Some Banks Just Don’t Get It

October 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

inside envelope of bank preapproved credit card

It is amazing how some banks waste resources in their marketing campaigns. One example is when banks send pre-approved credit cards to their customers, even though their customers never ask for those cards.

The photo above shows all the material inside a single envelope by DBS, including the letter, pre-approved credit card, brochures, card agreement, and discount vouchers. Customers who are not interested in the credit cards offered by the banks simply throw them away, hopefully into recycling bags or bins.

Imagine the envelopes, letters, brochures and credit cards that go to waste, just because the banks simply chose to throw them at their customers without asking them if they want the credit cards in the first place. These banks are not only wasting resources and money but also ending up irritating their customers.

Are you one of those banks? It’s time to rethink and do things differently (hint: read Seth Godin’s books for help).

This post was first published at Green Business Singapore.

2008 Waste Statistics and Current Waste Situation in Singapore (Part Four)

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

Continued from Part Three, which looked at the recycling rate of the different waste, and the opportunities for food waste reduction.

This final part explores the opportunities for reducing the generation of Paper/Cardboard and Plastics waste. We will look at campaigns, companies, services, projects and tips that help to reduce paper and plastic waste.

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Opportunities for Paper Waste Reduction

We think that there is great potential to reduce our paper mail and junk mail, and also switch to duplex printing.

epost by Canada Post

Canada Post offers a free epost box. With epost, users can have bills and other mailers sent to them electronically and allows them to view and store them online.

Zumbox

Zumbox is a paperless postal system that provides a virtual mailbox for every street address in the United States, which allows users to receive, view, organize, store and send their mail online.

Red Dot Campaign

The Red Dot Campaign is a social marketing campaign in Canada to encourage advertisers to reduce waste and resources in paper-based advertising, and evaluate their current marketing strategies.

Stop Junk Mail

Stop Junk Mail is a non-profit UK-based group giving advice on how to reduce junk mail. They also provide ‘No junk mail’ stickers for households to paste on their door and letterbox to stop unaddressed leaflets and/or free newspapers.

Voluntary Admail Reduction Program

This Voluntary Admail Reduction Program is a by-law of the City of Ottawa to regulate the distribution of unaddressed advertising material. The by-law states that:

No distributor shall distribute or cause to be distributed any unaddressed advertising material on private property if the owner or occupant of the property has affixed a sign in a conspicuous way on his or her own property, as prescribed in accordance with Schedule “A” to this by-law indicating that he or she does not wish to receive any unaddressed advertising material.

The property owner or occupant can participate in the program by purchasing a sticker to indicate their desire not to receive unaddressed advertising material.

Duplex Printing

One of the easiest way to save paper in the office is to set the printer on default to print on both sides of a sheet of paper. Here’s a guide to show you the steps for setting your printer to duplex printing.

Check out more tips on reducing paper.

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Opportunities for Plastics Waste Reduction

We think that there is great potential to reduce our use of plastic bottles, plastic bags and plastic packaging.

Tap

Tap is an ethical enterprise and campaign to get people to rethink bottled water and switch to water from the tap.

Tappening

Tappening is a campaign to educate the public about the unnecessary waste of resources and harm on the environment caused by the bottled water industry, and to encourage people to drink tap water and say no to bottled water.

Are You Ready?

This is the National Plastic Bag Campaign in Australia to help individuals and retailers move towards a phase-out or reduction in plastic bag use.

The Positive Package

The Positive Package is a campaign to share information on reducing, reusing and recycling packaging.

The Guide to Evolving Packaging Design

The online Guide to Evolving Packaging Design provides ideas, tips and tools to help retailers and manufacturers change the way packaging is produced and used.

The National Packaging Covenant

The National Packaging Covenant is a voluntary initiative by the government and industry in Australia to reduce the environmental effects of packaging.

Check out more tips to reduce plastics by avoiding disposable items and choosing products with less packaging.

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We encourage more individuals, communities, NGOs, businesses and the government to explore the mentioned opportunities to reduce the waste output of Food Waste, Paper/Cardboard and Plastics. There is potential for more awareness, campaigns, governmental and business services to reduce our waste. For a start, the new 3R Fund would be useful for providing financial support to implement these waste reduction opportunities.

Read Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

Learn How to Make Paper Models

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Reuse

If you’re wondering about what to do with your used paper and junk mail, why not use them for origami – the traditional Japanese art of paperfolding.

A simple piece of paper can be folded into various models – from insects, animals, birds, flowers to useful objects such as envelopes, CD cases, coasters, chopstick cases and photo frames.

Learn Origami

You can learn origami from the following web resources and turn your paper junk mail into fun and interesting paper models.

Local Origami Enthusiasts

You can also see interesting origami models and learn from local origami enthusiasts:

Paper Craft Models

Besides origami, you can also learn how to make realistic paper craft models of animals, insects and motorcycles. Check out this Yamaha Motor website with more than 50 paper models. Just download the model on used paper, fold and paste the paper parts together and you’ve got a paper model that looks just like the real thing. Enjoy!

Paper Recycling

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

Paper is one of the most common types of waste in Singapore and 1.26 million tonnes of paper waste was generated in 2013. The recycling rate of paper is 54% in 2013, and most of this paper waste is sorted, baled and exported overseas for recycling as there are no paper recycling mills in Singapore.

Let’s take a closer look at paper recycling:

1. Types of Paper for Recycling

The different types of paper waste are collected and usually separated into the following categories for recycling.

  • Newspapers
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Magazines
  • White office paper
  • Mixed paper

2. Why Recycle Paper

There are environmental benefits to paper recycling. According to Waste Online:

Producing recycled paper involves between 28 – 70% less energy consumption than virgin paper and uses less water. This is because most of the energy used in papermaking is the pulping needed to turn wood into paper.

Recycled paper produces fewer polluting emissions to air (95% of air pollution) and water. Recycled paper is not usually re-bleached and where it is, oxygen rather than chlorine is usually used. This reduces the amount of dioxins which are released into the environment as a by-product of the chlorine bleaching processes.

3. The Paper Recycling Process

At the paper recycling plant, sorted paper goes into a pulper where they are washed and screened to remove unwanted items like metals and plastics. The paper pulp then undergoes a floatation process to remove inks and adhesives. The resulting paper slurry is spread on wire meshes and drained of water using rollers to form sheets of paper.

Watch this animation video on the paper recycling process from RecycleBank:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWH1Mg8gdic[/youtube]

 

4. Recycled Paper Products

Paper waste such as white office paper, corrugated cartons and newspapers can be recycled back to its original use. Magazines, mixed paper, newspapers and corrugated cartons are recycled as cardboards, toilet papers, paper towels, egg cartons, kraft paper, etc.

Watch how toilet paper is made from recycled paper:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrg_6dny6Po[/youtube]

5. Paper Recycling in Singapore

In Singapore, about 1.26 million tonnes of paper waste was generated in 2013 and the recycling rate is 54%. Paper waste is usually collected through the recycling programmes and traditionally by the karang guni men, waste paper collectors and traders.

The paper waste are sorted by type, baled or placed in containers, and exported overseas for recycling as there are no paper recycling mills in Singapore.

6. Collectors, Traders and Recycling Companies for Paper

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your paper waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

For companies, you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

7. What Can I Do

You can recycle paper through the various recycling programmes at home, in school and your office, or through the public recycling bins. But before you do so, remember to Reduce and Reuse your paper waste.