Tag Archives: trash

Plastic Free July



Ryan’s Recycling – Making Waste Worthwhile!

At Green Waste Enterprises, one of our core values is to promote recycling and to educate people about the benefits of it for the environment.  We have campaigned long and hard to reach this goal.

We were totally blown away, therefore to find out about 6-year-old Ryan Hickman from San Juan Capistrano, California.  If there is one thing he loves, it’s sorting. So when, at the tender age of 3, his parents, let him come along to return some water bottles at a recycling center, he was thrilled to help.

“He likes to sort pretty much anything, and he liked putting the bottles in the machine,” Damion, said in a recent interview with The Capistrano Dispatch. “He probably got two or three bucks, and he was so excited about it. And of course then he got to sort his change, so that meant more sorting.”

There was no stopping Ryan after this and as soon as they got home Ryan told his Dad that he wanted to collect everyone’s recyclables.  He even got his Mom and Dad to hand out garbage bags to all his neighbors.

ryans recycling 2

That was the beginning of Ryan’s Recycling Company, established in 2012 in the family’s backyard. In the past 4 years he has already earned more than $10,000 by collecting cans and bottles from about 40 “customers” in five different neighborhoods.

Of course, being only 6 years old Ryan has to rely on his parents, grandmother and aunt to drive him around to collect his recyclables.  Ryan’s sorting facility consists of eight large trash cans that he sorts containers into—bottles and cans, plastics and glass, they all have their place. Ryan has learnt the difference between the types of recyclables and why it is important to keep trash separated.   Then every few weeks they visit the recycling center to cash in his hoard.

ryans recycling3

Since starting his business, Ryan has recycled 49,000 pounds of waste, 200,000 cans and bottles and has donated over $1,600 to charity.  The rest of his earnings have gone straight into a college savings account.

In a YouTube video posted last July, Ryan’s Dad asks if other people should start recycling to help save the earth.  He knows how important it is to keep trash out of our oceans to protect the environment and also the creatures that live in and around the oceans.  He worries that the birds at the beach might eat the trash and get sick or die.

Ryan is an example to us all.  If just one little boy can have get this much done, just imagine what we could achieve if WE ALL did just a fraction of what Ryan does.

“He’s very passionate about it, and he likes to get everybody else passionate about it as well,” his Mom said. “I think he’s rubbed off on all of us now. You find yourself walking past a can on the ground and needing to pick it up instead of walking away and leaving it there.”

This is exactly what we are trying to promote at Green Waste Enterprises.  Ryan has shown that if you start young enough, then recycling just becomes a way of life.  He doesn’t recycle because his Dad told him to do it……….he does it because he knows it is the right thing to do……….and he understands the benefits of it.  Well done Ryan……….



with thanks to Allison Jarrell, Capistrano Dispatch


Let’s Make This The Year of Recycling

According to a recent Ipsos survey of over 1,000 US adults (one of the world’s largest market research organizations), nine in ten adults in the US  (87%) report that they recycle, though only half of adults (51%) recycle every day. Roughly a third (36%) tend to recycle less frequently, while13% admit that they never recycle.

Who Does Recycle?


It seems that willingness to recycle is linked to education, age and location.

Why Do We Recycle?

IMG_3946.JPGIt is good to see that most adults recycle as it is good for the planet – reducing landfills, saving trees and conserving energy. Many also believe that recycling has economic benefits, such as creating jobs (45%) and making money (33%). According to the EPA, for every 10,000 tons of solid waste going to landfill, 1 job is created.  If the same amount of waste is kept out of landfill it can create 10 recycling jobs or 75 materials reuse jobs.  If the US were to achieve a 75% recycling rate by 2030, this could create between 1.5 and 2.3 million NEW jobs.

Fortunately, very few are unsure of the benefits (3%) or do not see any of these as advantages.

Reasons NOT to Recycle?


Though many acknowledge the many benefits of recycling, the top reason given for not recycling is that it is not accessible or convenient to where they live (25%).  This should be seen as a failure of state and local government for not making recycling more available to them.

Some give the excuse that it takes too long or that they just forget, that they aren’t sure what is recyclable and what isn’t (8%).  This is also a failure to EDUCATE residents by providing them with simples accessible information you see below.

top 10 in the bin.jpg

A minority thing that recycling costs too much and very few report that ideological concerns prevent them from recycling more often, such as feeling their efforts wouldn’t make a difference (3%), not thinking it’s important (2%), or not understanding the environmental benefit (1%). At the same time, a majority (52%) reports that none of these barriers prevent them from recycling.


