Rabu, 27 Oktober 2010

Facts About Plastic Bottles

* Americans buy an estimated 29.8 billion plastic water bottles every year.
* Nearly eight out of every 10 bottles will end up in a landfill.
* It is estimated that the production of plastics accounts for 4 percent of the energy consumption in the U.S.
* HDPE and PET bottles showed the highest recycling rates of any plastic bottles types, at 27.1 and 23.1 percent, respectively.
* Less than 1 percent of all plastics is recycled. Therefore, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill.
* Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours.
* Recycled plastic bottles can be made into products such as clothing, carpeting, detergent bottles and lumber for outdoor decking.
* More than 80 percent of U.S. households have access to a plastics recycling program through curbside or community drop-off centers.
* Producing new plastic products from recycled materials uses two-thirds less energy than required to make products from raw (virgin) materials. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: http://earth911.com/recycling/plastic/plastic-bottles/facts-about-plastic-bottles/

Kamis, 14 Oktober 2010

Did you know?

Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment. Did you know that:

* 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
* 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
* 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
* 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.

Some Interesting Facts

* Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
* The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
* The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.
* On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
* As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.
* Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.
* 9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.

Source: http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/recycle.html

Kamis, 07 Oktober 2010

How far has Singapore gone with waste management?

Singapore has gone very far in waste management. Now, they are aiming at zero waste.
Pls check this site:

As usual, the campaign is carried out in Singaporean style --systematic and integrated.

When Indonesia will start this initiative?

Video on Plastic Waste Management in Bangalore, India

A Video on Plastic Waste Management in Bangalore, India

Courtesy of Youtube

Minggu, 03 Oktober 2010

Indonesia Waste Group Champions Biodegradable Plastic Bags

A worker has her lunch at during a break from sorting plastic cups to be recycled at a collection point in Jakarta. (Photo: AP)

JAKARTA — The ubiquitous plastic bag has long been decried as an environmental hazard because of the centuries it takes to break down, but a waste watchdog says alternatives are available that are much more green friendly.

“Plastic requires hundreds of years to biodegrade, which makes biodegradable plastic a good choice to stem the use of plastic,” Sri Bebassari, chairwoman of the Indonesian Solid Waste Association (InSWA), said on Wednesday.

“[Biodegradable plastic] only needs two years to degrade, and it’s safe for the environment.”
Sri said recycled plastic bags were not a viable option for addressing the problem of plastic waste because of the lack of standards in Indonesia for the recycling industry.

“People have complained that the recycled bags have a bad odor. There are also concerns the bags are toxic because the recycling process isn’t clean,” she said.

That is why InSWA has turned its attention to a new technology that allows plastic bags to biodegrade in a relatively short time through oxidation.

Last year, the association awarded a Green Label to Oxium, an additive that speeds up the breakdown of plastics. The additive was developed by Tirta Marta, an Indonesian packaging manufacturer.

“We began developing this compound eight years ago, and started introducing it into the market last year,” Sugianto Tandio, president director of Tirta Marta, said on Wednesday.

“By adding 10 percent Oxium into a plastic bag, it can, through a process of heat and oxidation, degrade within 24 months.”

He said these “oxo-biodegradable bags” had since been adopted by major retailers such as Carrefour, Alfamart, Indomaret, Superindo and Hero.

“Almost 90 percent of their shopping bags now use Oxium, but we haven’t entered traditional markets yet because there are too many plastic producers there,” he said. He added that the company was also developing biodegradable plastic containers for food.

But Sugianto said that of the estimated three million tons of plastic bags currently in circulation around the country, only 35,000 tons contained Oxium.

“There’s still a long way to go, but with the participation of these large retailers, we’re making good progress,” he said.

One of Sugianto’s main concerns, though, is the increasing number of imitators falsely branding their regular bags with the Oxium logo.

“That’s why certification is very important, not just to set standards but also to ensure that producers don’t engage in greenwashing,” he said, referring to the practice of companies using deceptive marketing to promote their so-called green credentials.

