China’s Plastic Ban and Getting Beyond Beach Cleanups | AskTheCollective 025

With China’s recent “plastic ban”, the recent National Geographic Magazine cover, and reports of brands banning straws, the story of plastic is one that is becoming more widely understood in China, and it is the focus this episode of AsktheCollective where I answer the questions of one viewer who would like to know more about China's recent plastic ban, what other regulations are coming, and when…

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We Are Hiring!

To accomplish the mission and goals that we have set for ourselves, for our clients, and for the community, we are constantly on the look out for  people with the passion and tools to solve big environmental, economic, and social challenges, and this month we are specifically looking for: Business Development Director Sustainability Analyst If you seen an opening that excites you, and t…

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Unspoken Crisis: Mounting Textile Waste in China

With an exploding urban population and a rising middle-class, China is rapidly increasing material use and consumption. Alongside its burgeoning economy is a proliferation of consumer waste. While most debates are around the wastage of food or packaging materials like plastic and paper, little attention is paid to the old clothes that people clean out of their wardrobes. Chinese dump roughly 26…

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Does Corporate Social Responsibility Give A License to Do Bad? | AskTheCollective 024

In this episode I answer a question about whether or not I think corporate social responsibility (CSR) gives companies license to do bad. It is a question with roots in the recent Freakonomics Podcast Does Doing Good Give You License to Be Bad?  () and the rebuttal by Chris Jarvis on the Engage for Good Podcast Does Doing Good with CSR Really Give Companies, Employees License to be Bad? As…

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Chinese Healthcare Trends: Rising Hospital Privatization

A significant trend in the current and future trajectory of Chinese healthcare is the increasing privatization of medical hospitals and clinics. This development is driven by both consumer desires for a more patient-centered experience and government initiatives that aim to distribute the burden of care from public hospitals. Despite the rapid expansion of private options, several barriers prevent…

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Sustainability Ambassador Appreciation Reception

Yesterday, we were excited to host our second Shanghai Sustainable Ambassador Appreciation Reception. An event to celebrate the work of sustainability professionals and business leaders who are looking to drive sustainability through their business, participants had a chance to network and share ideas over relaxed drinks and delicious hors-d’œuvres. The guests were a group of passionate and…

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Hacking Chemical Safety of Consumer Products!

The unprecedented speed at which science and technology are advancing has resulted on the development of numerous household chemicals that have slowly become indispensable to people. On the long term, the unsafe use, storage, and disposal of these chemicals may pose a threat to human and animal health. In fact, places like China have seen a rising number of hospitalizations of thousands of childre…

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Chinese Healthcare: Challenges & Opportunities

With big corporations including Tencent and Alibaba already investing heavily in the healthcare industry, there is a lot of speculation as to what the future of healthcare will look like, and also how corporations, startup companies, investors, physicians, and hospitals will collaborate in this space. Some Context China has undergone concerted development over the last two decades to improve hea…

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Ask The Collective: Rebooted!

Apologies for the absence, but after 6 months away, we are relaunching the Ask The Collective Series. The goal of this series remains no different than when we launched it: to help answer your questions about sustainability in China (and now Asia), and we are hoping that you will find some time to re-engage with us, let us know what is on your mind, and given us the chance to help you move your…

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Why a Western Model of Recycling Won’t Work for China

China’s recent waste import ban has led to increased conversations globally on the topic of waste management. In China, one conversation that comes up in particular, among the general public and Chinese government alike, is the need to have a better system of household waste categorization for the millions of residents that live in Shanghai. The call is for a sorting system that is more aligned to…

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Shanghai Food Packaging Guidelines Announced

Last week, as part of a continued process to address the growing waste problem that China’s urban waste systems are facing, the Shanghai government announced a new regulation focused on reducing food packaging waste. A problem that has grown with changes in urban lifestyles, which are often convenience focused, the soaring food delivery industry brings huge amounts of plastic packaging into the…

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China to Expand Waste Import Ban

While many western cities and firms are scrambling to find solutions and workarounds for the mountains of waste plastic, unsorted paper, textile, and slag that can no longer be sent to China, the Chinese government just doubled down on January's waste ban with an announcement that over the next 18 months there will be an additional three stages to the existing ban. It is an announcement that ha…

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China’s Electric Vehicle Boom Brings a Wave of Battery Waste

The amount of retired EV (electric vehicle) batteries will grow at an unprecedented rate in China. Recycling them will bring twofold benefits – reducing the consumption of raw materials for producing new batteries and minimizing potential environmental and health hazards caused by the mismanagement of battery waste. – Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (中国工业和信息化部专家) With hundred…

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Interview: Inside the Inclusion Factory

Be it a physical or intellectual challenge, China today is home to more than 80 million individuals living with a disability, many of whom do not have the right to work and have a job. The exclusion of such a large number of people from traditional work is a challenge that the government has already taken up through the development of a quota system and tax breaks for employers who hire more inclu…

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Event Report: Building a Socially Minded Business

With more than 85,000,000 people living with some form of a disability in China, only 9,000,000 of these individuals are “working.” Therefore, we decided to focus this month’s evening forum on the opportunities for socially minded entrepreneurs to create solutions to problems related to the challenges and stigmas that this segment of the population faces. Believing in the power of entrepreneurs…

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