We need remove the uncertainly surrounding recycling to target those 50% who throw things away without making an effort to recycle.

How and What Do We Recycle?

Nearly three quarters (72%) report that they recycle to most at home, either through curbside recycling (46%) or by taking their recyclables to a local recycling center (26%). Just 6% say that they recycle most at work, though this proportion jumps to 11% among full-time workers. One in ten (10%) say that they recycle elsewhere and 12% report that they do not recycle at all.


The most commonly recycled items include plastics, such as water bottles and packaging (69%); metals, such as soda cans and soup cans (64%); newspapers (56%); other paper products such as cardboard boxes, magazines, junk mail, etc. (56%); and glass, such as jars and juice bottles (49%). Fewer report that they most recycle electronics, such as CDs or old computer parts (14%) or other items (4%).

While majorities say that they recycle plastics, metal and paper products, there does some to be some confusion about which items can be recycled and which cannot. While majorities understand that cell phones (78%) and motor oil (67%) can be recycled, many are unaware that other, less typical items can also be recycled, such as trophies (36%) and crayons (36%). Conversely, many may be trying to recycle items that are not actually recyclable, such as pizza boxes (77%) and juice boxes (73%). Waxed paper and cardboard that is contaminated by food cannot be recycled.

Similarly, many adults are unconscious of the fact that certain household items are often made from recycled paper. A third (34%) report that they would be most surprised to learn that cat litter can be made from recycled paper, followed by greeting cards (8%), egg cartons (6%), and phone books (5%). However, nearly half (48%) say that they would not be surprised to learn that any of these items are made from recycled materials.

Perhaps some of these misperceptions about what can be recycled and what can’t stems from a lack of information. Nearly half (47%) say that they haven’t learned anything about recycling in over six months and 12% report that they have NEVER learned anything about recycling. At the same time, some are exposed to this information more regularly, with 13% reporting that they are flooded with information about recycling and an additional 29% saying that they learned something about recycling in the month.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted May 2-5, 2011. For the survey, a national sample of 1,004 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been if the entire population adults aged 18 and older in the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.A


Zero Waste Packaging – Be a Champion!

In a world full of single-use conveniences, it’s easy to overlook the impact packaging has on the environment. Though it would be nice, it doesn’t magically vanish once it disappears into a trash truck. Rather, it stays with us for generations, filling landfills and leaching toxins to the environment.

Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice convenience to protect the environment. Zero Waste Packaging is a commonsense solution growing in popularity quickly.

Consider this for a moment: Americans produce approximately 1.4 billion pounds of trash daily, with approximately 40% of that being packaging of one sort or another. We trash enough disposable cups and utensils every year to go around the equator 300 times.


What Does Zero Waste Packaging Mean?

Since the 70s, innovators have been working to produce eco friendly packaging that meets the demands of our to-go world, as well as eliminates negative environmental impact. Essentially, Zero Waste Packaging means that materials are either 100% reusable or decompose without harm. This philosophy applies to sourcing, production and disposal.

The most successful and idealistic Zero Waste Packaging production systems mimic natural cycles. The ultimate model is this: when plants in a forest die, they decompose and become topsoil that feeds the next generation of plants. Nothing is lost, and nothing is harmed. One life cycle’s end is the beginning of another.

Standard Packaging is Dirty Business

Plastic utensils, straws, single use coffee cups and plastic bags are examples of packaging that don’t decompose without harm, like plants. As these materials decompose, they damage the environment by leaching chemicals into groundwater and poisoning wildlife that mistake it as food.

Making matters worse, these types of wasteful packaging take generations to decompose. Take a standard plastic grocery bag as an example. It takes 10 to 20 years to break down under the best conditions. If that bag isn’t disposed of properly, it will eventually make its way to the ocean. After drifting for some time, the bag will join one of the many garbage patches floating in oceans around the world, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Trash Time Decomposition

Created by Be Green Packaging Store

Your Voice Matters

With economical eco friendly packaging and single use serveware available, there is no reason why anybody should use wasteful products. If every food service provider switched to Zero Waste Packaging, the positive results would be far-reaching and immediate.

