First assignment of group n° 063
Resources used by the team
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RECYCLING YOUR HABITS------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. What Problem do you want to solve ?
WHAT ARE THE FACTS?
How to sort your domestic waste today in France? This sound easy to answer but many people do not know.
If we take the example of the city of Lille and its metropolis, we have 4 different garbage for suburban area (552 people) : One green for the organic waste, one red for everything that can be recycle and one grey for the rest (note that in other French cities, colours can be different. For urban cities (so 540.000 habitants) there are 2 different bags: one for Recyclable waste and one for the rest. A truck comes every fixed day to harvest it.
France is quiet late on this topic, comparing to its European neighbours.
The politic about sorting waste has been judged disastrous and very costly in France (regarding a study of UFC Que choisir): Disastrous both economically and environmentally. (the cost of waste treatment increased by 68 % from 9.3 to € 15.6 billion per year ; yet only 23 % of household waste is recycled (except compost)…)
87% of French people declare to sort their domestic waste regularly, but only 44% of them do it everyday.
The main problem? LACK OF INFORMATION. French people do know what sorting waste means, but they do not have any information about HOW to do it everyday, at home.
Young people and people who live in the city are today the “bad student” in term of sorting their domestic waste.
Not enough information, no facilities, not enough infrastructures: these are today the main problems in term of sorting waste in France.
ARE THERE DATAS PER CITIES?
- Key figures in France :
In 2013, each French sorted on average 46.3 kg of household packaging. Result: 3.2 million tons were recycled, representing a recycling rate of 67%, unchanged for several years. 87% of the French sort their waste, but only 44% of them do it in a systematic way.
Percentage of French who sort their waste systematically according to their habitat and socio-demographic profile. Eco- Emballages.
The type of habitat is also taken into account. Indeed, we are sorting twice in the countryside than the city, where the lack of space penalizes the presence of recycling bins.
According to an Ipsos survey, 53% of French would be encouraged to sort more if they were sure that the package is then recycled and 87% would like to have the sorting instructions on all packaging.
Recycling performance is heterogeneous in France. The map below, realised by Eco- Emballages shows the different recycling rates by regions. We can notice that Ile-de-France, Haute Normandie and PACA are late compared to other regions
- Key figures by person type :
A survey, conducted by Eco-Emballages, shows that the young sort less than their elders: 36% of high school students and 37% of students separate glass, plastic and other paper garbage for recycling, against 44% for the parents with children in a home and 55% for French aged 50-64 years. Furthermore, 18% of French people aged 15-24 years do not sort their household waste, against 13% for the national average.
DOWNCYCLING AND UPCYCLING THEORIES
Now that we analysed the situation about recycling in France we are going to see how recycling works. There is two types of recycling: dowcycling and upcycling.
Downcycling is the process to convert the original product into a new one with a lesser quality and reduced functionality than the original. For exemple we can downcycle clean white printer paper into newspaper or paper towels. Paper pulp can actually be recycled 6 time before the fibers become too weak to be reused. Even after that, those fibers can still be composted.
Another example is pure glace or aluminium that can actually be used and reused indefinitely as we just need melt them down and reformed them without any loss of quality.
Unfortunately, materials like plastic can only be reused a certain number of time before they got too degraded. Another problem is that recycling plastic will often require extra treatments that most of the time is really expensive.
Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new ones with a better quality or higher environmental value. It means transforming “trash to treasure”.
The idea is to say that there is no such thing as garbage; every part of a waste material has value. For example you can find bags or umbrella made of candy packaging. With his new book “The Upcycle: Beyond Cradle to Cradle” William McDonough wants people to recycle to the infinite and explain how it is actually possible.
Before this book, McDonough wrote in 2002 “Cradle to Cradle” which is a concept that allows for zero waste in the production of a product. It means that every “cradle to cradle” product can be recycle or reuses with no loss of quality.
Products must have 3 characteristics to be considered cradle to cradle • Safe for animals • Must be completely used in the biosphere • Able to be disassembled quickly and easily
From those two theories, upcycling is certainly the best one. It means that we could reuse wastes already existing to infinite and stop creating more. But in our actual society this thought is still utopia. To achieve McDonough goals in a global scale it will have lot of work to do and new technology to develop.
