Waste to Energy
I blog a lot about waste here so imagine my glee when I saw a report that had come out this week saying that 99% of waste produced in Sweden is reused!
The country has 32 inciniration plants allowing the country to turn its’ rubbish into steam which is then used to power generator turbines to produce electricity.
This allows the country to rely less on fossil fuels however, with great power comes great responsibilities. Some has pointed out that burning waste might be sending more toxins into the atmosphere as the burning process produces filter gas and flue gas, which both contain dioxins and environmental pollutants.
Sweden have heavily regulated their Waste to Energy plants though and according to their Swedisn Environmental Protection Agency have stated that they have introduced flue-gas cleaning to reduce the amount of airbourne dioxins.
To read more, click here.
The most obvious fact here, which is stated in the article, is that the world just needs to produce less waste.
During the last month, I hopped onto the Plastic Free July cause to see how much single use plastic I could refuse.
So how did it go?
It went well. I did forget my cloth bag a handful of times (I think 2 or 3 times) and I was unsuccessful at finding a reusable coffee mug. But I started bringing my mug to the coffee stall instead (also helps when they’re located in the building) and have my steel tin can as a water bottle again. I declined a plastic bag (because I knew they wouldn’t have a paper one & I can only remember this because it happend last week) and carried my item in my bag instead.
What did I learn?
That EVERYTHING comes in plastic. Plastic takeaway containers, things I want to eat and use come in plastic packaging, earbud things, toothpaste is packaged in it and I came across a business that charges you more to dine in (take-away came with plastic everything and a plastic bag!).
Where do I go from here?
Ridding plastic from the world won’t be happening anytime soon because it’s so engrained (argh!)! But it made me more aware of its presence and my usage. Reducing plastic bags has been on my NYresolutions but I think now it should also include other single use plastics. This is only a small change but business owners out there (cough) have a whole lot of power. Now I need to go write my letter of complaint to this business….
Everything starts with 1 small change right?