Tweed, TerraCycle Reach Cannabis Packaging Recycling Milestone

Tweed Twitter Tweed, TerraCycle Reach Cannabis Packaging Recycling Milestone

Tweed and TerraCycle launched a cannabis packaging recycling program in October 2018 and recently celebrated a significant milestone with the collection of more than 1 million pieces of used cannabis packaging from across Canada⁠—recycling more than 22,000 pounds of plastic containers, tubes and bottles.

"When Tweed launched the partnership with TerraCycle, it was the first recycling program of its kind for cannabis packaging. Reaching this incredible milestone of over 1 million pieces collected in less than one year demonstrates the value of the program," said Mark Zekulin, CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation, Tweed's parent company, in a statement. "We're committed to doubling down on our efforts to expand the program over the next year and bringing in new participants from all across Canada."

"Park benches, picnic tables, playgrounds—these are just a few examples of products that can be created from the recycled cannabis packaging collected through the Tweed | TerraCycle program," said Tom Szaky, CEO and founder of TerraCycle, in a statement. "Through our mission to 'Eliminate the Idea of Waste,' we've proven that solutions do exist for items that may seem difficult to recycle. Together, we can reduce the environmental impact of the cannabis industry and pave the way for a greener future."

Originally launched in select Tweed, Tokyo Smoke and third-party retail stores, the Tweed | TerraCycle program has expanded across the country to now include 280 retail participants.

Below is a tally of the number of pieces collected as of August 31, 2019, broken out by province:

  • Alberta - 407,695
  • New Brunswick - 168,550
  • Ontario - 168,545
  • Newfoundland and Labrador - 163,200
  • Manitoba - 124,850
  • Saskatchewan - 51,900
  • Prince Edward Island - 38,299
  • British Columbia - 23,400

The program not only provides recycling solutions for Tweed-branded cannabis packaging, it also encourages consumers to recycle their empty cannabis packaging from any Canadian licensed producer. The program accepts any and all cannabis packaging, including outer plastic packaging, inner plastic packaging, tins, tubes, plastic bottles, plastic caps and flexible plastic bags.

Consumers are invited to drop off their used cannabis packaging at participating Tweed | Terracycle retail locations. They may also register online for free pre-paid shipping labels to mail in their empty containers for recycling.

New Film Educates Children About Plastic Pollution

Earth's Ekko Facebook New Film Educates Children About Plastic Pollution

Plastic Oceans International, a nonprofit organization working to end global plastic pollution, recently released its new kids film "Earth’s Ekko," a 20-minute educational tool created for educators and parents to engage, inspire and teach children ages 10 and younger to be part of the solution to the global plastic pollution problem. A corresponding "Earth’s Ekko" Education Guide is also available.

"Children are natural problem solvers, and we recognized the need for a tool with optimistic messages to teach and engage kids on our planet’s plastic waste problem," said Julie Andersen, global executive director of Plastic Oceans International, in a statement. "'Earth’s Ekko' fills a void. Very few, if any, plastic pollution films address such a young audience in a positive engaging way. We need people of all ages to be part of the global movement to rethink plastic and protect the Earth."

The film features Ekko, an ocean-dwelling animated character whose species is one of Earth’s oldest-living organisms. With his home being recently disrupted by a human-made material, plastic, he goes on an adventure with three young human friends to learn about the problem and solutions to protect Earth.

Ekko’s name has a dual meaning. It refers to the character’s eco-friendly mission to protect the environment and echoes Earth’s message that human actions have affected and always impact the planet.

The film's tone and constructive messages teach kids to address plastic waste, catering to their creative, open-minded, thoughtful tendencies. Film characters learn the importance of following the "three Rs"—refuse, reuse and recycle. The three Rs generate awareness about the amount of plastic waste people create, what happens once plastic is disposed of and the significance of solving the problem.

  • Refuse to use single-use plastic products.
  • Reuse products instead of throwing plastic away.
  • Recycle items rather than disposing of plastic that hurts the environment.

While it is well known plastic pollution exists, there is a lack of awareness about the problem’s severity and optimistic understanding about being part of the solution. Plastic Oceans’ goal is to make successful problem solvers out of children by using positive messaging.

Watch the full film below.

