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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Urban Planning for Tomorrow: The Future of Food Waste, Building, & Flight

Our populations are exploding. Our needs are expanding. Development of new products and services advances at a rapid clip by the day. Now, we need our urban planning and sector innovation to keep up. How do we move the world forward by reducing waste and emissions in our food supply, construction projects, and even our flights around the globe? We at Collective hosted a series of Beyond Busi…

Read More

China’s E-Waste Cities Polluted and Left Behind

This article is in continuation of our previous blog post on the state of e-waste management in China. In our previous article, we highlighted a disconnect between China’s formal and informal recycling channels, as well as areas of potential growth for both e-waste innovators and Chinese officials: If the Chinese government wants to encourage a more dominant formal recycling system, it will…

Read More

China’s E-Waste Problem Far From Resolved

On August 26, Collective Responsibility released a blog post about innovative e-waste processors. We highlighted the Japanese Olympic Committee and its use of old cell-phones and tech to create Olympic medals, as well as TES-AMM Shanghai, which accepts and processes e-waste. On a larger scale, a few industry leaders have gone the extra mile to improve East Asia’s formal recycling processes. Hua…

Read More

Sustainable Product Design – Nudging for Change

What is the best design? How do you create the perfect product? How do you engage your audience and generate user uptake? These are questions that all entrepreneurs, companies, and organizations ask themselves when conceptualizing new products or services. It is the ability to tap into the fundamental motivation of consumers that dictates whether or not a product “works”, and for some it remain…

Read More

One Person’s Waste Is Another’s Gold Medal

iPad to Gold? ThinkPad to Silver? Huawei to Bronze? That is the hope of the Japanese Olympic committee, taking waste electronics and transforming them into one of sports ultimate prizes. The country has long been a leader in the area of material recovery with advanced extended producer responsibility policies and an early focus on engaging consumers in collection schemes. As an island with l…

Read More

Off the Books: Informal Recycling in China

Resting at the forefront of nearly any discussion relating to the future of China’s rapidly developing economy is its rising urban population, with over 1 billion residents living in China’s cities by 2030. Since China has already established itself as the world’s largest waste-generator, rising levels of output due to increasing levels of affluence, consumption, and population stimulate many ques…

Read More

Sustainable Design for the Future

The world that surrounds us – the signs that direct us, the smartphone pages we flick through, the way we use buildings, how we move around cities – is consciously or unconsciously designed. This design has a great impact on the use and sustainable credentials of our products and systems. In fact, 80% of the environmental impacts of the products we use daily are determined in the very early stag…

Read More

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…

Read More

China’s Food Waste Challenge

The impact from the sheer level of food waste in China is felt economically, environmentally, and politically: Economically, because farmers and consumers in effect pay for the waste as middlemen, processors, brands, and retailers are able to protect their margins more effectively. Environmentally, as, for every unit of food wasted, China’s precious water resources are wasted while at the…

Read More

China’s E-Waste Challenge

In this post, we continue our insight into the areas of the consumer waste framework in China. Last week we addressed the packaging industry and here we focus on the developing e-waste stream.  By 2020, about 60% of the population in China will live in cities, with 300 million additional residents expected to move into China’s urban centers by 2030. With this population shift comes a dramatic c…

Read More

Packaging Waste – 5 opportunities for sustainable development

On Monday, we addressed the rise of China’s consumer waste industry. One stream outlined was packaging, an area of waste that is facing challenges along its supply chain. Here we delve deeper into the topic outlining the challenges and opportunities. Synonymous with consumer goods, packaging represents a particular waste stream that, given greater affluence and purchasing power, will grow. Pack…

Read More

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…

Read More

Failed Systems Create Waste

While shopping at my local grocery store this week, I was confronted by a member of TESCO's staff who would not accept naked fruit. Everything had to be bagged to be weighed. When I mentioned the fact that he wasn't thinking about the environment, he said: "only foreigners care about the environment." It was one of many failed systems. One that Ray Anderson, former CEO of Interface flooring,…

Read More