelectric power plants and dams along the Volga river significantly altered the flow of water into the delta and destroyed about 90% of the sturgeon’s spawning grounds, which can be as far as several hundreds of kilometres upstream. This graphic displays the repor...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Overview of legal international caviar trade, 1998-2003 Overview of legal international caviar trade, 1998-2003
Four years ago Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia agreed to restrict further export of commercial fish products. All three countries, as well as Iran, are party to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Overview of renewable energy sources Overview of renewable energy sources
This chart shows eight different sources of renewable energy and explains advantages and drawbacks of each - wind, sun (photovoltaic and thermal), geothermal, wood, ocean, waste, water (hydroelectricity).
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions and energy scenarios by source Emissions and energy scenarios by source
Despite the Kyoto protocol and increased concern over the consequences of climate change, world wide emissions of CO2 continues to grow. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) world total CO2 emissions will increase by 62% from 2002 – 2030. More than two-thirds of the increase will come from developing countries. They will overtake the OECD as the leading contributor to global emissions early in the 2020s. Despite the strong increase ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Precipitation changes: trends over land from 1900 to 2000 Precipitation changes: trends over land from 1900 to 2000
Precipitation has very likely increased during the 20th century by 5 to 10% over most mid- and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere continents, but in contrast, rainfall has likely decreased by 3% on average over much of the subtropical land areas. There has likely been a 2 to 4% increase in the frequency of heavy precipitation events in the mid- and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere over the latter half of the 20th century. There we...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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