2. Why does this problem exist?
WHY ARE PEOPLE RECYCLING OR NOT?
Generation after generation the lifestyle of people has been defined by excessive consumption. Nowadays, they have begun to understand the consequences of their act on the environment and on the planet. Millions of people have taken steps to try to alter their behaviour. They try to replace the paradigm “of consume, waste, throw away and forget, with one based on living within limits, following natural rhythms and understanding how our behaviors affect others”.
But today, effective and efficient solutions are still not used or simply found. So why is the change happening so slowly, and why these concepts are not considered by all as “common sense” and “imperative”?
Here, five relevant insights regarding why people not do recycling:
1. Recycling is inconvenient
Inconvenience seems to be the biggest reason why people don’t recycle. The need to take recyclables to another location seems to be a good enough reason not to do it. The simple fact is people can’t be bothered to take the time out to recycle: it can be confusing and frustrating for many to do not know the types of materials and plastics appropriated to recycling.
2. No Incentive (motivation?)
People aren’t compelled to recycle because they receive no direct monetary gain from it, so why should they do it? Some regions pay for selective recycling of some plastics, glass or paper, but still many don’t penalize or motivate for recycling.
Sometimes people see “going green” only as a fad and consequently the environment, the pollution, the over fishing and farming, all aspects concerning the global warming are put at the bottom of their priority list. The sad fact is that some people just won’t make the effort to walk to a separate bin other than the trash can. They forget that their children and grandchildren will have to pay the price for our refusal to “get on the bandwagon.”
4. Misinformation about Recycling
It’s hard to imagine but there are still some people who believe that Earth’s resources are endlessly abundant. The fact is that many people are not aware of the growing landfill waste problem and diminishing natural resources. Even for those who know the problem they continue to believe that their efforts will do not make a difference. Some of them have difficulties to determine which type of plastics go where, so people get just confuse and therefore avoid the process of sorting. Are we ready to let our planet become a garbage just because it is hard to do recycling?
5. The problem of space
The lack of space is an issue for many. People don’t want to see garbage and with little storage space for recycling bins, the trash is an eyesore.
Fortunately there are also people who consider the recycling as a real issue. They highlight some reasons to convince their colleagues of the benefits for our lifestyle, our planet and us. First they all agree that recycling saves energy, allow creating less pollution and using less water. The manufacturers don’t have to produce something new from raw natural resources. Could you imagine the saving on energy consumption by using recycled materials? In addition the use of those material means companies take them somewhere. So it reduces the need for more landfills. No more destruction of the habitats for animals and a better protection of the wildlife. Paper recycling alone allow the saving of millions trees.
On a general aspect, it is even possible to reduce the amount of unhealthy greenhouse gas omissions by recycling. The production of carbon will considerably decrease.
A last but not least important point is the social conditioning. It has been proved that social pressure is a powerful stuff to make people act. Adding to convenience and information they would be the biggest drivers to recycling.
The Ten Green Segments are:
- Eco-evangelists (people most likely to support ‘green’ causes and who believe in the power of consumer action to make a difference to climate change)
- Convinced consumers
- Green but doubtful
- Confused but well-behaved
- Doing their best
- Sceptical libertarians
- Too busy to change
- Why should I bother?
- Constrained by price
- Wasteful and unconvinced (people who have no interest in changing lifestyles and are more wasteful as a result).
WHAT DOMESTIC WASTE CAN WE RECYCLE?
• Organic waste
• Electronic waste
What we find in organic waste?
Organic waste is all waste that can be degraded by microorganisms.
• Animal Products: blood, meat, milk, ...
• Vegetables and leftover food
• Garden waste: cut grass, pruning waste ...
• Sludge from the wastewater recycling process
Why recycle organic waste?
The organic waste is 30% of waste from the French, as well as most of the waste from the Food Industry. These wastes are present in large quantities, and recycling can reduce the volumes handled by conventional incineration sector. In addition, this waste can pose several problems if not properly managed:
• A risk to public health
• Odorous nuisance to neighbours
• If exposed to rain, this waste can pollute groundwater or soil damage. Finally, an economic argument: The “île de France” produced 3846 tonnes of compost a year, which relate to it (30 € per tonne) 115 000 euros per year! Source: ADEME 2007
How it works ? Green waste are sent to special centers where rapid manual sorting is trying to remove non-degradable items such as stones, glass, etc. From there, green waste can follow two distinct pathways: anaerobic digestion or industrial composting.
