The UN’s top environmental scientist tells a group assembled in Kenya that biodegradable plastics are a false solution to the marine plastics problem, and a Dutch city uses a full suite of technology to optimize its collection routes.
Kenya: The United Nations’ top environmental scientist said biodegradable plastics are not a solution to the world’s marine plastics problem. The Guardian reports Jacqueline McGlade, chief scientist at the UN Environment Programme, told the UN environment assembly in Nairobi that the plastics are meant to break down in conditions they won’t find in the oceans and that their additives inhibit recycling.
The Netherlands: Rotterdam is using high-tech tools to optimize its collection routes. The city of more than 610,000 people is using technology from Finnish company Enevo, which uses waste container monitoring, fill-level forecasting, route planning and driver route guidance via in-cab tablets to generate the most efficient collection routes, according to Waste Management World.
Taiwan: The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the extensive system Taiwan has put in place for recycling, helping it achieve a 55 percent recycling rate. Stakeholders in the country of 23.5 million people collect recyclables, garbage and organics (even separating food scraps into cooked and raw fractions). The system in place also rewards people for snitching on trash dumpers, hides video cameras to document improper disposal and publicly shames violators.