Cape Business News reports: South Africans generate 122 million tons of waste every year. This equates to roughly R25.2 billion worth of excess waste being generated, 90% of which ends up in over-capacitated landfill sites leaving only 10% of this waste being recycled back into the economy. However, all is not lost – the future of South Africa’s waste sector is ripe with potential.
If you consider the waste regulatory framework and the various strategies and commitments South Africa has made to divert waste from landfill disposal and manage it more effectively, there is no doubt that more sustainable developments to better manage these challenges are needed. In fact, we need to relook at what recycling typically means and how recycling in its traditional form needs to be reconsidered and elevated to meet the waste demands in the country. Waste management forms a critical role in providing solutions that address both traditional business models and recycling practices. The answer? Circular economy thinking… and action.
The zero waste to landfill goal by 2030 is certainly an ambitious one. It looks at diverting 90% of waste from landfills using a ‘whole system’ through recycling, reuse, recovery, beneficiation technologies, and towards value-adding opportunities which have the potential to create numerous environmental, social, and economic opportunities for South Africa. If a zero-waste sustainable country is to be achieved, then waste needs to be designed out of the system from the onset and any remaining waste needs to be managed effectively, proactively and through supporting infrastructure to ensure it is useful to drive the new normal in waste management. Read more here.
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Can Thailand Stem the Flow of Foreign e-Waste?
Via Fairplanet.org: Following China’s total ban in 2017, Thailand has experienced a 20-fold increase in imported e-waste. Though Thai law has been revamped since China’s ban around proper waste disposal and the importation of foreign waste, recycling centres and waste importers continue to find loopholes. Citizen groups in opposition wonder if new laws will be enough to cut off the big-money foreign companies are making out of lax government oversight and a glut of cheap labour.
Para Chayaphat Kuntaweera, the head Abbot at Wat Khao Hin Sorn – a village temple in central Thailand – posted a sign at the temple gate that read ‘Wat Khao Hin Sornfor sale, cheap’. It was a way for Chayaput to protest the toxic fumes from a nearby recycling facility which he says is burning e-waste in a very Thai way: with humility and humour.
But he nonetheless realised that it is a serious problem, and insisted, “Monks, just like everyone else in this village, are getting sick from the fumes,” the Abbot told The New York Times. Reportedly many of the newly opened, larger companies that deal with imported e-waste, such as cell phones, batteries, accumulators, laptops, keyboards and desktop computers, are Chinese-owned and use illegal foreign labour, mostly from Myanmar, to perform the dangerous job of removing and destroying the inevitable toxic materials.
The Million Plus is a Plastic Recycling Revolution. Our mission is to mobilise one million South Africans to recycle their plastic packaging. The Million Plus is a Polyco initiative. Join the Revolution: www.millionplusrecyclers.co.za.