The wide world of recycling

The wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Pope Francis praises scrap pickers in a holiday video, plastics recycling lags in Europe and other recycling news from around the globe in this week's wide world of recycling.

Pope Francis released a unique video praising Argentine "cartoneros," or scrap pickers, this holiday season. “We cannot afford the luxury of looking down on leftovers," Pope Francis said in the video. "We are living in a throwaway culture where we easily throw out not only things, but people too." The pope, who is from Argentina, has been a long supporter of the country's scrap pickers as symbols of resourcefulness in a time of waste and excess.

A recent study on plastics recycling in Europe suggests the region landfilled 38.1 percent of its plastic scraps in 2012. With a 2020 ban on landfilling plastics nearing, the study points to increased recycling and energy recovery rates in the coming years, but it adds that the EU is on pace to meet the ban only in 2037, 17 years late.

Businesses in Scotland are now required to sort recyclables for collection following a series of rule changes going into effect Jan. 1, 2014. Under the new program, which will be overseen and enforced by the Scottish government, large food businesses within urban areas will also be required to sort their recyclables, while smaller businesses will eventually be required to join in on the program.

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