Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Green Energy - where you'd least expect it!

Global energy consumption is on the rise and the need for new sources of energy is increasing. In 2010, 16% of final global energy consumption came from renewables. Renewable energy is being used everywhere; even in places you would least expect!
Web Hosting
Do you need to create a personal or business website? Consider signing up with eco-friendly web hosting companies. For example, ThinkHost is a green web hosting company that is 100% powered by wind and solar energy. All the electricity used by the company, including their servers, is powered by wind and solar energy. Check out other green web hosting companies at webhostinggeeks.

Ricoh, a global company offering various services and products, recently showed their commitment to sustainability. The company not only provides sustainable solutions through its Managed Documents Services; it is also using innovate technology in their advertising. The company launched Europe's first billboard powered 100% by renewable energy. The billboard has 96 solar panels and five wind turbine and is located in London's M4 motorway. The company launched its first renewable energy powered billboard in New York's Time Square which debuted in June 2010. Ricoh recently announced plans to install a third renewable energy powered billboard in Sydney, Australia.

Brewing Companies
There are a number of brewing companies that now use wind power and green energy in their production plants. New Belgium Brewing, however, jumps out amongst all others. New Belgium was the first brewery to use electricity generated 100% by wind power in 1999. The company’s employee-owners voted to purchase its electricity from the City of Fort Collins’ Wind Program even though it cost 2.5 cent more per kWh than fossil-fueled electricity. The extra cost was funded by the owner’s bonus pool. The company has since continued to pursue other renewable energy options by generating power onsite. New Belgium uses the methane gas byproduct of its Process Water Treatment Plant to power a combined heat and power engine. This engine is capable of producing up to 15% of the brewery’s electricity needs. Furthermore, the solar panels installed at the brewery in January 2010 can contribute over 3% of total electricity.
Tocco, Italy
Renewable energy is used even in remote locations. Tocco, an ancient town in Italy, is completely powered by renewable energy. The town has a population of 2,700 people and receives all of its power from four wind turbines. It even produces 30% more energy than what the town requires. The wind turbines project has been so successful that it has generated $200,000 in savings and allowed the town to remove local taxes and garbage pick-up fees. The whole community of Tocco is committed to sustainability projects; even local home owners are installing solar panels on their rooftops to generate electricity.

Boeing Factory
Boeing opened a new assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina in June 2011. The plant is Boeing’s first ever facility to operate as a 100% renewable energy site and is the 6th largest in the United States. The building’s 10-acre roof has 18,000 solar panels installed to produce 2.6 megawatts of power; that is equivalent to the energy needed to power 250 homes. It is just one more step in Boeing’s effort to reduce its environmental footprint.

Star Trek Theme Park
King Abdullah of Jordan has approved plans for a $1.5 billion Star Trek theme park. Construction is set to begin in 2012 and is projected to be completed in 2014. Star Trek fans are buzzing with anticipation, but there is more than just entertainment to be excited about. Environmentalists are also pleased with the fact that the project is expected to set the standard for green energy by using state-of-the-art renewable technologies throughout the facilities. An education centre will also be built to teach visitors about the benefits of renewable energy and environmentally friendly practices.

Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. is taking the next step and will soon be powered by a renewable energy source through its 15 year deal with PowerSource Energy Services Inc. PowerSource will provide electricity generated from a 2-megawatt biomass-fired power plant to Pepsi’s factory in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. Pepsi also has plans to develop partnerships with other renewable energy companies to supply power to its 11 other manufacturing plants in the Philippines.

Pocono Raceway
Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania became the first NASCAR race track to be powered by solar energy and the first major U.S. sports venue to go green. It revealed a 3 megawatt ground-mounted solar energy system in July 2011. The system consists of 40,000 solar modules that span 25 acres adjacent to the track. The electricity generated will go beyond the needs of the track and will have enough to power an additional 1,000 homes. The solar panel system is globally the largest to ever be installed in any sports facility.


Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy! Knowledge Is Power If there is something else you'd like to know write to us at info@endeavorscorp.com and we'll do our best to address it for you!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Going Green In Business

An increasing number of companies are going green and claiming eco-friendly status but what does that really mean? Here are some companies that have led the way and are showing commitment to green initiatives with their green steps. See how your company stacks up!
Toyota was ranked number 1 in the 2011 Best Global Green Brands. Toyota has become a leader in producing hybrid vehicles with its Prius model. Toyota is constantly looking for new ideas and innovations for vehicle design and demonstrated its commitment to making eco-friendly vehicles through its partnership in 2010 with electric sportscar manufacturer Telsa. Furthermore, Toyota has focused on improving energy use, water consumption, waste and toxic emissions. Specifically, Toyota has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its transportation and logistics fleet. Toyota has also created the Toyota Green Initiative program to help educate people on how to adopt a green lifestyle. Visit toyotagreen.com for more information.

IBM was ranked number 1 in Newsweek’s 2010 Green Rankings Global Top 100. IBM began its quest to reduce its own electricity and water consumption in the 1990s. IBM has since surpassed many of its goals and has reduced energy use by 5.1 billion kilowatt hours during a ten year period from 1990 to 2000. This amount of energy is enough to power a medium-sized town. IBM is also developing technology to help commercial buildings operate more efficiently. For example, water usage was reduced by 30% in one of their own factories in Burlington, Vt. through the use of its Sustainability Management System technology. IBM is also working with cities such as London, Singapore and Brisbane to solve their traffic congestion issues. IBM successfully worked on a pilot program designed to reduce traffic in Stockholm which achieved a 14% reduction in emissions from road traffic.

Dell was ranked number 1 in Newsweek’s 2010 Green Rankings US Top 50. Dell has become dedicated in making environmentally friendly products. Since 2005, Dell computers have been designed to use 25% less energy than other comparable product which has resulted in over $5 billion in energy savings for customers over the past years. Dell also has a comprehensive recycling program and has used 7.2 million pounds of recycled plastic in manufacturing new computers. Dell’s customers are encouraged to recycle their old products; the company will take back any of its old products or old products of its competitors for free. Customers have many options in returning their old products for recycling: by mailing it back to Dell, dropping it off at Goodwill or Staples locations, or having it picked it up in their home by Dell. Additionally, in 2008, Dell announced an aggressive goal to cut its total emissions by 40% with a deadline of 2015.

Adobe is a world leader in providing a green working environment having four buildings which are certified LEED Platinum. The company’s headquarters in San Jose, California has an aggressive recycling and composting program which redirects 97% of the building’s waste away from landfills. The company has also shifted to a more eco-friendly design for its software packaging.

Unilever is one of the world’s largest producers of household and food products. Unilever’s green initiatives start from the very top of the company; executives are mandated to use video-conferencing technology whenever possible to cut back on business travel. Furthermore, almost 15% Unilever’s energy consumption was supplied from renewable sources as of 2006 and CO2 emissions from manufacturing have been reduced by 30%. Unilever also aims to create eco-friendly products. For example, its Lipton’s tea bag packages are Rainforest Alliance Certified.

BCIT was amongst the top in Canada’s Greenest Employers of 2011 rankings. BCIT earned its top ranking through a variety of sustainability and environmental programs. BCIT launched its first recycling program in 1994 and it now successfully diverts over 70% of traditional waste away from the landfills. BCIT also developed an in-house energy management program in 2001 at its Burnaby Campus. The program’s results exceeded expectations with 10% reduction in energy use, 14% reduction in natural gas consumption and 60% decrease in water use. BCIT plans to incorporate sustainability into its master development plan and created an Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Practices Committee to oversee this project.

RBC was also ranked amongst the top 100 of Canada’s Greenest Employers of 2011. RBC has established many eco-friendly initiatives such as the RBC Environmental Blueprint, EnergySmart program, and Blue Water Project. The RBC Environmental Blueprint looks at ways that the bank can develop environmental strategies and has three major priorities: “to reduce its environmental footprint; the promotion of environmentally responsible business activities; and the development of environmental products and services.” The EnergySmart program was developed to reduce energy consumption by installing energy efficient lighting at all branches and using certified green power at 96 of its branches. The Blue Water Project has set aside $50 million to fund projects that are focused on accessing freshwater and watershed protection.

