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    A Bill to Require EIAs Before Packaging Drinks in Plastic

    Saturday, May 30th, 2009

    Last year in a post about efforts in Brazil to stop the sale of beer in PET bottles, I explored some of the possible ramifications of an April 2008 rejection by a federal judge of all challenges to a 2002 ruling that brewers wishing to bottle their beer in PET or any other plastic must […]

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    Trash Photos XVI: Furniture Made with PET Bottles

    Sunday, April 26th, 2009

    Back in January I posted about making furniture made from scrap tires that serves not only to “upcycle” (as my friend Leila insists I call it!) waste but also to help unemployed or low-income Brazilians earn income.  At the time I intended to post a week or two later about similar projects involving furniture made […]

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    Rio Gets Supermarkets to Become Recycling Centers

    Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

    The President of Rio de Janeiro’s State Environment Institute (INEA) just signed a “letter of intent” with the Association of Supermarkets of Rio de Janeiro State (ASSERJ) and the Federation of Cooperatives of Recyclable Material Collectors (Febracom) to install selective collection centers in all the state’s supermarkets. The centers will allow consumers to return plastic […]

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    “Eco-Pillows”

    Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

    When I first read in O Globo of the latest offering from Campinas-based Les Coussins to be shown in mid-February at the annual trade fair of Brazilian Association of High Decoration Furnishing Industries (ABIMAD), I contacted their owner/designer, Fátima Queiroz, to ask for pictures and permission to blog about it.
    Fátima was not only nice enough […]

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    Trash Photos XV: Clothes and Accessories from Trash

    Sunday, January 18th, 2009

    Two years ago I did a post about a conference of catadores (waste pickers) in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, that featured a “fashion show” of clothing made from recovered materials, including a dress made from used calling cards.
    The Brazilians are nothing if not creative.  There are now several who spend much time dreaming up clothing […]

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    Paper Made from Recycled Plastic

    Friday, January 16th, 2009

    According to a report from São Paulo’s Research Support Foundation (Fapesp), a synthetic “paper” made from discarded post-consumer plastics has been developed at Brazil’s Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) and tested in a pilot plant of Vitopel, a manufacturer of flexible films with a factory in Votorantim, São Paulo.
    Produced as a film, the material […]

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    Wal-Mart’s Plastic Bag Reduction Strategy in Central America

    Thursday, January 15th, 2009

    Wal-Mart Central America is pursuing an interesting strategy to achieve its announced target of a 50% reduction in plastic bag use in its more than 500 stores in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua by 2013.  Whereas its brethren in Brazil have elected to offer discounts for consumers bringing their own alternatives to […]

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    The Largest Solar Water Heater Made With PET Bottles?

    Saturday, August 9th, 2008

    One of the most popular posts here on The Temas Blog was the one introducing the solar water heater made of used PET bottles and aseptic cartons (mostly Tetra-brik) promoted by Paraná’s (PR) Zero Waste (Desperdício Zero) Program. Not far behind in popularity has been the follow-up post about how the Program is spreading […]

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    Giving LAC’s First Plastic Packaging Law Teeth

    Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

    An interesting thing happened over the last two weeks. Well, interesting to people like me who’ve been following the packaging waste debate for decades, at least. Environment enforcement officials for Rio de Janeiro (RJ) state “blitzed” supermarkets in Rio de Janeiro city — first on 19 October in the well-to-do Leblon section, then […]

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    Bahia to Adopt Paraná’s Zero Waste Program Model

    Saturday, October 13th, 2007

    I’ve mentioned here several times the innovative Zero Waste Program (Programa Desperdício Zero) of the southern Brazilian state Paraná, such as how it applies to glass recycling, pesticide packaging, aseptic packaging and finding new ways to reuse/recycle plastic (PET) bottles (such as building solar water heaters). At some point I should do a comprehensive […]

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