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More than 200K plastic bottles dumped in UCF Reflecting Pond

The University of Central Florida had over 200,000 plastic bottles dumped into their reflecting pond to raise awareness about our impact on the environment. This event was called Reflect on Sustainability and was created by the IDEAS for UCF and the UCF Student Government. Many students were shocked and some thought it was a prank. As you can see in the video, these students are taking a bolder approach to raise awareness and it seems to be working. Of course, after the demonstration, the bottles will be removed and recycled. To view the full video and article, click the link below.

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/jon-busdeker/os-plastic-bottles-ucf-pond-post.html

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Plastic Bag Bans

Plastic Bag Bans

Many municipalities in California have started a popular wave of plastic bag bans and it could be catching on in Ohio. Mayor Michael Coleman introduced a 5 year sustainability plan for the city of Columbus that includes a consideration on banning or at least creating a surcharge for plastic bags in the city. Kris Keller, a Clintonville Area Commission District 8 Representative, has introduced the idea to prohibit many large retailers from using plastic bags, or at least charging for them to reduce the use. This would exclude small businesses, however. According to the Mayor’s 5 year plan, if 5,600 people commit to using reusable shopping bags, assuming each person uses two bags per week, together they will have avoided the waste of 1,164,800 plastic bags in just one year. In similar news, the Arizona Senate has passed the vote for disallowing individual Arizona municipalities to place bans on plastic bags and bottles. It is currently awaiting the signature of the Governor. If this is signed, it will be the first statewide law keeping municipalities from putting bans on plastic bags. The problem with these bags for curbside recycling pickups is that many materials recovery facilities have said that they can jam up equipment and interfere with operations. This leaves most residents throwing the bags in the trash, ultimately ended up in a landfill where it will not biodegrade for 20 to 1000 years.

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Keurig Green Mountain begins to take steps in the right direction

Keurig Green Mountain begins to take steps in the right direction

The last article we posted about the Keurig cups has a bit of an update. Keurig Green Mountain has just released a new product called a K-Mug, which is essentially a travel mug that has a larger pod. This K-Mug pod is ‘recyclable’ according to the company. It is made up of #5 plastic and can be separated from the lid and filter for recycling. According to Keurig Green Mountain, their Vue and K-Carafe pods are also now recyclable, leaving the original K-cups out of the loop. Keurig is taking the right steps to reach their goal of making all of their pods recyclable by 2020, but releasing a new product that features a recyclable pod doesn’t quite have the same impact as changing the K-cups to be recyclable. There are still billions of K-cups going into the trash every single day. It is the hopes of many that Keurig will make all of their cups recyclable before their 2020 goal deadline.

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Recycling Interest Groups Take On Keurig Green Mountain

Recycling Interest Groups Take On Keurig Green Mountain

As an electronics recycler, we see our fair share of plastics that need to be recycled, like computer cases and household appliances. One type of plastic that many people use is the Keurig K-cups and unfortunately they are not readily recyclable. It says on their website that they aren’t and that they are currently working on the problem. They expect to have a solution by 2020, 5 years from now. Most people find this answer to be unacceptable, including the creator of the design, John Sylvan. He has approached the company several times with solutions to this problem and his ideas have been rejected. He actually regrets coming up with one of the most popular coffee brewing designs because of the impact on the environment.

According to several sources, many companies that have tried to fix the problem on their own are actually being sued by Keurig Green Mountain. One company has actually created a plastic clip for the single serve brewer that allows for outside single serve cups; ones that are recyclable. According to this company, the impact of the non recyclable K-cups in nearly unfathomable. “Lined up, end to end, the 9.8 billion 2-inch pods sold by Keurig in 2014 alone would encircle the equator 12.4 times, according to Murray Carpenter, author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us. The estimated 35.6 billion pods sold by Keurig since 2007 (Green Mountain Coffee purchased coffee-maker Keurig in 2006) would encircle the globe more than 45 times.”

Those numbers are quite shocking, especially for such a short timeline, and are only expected to increase. Most homes and offices have this type of appliance and every single day these cups are ending up in the trash. While Keurig is looking into a compostable option for its cups, most cities lack the infrastructure in their municipalities to make a big difference. They also have the brew your own style cup where you can fill it with whatever coffee or tea grounds you like. The problem is, most people still buy the K-cups because they can just throw them away when they are done instead of washing out the custom brew container. Many third party companies are now spreading the word on the environmental impact in an effort to help the environment and are doing what they can to come up with solutions.

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