Do you know of other companies that are dedicated to the green movement? Write to us and share your positive green experiences with other eco-friendly companies!

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy! Knowledge Is Power If there is something else you'd like to know write to us at info@endeavorscorp.com and we'll do our best to address it for you!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

WHAT IS LEED? And what does it mean for you?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was developed in 1998 by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a green building certification system.

LEED standards have been implemented in more than 7000 projects in the United States and 30 other countries, which have totaled 1.062 billion square feet of development area. LEED is a primary step towards cleaner, greener, sustainable living.

LEED in Canada

The Canada Green Building Council received permission to adapt the LEED program and tailor it to the Canadian market in 2003. The LEED program was adjusted to specifically meet requirements of the different Canadian climates, construction practices and regulations.

How Does it Work?

LEED measures performance in five key areas:
  • sustainable site development
  • water efficiency
  • energy efficiency
  • materials selection
  • indoor environmental quality

A building or project may earn up to 100 base points depending on its performance in the five environmental categories. There are six additional points that can be earned through a category that focuses on innovation and building design.

There are four possible levels of certification that can be earned:

  • Certified: 40 – 49 points
  • Silver: 50 – 59 points
  • Gold: 60-79 points
  • Platinum: 80 points and above

LEED certification can be obtained by submitting an application online. The applicant must submit documentation and proof of compliance with LEED guidelines and requirements. Applicants must also pay registration and certification fees.

LEED Canada has certification in the following project areas:
·   LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations (NC) 
·   LEED for Core & Shell Development (CS) 
·   LEED for Commercial Interiors (CI) 
·   LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EB:O&M) 
·   LEED for Homes 

Projects in Canada can register with the USGBC when there is no equivalent LEED Canada rating system. There are four specific USGBC rating system which do not have a Canadian equivalent:
·      LEED for Retail (NC)
·      LEED for Retail (CI)
·      LEED for Heathcare
·      LEED for Schools

The USGBC later created the Green Building Certification Institution (GBCI) to accredit individuals for their knowledge of the LEED rating system. There are two types of accreditation programs that individuals may obtain: LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) or LEED Green Associate (LEED Green Assoc.). The GBCI also provides project accreditation.

Notable LEED Buildings:

Hearst Tower in NYC, certified LEED Gold

Taipei 101 in Taiwan, certified LEED Platinum & world’s tallest LEED building

Vancouver Convention Centre, certified LEED Platinum

Richmond Olympic Oval in British Columbia, certified LEED Silver

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy! Knowledge Is Power If there is something else you'd like to know write to us at info@endeavorscorp.com and we'll do our best to address it for you!


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Worldwide Trends for Going Green

It takes time for any new product or action to develop and spread throughout the globe. "Going green" began many years ago but has only recently come to the very forefront of our minds and our surroundings.

The "plastic bag movement" is a prime example of this gradual change. reuseit.com has tracked the development since 2002 in Canada, the United States, Australia, Taiwan, India, Ireland, and further. Did you know Switzerland is a leader not only in the reusable bag movement but in recycled PET (PolyEthylene Terephtalate) as well? Over 82% of PET sold in Switzerland is recycled. Learn more about going green from reuseit.com below:

Trends From Around the World
We first started tracking the plastic bag issue in 2002, reporting on Ireland’s PlasTax and various other bag bans and taxes worldwide. While most of the efforts we covered were government-led, there were also significant grassroots movements building to control the bag beast we've created over the past 25 years. Here’s a look back at our coverage of this issue over the years, a snapshot of the formation of the early years of the movement from 2003-2007.
For more on bag laws in recent years, check out plasticbaglaws.org and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s detailed Retail Bags Maps.  Read additional coverage in our Newsroom.

Africa 2003
In South Africa, plastic bags have been dubbed the "national flower" because so many can be seen flapping from fences and caught in bushes. In response to the government threat of a ban on single-use plastic bags, the plastics industry lobbied for a bag tax instead. Negotiations led to a bag tax set for introduction in May 2003, to be paid by manufacturers and passed on to consumers. Similar to the Irish PlasTax, the charge per bag will appear on shoppers' sales receipts as a reminder that they can save money if they use reusable bags. South Africa is also improving recovery and recycling systems.

