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An investigation into the use and effects of bin liners Guan, Nathen; Tu, James; Bittar, Yasser Apr 10, 2014

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 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student ReportJames Tu, Yasser Andres Bittar Andrade, Nathen Nanyang GuanAn Investigation into the Use and Effects of Bin LinersAPSC 262April 10, 201410361642University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	   An	  Investigation	  into	  	  the	  Use	  and	  Effects	  	  of	  	  Bin	  Liners	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	   Nathen	  Guan	  James	  Tu	  Yasser	  Bittar	  	  April	  10th,	  2014	  APSC262	  Prof.	  Paul	  Winkelman	  	  	  	  	  	  	   ii	  	  	  ABSTRACT	  	   The	  use	  of	  bin	  liners	  have	  recently	  became	  popular	  as	  a	  safe	  and	  convenient	  way	  to	  handle	  garbage.	  Invented	  back	  in	  1950,	  bin	  liners	  come	  in	  a	  variety	  of	  types	  that	   include	   plastic,	   cotton,	   paper,	   and	   recently	   being	   made	   of	   biodegradable	  materials.	  They	  may	  come	   in	  many	  different	   sizes,	   each	  with	  a	  different	  price	  and	  may	  be	  used	  in	  both	  personal	  and	  commercial	  settings.	  Bin	  liners,	  although	  having	  their	   pros	   also	   have	   many	   cons.	   Some	   of	   these	   downfalls	   include	   economic,	  environmental	   and	   social	   issues.	   The	   sight	   of	   litter	   from	   the	   increased	   amount	   of	  plastic	  bags	  promotes	  insecurity	  and	  unpleasantness	  in	  the	  social	  community.	  Most	  bin	   liners	   are	   also	   expensive	   not	   only	   to	   the	   consumer	   but	   to	   manufacture.	  Environmental	   issues	   include	  global	  warming	   from	   the	  production	  of	  plastic	  bags,	  litter,	  and	  the	   long	  half-­‐life	  of	  many	  plastic	  bags.	   In	  response,	  there	  is	  currently	  an	  increasing	  movement	   towards	   a	   green	  world	   to	   reduce	   the	   amount	   of	   plastic	   bin	  liners	  used.	  Doing	  so	  will	  help	  preserve	  the	  Earth	  and	  make	  it	  a	  cleaner	  and	  pleasant	  world	  to	  live	  in.	  	  	   	  	   iii	  TABLE	  OF	  CONTENTS	  	  	  ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………………………………………………….…ii	  	  LIST	  OF	  ILLUSTRATIONS………………………………………………………………………………...iv	  	  GLOSSARY………………………………………………………………………………………………………..v	  	  LIST	  OF	  ABBREVIATIONS………………………………………………………………………………..vi	  	  1.0 INTRODUCTION:	  WHAT	  ARE	  BIN	  LINERS	  &	  WHY	  ARE	  THEY	  USED……………..1	  	  2.0 TYPES	  OF	  BIN	  LINERS………………………………………………………………………………...2	  	   2.1 PLASTIC……………………………………………………………………………………….…..2	  	   2.2 PAPER………………………………………………………………………………………….…..2	  	   2.3 COTTON……………………………………………………………………………………….…..3	  	   2.4 BIODEGRADABLE/COMPOSTABLE…………………………………………………..3	  	  3.0 EFFECTS	  OF	  USING	  BIN	  LINERS…………………………………………………………………..4	  	   3.1 ECONOMIC	  EFFECTS………………………………………………………………………...4	  	   3.2 ENVIRONMENTAL	  EFFECTS……………………………………………………………...4	  	   3.3 SOCIAL	  EFFECTS………………………………………………………………………………6	  	  4.0 HOW	  CAN	  THE	  PROBLEM	  BE	  SOLVED?	  ………………………………………………………7	  	   4.1 	  UBC	  RESIDENCE	  PROGRAM……………………………………………………………..8	  	  5.0 CONCLUSIONS	  AND	  RECOMMENDATIONS…………………………………………………..9	  	  6.0 REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………………………….10	  	  7.0 	  APPENDIX………………………………………………………………………………………………..11	  	   7.1 	  10	  TIPS	  TO	  MANAGING	  GARBAGE	  WITHOUT	  BIN	  LINERS……………...11	  	  7.2 	  NEWSPAPER	  ORIGAMI	  BIN	  LINER…………………………………………………12	  	  	   	  	   iv	  LIST	  OF	  ILLUSTRATIONS	  	  	  Figure	  1:	  The relative contribution of different environmental impacts of a HDPE bag.	  	   	  	   v	  GLOSSARY	  	  	  Green	  house	  gases	   emissions	  given	  off	  during	  production	  processes	  of	   plastic	   bag	   liners	   as	   well	   as	   breakdown	   of	  paper	  bin	  liners	  	  High-­‐density	  polyethylene	   	   high	  density	  plastic	  for	  conventional	  plastic	  bags	  	  Life	  cycle	  assessment	   the	   assessment	   the	   life	   cycle	   of	   products;	  provides	   useful	   information	   and	   some	  conclusions	   as	   to	  which	   phases	   are	   responsible	  for	  the	  most	  significant	  environmental	  impacts	  	  Low-­‐density	  polyethylene	   low	   density	   plastic	   for	  more	   heavy-­‐duty	   plastic	  bags	  	  Polylactic	  acid	   a	   bio-­‐based	   polymer	   used	   to	   create	  biodegradable	   plastic	   bags;	   a	   renewable	  resource	  	  	  Polyhydroxyalkanoates	   polymers	  produced	  by	  micro-­‐organisms	  	  Polyethylene	   a	   gelatinous	   substance	   used	   to	   create	   plastic	  bags	  	  	  	  	  	   	  	   vi	  LIST	  OF	  ABBREVIATIONS	  	  	  GHG	   	   	   	   	   greenhouse	  gases	  	  HDPE	   	   	   	   	   high-­‐density	  polyethylene	  	  LCA	   	   	   	   	   life	  cycle	  assessment	  	  LDPE	   	   	   	   	   low-­‐density	  polyethylene	  	  PP	   	   	   	   	   polypropylene	  	  PLA	   	   	   	   	   polylactic	  acid	  	  PHA	   	   	   	   	   polyhydroxyalkanoates	  	  PE	   	   	   	   	   polyethylene	   1	  1.0 INTRODUCTION:	  WHAT	  ARE	  BIN	  LINERS	  &	  WHY	  ARE	  THEY	  USED	  	   Bin	  liners,	  as	  the	  name	  suggests,	  are	  used	  to	  line	  rubbish	  and	  recycling	  bins	  and	  may	  also	  be	  called	  “bin	  bags”.	  The	  use	  of	  bin	  liners	  have	  only	  really	  been	  popular	  in	  the	  past	  couple	  decades	  and	  are	  a	  convenient	  and	  safe	  way	  to	  handle	  garbage.	  Bin	  liners	   are	   lightweight;	   help	   minimize	   odor	   and	   keeping	   wet	   or	   messy	   garbage	  together,	  and	  serves	  to	  keep	  the	  waste	  container	  sanitary.	  Bin	  liners	  were	  created	  in	  1950	  with	  credit	  going	  to	  Canadians	  Harry	  Wasylyk,	  Larry	  Hansen,	  and	  Frank	  Plomp	  (Wikipedia,	  2014).	  	   The	  majority	  of	  bin	  liners	  are	  made	  of	  plastic	  and	  many	  reuse	  the	  plastic	  grocery	  bags	  obtained	  while	  shopping	  to	  line	  waste	  containers.	  Other	  types	  of	  bags	  include	  paper	  (whether	  from	  new	  or	  recycled	  sources)	  and	  biodegradable	  plastics	  that	  may	  break	   down	   easily	   over	   a	   short	   amount	   of	   time.	   Bin	   liners	   are	   fairly	   stable	   in	  sanitary	   landfills	  and	  the	  use	  and	  convenience	  has	  helped	  manage	  waste	   for	  many	  people.	  Bin	  liners	  are	  used	  in	  both	  personal	  and	  commercial	  settings.	  	   However,	   there	  are	  also	  many	  downfalls	  with	   the	   increased	  used	  of	  bin	   liners.	  