Apple Will Start Phasing Out Plastic Bags This Month

Buying an Apple product is almost as symbolic as the illuminated apple located on the back of your device, with the whole experience of walking out the store reminding you of that new gadget feel before you’ve even opened the box. Part of this experience is the bag you get the new product in, a plastic bag emblazoned with the Apple logo. This part of your experience may be changing with Apple looking to phase out plastic bags later this month.

Revealed by 9to5Mac, a note sent to employees reveals plans for the bags to be replaced by paper bags. The new paper bags will be made with 80 percent recycled materials, a move intended to further Apple’s goal of leaving the world “better than we found it”.

The change will start on the 15th April, with stores looking to use up their plastic bags as soon as they can. Much like when you go shopping customers are now also going to be asked if they want a bag and being given the choice between medium and large sizes, both of these actions look to help reduce the number of bags used and the amount of material given away in the form of bags.

If this wasn’t enough, people who are looking to recycle their iOS devices will get a new “Apple Renew” card, a gift card made out of recycled paper.

With Apple already running their facilities on renewable energy and now using recyclable materials for their stores, leaving the world better than we found it is a step closer to being a reality.

Adidas Creating 3D-Printed Shoes From Old Plastic

We are constantly reminded about the world around us and sometimes our impact on it for the worse. Companies and countries alike are looking for ways to create a better world by first reducing our impact on it, from solar energy to recycling companies are looking at new and amazing ways to help improve the world. Adidas is looking to use recycling to help not only save the planet but also give you some new footwear.

Made from some of the ocean plastics and gillnets, the wall of netting that you typically use to catch fish, the new pair of trainers aren’t just looking at using old materials. Futurecraft 3D is the name given to Adidas’s 3D printing technology exploration, meaning instead of crafting your shoes they will instead be printed to your requirements.

While no release date has been set for the shoes making it to the public market, can you imagine what this could mean? Are your feet odd sizes? How about that toe that always seems to dig into the side of any shoe you wear? Custom shoes, using recycled components meaning its better for the environment and quicker, you could even walk into a shoe store and custom order a pair which they print while you have your lunch.

Epson Create First In-Office Recycling System

So you’re in the office and you print off several pages for a meeting or a project, once you’re done with them though you find the green bin and place them in the recycling. Weeks and weeks later that paper is being recycled and used in something else. Soon though you could find it all happening from inside the walls of your office.

Epson is best known for making printers, but this printer is a little different. Instead of taking those memes or cute kitty pictures you like so much, after putting in some of your used paper, within minutes, this printer will return you perfectly white paper ready for use.

By breaking down the input paper into the fibres that make it up before building them up into sheets, either A4 or A3 and with varying thickness and density settings, while making recovering the original document is pretty much impossible. Want some thicker paper for business cards? Why not something light for quick notes in an office? All made from last weeks paper, no problem.

The current printing rate is about 14 A4 sheets per minute, meaning in an eight-hour day you will create around  6,720 sheets of A4 paper all from the stuff you no longer want to use. By reducing the amount of water required the PaperLab is said to use a “dry process”, meaning a little water can create a large amount of paper rather than having to have the system build into the plumbing like more traditional recycling machines.

Europe Mismanages Disposal Of Discarded Electronics

A ticking timebomb is in the form of the correct way to dispose electronic waste, the globe is producing unit upon unit of the latest gadget which in turn pumps chemicals and materials into these devices. The turnaround from purchase to waste is even shorter than ever and protocols need to be implemented with the aim of recycling, which decreases the environmental impact on the plant as possible.

Unfortunately, A European Union Funded project in conjunction with Interpol, the United Nations University, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, the WEEE Forum, the Cross Border Research Association, Zanasi and Partners and Compliance and Risks has found rather poor statistics.

They have found in Europe, “just 35% (3.3 million tonnes of 9.5 million tonnes) of used (but still functioning) and waste electronics and electrical equipment discarded by companies and consumers in 2012 wound up in official collection and recycling systems”. What happened to 6.2 million tonnes? It’s not like companies made it disappear, (reads more information) OK it is like companies made it disappear as the rest of the waste was “either exported, recycled under non-compliant conditions or simply thrown in waste bins”.