Why recycle glass?
Sustainable development section Recycle Glass is one of the most eco-friendly gestures simple and efficient as we can do. Indeed, the glass takes 3 or 4 thousand years to decompose in nature, and glass create "new" from recycled glass consumes much less energy: a ton of recycled glass saves ½ tonne of CO2. Glass recycling rate was 58.7% in France in 2010, slightly below the European standard (60%) and far behind the German recycling rate (70%). Progress has been made - and 67% of Europeans would recycle their glass in 2009 it is still an important step to be taken in order not to see energy loss.
About glass Glass is 100% recyclable and infinite, it is inert and preserves the original taste of the products it contains. Packaging is essential for the protection of the food and drinks and to preserve their purity.
Recycle glass, how it works? When the glass is recycled, it is sorted first by the consumer. But beware, despite all the good intentions of the citizen, it is necessary again to sort the collected glass. In fact, every type of waste "glass" are not recyclable. Do not recycle: All dishes "glass" which is actually a transparent ceramic which melts at a much higher temperature. Pieces of broken windows, broken mirrors, light bulbs, microwave trays neon lights are not welcome.
What is found in electronic waste?
These are all devices using electrical energy (mains or batteries). Many devices are concerned: appliances, computers, tools (drills, ...), gardening (sizes-hedges), telephony, air conditioning, etc. Electronic waste contains a variety of components: mainly plastic, but also heavy metals (mercury and lead) or precious (gold, palladium) in small quantities. We can revalorize or recyclers equipment One and the other are not inconsistent: sometimes units are upgraded, and recycled scraps. Repackaging is: repair and sell computers, fridges, etc. that no longer suit their owners or are repairable.
What we find in the scrap metal? The metal must be extracted in mines, and it is a generally polluting operation. Recycling prevents further environmental damage mining. The reuse of metals is also welcome when we know the state of known reserves of minerals:
• 40 years of copper reserves at the current rate of extraction
• 17 tin reserves
• The situation is better for iron (440 years) or aluminium (220 years). Metal recycling also saves energy, because the treatment of ore involve the use of strong electric currents to separate the metal from the oxygen it contains. In addition, a bobbin sets 50 (sometimes 100 or more reads) to decompose. The recycling avoids letting rust anywhere.
Metal recycling process: After collection and transportation, ferrous metals are sorted between species (attracted to magnets; steel and iron) and nonferrous (all other metals: copper, precious metals, aluminium ...). The metals are then re-sorted more accurately. The most commonly recycled metals are aluminium and steel, but any metal can be recycled indefinitely, 100%, and without losing their properties. Metals are ground and then rolled to be cleaned before they are melted in furnaces at 1600 ° C. The metal is then repackaged in coils or bars.
19.2% is the plastics recycling rate We recycle less than 20% of the plastic in France in 2012: the remaining 3.3 million tonnes, ends in landfills! France is ranked 21 th place European despite some progress (the recycling rate was 17.5% in 2000). But at the current pace, it would take between 20 and 40 years to reach 100% plastic recycling in France.
Only two types of plastics are recycled: PET, which is transparent or colored bottles PeHD, which is opaque bottles (milk or laundry). Other plastics such as PVC or the super market bags are not recycled because it costs too much. Instead, they are burned in incinerators to produce energy.
Why recycle plastic? First, because the plastic puts between 100 and 1,000 years to degrade in nature. This may have consequences for the flora and fauna. And also to save money: recycling a ton of PET bottles saves 830 litters of oil.
What we find in the paper? The paper is not made directly from trees, but mostly from byproduct of sawmills. These chips can be treated in two ways, mechanical or chemical and heat to extract the cellulose, the main component of the paper. The pulp is then extracted and chemically bleached - a fairly clean operation - dried and packaged in the desired shape. Paper can make other colors than white
Why recycle paper? First, to save resources. According to WWF, the production of recycled paper consumes: 6 times less water 2 times less energy And generates 25 times less chemical waste Recycling also reduces waste volumes to be processed, and created more jobs than landfilling or incineration, for example 1 ton of recycled paper, is also 3-5 tonnes of wood saved as much volumes that are not incinerated or landfilled. According Ecofolio, eco-agency responsible for funding the collection and sorting paper, the benefits of paper recycling to the environment are 3 times less energy 3 times less water and up to 30% less CO2 than the production of wood-based paper.
