Waste in Shanghai: Rising Pressures for the Informal System

China's waste management system is feeling the heat. Over the past few months, scandals from illegal dumping to capacity reaches of major landfills have exposed the complexities of Shanghai’s waste stream –and the challenges that exist in controlling its management. These issues are not unique to Shanghai – they represent broader trends and issues of consumption growth in many of China’s cit…

Read More

China’s Airpocalypse: Why London’s Playbook Won’t Work.

“Beijing’s pollution is bad, but they'll clean their air just like London did …” In 1952, the five-day Great Smog of London killed more than 12,000 people and made over 150,000 people ill. It was an environmental disaster that many people today consider both a cautionary tale and an instructive example of how to address and overcome an air crisis for areas in similar situations – in part because…

Read More

Catalysts for Change and Solving China’s Air Pollution Crisis | #AskTheCollective 005

Following up on a question posed by a viewer of Episode 005, and this weekend's announcement by China's Premier Li KeQiang that China needed to do more to clean the air, this entire episode was dedicated to China's air pollution and what efforts need to be taken towards long-lasting solutions. It was originally planned to be a quick 5 minutes, but quickly turned into 12.  We hope that you enjoy…

Read More

Why a Chinese Government Lawsuit is an Opportunity for Sustainability

China has some of the largest and fastest-growing megacities in the world. And with 100 million more people moving to those cities by 2020, China will have to tackle critical urbanization issues years, even decades ahead of everyone else. One area that doesn't receive nearly enough attention is waste management. Through our ongoing research on waste in China, we've studied the realities of Shan…

Read More

Donations in China, Government Priorities, Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs | #AskTheCollective 003

As always, we hope you find these questions and answers useful, possibly gain some new insights, and feel compelled or inspired to ask questions of your own! Enjoy Episode 003 below, check out the full playlist here, and stay tuned for Episode 004 coming soon. (To stay in the loop on what’s new at Collective, you’ll definitely want to subscribe to our channel and follow us on social media.) #As…

Read More

China’s Landfills Are Closing: Where Will The Waste Go?

In China, waste and waste management have attracted national concern. From environmental issues like toxic chemicals in sea water, to issues affecting urban centers – like Beijing's burdened landfills – waste has become a central part of public discourse. With this in mind, we thought we'd share insights from our past and recent work on waste in Shanghai, and shed light on major changes to waste m…

Read More

Shanghai Waste Scandal: 100 Tons Dumped Illegally

Earlier this week, Shanghai’s municipal government uncovered 100 tons of waste dumped illegally near Chongming Island. Pictures of the scandal garnered serious attention on Weibo and included biohazards, household waste, and plastics in one of Shanghai’s four reservoirs. Investigators from Chongming’s Water Source Management department have found no signs of serious contamination, but they have te…

Read More

Action Over Regulation: The Economics of China’s Recycled Paper & Cardboard

In a prior article in our ongoing series of waste management in China, we pointed out that rebranding waste as a resource can provide an alternative lens when discussing waste. As a valued resource, recycled paper and cardboard in China offer a unique case of how global market mechanisms and government regulation impact the role of waste in society. From foreign imports to sharp spikes in domes…

Read More

3 Reasons Why Trump is Good for Sustainable Business — In China

In a previous post, we looked at the potential future of energy, environmental, and sustainability under a Trump presidency. In our discussion, we highlighted Trump's potential impact on the Paris Agreement, the EPA, and major regulations like the Clean Power Plan, and had a recurring conclusion -- the environment will likely take a back seat to coal and natural gas jobs. Our analysis was very…

Read More

China’s Plastic Waste Epidemic: What You Need to Know

The world produces approximately 300 million tons of plastics each year, and that number is only increasing. Furthermore, 22% to 43% of the plastic used worldwide is disposed of in landfills, according to the United Nations Environmental Program. With the rise in popularity of online ordering and takeaway or delivery services, the future of China's plastic waste — from consumption to disposal…

Read More