Beverage Companies Join Forces to Launch Recycling Initiative

Recycler Abandons Tonnes of Plastics at Australia Warehouse

Some of America’s leading beverage companies⁠—The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) and PepsiCo⁠—announced the launch of the Every Bottle Back initiative, a breakthrough effort to reduce the industry’s use of new plastic by making significant investments to improve the collection of the industry’s valuable plastic bottles so they can be made into new bottles. These competitors are joining forces to support the circular plastics economy by reinforcing to consumers the value of their 100 percent recyclable plastic bottles and caps and ensuring they don’t end up as waste in oceans, rivers or landfills.

This program is being executed in conjunction with two of the country’s most prominent environmental nonprofits and the leading investment firm focused on the development of the circular economy. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will provide strategic scientific advice to help measure the industry’s progress in reducing its plastic footprint, and The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners will assist in deploying funds for the initiative.

“Our industry recognizes the serious need to reduce new plastic in our environment, and we want to do our part to lead with innovative solutions,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association (ABA), in a statement. “Our bottles are designed to be remade, and that is why this program is so important. We are excited to partner with the leading environmental and recycling organizations to build a circular system for the production, use, recovery and remaking of our bottles. Every Bottle Back will ensure that our plastic bottles are recovered after use and remade into new bottles, so we can reduce the amount of new plastic used to bring our beverages to market. This is an important step for our industry, and it builds on our ongoing commitment to protecting the environment for generations to come.”

The Every Bottle Back initiative, spearheaded by ABA, will:

  1. Measure industry progress in reducing the use of new plastic in the United States through a collaboration with ReSource: Plastic, WWF’s corporate activation hub to help companies turn their ambitious plastic waste commitments into meaningful and measurable progress by rethinking the way plastic material is produced, used and recycled. Specifically, ABA will use the ReSource: Plastic accounting methodology to track the collective progress made on executing strategies to reduce the use of new plastic as well as a resource in identifying additional interventions.
  2. Improve the quality and availability of recycled plastic in key regions of the country by directing the equivalent of $400 million to The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners through a new $100 million industry fund that will be matched three-to-one by other grants and investors. The investments will be used to improve sorting, processing and collection in areas with the biggest infrastructure gaps to help increase the amount of recycled plastic available to be remade into beverage bottles.
  3. Launch a public awareness campaign to help consumers understand the value of 100 percent recyclable bottles through community outreach and partner engagement and reinforce the importance of getting these bottles back, so they can be remade into new bottles. According to a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of ABA, nearly half of consumers were unaware that America’s leading beverage companies are already making bottles that are 100 percent recyclable, including the caps.
  4. Work together to leverage packaging to remind consumers that bottles are 100 percent recyclable and can be remade into new bottles. Beverage companies will begin introducing voluntary messaging on packages beginning in late 2020.

“Reaching our goal of No Plastic in Nature by 2030 will only happen if business, governments and the NGO [nongovernmental organizations] community work together to fix a broken plastic material system,” said Sheila Bonini, senior vice president of private sector engagement at WWF, in a statement. “ABA is driving this sense of collaboration within the beverage industry to address one critical piece within this system, which is PET [polyethylene terephthalate] recycling in the U.S. Measured by our ReSource: Plastic footprint tracker, the efforts made through Every Bottle Back will be met with data-driven solutions to ensure that real progress is being made. We hope the ambition raised by this initiative will inspire other industries to follow suit within the broader effort to stop plastic waste pollution.”

“The beverage industry cannot deliver on its promises of sustainable packaging without serious improvements to the current U.S. recycling system,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership, in a statement. “Working in partnership with the beverage industry on its Every Bottle Back initiative will help to improve local recycling and provide Americans with stronger recycling programs for all materials, including plastic bottles. We applaud ABA’s members for launching meaningful, measurable work.”

“The leadership exhibited by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo provides the investment necessary to optimize recycling in these cities and states,” said Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners, in a statement. “This partnership will serve as a model for the effectiveness of industry collaboration in modernizing recycling infrastructure and driving a reduction in the use of virgin plastic.”

The majority of plastic beverage containers in the United States are made from PET, a strong, lightweight and safe plastic approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in food and beverage containers. It is unique, and because of its quality and versatility, recycled PET for years has been in high demand for use in an array of products as varied as clothing, carpets and playground equipment. Through the Every Bottle Back initiative, beverage companies are stepping up efforts to reclaim as much plastic packaging as possible to ensure it is remade into new PET bottles.

These efforts support other sustainability efforts underway by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo.

