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Why Canadian waste is now an international problem

The world’s recycling statistics show recycling is not effective enough. So, let’s dive into the trash management system that exists today. Recycling household plastic makes us feel like we’re doing the environment justice! Besides, we’re told it’s helpful to do what we can to sort our trash. It reduces the amount of plastic pollution limiting the strain on the natural environment. It also gives the government the ability to sell raw material. Moreover, the recycling program`s purpose is to keep the invasion of material out of landfills… Or does it?

Even though, Canadians recyclers are contributing to a solution. According to National Geographic, we also produce twice as much garbage then Japan. Plus, ten times more than half a dozen countries in Africa! Yet, garbage swamps the lives of the poorest people around the world! In fact, it’s because only nine percent of the world’s garbage is recycled! It shows that as a global community we are not doing enough to do justice to the environment!

The Faulty System

Here at home, the Canadian recycling system sorts plastic at recycling process centers. Next, they turn the manufactured material into pulp, pellets, melt it or press it into sheets.

Then, re-manufacturing plants or end markets take these items.
End markets like the Philippines and China receive shipments to re-manufacturing post-consumer waste. The system works to reduce the squeeze on the natural environment and limit plastic pollution.

However, the truth is ninety-one percent of trash is not recycled. So, billions of tonnes of Global garbage is either incinerated or left in landfills. This releases even more Green House Gas.(GHG) further stimulating the world’s Green House Effect.

If fresh water evaporates from global warming we will wither and die. Yet, in the meantime, we’re arguing over what to do with mismanaged garbage. The plastic pollution should be a good enough reason to change our spending habits.  Yet, it hasn’t. So the potential of trash wars is a dilemma that we face today and in the future!

The Conflict

Hence, there’s a standoff between the Philippines and Canada today. The partnership between these two countries has soured. Why would Canada a developed country try to take advantage of them?

Comparatively, Canadians hold a reputation and an International image of peace and prosperity. We have much more space than those in the Philippines. Our land mass is almost 10,000,000 square kilometers. They’re a developing country with a land mass of just 300,000 sq. kilometers.

Canada has 34,000,000 people with an annual GDP of forty thousand (American) dollars per capita. Yet, Philipino’s have over 96,000,000 people in their population. The annual GDP is only just over four thousand dollars per capita. Consequently, the Philippines struggles to keep its population above the standard threshold of human development.

In 2013 a Canadian company shipped one hundred containers of “recycling” overseas. Thus, upon arrival, the Filipino Port Authority deemed the shipment unfit to process. They asked the Canadian government to return our containers back to Canada. Regardless, the Canadian government told the authorities “No thanks” and asked them to dispose of it.

Foreign Recyclables Banned

Six years later the trash still remains at the Port. Filipinos have rallied and their government threatens war! The Canadian supply chain sent unfit products and the Filipinos don’t want to be the junkyard. Therefore, we should set an example for the rest of the world. It’s our responsibility as Canadians to control the distribution and take back the trash!

But, suddenly, it’s not getting any easier. Canada finds it harder to source end markets now because China has banned our products. China told the World Health Organization they will no longer accept foreign recyclables. They no longer want to accept our plastic pollution.

There`s too much product and they now want the highest quality material. Thus, Canadian recycling processors now struggle to cope with the volume of plastic. There is more supply than demand. Therefore, the recycling program of British Columbia states it will restrict materials in our blue bins.

The newest technology to manage Plastic Pollution

For this reason, we’re losing the battle and more must be done through new technological advancements. After all, Corporations need packaging to sell their products. We would rather die than see the world not able to produce household products. Consequently, without packaging the economy would falter.

Fortunately, there are two Zennials making a difference in the war on trash! They’ve developed a process to produces a post-consumer product with dirty plastic. This company is called Biocellection Inc . and it’s ready to take on the challenge of the future. Together both Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao have come up with a solution to deal with the plastic pollution!

The Founder Miranda Wang is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She believes there is a lack of waste management. This is the main reason our garbage is ending up in Rivers and Oceans.

Co-founder Jeanny Yao gained a degree in Environmental science from the University of Toronto. Together their business plan is to change the way how to deal with contaminated trash. They believe it should be managed in a more circular sense.

So, they’ve moved away from the approach of breaking down plastics, washing then melting it. Instead, they take the molecules and break them down into a complex method.

The chemical method cuts the polyethylene (plastic) chemical chain into small pieces. These small chemical pieces transform into precursors of higher value materials. Materials found in such things as car parts, electronics, and textiles!

