In recent years, several innovations are changing the way we purchase the items that we use. Many major retail stores around the country are no longer offering disposal plastic bags, thus forcing customers to act responsibly and bring their own reusable cloth bags. Fast food restaurants are also following this trend by reducing the availability of plastic straws and other one-use, disposable plastic waste.
Though this is certainly a step in the right direction, it is also a relatively symbolic move. The amount of trash produced via packaging waste continues to skyrocket. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “14.5 million tons of plastic containers and packaging were generated in 2018, approximately 5.0 percent of municipal solid waste (MSW) generation.” Only recently are some companies taking steps to drastically reduce, or eliminate all together, their packaging waste footprint. Furthermore, recent recyclable waste bans from China and other countries in the developing world has made it increasingly difficult for consumers in the Bay area to deal with their waste in an environmentally responsible manner.
In this short article, we take a quick look at some of the exciting developments in the circular economy model aiming to eliminate certain types of post-consumer waste. We then turn our attention to how Junk King of San Carlos offers an environmentally friendly solution for other types of junk removal while the circular economy model continues to gain strength.
What is the Circular Economy?
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: “Looking beyond the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system.”
This type of economic systems focuses on design out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. Some major retail outlets are now offering recycling stations for products that are purchased at their stores. Target, for example, allows customers to bring in their used child car seats and other large and hard-to-recycle products that they had previously purchased at the store. For post-consumer waste, however, reducing the amount of packaging used by everyday products is a serious challenge.
Instead of focusing singularly on recycling discarded packaging, some innovative companies are now focusing on the issue of reuse. Loop is a company focused on helping large, well-known brands to shift towards reusable packaging for their products. With the Loop circular model, consumers pay a refundable deposit for each package. They then use the products, and return the empty containers into a Loop tote. The reusable packaging is then sent back to the manufacturer to be cleaned and refilled. Examples of Loop packaging include reusable yogurt containers, bottles of cleaning products, toothpaste tubes, shampoo bottles and more.
With the circular model embraced by Loop, the packaging is not actually the consumer’s property, but rather the property of the company. In practical terms, instead of tossing the used packaging into a recycling container, the consumer tosses the reusable container or package into a Loop tote where it is then returned to the company. If there is a way to return the reusable packaging in a simple and straightforward way, most consumers would be on board with this process.
In certain parts of the country, individuals and homeowners can now sign up to order your favorite food products online to be delivered to your doorstep in returnable packaging. Once used, you simply have to place the glass and stainless steel containers in front of your home for collection. Both Kroger and Walgreens are two leading retailers in different industries that are promoting this model.
Lastly, there are also several smaller retail grocers and other stores that are embracing a zero-waste model. These stores severely limit any sort of plastic packaging and also have several returnable packaging models for their customers. For people living in the Bay area, Alameda Natural Grocery, Canyon Market, Fillgood.co, Mollie Stone’s Market, Other Avenues Co-op, Rainbow Grocery, and Zero Grocery are just a few of the stores promoting and offering a zero waste model. You can find a list of zero-waste stores in the state of California at this link.
Green Junk Removal Services
We should all celebrate the important steps being taken to reduce the amount of plastic trash associated with packaging and other types of post-consumer waste. However, it is also important to realize that this type of waste represents only a small fraction of the total waste that humanity generates on a yearly basis. As we showed above, packaging only accounts for about 5 percent of the total municipal solid waste generation. Perhaps even more worrisome is the fact that construction and demolition (C & D) debris is almost double the amount of municipal solid waste around the country.
Even if you make a determined effort to bring your reusable cloth bags when grocery shopping or only support companies that offer returnable packaging, this will still only amount to a small dent in lowering your overall waste footprint. So what exactly can homeowners, individuals, and businesses do to avoid sending their other types of waste to the local landfill? Might there be an easy and environmentally friendly way to discard your old couch, a broken refrigerator, or the piles of limbs from a tree that you just had trimmed?
Junk King of San Carlos is the leading junk removal service for individuals and business owners in the Bay area. We provide junk removal services to the Peninsula area, including residential and commercial service to people in Atherton, Belmont, La Honda, Loma Mar, Los Altos, Menlo Park Mountain View, Palo Alto, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Gregorio, and Stanford. Our junk removal Bay Area team has developed solid, long-standing relationships with several donation and recycling centers, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army, local homeless shelters, Habitat for Humanity and Urban Ore. We are able to help you get rid of virtually any type of large, bulky junk that you have laying around your home or business as long as it is not classified as toxic waste.
Used furniture, hot tubs, construction debris, electronic waste (e-waste), used appliances, are just a few of the items that we pick up and either recycle or donate. Our company is also proud to say that we offer superior customer service. We have dedicated staff waiting to answer your call and help you find an effective solution for junk removal needs. For online and text price estimates, we also make every effort to give you a response in 10 minutes or less. Fair pricing, quality customer service, and a sincere commitment to recycling or reusing at least 60 percent of the junk we pick up are just a few of the reasons that Junk King is the Bay area’s number one preferred junk removal Bay Area service.
Simply call us at 1-888-5865(JUNK) or consider booking us online here. Again, we offer up-front pricing that will leave you feeling like the weight of your clutter has been lifted off your shoulders. Call us today to help free up space in your home or business without so much as lifting a finger.