“We’re proud to come together with our competitors to address the serious issue of plastic waste in our environment,” said Jim Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America, in a statement. “We know we cannot do this alone and, in order to meet our goals and those of our industry, we need to work in partnership to drive collective action to ensure our bottles have second, third and fourth lives through continued recycling and reuse.”

“We have seen the meaningful impact this industry can have when we collaborate, and we are proud to be partnering to reduce our collective use of new plastic, while increasing the recycling and reuse of our 100 percent recyclable bottles,” said Derek Hopkins, chief commercial officer of Keurig Dr Pepper, in a statement. “The Every Bottle Back initiative supports KDP’s top environmental priority to reduce packaging waste, as we work to support a circular economy with strong collective action.” 

“At PepsiCo, we are striving to build a world where plastics need never become waste. We are proud to collaborate with others in the industry and respected partners to advance that vision and to do the hard work needed to educate consumers, enable collections and inspire action to recycle our plastic bottles,” said Kirk Tanner, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages North America, in a statement. “More recycled plastic lessens the need for new plastic.”

Behavior-changing Movement Aims to Improve the U.K.’s Recycling Process

Ignite Facebook Behavior-changing Movement Aims to Improve the U.K.’s Recycling Process

Ignite, a new behavior-changing movement, aims to combat some of the world's biggest challenges through social communities, collective voices and technical solutions. Ignite's first challenge is to improve the U.K.'s recycling process.

At the heart of the issue is that only 14 percent of all plastics ever get reused, leading to the prediction that by 2050, there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish. Current curbside recycling processes are not working and have lulled people into a false sense of security, according to a press release by 3 SIDED CUBE, a tech for good agency.

3 SIDED CUBE believes the solution lies in the creation of a circular plastic economy.

The agency, which has been using technology to solve global challenges for more than 10 years, is the propelling force behind Ignite, which aims to drive retailers and brands to take notice of the challenge and the consumer groundswell of opinion on the issue.

Launched in September, Ignite has more than 50,000 people backing the movement, with thousands joining every day by following the Ignite Facebook and Instagram social media channels. A roadmap of technical tools for the solution-focused consumer will follow, starting with an app to change the way recycling is managed in households.

Today's consumers need to be equipped with more knowledge on recycling to really make a difference, according to 3 SIDED CUBE, which believes that empowering shoppers with the ability to scan receipts and access information on how to recycle used packaging could transform the way people shop and the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and oceans.

The solution revolves around making effective recycling a win-win-win for consumers, retailers and brands.

The key to consumers effectively recycling is educating them how to do it, and then acknowledging when they do, by showing their environmental impact and rewarding shifts toward more sustainable behaviour, stated 3 SIDED CUBE.

Retailers benefit by fulfilling consumer demand and increasing their customer touch points by engaging with them throughout the purchase and recycle lifecycle.

Manufacturers benefit through the reduced cost of packaging and the ability to show consumers and retailers that they are taking responsibility for the packaging they produce.

The app in development will connect brands to the consumer, enabling retailers to collect used packaging when making home deliveries and in-store. Retailers will then be able to return this back to manufacturers who can actually reuse it—encouraging a cycle of plastic reuse and creating tangible accountability.

''The way we currently recycle is a waste of time—the system is broken. The amount of waste we see in landfills and our oceans proves that," said Richard Strachan, managing director of 3 SIDED CUBE, in a statement.

''It's vital for us all to take responsibility for the environmental impact our packaging causes. We have to act now. We need to take action if we are ever going to get packaging back to the manufacturers for reuse," he added. "It needs everyone in the supply chain to work together to make that happen. The process needs to make sure everyone benefits—commercially, practically and environmentally. Ignite aims to show retailers and brands that their consumers want this. The question is, will they pick up the baton?''

E-plastics Continue to Move Through Asian Markets

E-plastics Continue to Move Through Asian Markets

More and more countries are starting to tighten import restrictions on certain materials, resulting in a decrease in prices, a push for higher-quality materials and a shift to new end markets. U.S. e-scrap processors and brokers, however, are still able to move plastics recovered from electronics through Asian markets, though more work is now required, according to a report by Resource Recycling.

From January through August, the largest Asian buyers of e-plastics were Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan, according to the report. And for the past six months, movement in these markets has remained about the same.

Resource Recycling has more: 

Asia remains the destination for many plastics recovered from electronics. But as buyers relocate from China to other countries, prices are down and quality and volume are increasingly critical factors.

