A look back at notable observations and insight from industry leaders and consumers.
"People across the globe are cheering us on right now."
— Julie Featherston, a resident of Treasure Island, FL, to commissioners regarding their decision to move forward with an ordinance that will ban plastic drinking straws and stirrers on beaches. Trash, such as these straws, have littered beaches from coast to coast, causing ocean pollution and hazard to marine life.
"It is that mentality that waste is trash. As long as we view it as trash it will end up in the landfill. We must recognize it as valuable material."
— Holly Elmore, founder and CEO of Elemental Impact, a nonprofit that helps organizations reach their zero waste goals. Elmore explains that reaching zero waste is more than changing operations — it's also about changing mindsets.
"If you want a program to fail, make it an opt in."
— Mike Nowak of the Chicago Recycling Coalition on the city's failure to properly collect and dispose of yard waste. Due to an investigation by Chicago's WBEZ 91.5, it is believed that the city is illegally disposing of the waste in landfills.
"Synthetic plastic microbeads have polluted our nation's waters for years and action is long overdue."
— Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. who introduced a federal bill — the Microbeads Free Waters Act of 2015 — that will ban personal care products or non-prescription cosmetic products with mircrobeads nationally.
"Quite frankly, it’s a space [waste management] that hasn’t seen a lot of innovation ... we're trying to change that."
— ZeroCycle CEO Hunter Hayes on the company's efforts to introduce more technology to the waste industry. DC-based ZeroCycle offers cloud-based software systems for municipalities to analyze neighborhood-specific waste and recycling information.
"Twenty-somethings, we kind of get pegged for not caring. We’ve found that to be completely not true, especially when it comes to recycling."
— Clear Intentions Vice President Todd Lehman on the company's efforts to target millennials to recycle more. This week, Clear Intentions added five new glass-only drop-off boxes to areas of Denver to increase the city's glass recycling rate.