- Paris officials have announced a plan to build hundreds of public waste sorting stations across the city to boost waste diversion, as reported by Reuters. According to a town hall spokeswoman, only 18% of all recyclable waste is currently diverted.
- The city will aim to install 40 of these stations by the end of the year and then, following a review in mid-2017, will install up to 1,500 of the stations throughout 2018. French recycling company Eco-Emballages — which receives funding from its 50,000 member companies — will help finance the systems.
- Currently, the city collects recyclables in yellow bins at apartment buildings using a single-stream system, however the bins typically fill up more quickly than they can be emptied, and some residents don't even have space for the bins. This new system aims to reach these residents who lack proper access to recycling.
In a city with an estimated 2.25 million residents, it is unsurprising that not everyone has proper access to recycling. By implementing these recycling sorting systems in 20 districts across the city, officials will not only be increasing recycling efforts from residents but also from the millions of tourists that pass through France's capital each day.
In addition to the typical materials that are expected to be collected in these sorting stations, such as plastics, paper and glass, Reuters reports that the stations will also accept textiles. By making textile collection more accessible — especially in one of the most fashion-forward cities in the world — Paris will likely increase diversion rates exponentially. A recent report from Greenpeace shows that 95% of clothing that is tossed could be worn again and, by accepting clothing in these new bins, Paris may inadvertently become a world-leader in fashion material reuse in the near future.
This initiative across Paris is just one of France's recent efforts to eliminate waste from landfills. In September, a new French law was put in place to ban the sale of single-use plastic cutlery and dishes by 2020 — a law that is believed to be the first of its kind in the world. Additionally, France-based trash can manufacturer Uzer has developed a "smart bin" to scan packaging barcodes to help identify if a material is recyclable or not. Ideally, Uzer's technology can one day be integrated with Paris' new sorting stations to optimize the sorting process.