Recent years have brought tightening import restrictions in countries that used to buy the bulk of U.S. e-plastics, beginning with China at the start of 2018. Still, U.S. e-scrap processors and brokers say they’re currently able to move the material, though extra work is now required.

“Our labor cost definitely is higher, but in today’s market the plastic recyclers are in a shortage of high-quality, cleaned plastics – we command a better price,” said Jade Lee, president and CEO of Lombard, Ill.-headquartered Supply-Chain Services, Inc., a company that does a significant amount of sorting before shipping e-plastics.  “It’s still not at the level of before China’s ban on importation, but it’s much better than 2017 and 2018.”

Read the full story here.

Recycled Paint Hard to Sell for its Green Benefits

Recycled Paint Hard to Sell for its Green Benefits

Paint recycler Amazon Environmental will recycle 3 to 4 million gallons of paint this year between its four facilities in Minnesota, California and Oklahoma.

Getting the paint is easy—there is an abundance of it, which is mainly sourced from collection programs facilitated by nonprofit PaintCare, which represents paint manufacturers, or from other household paint programs.

The hard part is knowing how to process the material. Then, there are challenges like high cost for this time-consuming work, limited domestic markets and “Big Paint’s” reluctance to embrace and offer recycled paints. As tough has been overcoming overall public perception that recycled paint is inferior to virgin paint.

But if processed properly, it is equal or superior in performance, say recyclers who undergo quality control processes and test their products through third-party labs.

Amazon puts only the better-quality material into feedstocks, which are used to make primer and interior/exterior paint.

“But there are variations in the paint, whether it be in consistency, age viscosity, etc. They all are factors affecting what we can do with paint,” says Marty Bergstedt, president of Amazon Environmental.

The plant operators utilize a spectrophotometer for color consistency, monitor pH for material stability and filter out particles larger than 100 microns for sprayability.

The biggest challenge is dealing with paint that can’t be recycled in an environmentally sound way and other non-latex materials like oil-based paint, paint thinners and driveway sealers that make their way into the stream.

About 40 to 60 percent is good for recycling, with the average incoming container being half full.

Recycled Paint Hard to Sell for its Green Benefits

Acrylatex Coatings & Recycling, based in Azusa, Calif., offers more than 300 colors of recycled paint, mainly earth tones, made for homes and offices.

It’s sorted by color, type, sheen and quality. It’s removed from its original cans, placed into 275-gallon mixing tanks and blended with a large, high-speed mixer. Periodically, the company sends it to third-party labs to ensure quality in areas like color matching, adhesion and coverage.

“We have had our paints tested for performance against the best name brands. Our product tested to be as good in every case and outperformed in some cases,” says Brian Brittain, president and CEO of Acrylatex Coatings & Recycling.

Material that can’t be used to make architectural paints can be used to manufacture other post-consumer products, such as cement additives, decorative ground cover, asphalt slurry and alternative fuels. 

“However, it’s best for the environment if we use paint for its intended purposes and/or create another type of coating from the formula base,” says Brittain.

More than 10 years ago, Acrylatex Coatings processed 40,000 gallons a year. Today, it processes more than 50,000 gallons a month. Revenues in 2018 were $3.2 million, and the company is on track for $3.5 million in 2019, he says.

Labor, rent and insurance are the highest expenses. Raw materials for the processing and packaging run a close second.

“PaintCare, Clean Harbors, Stericycle and Veolia Environmental are key assets to our success. They supply 90 percent of our paints,” says Brittain.

PaintCare alone has collected more than 38 million gallons of paint through year-round drop offs in several states, household hazardous waste events and other programs since 2009, reports Brett Rodgers, PaintCare’s director of communications.

Recycled Paint Hard to Sell for its Green Benefits

Acrylatex Coatings’ retail partners include Habitat for Humanity locations, some small hardware stores and a few domestic paint brokers who buy and resell abroad.

The company works with all paint brands and with average to top-of-the-line grades, as does Amazon.

“Some stores that sell only virgin are not offering that good of a quality, or they are not offering competitive pricing to recycled paint of the same quality. Meanwhile, we sell recycled [paint] at a price point comparable to lower-quality [paint] you would buy in stores. So, it’s a better paint for that price,” says Bergstedt, who says he sells for one-third to one-half the cost of virgin paint sold by major paint manufacturers.

However, he has found that trying to sell the product for its “green” attributes has not worked well. Most consumers are more interested in quality and price. The fact that it’s recyclable tends to be their third interest.