Noticeable	  litter	  is	  one	  of	  the	  major	  issues	  as	  increased	  use	  may	  lead	  to	  an	  increase	  in	   litter	   seen	   in	   public.	   Global	   warming	   is	   also	   another	   major	   issue	   due	   to	   the	  production	   costs	  of	  plastic	  bags.	  Other	  environmental	   factors	   include	   the	   fact	   that	  most	   plastic	   bags	   may	   take	   up	   to	   a	   thousand	   years	   to	   break	   down	   and	   may	   be	  harmful	   to	   marine	   and	   land	   animals	   that	   mistaken	   plastic	   bags	   as	   food.	  Manufacturing	   of	   many	   paper	   bags	   leads	   to	   increased	   logging	   and	   decreases	   the	  amount	  of	  forests	  in	  the	  natural	  environment.	  	  	   Due	   to	   the	   increased	   use	   of	   plastic	   bin	   liners	   causing	   a	   high	   growth	   in	  environmental,	  economic,	  and	  social	  problems,	  many	  societies	  and	  countries	  around	  the	  world	  have	  imposed	  changes	  in	  an	  attempt	  to	  find	  a	  greener	  alternative.	  Many	  switch	   from	   plastic	   to	   paper	   bags	   for	   food	   scraps	   and	   reusable	   cotton	   bags	   for	  groceries	   instead	  of	  plastic	  bags.	  This	  naturally	  decreases	  plastic	  consumption	  and	  implicitly	   the	   carbon	   footprint	   on	   the	   environment.	   Some	  even	  opt	   to	  not	   use	  bin	  liners	   in	   waste	   containers	   or	   recycle	   newspaper	   by	   folding	   it	   into	   an	   enclosed	  container	  to	  hold	  food	  scraps.	  The	  education	  of	  people	  about	  the	  effects	  of	  increased	  use	  in	  bin	  liners	  may	  also	  help	  alleviate	  the	  rising	  problems	  of	  plastic	  bin	  liner	  use.	  The	  overall	  expected	  effect	  is	  a	  decrease	  in	  global	  warming	  as	  well	  as	  economic	  and	  environmental	  problems.	  	  	   	  	   2	  2.0 TYPES	  OF	  BIN	  LINERS	  	   Bin	  liners	  can	  come	  in	  different	  forms	  from	  the	  most	  commonly	  used	  plastic	  to	  the	   green	   alternatives	   of	   paper	   and	   biodegradable/compostable	   plastic	   products	  made	   from	   plant	   polymers.	   Many	   retailers	   sell	   bin	   liners	   and	   offer	   products	   that	  come	   in	  a	  variety	  of	  material	  and	  sizes.	  EcoSafe	  sells	  biodegradable	  bags	   that	  may	  range	   from	   $10	   to	   $50	   depending	   on	   the	   size	   needed	   to	   both	   personal	   and	  commercial	   parties.	   Brabantia	   is	   also	   another	   company	   that	   tries	   to	   specialize	   in	  green	  alternatives	  by	  offering	  paper	  bin	  liners	  in	  conjunction	  with	  the	  conventional	  plastic.	  The	  Bag	  to	  Earth	  company	  specializes	  in	  only	  paper	  bin	  liners,	  with	  a	  motto	  asking	  society	  to	  “help	  the	  Earth	  help	   itself”	  by	  reducing	  the	  amount	  of	  plastic	  bin	  liners	  used.	  	  	   2.1	  PLASTIC	  	   2.1.1	  High-­‐density	  polyethylene	  (HDPE)	  bags	  	   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  DPE	  bags	  are	  the	  most	  commonly	  used	  type	  of	  plastic	  bags.	  They	  are	  most	  sold	  or	  provided	  by	  super	  markets	  when	  customers	  pick	  up	  groceries.	  Many	  people	   reuse	   HDPE	   bags	   as	   a	   cost	   effective	   source	   of	   bin	   liners.	   They	   are	  usually	   vest-­‐shaped,	   thin	   and	   lightweight.	   