Why recycle batteries? Batteries and accumulators contain heavy metals (mercury, zinc, lead, cadmium) in large quantities. These heavy metals are known to be hazardous to health and the environment: a mercury battery thrown in nature enough to contaminate 1m3 of land and 1,000 m3 of water for 50 years! Because of the hazardous heavy metals, public health is also affected by this pollution. Mercury poisoning are possible by inhalation or ingestion. Eating contaminated animals by mercury poisoning is a vector. This metal has been known since antiquity to cause neurological disorders: tremors, slurred speech ... Other heavy metals have equally frightening effects on the nervous system, blood and kidneys.
3. WHAT BREAKTROUGH ARE YOU COMMITTED TO CREATE?
We are committed to encourage people recycling more their domestical wastes by creating new process in their habits. In doing so, we would tackle theses problems:
1. No consciousness about the benefit of sorting the different kind of wastes.
2. Missing communication from the government, the industry and the people.
3. Being aware of our impact from the purchase to the donate garbage.
4. No community or social media fostering the posture « eco-responsible ».
5. No sorting of waste in bags/trash
6. No benefit from the consumer to recycle except for his own consciousness and paradigm. It should have a financial or social benefit to mobilize as many people as possible. This is especially true for student, family and poor people. It can appear as a waste of time and space and also as a constraint.
We will have to reconcile individual happiness and collective by changing the way of thinking so that people will have a better footprint in the world. Indeed is it a fate that industry and consumption damage the environment? Understanding that we have to change this model: doing business thanks to the environment to impact the society. Why not begin from our environment to do business in order to protect our earth, health and happiness?
Thus our goal will be to:
1. Democratize the sorting of waste in theory (by the communication, social media and application) and empirically (by tool).
2. Give financial and social benefit by recycling.
Potential experts already identified
1. Lille, 3ème ADJOINT : Lise DALEUX
Adjointe déléguée à la Nature en ville - Espaces verts - Politique de l’eau - Biodiversité - Apiculture urbaine - Parc zoologique - Ferme pédagogique
Groupe Europe Ecologie Les Verts
Contact : Lille city-hall
2. Lille durable
The section of sustainable development in Lille, where we can have some informations, and ask questions : http://www.lille.fr/cms/accueil/lille-durable
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Maison régionale de l’environnement et des solidarités, réseau associatif du nord-pas-de-calais
It helps associations to develop, and it has an important regional network.
Contact : 03.20.52.12.02
23 rue Gosselet - 59000 LILLE
4. L’association E.D.A. (Environnement et Développement Alternatif)
It is one of the assocation of the MRES. It deals with sustainable development.
Waste’s section: déchets : http://www.eda-lille.org/spip.php?rubrique16
Contact : 03.20.52.12.02
23, rue Gosselet 59000 LILLE
5. La DREAL : regional department connected to « Ministère de l’Écologie, du Développement durable et de l’Énergie (MEDDE) »
It sets up projects of the State connected to the sustainable development
Contact : 03.20.13.48.48
44 rue de Tournai – LILLE
6. Cécile LOCHARD
She is the founder of the company CITIZEN LUXURY, specialized in philanthropy, luxury and sustainable development
Contact : https://www.facebook.com/cecile.lochard
7. Institut d'Enseignement Supérieur, de Recherche et d'Expertise spécialisé dans l'Agriculture, l'Agroalimentaire l'Environnement et le Paysage.
We would like to contact some students of this school in order to answer them questions and have technical vocabulary.
8. UFC Que choisir ?
We can find some studies, and articles about our project and send mails to ask questions and have more informations.
9. ADEME (Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maitrise de l'Energie)
It is an industrial and commercial public establishment, and it is connected to the ministry of ecology. It gives advice about waste, energy…
Contact : 03.27.95.89.70
Centre tertiaire de l'Arsenal 20 r du Prieuré, 59500 DOUAI