Jamil Jackson, owner of CEO Contracting in Minneapolis, an interior remodeling contractor, uses recycled paint at 70 percent of his clients’ sites.

He likes that recycled paint has minimal odor and applies no differently than BEHR ULTRA, which is about $35 a gallon. Amazon is $17 a gallon, says Jackson, adding the only downfall is limited colors.

He shows clients the difference in price points.

“If they don’t have a color they are set on, they typically opt for recycled [paint]. And I never had a complaint on the quality. Once they’ve tried it, they will typically ask me to use it again,” says Jackson.

Need to Know

San Diego Officials Seek to Expand Miramar Landfill

The CW San Diego Twitter San Diego Officials Seek to Expand Miramar Landfill

San Diego officials have unveiled a proposal to expand the Miramar Landfill upward by 25 feet. According to the L.A. Times, the move comes less than five years after the city adopted a zero waste plan.

The proposal would increase the landfill’s height to 510 feet above sea level from 485 feet above sea level, making the landfill more visible to nearby residents and motorists on Interstate 805 and Route 52.

City officials claim the proposal comes in the wake of China’s decision to ban certain imports from the U.S. According to the L.A. Times, they say China’s implementation of National Sword “is jeopardizing the city’s ability to meet the goals of its zero waste policy, a plan to stop dumping into the landfill by 2040 at the latest.”

Los Angeles Times has more:

San Diego officials say they plan to increase the capacity of the Miramar Landfill by allowing waste to pile up 25 feet higher into the air — a significant policy shift coming less than five years after the city adopted a “zero waste” plan.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced in 2015 that the projected life of the city’s main dump had been extended from 2022 to 2030 thanks to new city recycling policies, trash compaction methods and other innovations.

But recently city officials launched an environmental analysis of the potential impacts of increasing the height of the 1,400-acre dump from 485 feet above sea level now to 510 feet above sea level.

Read the full article here.

Recology Adds Max-AI Technology to Pier 96 Recycling Center

Recology Adds Max-AI Technology to Pier 96 Recycling Center

San Francisco-based Recology has added four Max-AI AQC (autonomous quality control) units and one VIS (visual identification system) to Recycle Central, a 200,000-square-foot materials recovery facility (MRF) the company operates on San Francisco’s Pier 96.

Max-AI technology is supplied by Eugene, Ore.-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS). The AQC units employ a camera-based vision system and artificial intelligence (AI) to identify recyclables and a robot to sort them. The investment aligns with the company’s mission to produce even cleaner bales—and sustain San Francisco’s recycling program.  

One Max-AI AQC unit is in a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) quality control role to remove contamination and capture non-California redemption value PET. The other three monitor the plant’s container line to boost recovery, capturing any remaining PET, high-density polyethylene and mixed plastics. VIS monitors the outbound residue, providing MRF operators with real-time and trending material composition of outbound material, allowing them to gage performance and adjust the system to optimize recovery.

Four robotic sorting machines are learning to identify different types of plastics, remove them from conveyor belts of mixed materials at rapid speed and deposit them into appropriate categories for further sorting. “Automation is the next step toward technological advancement in recycling,” said Maurice Quillen, general manager of Recology San Francisco, in a statement.

“The magic of Recycle Central continues to be people utilizing the latest technology to recycle more materials while producing high-quality bales of sorted recyclables. The robotic sorting machines at Recycle Central will be used to perform some of the dirtier jobs, and employee-owners will be assigned more technical positions, developing new skills needed to manage and maintain high-tech equipment,” added Quillen.

“BHS has a longstanding relationship with Recology as a supplier of MRF systems and equipment,” said BHS Sales Manager Richard Sweet in a statement. “We’re thankful that they chose BHS and Max for this important technology upgrade, which is one that the company’s employees and community stakeholders can be proud of. Max is a new technology that allows for new sorting achievements; by adding four Max units to the Recycle Central MRF, Recology continues to show that it’s a company that truly cares about maximizing quality and recovery.”

Designed and constructed by Recology in partnership with the city of San Francisco, Recycle Central opened in 2002 and serves as key infrastructure in San Francisco’s recycling program, widely recognized as a top program in North America. Recycle Central sorts approximately 750 tons of material every day over two shifts. It is the largest shipper of recycled paper on the West Coast and sends more than 30 shipping containers of recycled commodities six days a week to paper mills, glass plants and other manufacturers that purchase recycled materials to create new products.