“We should build on the 2008 Waste Management Law as a legal basis to set up a certification mechanism and prevent this greenwashing,” he said.

In 2008, Indonesians generated 5.4 million tons of plastic waste, far more than the 3.6 million tons of paper waste produced during the same period, according to the State Ministry for the Environment.

The ministry also says plastic use is increasing by between 10 percent and 13 percent a year.
A study in the United States has shown that a family of four typically goes through 1,460 plastic bags every year. A similar study by InSWA showed Indonesians generated on average 0.5 kilograms of waste a day, 13 percent of which was plastic.

“One hundred percent of people all over the world produce waste, but less than 1 percent really care about managing it or learning how to,” Sri said.

“In Indonesia, waste issues are still far from the public attention, including the aspects of managing, reducing, reusing and recycling. We don’t even have accurate data or research on waste.”

She said the 2008 Waste Management Law provided a sound legal basis for dealing with waste, but the government still needed to issue regulations to implement the law, which the Environment Ministry has pledged to do by the end of the year.

The planned regulations would also address producers’ responsibilities for dealing with their waste.
“From a legal aspect, we already have the law, so it’s just a matter of the government implementing it,” Sri said.

“However, there are four other aspects of waste management: which institutions will deal with it, where the funding will come from, the sociocultural impact and the technology. It must be made clear which institutions are responsible for managing the waste, because the weak link in addressing the issue has always been the lack of data or concise reports.”

By: Fidelis E. Satriastanti, The Jakarta Globe, 2 September 2010
URL: http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=19357

Sabtu, 02 Oktober 2010

Transforming Waste Plastic into an Alternative Fuel

Student researchers at Northeastern University have designed an apparatus to convert plastic waste into clean energy while minimizing the release of harmful emissions. 

Under the leadership of Yiannis Levendis, distinguished professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, a team of undergraduate and graduate engineering students developed a waste combustor, which breaks down non-biodegradable plastics to create an alternative source of fuel.

Their prototype was featured at the fifth annual MIT Energy Conference this past March. The team worked for nine months on the research, which, for the undergraduates, was their senior capstone project.

Self-sustainability is the key to the double-tank combustor design. Plastic waste is first processed in an upper tank through pyrolysis, which converts solid plastic into gas. Next, the gas flows to a lower tank, where it is burned with oxidants to generate heat and steam. The heat sustains the combustor while the steam can be used to generate electric power.

“The prototype can be scaled up to drive a large power plant, which could connect to a plastic recycling center for a constant flow of fuel,” said David Laskowski, an undergraduate student working on the team.

Levendis, who has pursued research on the combustion of plastics and other post-consumer wastes for the past 20 years, is currently focusing on the concept of vaporizing solid plastic waste, which would reduce levels of harmful emissions during the combustion process.

“The inspiration behind my research is the quest to develop clean, cost-efficient power sources in the face of dwindling fossil fuel reserves,” Levendis said. “It will also help get rid of unsightly, non-biodegradable plastic waste that cannot be recycled.”

According to Laskowski, calculations show that the new technology has the potential of replacing up to 462 million gallons of petroleum in the United States alone, if all recycled plastics were to be processed.

“We are currently consuming highly-priced conventional premium fuels (to produce electricity). The fuel developed using this system will lower the cost of electricity for future generations,” Levendis said.

The team members included Jeff Young, Shane McElroy, Jason Lee, David Laskowski, David Garufi, and Paul Conroy, all senior undergraduate students; and Brendan Hall and Chuanwei Zhuo, who are graduate students.

With the success of their prototype, Hall and Zhuo plan to continue working with Levendis on further development of the project.

