New York City, USA has banned styrofoam

stryofoam-103

The administration of New York City, USA has provided environmental leadership banning single use Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) also known as Styrofoam, including loose fill   ‘peanuts’ used for packing, beginning on 1 July 2015, but a concession, a six month grace period, will be granted so the law and fines will be effective from 1 January 2016.

It will save about 30,000 tonnes, normally sent to landfill, which is a staggering saving. Here is the link: http://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/016-15/de-blasio-administration-bans-single-use-styrofoam-products-new-york-city-beginning-july-1-2015

Will Hong Kong follow the NYC lead?

Landfill Mercury

I took this photograph on the street, a pile of waste sitting outside one of the many skyscrapers in Central (Hong Kong) waiting collection.  These exhausted fluorescent lighting tubes pictured will soon contribute mercury, mercury compounds, and waste glass into Hong Kong’s already burgeoning landfill.

Whilst there is a system in Hong Kong for safe disposal in bulk, it is only available for the largest buildings and or occupiers, and not the SME’s which make up 98% of Hong Kong employers. They have no option except to dispose of defunct lighting tubes through the municipal waste collection system.

It is a sad indictment of the waste management system to note that part of Hong Kong’s green country park in Clearwater bay had to be excised to provide more landfill space, without any plan, or strategy to encourage waste separation at source and maximising recycling. Landfill is simply not sustainable.

– John A. Herbert, Consultant, Kelcroft E&M Limited