Plastics Recycling, Pitfalls & Potential

Mike Biddle, Founder of MBA Polymers calls plastic waste the last frontier in recycling. He knows the challenges and opportunities to be mined from complex waste streams.

Mike Biddle has taken on one of the biggest challenges in our modern world. How to turn plastic waste into plastic resources. Despite the value of plastic and its ubiquity, it remains a material with very low recycling rates (about 8%). When roughly 280 million tonnes of plastic are produced and consumed every year, that means a lot ends up in landfills, or worse, in the natural environment such as oceans, affecting the health of both humans and other forms of life. But Biddle hopes to turn mountains of plastic waste into raw material – by mining the plastic gold within.

  • 0:00 – Plastic by the Numbers
    One of the last frontiers in recycling, is a challenge and an opportunity
  • 6:00 – Shredder residue
    How 5 million tons ends up in landfills in US every year.
  • 7:10 – Separation anxiety
    Why are plastics so hard to separate from other materials?
  • 10:00 – The Plastic Ocean
    The impact of plastics on oceans and beaches and marine life
    and your dinner plate and even your glass of beer
  • 13:00 – The High Cost of Recovery
  • Plastic recycling is dependent on low-tech and harmful methods used in developing nations.
    First Worlders ship plastic waste and cannot ignore the way it’s handled in other places.
  • 18:00 – What can be unmade
    Public pressure can play a role in changing systems; how it’s made and how it’s ‘unmade’.
    The better way to make plastic – start with waste rather than oil.
  • 20:00 – How MBA Polymers found a solution
    Technology and scale lets them close the loop.

Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference offers attendees a full day of compelling discussion on crucial zero waste topics. We showcase leaders from a broad range of backgrounds, tackling the vital issues that will define how we move forward in dealing with waste in our society.

Mark your calendar and make plans to attend the 2015 Zero Waste Conference on Thursday, October 29, 2015 to hear from industry experts such as our keynote speaker Bill McDonough, the man behind the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, and co-author (with Michael Braungart) of the seminal zero waste works Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog (top right corner of this page). We will keep you up to date as we confirm all the speakers and topics to be covered at the 2015 conference.

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