At the start of 2018, China began to push back on the low quality to restrict the import of recyclable commodities due to excessive contamination levels has exposed a major vulnerability of the recycling industry and recycling programs – mainly the drastically slipping levels of quality that have resulted from single stream and cart collection programs and the proliferation of difficult to recycle single use plastic packaging. Compounded now with tariffs, this is causing major disruption in the recycling industry. Read More Here
Eureka Recycling markets most of our materials locally but the loss of export market has flooded domestic markets and we are suffering from the resulting depressed market values (low or no revenues for recyclables and some even cost to get recycled.) We have made decisions over the last 18 years to work with local markets and send materials for higher environmental impacts that at times, resulted in less revenue for the organization. However, as a result of recycling towards Zero Waste and not just profit for the last 18 years, our quality materials and relationship with end markets are positioning us to weather this storm.
In the long run, we believe that there is a significant opportunity to implement solutions to the current problem that will move us closer to a truly circular economy and zero waste society. Stay in touch to learn more and in the mean time, thanks for continuing to work on reducing your waste and recycling all acceptable materials.
So if we didn’t know it before – we sure know it now! Recycling really is a global system. While the Chinese ban has hurt, the pushback against exporting waste buried in our recycling has forced the recycling industry to face harsh realities. It has also created a variety of opportunities to move recycling towards the goals of zero waste and a circular economy. The US lags in leadership here but the EU is leading in this initiative and laws expected to pass there this Fall can change the game for the entire world. Read More Here … AND HERE
Some highlights of the EU plans:
- 90% collection target on plastic bottles by 2025;
- Ban on single-use plastic which contributes to 50% of marine litter;
- Bring nations together to save our oceans through G7 commitments (US and Japan did not sign)
- Increase Extended Producer Responsibility for single-use plastic food and beverage containers.
In Local News
Amber Haukedahl, Kate Marnach and Nathan Crymble are working on starting Minnesota’s first Zero Waste market, Tare Market. While they are only doing pop-up shops and events right now, they are currently planning their inventory for their brick and mortar store, including sustainable living products (like a bamboo straw or a nut milk bag or a reusable grocery bag), shelf-stable goods, (like pantry products or spices), and health and beauty products rarely found in plastic-free packaging.
Next few pop-ups:
Babies & Brews
September 30, 2018, 2 pm – 4 pm
Able Seedhouse & Brewery, 1121 Quincy Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Pop-up Shop @ Patagonia
October 13 & 14, 2018, 10 am – 4 pm (Sat) & 11 am – 4 pm (Sun)
Patagonia, 1648 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
Pop-up Shop @ Squirrel Haus Arts
November 3 & 4, 2018, Time TBA
Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55406