Kickstart: Cleaning beaches and feeding people

A restaurant owner in Bali is gaining attention for his work to both clean up Plastic waste and feed people.Made Janur Yasa, who runs a vegan restaurant in the town of Ubud, said that when COVID-19 hit the Indonesian island, people who depended on their income from tourists were struggling. At the same time, plastic waste continued to accumulate on beaches.So Yasa began providing rice in exchange for plastics collected by local residents. The “plastic-for-rice” program began in his hometown. In May 2020, the official Plastic Exchange began and spread to other communities in Bali.”Villagers will receive the rice according to the type of plastic they bring and the amount that they bring,” he told CNN when it profiled him as its weekly . “Each category has a different value. We work with a company that collects this plastic and sends it to Java for proper recycling, because we don’t have a recycling plant yet in Bali. We buy rice from the farmers. So, we’re really creating this circular economy, supporting the farmers and then we also clean the environment and feed people in that community.”In a fundraising page on the website — where to help it grow — Yasa notes the program is now active in 200 villages, helped feed thousands of families and has collected nearly 500 tons of plastic for recycling. While most corporate response to activists’ calls for greater sustainability has seen companies cut their use of plastics, it’s interesting to see that the fast-food restaurant chain Wendy’s is instead replacing paper with plastic.The paper in question is the coated paper cups the Ohio-based hamburger chain has used for most of its drinks. In announcing a project to use Berry Global Group Inc. in place of the paper cups, it notes that the new cups will be made using at least 30 percent recycled material, and the cups are fully recyclable. Coated paper cups, generally, are not.”Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact of single-use waste, and we want to do our part as a leader in the quick-service restaurant industry to provide more sustainable options,” said Liliana Esposito, Wendy’s chief corporate affairs and sustainability officer, in a news release.Note that she used the term “single-use waste” and not “single-use plastics.”Of course critics point to the fact that PP is still not accepted in most recycling streams, and there’s no way of ensuring where the cups will end up. But at least the effort is acknowledging there are more ways to be green.People in the plastics industry have been aware of resin shortages for more than a year as hurricanes, ice storms and shipping issues have chipped away at supplies.Now consumers are becoming very aware, too, as they find empty shelves and higher prices. And leaders of corporate giants are very willing to blame plastics for their shortages.Food giant Danone SA said during an earnings call earlier this week that it couldn’t increase sales of its plant-based beverages in the third quarter because of problems getting products to stores.”What started as increased inflation on material costs evolved into widespread constraints impacting our supply chain in many parts of the world. That said, we are putting even greater focus on productivity and pricing actions to mitigate the impact on our performance,” said in a news release discussing the quarterly results.Not that he’s wrong, of course. Shortages are very real as are shipping delays, but it’s very handy to put the blame on suppliers when big international companies have known for months that this could happen.  Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Please enter a valid email address.Please enter your email address.Please verify captcha.Please select at least one newsletter to subscribe. Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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