Africa 2005
The Kenyan government, in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, issued a report on Feb. 23, 2005 suggesting that Kenya ban the common plastic bag that one gets at the checkout counter of grocery stores, and place a levy on other plastic bags, all to combat the country's environmental problems stemming from the bags' popularity. Money raised from the levies might be used to create more effective recycling programs. Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki recently said: "In our major cities, plastic bags are used in large quantities at the household level. However, these bags are not disposed of in ways that ensure a clean environment. My country welcomes initiatives to address this problem." Read more about the report here.

Africa 2007
In 2006 Vice-President Ali Mohamed Shein declared a total ban on plastic bags. Kenya and Uganda are implementing less severe restrictions, prohibiting thinner plastic bags and imposing levies on thicker ones. According to the BBC, Kenya's partial ban went into effect on June 14, 2007, and Uganda followed on July 1. Meanwhile, South Africa's 2003 initiative has curbed the number of bags floating around the country, but some environmentally-focused constituents are complaining that the funds from the tax have not been funneled into recycling programs or other green initiatives. Others worry that retailers are even profiting from the levies because they upcharge customers for the bags. More on this here. Kenya faces a tougher battle: With 48 million plastic bags produced locally each year, plastics manufacturers are not caving in, and people are slow to adopt reusable bags. Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai is urging shoppers to carry kiondos (baskets).

Australia 2003
Australia is in the process of deciding how to control plastic bag waste, and is considering a tax on single-use HDPE bags.

Australia 2005
The retailers' Code of Practice for the Management of Plastic Carry Bags was accepted by Ministers in October 2003. There are many commitments, including reaching a 25% reduction in plastic bag use by the end of 2004 and a 50% reduction in plastic bag use by 2005. The Code includes a commitment by retailers to report twice a year. Initial reports show that Australian supermarket shoppers slashed their use of plastic bags by 29% by June 2004! Furthermore, Coles Bay in Tasmania successfully banned plastic check-out bags in all their retail stores. In the first twelve months, Coles Bay stopped the use of 350,000 plastic check-out bags.

Australia 2007
Planet Ark, an Australian organization that runs public campaigns to educate consumers on environmental issues, estimates retailers Coles, Woolworths, and Safeway stores have sold over 10 million reusable bags – a sound alternative to "giveaway" plastic bags. Most efforts by retailers have been voluntary, and major retailers cut their plastic usage by 45% between 2003 and 2005. Retailers hope that the success of voluntary efforts will preclude any levies on plastic bag consumption. In 2006, the state of Victoria began charging consumers for each plastic bag they use. Smaller businesses are exempt, but the government hopes that the initiative will reduce the 1.1 billion bags per year consumed in Victoria alone. This measure might push the rest of Australia to adopt similar measures. For example, a spokesperson for NSW Environment ministry stated, "If Victoria comes up with a workable model then we would certainly be interested in considering it." More on this here.

Bangladesh 2003
In March 2002, Bangladesh put a ban on all polyethylene bags in the capital, Dhaka, after they were found to have been the main culprit during the 1988 and 1998 floods that submerged two-thirds of the country. Discarded bags were choking the drainage system. Plans are to extend the ban nationwide.

Bangladesh 2005
The polythene ban is leading to a revival of the jute bag industry and other sustainable and biodegradable alternatives. It is widely acknowledged that jute may be one of the solutions to the polythene menace. Jute grows abundantly in Bangladesh and requires a lot less energy for processing than polythene.

Bangladesh 2007
The revival of the jute bag industry in Bangladesh continues to provide sustainable living for Bangladeshis. In 2006 Australia's organization "Keep Australia Beautiful" awarded a "Plastic Bag Reduction Award" to a business that provides sustainable-trade, Bangladesh-made jute bags to mainstream Australian retailers.