You can help strengthen the future of Zero Waste Packaging by purchasing foods from companies that use 100% biodegradable, eco friendly packaging. Another way you can help is to ask companies and businesses you frequent to use Zero Waste Packaging. Send your comments through email and social media, as well as speaking to front-line employees. If owners and stakeholders hear from enough of their customers and staff, they will change their ways because they have to satisfy customers to stay in business.
Zero Waste Packaging is no longer a dream from the 70s. It’s reality. If enough people stand up and demand change, it will happen.
Zero Waste Packaging vs. Traditional Packaging (Infographic)

Created by Be Green Packaging Store



Plastic bag bans are spreading in the United States

Los Angeles rang in the 2014 New Year with a ban on the distribution of plastic bags at the checkout counter of big retailers, making it the largest of the 132 cities and counties around the United States with anti-plastic bag legislation. And a movement that gained momentum in California is going national. More than 20 million Americans live in communities with plastic bag bans or fees. Currently 100 billion plastic bags pass through the hands of U.S. consumers every year—almost one bag per person each day. Laid end-to-end, they could circle the equator 1,330 times. But this number will soon fall as more communities, including large cities like New York and Chicago, look for ways to reduce the plastic litter that blights landscapes and clogs up sewers and streams.

The following “mockumentary” narrated by Oscar winning actor Jeremy Irons tells of the “amazing” journey of a plastic bag from the supermarket checkout until it finally reaches the ocean and becomes yet another part of the Great Pacific Gyre.

While now ubiquitous, the plastic bag has a relatively short history. Invented in Sweden in 1962, the single-use plastic shopping bag was first popularized by Mobil Oil in the 1970s in an attempt to increase its market for polyethylene, a fossil-fuel-derived compound. Many American customers disliked the plastic bag when it was introduced in 1976, disgusted by the checkout clerks having to lick their fingers when pulling the bags from the rack and infuriated when a bag full of groceries would break or spill over. But retailers continued to push for plastic because it was cheaper and took up less space than paper, and now a generation of people can hardly conceive of shopping without being offered a plastic bag at the checkout counter.

The popularity of plastic grocery bags stems from their light weight and their perceived low cost, but it is these very qualities that make them unpleasant, difficult, and expensive to manage. Over one third of all plastic production is for packaging, designed for short-term use. Plastic bags are made from natural gas or petroleum that formed over millions of years, yet they are often used for mere minutes before being discarded to make their way to a dump or incinerator—if they don’t blow away and end up as litter first. The amount of energy required to make 12 plastic bags could drive a car for a mile.

In landfills and waterways, plastic is persistent, lasting for hundreds of years, breaking into smaller pieces and leaching out chemical components as it ages, but never fully disappearing. Animals that confuse plastic bags with food can end up entangled, injured, or dead. Recent studies have shown that plastic from discarded bags actually soaks up additional pollutants like pesticides and industrial waste that are in the ocean and delivers them in large doses to sea life. The harmful substances then can move up the food chain to the food people eat. Plastics and the various additives that they contain have been tied to a number of human health concerns, including disruption of the endocrine and reproductive systems, infertility, and a possible link to some cancers.

This is where YOU can get involved……….by signing our petition to #BanPlasticBags.  It’s very easy and only involves a couple of clicks.  You can sign using either your Facebook or Twitter account and share share share!!!!!  We want to get enough signatures to take it to government to get single use plastic bags banned completely.  Many places have introduced a tax/levy on each bag but whilst the money raised may be used for worthwhile causes, we want the option of having these bags taken away completely.

Click here to sign our petition

California—with its long coastline and abundant beaches where plastic trash is all too common—has been the epicenter of the U.S. movement against plastic bags. San Francisco was the first American city to regulate their use, starting with a ban on non-compostable plastic bags from large supermarkets and chain pharmacies in 2007. As part of its overall strategy to reach “zero waste” by 2020 (the city now diverts 80 percent of its trash to recyclers or composters instead of landfills), it extended the plastic bag ban to other stores and restaurants in 2012 and 2013. Recipients of recycled paper or compostable bags are charged at least 10ȼ, but—as is common in cities with plastic bag bans—bags for produce or other bulk items are still allowed at no cost. San Francisco also is one of a number of Californian cities banning the use of polystyrene (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) food containers, and it has gone a step further against disposable plastic packaging by banning sales of water in plastic bottles in city property.