Written by: Teresa Cheong, Northeastern Universit, 3 June 2010
URL: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2010/06/transforming-waste-plastic-into-an-alternative-fuel

Jumat, 01 Oktober 2010

Wirausahawan Sampah Plastik

Awalnya Baharuddin Sanian tengah mencari kemungkinan kerabatnya yang hilang atau meninggal akibat gempa dan gelombang tsunami. Sesampai di Banda Aceh, di antara ribuan mayat korban bencana dahsyat itu, ia termangu melihat tumpukan sampah berbagai jenis, dari besi hingga plastik.

Saat sampah mulai dibersihkan, Baharuddin heran. Tak banyak orang mau memunguti sampah plastik. Pemulung tak banyak yang mau mengambil sampah plastik. ”Mungkin karena nilainya rendah, sampah plastik tak banyak yang mengambil. Berbeda dengan besi yang harganya mahal kalau dijual kembali,” katanya.

Timbul niat Baharuddin untuk ikut membersihkan sampah plastik karena sadar plastik tak mudah terurai. Ia lalu belajar kepada pemulung bagaimana memanfaatkan sampah plastik. Dia berkenalan dengan Dardak, agen pemulung di Banda Aceh. Dari Dardak ia tahu, sampah plastik hanya dimanfaatkan ala kadarnya. Pemulung di Aceh menggolongkan sampah plastik dalam dua jenis, atom plastik dan cong atau samsam.

Atom plastik berupa bekas kemasan air berbentuk gelas, kursi plastik, hingga bekas ember. Adapun cong atau samsam merupakan campuran berbagai sampah plastik. Penggolongan yang sederhana itu membuat nilai sampah plastik saat dijual ke agen atau pengepul sangat murah.

Baharuddin yang penasaran dengan sampah plastik mencoba mencari tahu lewat internet. Dia kemudian tahu, sampah plastik, seperti halnya ketika masih berupa bahan jadi plastik, terdiri dari berbagai jenis. Sampah plastik pun dibedakan sesuai senyawa kimia pembentuknya. ”Di internet saya tahu, sampah plastik secara garis besar ada tujuh jenis.”

Tujuh jenis itu adalah PET (polyethylene therephthalate) yang biasanya berupa botol air mineral; HDPE (high density polyethylene) berupa botol oli, kosmetik hingga keresek; PVC (polyvinyl chloride) berupa pipa dan bahan konstruksi; LDP (low density polyethylene) berupa tutup botol air kemasan galon; PP (polypropylene) berupa kemasan air dalam gelas hingga peralatan makan; PS (polystyrene) biasanya styrofoam; dan HIPC (high impact plastic cover) untuk perangkat elektronik.

Harga tiap jenis sampah plastik itu berbeda-beda. Sayang, lanjut Baharuddin, pemulung tak tahu jenis-jenis sampah plastik karena mereka menggolongkannya secara sederhana. Dia mencontohkan, satu bekas kemasan botol air minum terdiri dari empat jenis plastik. ”Botolnya itu PET, labelnya PP, tutupnya HDPE, dan segelnya PVC.”

Jika pemulung memilah keempat jenis plastik dalam satu botol kemasan air minum, maka mereka bakal mendapatkan uang lebih saat menjualnya ke agen. Umumnya pemulung tak pernah memilahnya. Akibatnya, agen menyamaratakan harga beli.

”Bekas gelas air minum kemasan kalau sudah dibersihkan dari penutupnya harganya bisa Rp 6.500 per kilogram. Kalau penutupnya dibersihkan seadanya, paling dihargai Rp 4.500,” ujar Baharuddin.

Harga bekas kemasan gelas plastik air minum yang dibersihkan penutupnya bisa mahal karena seluruhnya terdiri dari PP. Sebagai insinyur teknik mesin, ia berinovasi menciptakan mesin yang dapat membersihkan penutup kemasan air minuman dalam gelas plastik.

”Kami menyebutnya PP bening. Bila dicacah dan dijadikan bijih plastik, bisa untuk bahan pembuat kantong plastik berkualitas tinggi. Ini membuat bekas gelas plastik air minum menjadi mahal. Kalau gelas plastiknya tak bersih, masih ada sisa penutupnya, maka kualitas bijih plastiknya jelek,” katanya.

