The wide world of recycling

The wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Pakistan has introduced a far-reaching measure intended to curb plastic pollution, and a conservation group in Australia has figured out which part of the country is worst at recycling.

Hoping to address plastic pollution, Pakistan's minister for climate change has announced regulations that prohibit the import, manufacturing, distribution and sale of any disposable plastic made for polyethylene, polypropylene or polystyrene unless it is oxo-biodegradable, reports the Ecologist.

According to the Daily Times, those who violate the ban could face fines and imprisonment. A machine is being donated to the ministry by the Oxo-Biodegradable Organisation of the U.K. to make sure finished bags are in compliance.

"It is astonishing that Pakistan's people use 55 billion polythene bags every year with 8,000 industrial units busy in preparing this extremely hazardous product that results in numerous diseases including the killing disease of cancer," reads the report from the Daily Times.

Michael Laurier — CEO of Symphony Environmental Technologies, a company that makes an oxo-biodegradable additive — praised the development, saying in a prepared statement that, "This legislation is an important step forward for Pakistan in protecting its cities, lands, waterways and coasts from the blight of plastic pollution, because it is not possible to collect or control all of the plastic, which would otherwise lie or float around in the environment for decades."

In Australia, the Boomerang Alliance has released a report that concludes that Western Australia has the lowest recycling rate in the country, and is calling on the Western Australian government to enact a container deposit system that will spur the development of recycling infrastructure across the state. The report shows that Western Australia has a recycling rate 39 percent lower than the national average.

The study also includes the results of a recent poll that shows a 10-cent container deposit system is popular amongst Western Australians, with nine out of 10 individuals surveyed supporting the introduction of a refund scheme. Statistics from Keep Australia Beautiful included in the report also show an increase in the volume of litter in Western Australia between 2011 and 2012.

"Both sides of politics need to commit to a recycle refund now, every year that is wasted means hundreds of millions of containers that should have been recycled end up in landfill or on WA beaches, streets and parks," said Jeff Angel of the Boomerang Alliance in a prepared statement.

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