Belgium 2007
In June 2007, the Belgium government starts phasing in a tax on single-use plastic bags to change retailers' habits. "If the only way people will understand is through their pocketbooks," a Belgian store owner states, "so be it." Watch a BBC video report on the new ecotax for retailers, the cost of which will be passed onto consumers. More on this here.

Canada 2007
The Ontario government has committed to reduce plastic bag consumption 50% in the next five years. The initiative also includes monitoring and reporting to ensure progress is indeed made. "Ontarians use almost 80 plastic bags per second - that's close to seven million bags every day," said Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten. "Reducing the volume of plastic bags that end up in landfills is a top priority for us," she added. For more information, visit our Newsroom.
The Canadian Plastics Industry is launching defensive strategies, including websites such as myplasticbags.ca, arguing that plastic bags are useful, convenient, and inexpensive. They urge customers to use them but to use them wisely by reusing and recycling. "It is hard to think of a world without them," the website proclaims.

China 2003
The term "white pollution" has been coined in China for the tumbleweed of polythene blowing on the streets. According to UK's The Guardian, 2 billion bags are used each day.

China 2005
To combat the growing problem of plastic bags in China, Guo Geng, a political adviser in Beijing, has proposed the introduction of a "bag tax" to decrease demand for plastic bags and to raise more money to tackle pollution caused by the bags. Media reports claim that the Ministry of Finance is conducting a feasibility study for introducing such a tax.

China 2008
China prohibits stores from giving away free plastic bags. Their strategy, removed from the increasingly-common bans and taxes of other countries, states that a clearly marked price must be placed beside bags previously given away. Additionally, ultrathin plastic bags of less than 0.025 millimeters were banned, with further talk of bag taxes in the future.

Denmark 2003
As part of a larger packaging tax introduced in 1994, Denmark taxes plastic bags. The stated aim is to promote reusable bags. However, the tax is paid by retailers when they purchase bags, rather than by shoppers, yielding less dramatic results than the Irish PlasTax, which charges consumers directly for each bag used. Still, consumption of paper and plastic bags has declined 66%.

Denmark 2005
Denmark employs a general waste tax that has proven to be very successful. The waste tax is differentiated so that it is most expensive to landfill waste, cheaper to incinerate it and tax exempt to recycle it. Also, they have so-called "green" taxes on packaging, plastic bags, disposable tableware and nickel-cadmium batteries.

Hong Kong 2003
In 2001, it was estimated that 27 million plastic shopping bags were disposed of each day in Hong Kong. This is four times the individual consumption level in Australia. Hong Kong has implemented a campaign of "No plastic bag, please," and prohibits larger retailers from providing free bags. The program has been designed to educate the public on alternatives to plastic bags and to encourage customers to make environmentally-friendly decisions and purchases. In addition, there is a tax for products for which there is an environmentally-friendly alternative readily available.

Hong Kong 2007
In a paper tabled to lawmakers May 21, the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department urged legislators to agree to impose a levy to cut plastic bag use, stating that a 50-cent levy could cut plastic bag use in Hong Kong -- currently estimated at 8 billion bags annually -- by one billion. Some leaders in Hong Kong are worried that charging customers for plastic bags will increase the use of paper bags. They also worry it will hurt small businesses, and advocate for increased public education efforts rather than additional levies. A member of the Green Student Council in Hong Kong states that levies do make a significant impact. "On no-plastic bag days, which is held one day a month, an average of 50 percent of shoppers bring along their own bags, so it helps."

India 2003
In India, a law introduced recently prohibits plastic bags thinner than 20 microns in the cities of Bombay and Delhi, along with the entire states of Maharashtra and Kerala. The restriction is meant to discourage production and use due to the thicker bags being more expensive and has demonstrated marginal success.

India 2005
In the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, a new law states that anyone found even using a polythene bag could face prison or a stiff fine. The new law bans the production, storage, use, sale and distribution of polythene bags. The law is based on legislation passed by the national parliament, but Himachal Pradesh is the first state to have implemented it. In addition, the government of the western Indian state of Maharashtra banned the manufacture, sale and use of all plastic bags, saying they choked drainage systems during recent monsoon rains. Manufacturers and stores selling plastic bags will be fined 5,000 rupees while individuals using bags face penalties of 100,000 rupees (approximately $2,000). Read more in our Newsroom.