Mendirikan PPRF
Baharuddin pun berniat membagi pengetahuannya kepada pemulung meskipun oleh teman dekat dan keluarga ia dianggap ”gila”. Sudah enak bekerja di Exxon, malah sibuk mengurus pemulung. Lima bulan setelah bencana tsunami di Aceh, Mei 2005, ia mendirikan yayasan, Palapa Plastic Recycle Foundation (PPRF) di Lhokseumawe.

Dibantu Dardak, PPRF menjadi semacam agen atau pengepul sampah plastik. Dardak meminta anak buahnya menjual sampah plastik ke PPRF. Para pemulung lalu diajarkan memilah berbagai jenis sampah plastik sesuai dengan senyawa kimianya.

PPRF juga membeli sampah plastik lebih mahal dibanding agen pemulung lain di Lhokseumawe karena pemulung telah memilah berbagai jenis sampah sesuai senyawa kimianya.

Ini membuat banyak pemulung menjual sampah plastik ke PPRF. Ia juga belajar, kebanyakan agen pengumpul di Aceh mengirim rongsokan plastik ke Medan tanpa dicacah atau di-grinding sehingga kendaraan pengangkut tak bisa memuat banyak sampah plastik. Lewat internet, ia mengenal seorang pengusaha pencacahan sampah plastik di Bekasi. Dia lalu membeli mesin pencacah sampah plastiknya.

Selain menjadi tempat penampungan sampah plastik para pemulung di Lhokseumawe, PPRF mempekerjakan masyarakat sekitar tempat penampungan di Panggoi, Lhokseumawe, untuk memilah sampah plastik. 

”Pemulung memilah secara kasar, pekerja di penampungan memilah lebih detail.”
Kini, sekitar 100 pemulung menjual sampah plastik ke PPRF. Kegiatan PPRF pun menarik lembaga swadaya masyarakat (LSM) internasional yang beroperasi di Aceh. Mereka menilai PPRF membantu memberdayakan masyarakat miskin di Aceh.

”Ada anggapan di Aceh ini, pekerjaan pemulung itu ’rendahan’ sehingga tak banyak yang mau. Padahal kalau tahu potensinya, pemulung juga bisa menghidupi keluarga dengan layak,” kata Baharuddin.

Juni 2006, LSM asal Belanda, PUM Nederland, memberi bantuan mesin grinding berkapasitas 50 ton per bulan. Bantuan ini sebagian hibah, sekitar 30 persen sisanya pinjaman lunak selama lima tahun. Pada 2007, LSM lain dari Belanda membantu PPRF mendirikan 20 rumah bagi pemulung di sekitar lokasi pabrik pencacahan sampah plastik.

Upayanya memberdayakan pemulung dengan PPRF membuat dia dinilai sebagai social entrepreneur. Tahun 2007, Auscare dan UNDP memberi hibah PPRF Rp 1,6 miliar untuk membangun pabrik pencacahan sampah plastik di Banda Aceh.

Sayang, upaya Baharuddin belum dihargai pemerintah daerah. Saat menawarkan program penanganan sampah anorganik di Lhokseumawe, pemerintah daerah malah minta bantuan pengadaan tong sampah ke PPRF.

Satu mimpi Baharuddin yang belum terwujud adalah mendirikan pabrik pengolahan sampah plastik menjadi barang jadi.

”Pabrik untuk mengolah sampah plastik yang telah berupa bijih menjadi barang jadi, seperti kantong keresek hingga tali rafia. Selama ini sampah plastik dari Aceh dibawa ke Medan, diolah menjadi barang jadi, lalu dikirim lagi ke Aceh,” katanya.

Source: KOMPAS, 6 July 2010, URL: http://www1.kompas.com/read/xml/2010/07/06/10570249/wirausahawan.sampah.plastik..