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Tagged : disposables


Plastic in your lunch box? We will make this one exception

August 28th, 2013

Give plastic an inch and it seems to take a mile. Look how it’s insinuated itself into the school year shopping. It coats binders and notebook covers, encases pens, glue and tape and bags our sandwiches. The only trouble is much of this plastic is headed for the landfill right away. Still, we found this one cool plastic item to be irresistible.

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Plastic: When forever isn’t a good thing

April 13th, 2012

On a visit to the orthodontist a few months ago with my daughter, I was reminded of the thousands of tiny “disposable” toothbrushes that fly into the trash every day in dental offices across the globe.
OK, so this isn’t an oil spill. Stay with me for a minute. It’s a tip of the iceberg thing.

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What’s in your bathroom?

January 25th, 2012

By Barbara Kessler Green Right Now With so much political rhetoric flying by this winter, it was good to see some real news emerge today. Cascades Tissue Group announced it will continue selling its newly developed 100-percent recycled, unbleached toilet paper to commercial vendors, and maybe someday, the public. Finally, we’re making headway on disposables; [...]

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The big heresy: Asking customers to use less of your product

February 15th, 2011

I recently attended an Executive Sustainability Summit hosted by Xerox, Waste Management (WM), and Arizona State University. The short conference brought together public and private sector managers working on environmental and social issues. Xerox asked me to attend and give my thoughts on what I heard and saw*.

What really struck me is that both Xerox and Waste Management are doing something mostly unheard of: they’re working with customers to help them use less of their traditional product or service. The plenary panel during the Summit included execs from both companies proudly talking about these fast-growing, service-oriented parts of their businesses. And what’s really important is that these are not just niche product lines, but fundamental shifts in what these companies do.

In some sense, this shift is not optional, as both companies are in the throes of fundamental transformations of their industries. Xerox has been navigating the shift to digital documents for years, and WM is facing an existential threat. As CEO Dave Steiner put it, “When your company is called Waste Management, and your customers all talk about ‘zero waste,’ you better change your business model.”

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Time to cross off plastic bags off our grocery list

September 1st, 2010

This whole debate about plastic bags once seemed a mite frivolous to me, next to some of the really mammoth issues confronting society — food scarcity, global warming, coal and oil pollution. I got that it mattered. But it seemed like a side trip on the road to sustainability, like a smaller matter that would eventually resolve on its own. I was more concerned about the carbon pollution from big industrial sources, and our cars and our homes, that comprise the Damocles sword threatening our children’s future.
We had big fish to fry.

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California’s plastic bag ban could wrap up arguments over disposables

August 27th, 2010

California often pushes the envelop on environmental causes, and could become the first U.S. state to ban those pesky plastic bags that
fly out from grocery stores by bajillions every minute of every day, only to end up in trees, waterways and clinging to other trash.
It might not seem like a big deal, but such a ban — the law under consideration would forbid the use of plastic bags and charge 5 cents for paper grocery bags, pushing consumers to employ reusable totes — would be a symbolic victory for people everywhere who are opposed to waste and needless disposable goods. It would relieve oceans, rivers, parks, streets and you name it of this persistent trash (and clear up a lot of cupboard space devoted to these ubiquitous little do-nothings). But most of all, it would send a signal. The hope on one side (and the fear on the other) is that other states will follow California, toppling the need for this petroleum-based product across America.

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Throwaway toys come under fire — actually they’re already on fire

August 5th, 2010

If you’ve ever taken a pre-schooler out to eat, you’ll know that toys are a powerful lure. We adults consider appetizers, drinks, entrees, pricing, calories and ambiance, evaluating a matrix that leads us to lunch.
But five-year-olds are at the mercy of their bellies, and the pull of shiny baubles. A five-year-old wants food and treats.

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