India 2007
Other parts of India are focusing on public information campaigns. According to The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in Panaji, Goa, a community has launched a system in which individuals donate old newspapers and magazines, which are cut into paper-bags and sold to shops to reduce plastic bag usage.

Ireland 2003
Republic of Ireland was consuming 1.2 billion plastic shopping bags per year before introducing the PlasTax. Since the tax of about $.15 per bag was introduced in March 2002, consumption has plummeted 90%. To complete the win-win cycle, the $9.6 million raised from the tax in the first year is put into a "green fund" to further benefit the environment.

Ireland 2005
The extremely effective PlasTax continues to produce amazing results, the latest figures estimating 95% reduction in consumption. This levy has been viewed as a major success by the government and environmental groups alike. It also has been enthusiastically embraced by Irish consumers, thanks to an intensive environmental awareness campaign launched in conjunction with the levy. Irish retailers, although initially skeptical, also have recognized the huge benefits of this levy. The amount of plastic being sent to Irish landfills has been reduced dramatically. The result: a clear, visual improvement in cities, on coastlines and in the countryside.

Ireland 2007
Ireland continues to be the paragon of countries in the fight against plastic bags. Efforts from California to Somali look to the success of the PlasTax. Customers have adopted reusable bags and retailers no longer incur much cost. In February 2007, the BBC reported that plastic bag usage per individual increased in 2006, and Ireland is raising the tax to 22 cents per bag. "We need to ensure that the success story continues into the future," stated Irish Environment Minister Dick Roche. "There has been no increase in the levy since its inception and I am anxious to ensure that its impact is not diminished." More on this here.

New Zealand 2003
According to Stuff (New Zealand's leading news website with 430,000 unique users per month), it is estimated that New Zealanders use more than 2.2 million plastic bags each week. Several of New Zealand's leading retailers are taking the initiative to tackle the plastic bag beast by introducing reusable shopping bags for sale. Foodstuffs New Zealand, owner of Pak'N Save and New World, is stocking shelves with 20,000 cotton reusable bags while competitor Progressive Enterprises scrambles to follow suit. The Warehouse is also doing its own line in reusable bags. Initial results have been positive.

New Zealand 2005
Government sponsored programs are promoting environmental awareness, urging consumers to Reduce Your Rubbish and consider eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags. Grassroots efforts are also popping up around the country to help in the fight to eliminate plastic bags.

New Zealand 2007
A study for the New Zealand Retailers Association (NZRA) found 8 out of 10 New Zealanders used free plastic shopping bags per week. Starting in July, retailers New World, Foodtown, Woolworths, Pak'n Save, and Countdown will have their employees ask customers at checkout to think twice before using the plastic bags. More on this here.

Scotland 2003
Scotland may put a "plastax" on plastic bags - recent legislation proposed in Scotland would put a 15-pence tax on each disposable plastic bag handed out to shoppers. The levy is based on Ireland's "PlasTax," which only a few months after it was implemented, succeeded in lowering plastic bag consumption 90% while raising 3.5 million euro for environmental projects.

Scotland 2005
Scotland's threatened levy on plastic carrier bags has moved closer to approval. A new bill outlining the proposal is now almost ready to be put before the Scottish Parliament. In addition, many regions are joining the fight against plastic bags. Reusable cotton shopping bags are to be distributed free to shoppers on a trial basis to encourage people to reduce the number of plastic bags they use, under the the "Fantastic it's not plastic!" initiative. Furthermore, Amy Gray, Aberdeen City Council's Business Waste Minimisation Officer says, "Aberdeen City Council is encouraging residents to become more waste aware. Refusing plastic bags at checkouts is a simple step anyone can take to reduce the amount of waste they produce. Aberdeen City Council is also lobbying for the introduction of a tax on plastic bags in line with other forms of packaging."

Scotland 2007
In late 2006 the bill to tax plastic bags was withdrawn, but its initial conception succeeded in raising awareness for voluntary efforts to protect the environment by curbing plastic bag usage. An Edinburgh supermarket is piloting a program of "green tills," allowing shoppers who are not using plastic carrier bags to get through the checkouts faster. For more information, visit our Newsroom.

