Quickly, the world gets critical of plastic waste. It litters land, waterways and oceans. Until quite recently, rich countries could export their waste to poorer countries – for them to sort out the difficult tail of consumer society. But since China banned such imports in 2018, each country needs to deal with its own waste.
Michael Carus, managing director of the German nova-Institute, has stirred up the plastics debate. While plastic waste is piling up and the seas get filled with plastic soup, Carus makes a plea for the use of more plastics. A better use of plastics, properly speaking. The age of plastic has just begun In an interview
In September 2016, Henk Kamp, then Minister of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands, opened Upcycling Gemert, a plant that processes mushroom waste into compost, fuel and heat. Only two weeks later, a press release announced another project, called BIOrescue, that aims to upcycle the same mushroom waste by creating new bio-based products. Although I was
In a first article, we proposed that plastic waste should no longer exist in ten to fifteen years from now. This ambitious goal needs to be tackled from two sides: plastics design on the input side, and dedicated processing on the output side. In both processes, chemists play a major role. And industry should show
It is an unfortunate fact that clothes, even those made of organic, low impact or recycled materials, are often not reused or recycled themselves. The majority end up in landfill or are incinerated. Inspired by the recently launched partnership of Metabolic with Fashion for Good, Metabolic looks at the dirty secret of the fashion industry,
Plastic litter is a curse. According to Joan Hanegraaf, the only solution to this problem is strict regulation and enforcement. Look at Japan, Canada, Singapore. No plastic litter there. One would not even dare throwing a away a stub of a cigarette, for fear of being fined severely. It’s the only way out. We talked
Do not use wood just for energy, say WWF and the Mondi Group, an international packaging and paper company, in a recent study performed by nova Institute and IEEP, the Institute for European Environmental Policy. This is remarkable, as many environmental groups urge policy makers to use more biomass for energy production; but WWF, the
Early this year, the Ellen McArthur Foundation published a policy report ‘The New Plastics Economy, Rethinking the Future of Plastics’. This is an important document, as it wraps up responsible thinking about the mounting problem of plastic waste, and what can be done about it. Action needs to be taken, both for environmental and economic