Revamping Recycling

China Forces U.S. Cities to Change Specs




Gino Santa Maria/Shutterstock.com

China, one of the world’s main importers of recyclable waste, is rejecting shipments that are more than 0.5 percent impure, so loads contaminated by a greasy pizza box, disposable coffee cups and the odd plastic bag could end up in the local landfill instead. Most single-use cups, for instance, are lined with a fine film of polyethylene, which makes the cups liquid-proof, but also difficult and expensive to reprocess. Most waste management facilities will treat the cups as trash. Since China banned impure plastics, many U.S. municipalities no longer accept plastics numbered 3 to 7, which can include yogurt cups, butter tubs and vegetable oil bottles. Another contamination culprit is food residue. Washing out food scraps from recyclables can be just as important as putting the appropriate item in the recycling bin.


This article appears in the June 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Green Surfing

Ecosia, a German Internet search engine, has planted more than 52 million trees in the last 10 years by diverting its advertising revenue to funding new trees worldwide.

Aqua Breakthrough

Chinese scientists have used ultraviolet light and graphitic carbon nitride to purify two and a half gallons of water in one hour.

Mold Matters

Toxic mold caused by heavy rains, leaky pipes, and high humidity can be removed with natural products like vinegar and tea tree oil, but extensive mold growth is best remediated by professionals using “green” cleaning methods.

Norwegian Nudge

Norway recycles a whopping 97 percent of its plastic bottles by making bottle deposit returns simpler, and rewarding participating companies with lower taxes.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Tour Local Koi Ponds and Gardens

The Midwest Pond & Koi Society (MPKS) will present their annual tour of area gardens and ponds during two weekends in July.

Learn About All Love from Patrick Zeigler

International healer Patrick Zeigler will be in Chicago from November 1 to 4, offering teachings and initiations of the amazing high vibration energy called All Love.

Using Ions to Improve Overall Health

We talked with Yasmine Ariel of Quantum Tech USA about the basics of the body’s electromagnetic system and how it affects our overall health.

Boosting Immunity Naturally

Staying well during the “sick season” can be a challenge, but these approaches can help boost your immunity and health, naturally.

Lightworkers Conference Coming to Lisle

The annual Lightworkers Midwest Conference, held at Benedictine University, is created to bring spiritually minded people together from across the U.S. and beyond.

Inner Ecology Presents Chinese Herb Workshop

Chicago’s Inner Ecology certified herbal compounding pharmacy will host the first training for Midwestern professional farmers in the domestic cultivation of Chinese medicinal herbs.