This technology offers one solution for the other ninety-one percent of contaminated waste. In conclusion, this innovation also has the ability to replace fossil fuels. It will use plastic waste for an industry’s energy needs and reduce the amount of plastic pollution around the world.

Our Responsibility

Consumers have the responsibility to make conscious decisions when they’re purchasing items. Make different choice such as buy glass containers instead of plastic. Avoid anything wrapped in plastic, and reuse whenever possible.

The waste management system of British Columbia states its goal is zero-waste. But, what it does is turn the manufactured material into pulp, pellets or sheets. Thus, reducing the pressure of mining, deforestation, and chemical manufacturing in the environment.

The population is rising and there will forever be a need for natural resources. Therefore, continuing to recycle helps manufacturers source post-consumer material. It’s also important to change our buying habits each day by not spending money on over-packaging. Make conscious choices, lobby for change with petitions and join shoreline cleanups. Don’t let trash define us as a Nation!!

For additional Information on this topic see the links below:

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A Plan To Clean Up Our World Faster Than You Think.

If five hundred and fifty people pick up just five pieces of plastic each day. Together they can pick up one million pieces in a year. Sounds easy enough plus, it’s the decent thing to do! I wonder how I’d fit that simple task into the day. A simple task that is one deed in a plan to help clean up the world quickly.

Clean up our world??

I rise at 7 am, and begin the day with breakfast. Afterward, I chase my son around get him ready for school. After work, I make dinner, put my son to bed and then finally rest at 9 pm. This schedule actually feels like picking up five pieces of plastic would be a huge achievement!

If most people have a day like mine then I understand. I get why we’re not working too hard to make a difference. I must admit cleaning up at home is a big job and I don’t often look for garbage to pick up anywhere else. If you’re anything like myself I’ve created this sense of entitlement, if it’s not in the vicinity of home or work, forget it!

Government Intervention

Luckily, the government plays an integral part in keeping beaches, streets, parks, and rivers clean. Our American neighbors just had an issue with government shutdowns and it effectively crippled the municipal services for a record period of time. Essential services stopped like the collection of garbage in local parks and garbage began to pile up quickly!

Without the government getting involved our garbage would be out of control. Everywhere we turn items are over-packaged and products are manufactured with single-use packaging. Therefore, in an effort to fight the tsunami of trash the government created a system to deal with it.

The Plan

Recycling statistics show that Vancouver can clean up our world pretty well in comparison to other cities in Canada. We’re washing out containers and sorting our plastics from paper to cardboard! However, there’s always room for improvement! The government takes these items and sorts them further so they can sell paper fiber to companies that handle post-consumer packaging. 

The recycling plant works through some crippling problem from material contamination. If there is so much as a coffee stain on a piece of paper, food residue in a plastic bag, blood, grease or juice left inside a container it will cross contaminate tonnes of perfectly recycled recyclables. When this happens what could’ve been sold is sent to the garbage dump forever.

Canadian Products are not recycled properly. One in three pounds, of material, is dirty and this dampens the recycling efforts. Our intentions are costing Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars a year. It’s expensive to manage garbage in the recycling program. Canadians need to follow the guidelines and they’re found in a Wizard link. This link is located on my Twitter account or Facebook page Ridetheecowave.

Recycling is not enough

The world is dumping 8,300 million metric tonnes of garbage into the Ocean each year. This is equal to one truckload of garbage dumped every minute! This problem of dumping, littering, exploiting our environment is not going to go away. If we`re to continue on living, in the same way, we will regret it!. Recycling is not enough. We have to take our inner environmental steward to the next level and clean up our world.

Firstly, the Ocean cleanup needs our help and they’re accepting donations. There’s a huge set back in the attempt to clean up trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The buoy and skirt design nicknamed Wilson has broken from the force of the Ocean and unfortunately. They may have to go back to the drawing board and analyze the problem associated with their design.

Donate today for tomorrow

Furthermore, this critical development in their concerted effort to clean up our Oceans is important to support. We get caught up in our day to day activities and time is not something we can afford to give. Money is the best opportunity to make up the difference in our collective goal to help clean up our environment.

The hard part is keeping this in the forefront of our thoughts. We spend our days trying so hard to get through the day with just our sanity! This is a good start in awakening the spirit of an inner steward. The single act of doing one good deed a day creates a vision. One person can make a difference. If we plan a change in our lives or donate to a worthy cause our efforts will be rewarded. The environmental movement will continue to grow.