Switzerland 2003
Switzerland requires supermarkets to charge $.15 to $.20 per paper bag. The majority of shoppers bring their own reusable shopping bags.

Switzerland 2007
The Swiss are leaders not only in the reusable bag movement but in recycled PET. Over 82% of PET sold in Switzerland is recycled. Read more about the benefits of Recycled PET here.

Taiwan 2003
In October 2001, Taiwan introduced a ban on distribution of free single-use plastic bags by government agencies, schools and the military. The ban has been expanded to include supermarkets, fast food outlets and department stores, and will eventually apply to street vendors and food dealers. Disposable cutlery and dishes are also prohibited. The head of Taiwan's EPA felt so strongly about the issue that he made an ultimatum that he would quit if the ban wasn't implemented. Even though the plastic bag industry lobbied hard, it was drowned out by the majority and the ban was implemented.

Taiwan 2007
In 2006 Taiwan's EPA lifted the ban and now free plastic bags can be offered by food service operators. The EPA was concerned that plastic bags reused for food could create health problems. Even though it was short-lived, its effect lingers simply because consumers became more aware of the plastic bag menace. In a survey conducted by the administration, 77% of respondents claimed to have cut back on the use of plastic bags since the ban, and 45% of respondents had continued not to consume plastic bags after the ban was lifted. "This is indeed an improvement," a statement issued by the EPA said, "given that only 18 percent reported carrying their own plastic bags before the policy was officially implemented five years ago." More on this here.

United Kingdom 2003
Inspired by Ireland, the United Kingdom is considering a PlasTax. The current Minister of the Environment, Michael Meacher, is in favor of it. But the British Plastics Federation, the "Carrier Bag Consortium," and other plastics industry groups are strongly opposing such a tax.

United Kingdom 2005
While the government has yet to adopt a plastic bag tax , it fully supports reusable carrier bags and some retailers have taken up the cause. "Bag for life" and "penny back" schemes have been introduced by some of the large supermarket chains, encouraging consumers to consider the benefits of reusable bags as an alternative to plastic bags.

United Kingdom 2007
As of 2007 it is estimated that the average UK consumer uses 167 plastic bags per year, and only 1 bag in 200 is recycled. The government shows no signs of introducing a ban or a tax. It prefers encouraging retailers to commit to recycling. The recent popularity of UK-based fashion designer Anya Hindmarch's "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" tote has raised popular interest in the anti-plastic bag campaign, but many environmentalists aren't convinced that making environmentalism trendy will influence usage in the long-term. Rebecca Hosking, a Devon-based activist, has succeeded in freeing her small town of plastic bags. She urges individual and grassroots efforts in the fight against plastic bags. "My best advice to anyone who wants their town to be free of plastic bags is that they are going to have to fight the fight themselves."

United States 2003
While this is a relatively new area of concern in the United States it is ripe to take-off. The federal system in the US means that cities, states, and local townships can initiate their own actions aimed at significantly curbing single-use plastic bags.

United States 2006
As many of you already know, San Francisco is thinking about imposing a 17 cent surcharge on plastic and paper grocery bags. They would be the first US city to do so, if the proposal gets the go-ahead. One study has shown that stores are handing San Franciscans around 50 million bags year!

United States 2007
San Francisco is banning plastic bags! Visit our Newsroom for more information. The city hopes its legislation will be a model for other US cities. New Haven, CT is also considering an ordinance that would ban plastic bags, while Marin County, CA has launched an educational campaign and encourages businesses to promote reusable bags. For more information on these efforts visit our Newsroom: New Haven story and Marin County story.
Large retailers, such as IKEA, are also forging the way for plastic bag-free shopping experiences simply by not offering free bags. In March U.S. stores started charging 5 cents per plastic bag, and the proceeds from the bag campaign will go to a conservation organization. In addition, they lowered the cost of their strong and roomy "Big Blue Bag" to encourage reuse – one sturdy, roomy bag can replace hundreds of single-use bags.
If we let our voices be heard, we will soon see cities and states around the US start to implement smart measures such as Ireland's PlasTax.
Visit our Take Action section to see what you can do to change the status quo.