Responsible manufacturing and consumers who buy these electronics need to bear in mind disposal when throwing away items. The raw materials are toxic, think chlorofluorocarbons in fridges or Benzene and n-hexane which are chemicals thought to cause cancer and nerve damage, not such a problem? These chemicals have been used in the production of Apple products up until 2014.

Of course, as this report illustrates, an unknown but damaging factor is the criminal gangs who thrive off the illegal waste supply chain in some countries. Disposal of electronic waste is essential considering the amount which is being manufactured with the ratio increasing year on year, hopefully, more can be achieved in this area to decrease humans carbon footprint on the earth.

Thank you economictimes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of open-electronics

Where Your PC Goes When It Becomes Obsolete

Once upon a time each Personal Computer had a price point which was both prohibitively expensive and was also the domain of a relatively small selection of people, who in turn kept their machines for years. These days the time is relatively short from manufacture to scrapping of each individual PC. It’s mind-blowing to contemplate the extent of materials which would need to have been used for each run of a particular model, for it to be only then thrown out within a period of 1 – 3 years by the end consumer.

But what happens when PC’s are obsolete? Well below is a selection of images that illustrate the scale.

This first image is of a photo of three large green electronic waste bins which was snapped by a resident of San Francisco by the name of “Ariel” As you can see; there is both a wide selection and the potential for any model to be in there. I wonder if each individual remembered to securely erase their documents.

This next image is of a wall of old CRT monitors and was taken in 2014, by EnMin Ser who snapped this thought-provoking black-and-white photo while touring a junkyard in Malaysia. The destination of these screens is somewhat unknown considering the structure of recycling in Malaysia.

Now this image is the problem which is all too often the case, a photographer by the name of “Anna Vignet” stumbled across this scene in San Francisco in 2008. These computer towers were dumped behind a local school and were left exposed to the elements. which could have caused all types of chemicals to leak onto the streets. This somewhat annoys me considering the local authority should have put in place protocols to deal with such types of waste.

Where do less reputable companies dump old and broken PC’s? Yep, the third world as this picture illustrates and was taken by a photo product entitled iGarbage by an Italian non Profit organization. This toxic waste is shipped to places for example Ghana where it is sold for residents to harvest the raw materials without any protection; the end outcome is the waste poisons the residents. All in the name of the mighty Pound, Dollar and Euro, etc.

It just goes to show the scale of throwable PC’s in today’s expendable society, if you’re in need of upgrading and decide to throw away your PC. Check with local authorities for possible recycling centres, or indeed pass your unwanted PC to a friend or relative in need of one. Make sure you securely erase your files as you don’t want your aunty to find your selfies in a folder entitled “work”

Thank You to PC Mag and The Daily Mail for providing us with this information

Android Trade-in Program Launches Today at Apple Retail Stores

Today Apple is launching a trade-in program for select non-iPhone smartphones at its Apple Retail Store locations. The program will allow credit towards an immediate purchase of a new iPhone model for users who trade in their select Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry phones.

Apple is aiming to drive more business from people who will trade in their current working devices to get something better. The standard Apple iPhone trade-in program was first started in 2013 and last year opened up to include iPads. Now the program is accepting select Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry devices for in-store credit to users immediately buying an iPhone. The program is so far only available in the US, France, Italy, and the UK.  You can check if your store has the program on its individual store page. The online Apple Reuse and Recycling Program is now open for users to trade in a Windows notebook or desktop for an Apple Store gift card.

Source: 9to5 Mac

Designer Creates Disposable Smartphone Batteries

A designer has created disposable smartphone batteries, described as a “vitamin for your smartphone”.

The small, cardboard encased batteries, allow you to get a little emergency energy boost when you need it. They come in 2 hour, 4 hour and 6 hour sizes, and are designed to be tossed away and recycled when you’re done with them.