World Oceans Day 2016 – Be Part of the Solution

I'm taking the challenge
I’m taking the challenge
We would like to invite you to get involved in World Oceans Day which is taking place on June 8th. This year’s theme for 2016 is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”. No matter where you live you can help to keep our Oceans free of plastic pollution by making your pledge to take The Better Bag Challenge.
The challenge is simple – you just have to pledge to STOP using single use plastic bags. It is almost unbelievable that a single use plastic bag is most likely to be used for only 15 minutes to transport shopping from the supermarket to the car and then from the car into the house – it’s life is then over!!

If you have already taken the challenge and stopped using disposable plastic bags then let us know about it – be PROUD!! We would like to know if you have done anything more to help reduce the amount of plastics ending up in the oceans such as refusing to buy cosmetic products that contain microbeads or stopping using disposable plastic drinks bottles. Perhaps you have signed up for a local beach clean – we want to hear.
Fill in the details of how you intend to rise to this challenge and whereabouts you live (just the country/region, nothing too specific).  We would love to be able to track action that is being taken across the Globe.


Save The Ocean from Plastics (S.T.O.P.)


save the oceans from plastic
Save The Oceans from Plastic

Cooking up a Plastic Soup – plastic trash has a reputation for being indestructible – but in the ocean it’s not – it breaks down……….and down………….and down!!!

albatross chick killed by plastic trash
Destruction of birds

44% of all seabirds eat plastics – by mistake – sometimes with fatal effects.  Fish and other sea creatures also eat these tiny pieces of plastic which then become part of the food chain – which ends up on our own dinner table.

Any plastic not eaten remains in the oceans creating toxic pollutants poisoning both marine life and US.

SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE we hear over and over again…….but what exactly can YOU do to help us STOP this and Save The Oceans from Plastics?

If you read the information on our About Us page you will see that we have a four point plan to address this issue.

WE need your help to be able to get our message out there to schools and you can help by making a donation here via gofundme if your are in the US or via Paypal if you are in the UK.

If you would like to receive more information about our campaign and get involved please complete the form below and we will add you to our mailing list.


It Just Takes Two – The Launch



It Just Takes Two Campaign Volunteers

Our group of willing volunteers met for tea and coffee at The Vincent Hotel on Lord Street, Southport to await the arrival of The Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton.  We were very keen to meet The Mayor as we had read about his interest in waste, recycling and its effect on the environment, but we were simply blown away by his knowledge of the subject and also his willingness to really get involved in our event.

Bandstand area Lord Street Southport

There had been a last minute change of venue for our litter pick, and we selected the bandstand area in front of The Vincent, as this is such a focal point on Lord Street – which describes itself as a “Classic Resort” with a tree-lined boulevard and many historic buildings and Victorian verandas.

Mayor and Mayoress helping It Just Takes Two

But as you can see this was heaven-sent in the end as it allowed both The Mayor and The Mayoress a very much “hands-on” involvement with the campaign and this really helped to inspire the young volunteers from Southport Sea Cadets, who had come along with a team from the local Asda store led on their Big Litter Pick by their Community Champion, Sharon Gregory-Wareing – who was an absolute star getting everyone organised on the day!!!

We were so pleased to see so many young people getting involved in this event and their hard work and commitment to keeping their town free of litter was to be applauded.


We also had assistance from Councillor Sue McGuire and her team of volunteers from “Rubbish Friends” who have recently formed in Southport with the aim of helping to clean up local grot spots.

The whole occasion was a real community effort starting off with The Vincent Hotel who hosted the Mayoral Reception and provided the teas and coffees and even provided the volunteers with healthy packed lunches.  The Duty Manager Moira and her Reception and catering team kept the teas and coffees flowing and also assisted in the disposal of the litter collected afterwards.

The Printquarter in Southport also helped to publicise the event by providing us with a banner and our heartfelt thanks go to Russell McLean the Centre Manager for his assistance.  Russell even gave up his time to come along and get involved.  He said that he found it “invigorating to see a dynamic mix of people coupled with local business giving up their Saturday morning……………..getting hands on with an issue like that gives you an enormouse sense of satisfaction and it just goes to show that we can all make a difference”.

Likewise thanks are also due to Southport College for the loan of equipment that was vital for the cleanup operation.  It felt really great to be surrounded by such a cross section of our local community and it showed that there ARE people out there who care about the environment and understand how important it is that we all come together to make a difference.

We now need to build on this GREAT occasion and move onwards and upwards to take our message into schools so that our young people can truly appreciate that It Just Takes Two!

community effort for It Just Takes Two