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…

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Ocean Plastic & China’s Affluence, Markets for Sustainability & Leadership | #AskTheCollective 002

As we wrap up the start of February, we are proud to present Episode 002 of the #AskTheCollective video series. This episode features topics ranging from ocean plastic and the influence of affluence in China, to the link between sustainability and a market-driven economy. Many thanks to askers: Wade Sewell, allaways coffee, and Mario Van Der Meulen. As always, we hope you find these questions a…

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[NEW WEBSERIES] #AskTheCollective: Episode 001

As a way to engage with you, our audience, we are happy to announce that Episode 001 of the #AskTheCollective video series is now live! This episode features topics ranging from food waste in China to the reality of China's pledge to become an "ecological civilization". Special thanks to our askers: Travis Opocensky, Hunter Lovins, John Dennis Liu, Ariel Muller, and Rob Waston. #AskTheCollectiv…

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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…

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China’s Waste Collectors: A Profile of Mr. Lu

“Most people can make money from this. It’s pretty normal for waste collectors and people on tricycles to have over a couple million dollars in their bank accounts.”  — Mr. Lu, Manager at a large waste collection center Where is he from? Wenzhou, Zhejiang province What does he do? Mr. Lu is one of Shanghai’s most unique entrepreneurs. Like many large business owners, he has tracked commodi…

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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…

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Taking on Takeaway Waste: The Tupperware Challenge

Where does your lunchtime waste go? Unfortunately, ‘landfill’ often answers this question. When consumers like us increasingly rely on plastic-wrapped takeaways to satisfy our lunchtime cravings after a morning's hard work, we contribute to a spreading, damaging plastic waste epidemic – especially here in China. A quick takeaway or delivery is a staple of workday lunches across the world,…

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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 disp…

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Rebranding Waste: Refuse is a Resource

Smelly. Useless. Truck. Bin Man. Trash. Annoying. These are all words that popped into people’s heads when asked what they first thought upon hearing the word "waste". A quick Google search reveals other phrases like “worthless”, “no purpose”, “no longer useful or required”, “the unusable remains”. While I don't deny the legitimacy of the definition, it is striking to me how many items and pr…

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Zero Waste: Green Initiatives Forum Tackles the Big Questions

Yesterday, Green Initiatives sponsored a Zero Waste forum featuring Collective Responsibility’s Research Manager, William Morris. Alizée Buysschaert, Will Morris, and Antoine Moussali encouraged participants to embrace a zero waste lifestyle and look at innovative trends in waste reduction. Green Initiatives Director and event host Nitin Dani opened the event with two simple questions: “How ma…

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