Tsung Chih-Hsien, who won a prestigious Red Dot Design award for his creation, says that the batteries could be sold at convenience stores in perforated sheets, allowing you to tear off a battery when you need one.

We’ve seen a host of different back-up and additional batteries for smartphones – with the most famous perhaps being the Mophie Juice Pack. That product is rechargeable, but does require you to practically wrap it around your phone and costs quite a bit too.

The design of these batteries however allows you to keep charged up as and when you need it, and they should only cost just a bit more than your average Duracell batteries.

Source: FastCoDesign


First ‘Poo Bus’ Gets to Work in Bristol

A bus entirely powered by human and food waste has gone into service.

The waste is converted into bio-methane gas through a process called anaerobic digestion, with gas being able to propel the ‘Bio Bus’ for up to 186 miles. The Bath Bus Company, the people behind the new bus, estimate that their new bus will ferry 10,000 people between Bristol Airport and Bath city centre.

Mohammed Saddiq, General manager of GENeco, the organisation the creates the gas, told the BBC:

“Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself.”

Now I’m sure we’ve all travelled on some smelly buses, but let’s hope there’s never a fuel leak on this one, because I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to get a bus smellier than a leaking ‘poo bus’.

Source: BBC News


Recycle For Rewards With Snazzy Special New Vending Machine From Envirobank

The City of Sydney is dabbling with a new vending machine from Envirobank, with the unit described as a “reverse vending machine,” providing rewards when visitors recycle plastic and glass bottles, or cans.

Visitors can receive two-for-one food truck vouchers, donate 10 cents per container to a non-profit group, or enter a drawing to win two tickets to a New Year’s Eve Festival.  Each machine can hold around 2,000 recyclables before needing to be emptied.

The vending machines are currently being tested in Sydney, Australia, and three of the machines filled up with 6,000 recyclables before being publicly introduced.  There were 10,000 bottles and cans collected at two separate vending machines in just three days, according to city officials, promoting their effectiveness.

Here is what Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said regarding the new vending machines:

“Container deposit schemes significantly increase recycling, reduce waste and protect wildlife and the environment from plastic pollution.  We’re taking what action we can to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, but will continue to lobby state and federal governments for reform on this issue.”

These types of recycle machines have found success in select EU nations, as governments try to boost green initiatives – and help clean up the community.

Thank you to Science Alert for providing us with this information

image courtesy of the City of Sydney

Earth Day 2013: April 22 How to help

Earth Day is a very special day, even though you might not think about it. Earth Day has been celebrated every year on April 22 since 1970. Some celebrate this special holiday for only the day, some celebrate for a whole week, while others have made it their lifestyle. This beautiful Monday I want you to take a minute to read this article, and then think about life, and our planet. Our beautiful planet Earth.

Why do we celebrate Earth Day?

We celebrate Earth Day to remind everyone of how they impact our Earth, with the goal of informing everyone on how to be more Green conscious.

Though some groups might fight against organizations that hurt our Earth, oil companies, factories and power plants. Other groups focus more on ground toxins such as sewage, toxic dumps, and pesticides. While others fight to protect wildlife and the wilderness.

I feel Earth Day is here more as a reminder that we need to work together to protect our Earth every way that we can. And so I am doing my part to inform you, our readers that there are things you can do to help keep Mother Earth healthy.

How can you celebrate earth day?

Just dimming your lights, or turning off a light that is not in use helps, change out appliances that are not energy efficient, even changing your light bulbs out for newer LED bulbs, recycle your E-Waste products. Find out how you can help even more at The Earth Day Network.

There are lots of ways that we can celebrate, from buying more energy efficient products, to recycling, to picking up trash.

One of the largest organizations, TerraCycle had the idea to eliminate waste and has been working with people from around the world for 12 years. They help you to recycle those oddball items you might have just thrown away. They recycle some electronics as well such as old cellular phones, keyboards, and mice.

TerraCycle is also available in 14 countries in Europe.

You can find out how your can help and find out if terracycle is working with your country by clicking here.

If you’re from the United States:
If you’re from the United Kingdoms: