Refuse to Resource: Suntory’s Bottle-to-Bottle Initiative to Reshape Plastic Recycling

Japan, like many industrialized nations, faces a garbage crisis. For years it shipped countless used plastic to China, the main global destination for recyclable materials. However, these exports included a substantial quantity of plastic contaminated by food and other waste that heavily impacted the local environment and health of workers charged with sorting the trash. Looking to curb pollution at home, China in 2017 decided to halt all waste-plastic imports. The move caught Japan by surprise and sent it scrambling to find alternative destinations for its waste in regions like Southeast Asia. However, wary of becoming the new dumping grounds for first-world garbage, countries such as Malaysia and the Philippines have followed China’s lead and vowed to turn away shipments of plastic waste. Prior to the ban, Japan sent around 1.5 million tons of plastic, around a sixth of the 9 million tons it generates annually, to China and Southeast Asia. In 2018 this shrank to 1 million tons, leaving Japanese authorities to find domestic sites to process and store the waste. Without mitigating measures, Japan’s predicament will only worsen. In May of this year, the government joined with oth...

BREWSTER, NY — Putnam County will hold a Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day for residents on

BREWSTER, NY — Putnam County will hold a Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day for residents on Saturday. It’s free, but pre-registration is required. Items accepted include household products that can typically be purchased in a hardware, grocery or big box store, including cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, oil-based paint (not latex), solvents, thinners, mothballs, rodent poisons, gasoline, kerosene and small propane tanks (up to 20 pound size). For a more complete list of acceptable items, see “Special Wastes” under “Recycling” on the Green Putnam webpage. Items not accepted include: water-based paints (latex/acrylic paints can be discarded by routine means, after they have been dried out), used motor oil, lead-acid batteries, plastic bags, household alkaline batteries, tires, or electronic waste. Disposal items must be labeled and identifiable to be accepted. Items packed into garbage or lawn bags will not be accepted. The Putnam County Department of Health and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are co-sponsoring the free event from 9 am to 12 noon (rain or shine) at Fahnestock State Park, Canopus Beach Parking Lot o...