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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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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Forget Carbon, Water is China’s Biggest Worry

Following the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, COP21 supporters seem optimistic about China’s emissions. The U.S. and China agreed to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement, and sent a strong signal to other countries about their commitment to reform. Under the agreement, China must reach three concrete goals by 2030: 1) reduce carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% (compared 2005 levels); 2) reach its pea…

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5 Key Actions to Engaging Local Stakeholders

On Wednesday I attended Plasticity forum in Shanghai, an event hosted by Doug Woodring that focuses on the plastics industry bringing together professional, experts and stakeholders from around the globe to promote and discuss the future of plastics and its progressive management. Despite a host of interesting talks I wanted to share with you the theme of a conversation that I had with the seni…

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Plastic Waste In China

In continuation of our consumer waste series, we examine the challenges faced in the area of plastic waste production and management.  China has a big history with plastic. Throughout its rise to economic prominence, China has manufactured and exported a huge amount of plastic products to eventually become the world’s largest plastic producer in 2013. More recently, China's domestic consumption…

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China’s Growing Consumer Waste Challenge

High material use and consumption is synonymous with the development of an economy, particularly an evolving one such as China, which over the last 20 years has focused heavily on the primary and secondary industries to drive growth. However, China’s economy is now changing from one of heavy industry to one that is looking to meet the wants of its ever-increasing domestic consumers. But what ha…

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Resource Sustainability in China

This week,  we kicked off the Beyond Business as Usual luncheon series of the year by hosting a discussion focused on resources, and the need for firms to look across their industry's value chain, align it to the China context, and create sustainable mindsets for how they will plan for, and use, resources as they deliver their products and services going forward. To help bring tangibility t…

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Are China’s Cities Headed for a Water Crisis?

Serious water crisis due to never-ending drought struck São Paulo and, consequently, the city faces a massive problem to quench its 20 million citizens’ thirst. Similar situations are affecting cities around the world, including many Chinese cities. For nearly half a century, the capacity and number of rivers in China have decreased significantly, with a 50% reduction due to diversion of water for…

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Poyang Lake Pays the Price for China’s Progress

  While there are those who feel that China's economy has no limits, I would like to direct your attention to yet another example of where China's economy is outstripping the basic laws of environmental carrying capacity. Poyang lake, located in North Jiangxi province is perhaps one of the largest lakes that you have never heard of, and it is likely that it will be lost. At only 5% of its…

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The Problem With Endless Supplies of Resources is That They Don’t Really Exist

The other day, while making my way home I caught a glimpse of Toray's desalination advertisement. It was one of those moments that at first I was not sure what I was looking, or the greater meaning, until the very end where the advert cuts out with the ocean in the background and makes reference to it being an "endless resource". A message supported by on their website where they say the…

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