Recycled PET - A Sustainable Path for Plastic
Approximately 31% of plastic bottles produced in the United States are made from a material called PolyEthylene Terephtalate, "PET" or "PETE." Usually clear or green, the plastic is mostly used for consumer goods such as soda bottles and food jars. According to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), in 2005 United States manufacturers produced 5.075 billion pounds of PET products. Such a high production rate makes finding uses for post-consumer plastics imperative. If the current rate of manufacturing and consumer recycling remains, 40 billion pounds of PET waste will be added to our landfills within only a decade. While recycling is not the end-all, be-all solution for ridding the world of the plastic bag beast, it's a sustainable path for plastic products. 

In the late 1970s, only a few years after PET entered the United States marketplace, forward-thinking companies found the means to transform recycled PET into many useful products - the most common being packaging (such as new bottles) and fiber (carpet and other textile) applications. Other companies followed suit, and by the late 1990s were finding uses for over 1/2 billion pounds of recycled PET per year. Products made of Recycled PET include blankets, belts, shoes, insulation, and even car parts
In 1987 the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) labeled PET with resin code "#1" and created the easily recognizable "chasing arrows" symbol so that consumers would know that products made from this material were recyclable. 

Recycled PET Lifecycle
PET is recycled after consumption. After consumer recyclables have been collected and sorted by type at recycling centers, PET products are crushed, pressed into bales, shredded, and refined into PET flakes. These flakes are transformed into the raw materials that innovative companies transform into new products.  The difference between virgin PET and Recycled PET is indistinguishable. A study by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) determined that consumers could not tell the difference between products made of recycled material, and the environmental benefits of Recycled PET are phenomenal. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2/3 less energy is required to manufacture products made out of recyclable plastic. Other studies show that the production of recycled plastic requires 2/3 less of sulphur dioxide, 50% less of nitrous oxide, and almost 90% less water usage. More here

What's Next
  Most Recycled PET has been used for non-food and non-beverage related products, but some companies are pushing for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to more readily approve the use of post-consumer PET for food packaging.  WRAP has received support from prominent companies such as Coca-Cola, Marks & Spencer, and Boots (a UK cosmetics company), to research more uses for Recycled PET. The study met with positive results, with the material meeting safety standards for use in beverage and cosmetic packaging. These companies have promised to incorporate Recycled PET into future manufacturing. Consumers are impressed - according to Marks & Spencer, 85% of its surveyed customers claimed that the company's initiatives made them happier to shop at the store.  Even if other manufacturers aren't socially and environmentally motivated to reduce their own impact on the environment, consumer sentiment may sway them in the right direction. As demand increases, and as new applications for Recycled PET are discovered, the marketplace will foster more incentives for consumers to recycle PET. As of 2005, 23.1% of the 5.075 billion tons of PET produced in the U.S. were collected for recycling. This percentage will likely grow as consumers become more educated and more countries adopt legislation to use the SPI's easily recognizable "chasing arrows" symbol for PET bottles so that consumers find it easier to know how to recycle them.  Some U.S. states have already implemented financial incentives for consumers to bring in plastic bottles for recycling, and others have encouraged "curbside" collection to make recycling easier for the average citizen. In addition, progressive consumers and companies will encourage efforts for the plastics industry to design products in ways that make them more efficient and cheaper to recycle. The European Union has been more aggressive in PET recycling legislation. In 2001, all EU countries were required to meet a 15% plastic packaging recycling target, and in 2008 it will increase to 22.5%. 

Next Generation PET & More
Part of our ongoing mission is to incorporate truly sustainable fabrics into our innovative line of reusable shopping bags. From Next Generation PET to Recycled Cotton, stay tuned for exciting new products made from the most eco-friendly fabrics on the market. 

Click here to see our growing line of products made from recycled content, including recycled PET.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy! Knowledge Is Power If there is something else you'd like to know write to us at info@endeavorscorp.com and we'll do our best to address it for you!