Blame ‘Amazon Effect’ for proposed bump in S.F. garbage bills

Read the full story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco prides itself on being ecology-minded, having outlawed everything from plastic bags to foam meat trays. But those lofty environmental ideals are going up against a culture that’s increasingly focused on convenience.

Many city dwellers have little time to cook or shop, so they order meals and groceries online, and buy outfits from Internet styling services that deliver to their doorsteps. The fallout from these new forms of consumption is readily apparent in the lobbies of apartment buildings, which are often littered with boxes.

Food packaging gets smart – and poses a recycling nightmare

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Use of electronics in packaging is on the rise, raising questions about the recyclability of everyday products.

Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution

Read the full story from the University of Cambridge.

A common insect larva that eats beeswax has been found to break down chemical bonds in the plastic used for packaging and shopping bags at uniquely high speeds. Scientists say the discovery could lead to a biotechnological approach to the polyethylene waste that chokes oceans and landfills.

Target Vows to Use Its Power & Scale to See that All Packaging Is Recyclable

Read the full story at Environmental Leader.

Target says it will use its “power and scale” as one of the country’s largest retailers to advance the idea that all packaging will be recyclable one day, and to help consumers understand how and why recycling is so important. With that in mind, the retailer has joined the Material Recovery Facility of the Future, a collaborative committed to seeing that flexible packaging is recycled and that the recovery community captures value from it. The announcement is one of Target’s five new sustainable packaging goals it released yesterday.

London sculpture spotlights the deadly relationship between seabirds and plastic

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

The last time environmental activist and underwater sculptor par excellence Jason deCaires Taylor worked in London, it was on “Rising Tides,” a hauntingly ephemeral installation positioned in the River Thames that served as commentary on rising sea levels and our unquenchable thirst for fossil fuels.

Taking the form of four prophetic horsemen — two children, two bureaucratic-looking gents in suits and ties — straddling oil pumpjack-headed equines, “Rising Tides” was as provocative as urban statuary gets. Centered around plastic-barfing seabirds, Taylor’s latest work — a somewhat rare terrestrial piece that’s not fully or partially submerged underwater — is no different, perhaps even a bit more startling than its predecessor. As it should be.

Upcycling ‘fast fashion’ to reduce waste and pollution

Read the full story in Science Daily.

The fashion industry and environmentalists are old foes, and the advent of ‘fast fashion’ has strained the relationship even more. But what if we could recycle clothes like we recycle paper, or even upcycle them?

Chicago goes ‘back to basics’ to boost dismal recycling rate

Read the full story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago is launching a “back-to-basics” campaign to boost a recycling rate that has dropped to just 4.5 percent on the Southeast Side and 9 percent citywide since the rules were changed to “Go Bagless.”