Newsletter to WtERT members by Werner Bauer of WtERT-E.U.
WtERT-News June/July 2020
Broken glass everywhere
“It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from going under.” Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
When I think of Corona, these song lyrics keep coming to my mind. What is actually happening right now? Entire industries are collapsing (aviation, automotive, tourism, meat processing). A difficult social environment and the cramped living and working conditions lead to more infections, especially amongst disadvantaged people. The pandemic draws our attention to the social differences between rich and poor.
Why is it that some states are so severely affected? (2020.07.01; Brazil has registered more than 1,200 corona deaths within the last 24 hours. 2020.06.26; USA with 40.000 newly infected people in one day)
The virus itself does not know these distinctions and affects all social structures due to the necessary restrictions on public life.
How is it with waste?
Waste also seems to spread initially via socially weaker structures. Via countries that still rely mainly on landfills and do not afford material and energy recycling. Here, too, the impact on the global climate concerns all social structures; the plastic particles in the world’s oceans endanger rich and poor alike.
If the virus shows us that medical as well as social answers are needed, then the waste problem needs not only technical, but also primarily social solutions.
I am convinced that the conversion of waste into material and energy resources cannot be achieved without a fundamental change in all the social structures involved to form a circular society. This is the reason why WtERT also repeatedly presents case studies that go beyond all technology and are based on a special interaction of the local players.
For this reason, we at WtERT are working to identify outstanding and approved
examples that help to overcome waste problems at all levels. By disseminating these examples, we want to participate in the fact that especially the social challenges can be mastered.
Physical distancing to slow the spread of the virus is essential.
Our cover picture shows how the physical distance between visitors is ensured at a recycling yard in Germany.
The Dansoman-Glefe community plastic buyback center initiated by Coliba Ghana offers the avenue for community members to bring their plastic waste in exchange for cash, school fees, insurance incentives etc.
An article by Peter Quicker, Stefano Consonni and Mario Grosso
While there is no doubt that the prevention of municipal solid waste (MSW) generation should sit at the top of any public policy, industrial strategy and individual behaviour, just like reducing the consumption of energy, this proposition might mislead the public into thinking that waste can suddenly disappear if only we had the will to make it happen.
We are happy to welcome Mr. Frank Acheampong in our team. Mr. Acheampong studied Industrial Chemistry at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. This year he completed his master studies in Sustainable Resource Management with focus on waste management and renewable resources at the Technical University of Munich. He is supporting WtERT Germany in the field of knowledge management.
ESWET released a policy briefing to welcome the adoption of the EU Taxonomy by the European Parliament and to stress the importance of non-recyclable waste treatment to ensure a green transition in the waste management sector.
Please note that in light of the current COVID-19 situation, the Executive Board of the Special Programme has made the decision to extend the deadline for the submission of applications to 4 September 2020.
Global Reporting Initiative: “GRI 306 Waste 2020” the globally applicable tool for organizations to report and communicate on their waste impacts is launched now. The Waste Standard introduces a stronger relationship between materials and waste to assist reporters in identifying and managing their waste-related practices, and impacts, throughout their value chain.