Getting to zero waste necessitates creative solutions for resource recovery. The ever-changing plastic packaging industry has created new and evolving obstacles for recovering valuable commodities like paper and cardboard while low-grade plastics, like candy wrappers and chip bags, still make their way to landfill. Recology's investments in robotic sorting, machine learning and other innovative technologies provide critical opportunities for development of domestic recycling infrastructure. Other strategies for achieving zero waste will include policies like single-use plastic bans and recycled content mandates.

Need to Know

NYC Sanitation Committee Moves Commercial Waste Bill to Full Council

Antonio Reynoso Twitter Image Antonio-Reynoso-Twitter-Image.jpg

In a 6-2 vote on October 29, New York City Council’s Sanitation Committee approved legislation that would divide the city into at least 20 commercial waste zones with up to three private haulers to serve each zone.

Earlier this month, the City Council announced amended legislation negotiated with the Transform Don’t Trash NYC coalition to overhaul the commercial sanitation industry through commercial waste zones. Council Member Antonio Reynoso, chairman of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste, had pointed out that the latest version of the bill includes several key changes from the original bill unveiled earlier this year.

Back in May, Reynoso introduced his version of a bill to create a citywide commercial waste zoning system that would authorize the city to create a commercial waste zone system that would divide the city into at least 20 zones with each zone serviced by one carter. This was much different than the plan initially unveiled in 2018 by the City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY), which stated the city would be divided into 20 zones, each served by three to five carters selected through a competitive process.

Under the latest bill, private carters will need to meet baseline standards to be eligible for a zone and their proposals will be judged based on their plans to improve safety, recycling, pollution and job quality. The revised bill caps the number of private carters in any zone at three.

According to the New York Post, the bill appears to have more than enough support to be approved during the October 30 council meeting. However, Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn), one of the committee members who voted against the plan, was among 11 council members who fired off a letter Monday to Reynoso and DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia demanding they delay action on the legislation so the public can have time to weigh in on the revisions, reports the Post.

“Today’s City Council vote (on Intro 1574-A)—without a single public hearing—insures that ‘private carter’ will be replaced by ‘DSNY Franchisee’ as the city takes over full responsibility for the commercial waste system, which handles 12,000 tons of waste, recyclables and organics every night,” according to a statement released by Kendall Christiansen, executive director for New Yorkers for Responsible Waste Management. “We are more than disappointed that this misguided law will destroy dozens of local companies, many with 50 years or more of service, and displace hundreds of workers (mostly people of color, and many second-chance, making good money for hard and thankless work). Just like when Los Angeles eliminated competition as the basis for this essential service, no choice, price increases and declining service will become very real to New York’s businesses and industries, with questionable environmental benefits.”

New York Post has more:

A City Council committee on Tuesday green-lighted a controversial Mayor de Blasio-backed bill that will overhaul the commercial waste-collection industry in New York.

The legislation, approved 6-2 by the Sanitation Committee, would divide the city into at least 20 zones with up to three private carters selected through a bidding process to serve each zone.

The bill appears to have more than enough support to be approved at Wednesday’s council meeting.

Read the full article here.

Need to Know

Baltimore Lawmakers Move Forward with Plastic Bag Ban

Baltimore Lawmakers Move Forward with Plastic Bag Ban

A Baltimore City Council committee advanced a plastic bag ban proposal that would also require retailers to charge 5 cents for paper bags. The bill is scheduled for a preliminary vote from the full council on November 4, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The ban would not apply to bags used to hold fresh fish, meat or produce, newspapers, dry cleaning or prescription drugs. But it otherwise would apply to all sales at grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, gas stations or “other sales outlet[s],” The Sun notes.

Earlier this month, the City Council amended its proposed ban on plastic bags by reducing the threshold to 2.25 mils from 4 mils. But lawmakers have since removed that provision exempting some thicker bags.

The Baltimore Sun has more information:

A Baltimore City Council committee advanced a proposal Monday to ban retailers from giving shoppers plastic bags in most cases and requiring them to charge a nickel for any other type of bag, including paper.

Settling debates that had slowed the legislative process since the council began considering the bill this summer, the lawmakers removed a provision exempting some thicker plastic bags from the ban and decided that 4 cents of the fee on each bag would go back to retailers.

Previously, the ban was set to apply only to thinnest of plastic bags — those 2.25 thousandths of an inch or thinner like the typical grocery store bag — and the fee gave retailers only a penny for each paper bag they handed out.

Read the full article here.