The	   degradation	   of	   these	   bags	  usually	  occurs	  under	  natural	  sunlight,	  heat	  and/or	  mechanical	  stress,	  and	  the	  environmental	  weather	  (Edwards,	  2011).	  	   2.1.2 Low-­‐density	  polyethylene	  (LDPE)	  bags	  	   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  LDPE	   bags	   are	   a	   heavy-­‐duty	   type	   of	   plastic	   bag.	   They	   are	   usually	  purchased	   from	   retailers	   are	  may	   be	   used	   to	   hold	  wet	   or	   heavy	   trash	   that	  would	  normally	  tear	  through	  conventional	  plastic	  bags.	  They	  may	  come	  in	  a	  variety	   of	   sizes	   depending	   on	   the	   need	   of	   the	   customer.	   The	   production	   of	  HDPE	   and	   LDPE	   plastic	   bags	   are	   done	   by	   forcing	   gelatinous	   polyethylene	  (PE)	   material	   through	   holes	   to	   create	   strings.	   The	   strings	   are	   then	   cut,	  heated,	  and	  molded	  to	  make	  bags	  (Edwards,	  2011).	  	  	   2.1.3 Polypropylene	  (PP)	  bags	  	   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  PP	   type	   bags	   are	  made	  with	   spun	   bonded	   non-­‐woven	   technique.	   These	  types	   of	   bags	   are	   sturdier	   than	   LDPE	   bags	   and	   intended	   to	   be	   reused.	  Stability	   is	   provided	   with	   a	   semi-­‐rigid	   insert	   into	   the	   bag	   itself	   (Edwards,	  2011).	  	  	   2.2 PAPER	  	   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  Paper	   bags	   are	  more	   environmentally	   friendly	   as	   paper	   biodegrades	  much	  more	   easily	   than	   plastic	   materials.	   They	   may	   be	   made	   from	   new	   or	   recycled	  	   3	  materials	  and	  are	  meant	  for	  holding	  food	  scraps	  as	  the	  entire	  bag	  may	  be	  tossed	  in	  a	  compost	  area	  with	  the	  food	  to	  break	  down.	  	  	   2.3 COTTON	  	   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  Cotton	  bags	  are	  woven	  from	  cotton	  such	  as	  calico	  (an	  unbleached	  cotton)	  and	  are	  designed	  for	  multiple	  uses.	  In	  many	  places	  cotton	  bags	  are	  usually	  used	  for	  groceries	  and	  less	  for	  garbage.	  	  	  	   2.4 BIODEGRADABLE/COMPOSTABLE	  	   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  Biodegradable,	   or	   biopolymer,	   bags	   are	   a	   more	   recent	   development.	   They	  tend	  to	  be	  more	  expensive	  then	  regular	  plastic	  bags	  and	  may	  only	  be	  purchased	  from	   retailers.	   The	   biopolymers	   consists	   of	   polylactic	   acid	   made	   from	   plant-­‐based	  starches	  decompose	  easily	  when	  combined	  with	  carbon	  dioxide,	  methane,	  water,	   and	   inorganic	   compounds	   or	   biomass.	   Types	   of	   polymers	   used	   for	  biodegradable	   bags	   may	   be	   from	   renewable	   plant	   sources	   or	   from	   those	  produced	  by	  microorganisms	  (polyhydroxyalkanoates,	  or	  PHAs).	  	   	  	   4	  3.0	  EFFECTS	  OF	  USING	  BIN	  LINERS	  	   Bin	   liners	   have	   had	   effects	   seen	   in	   the	   economic,	   environmental	   and	   social	  aspects	   of	   the	   community.	   The	   costs	   of	   production,	   global	   warming,	   litter,	   and	  effects	  on	  wild	  life	  are	  some	  of	  the	  impacts	  that	  bin	  liners	  have	  had	  on	  the	  world	  that	  people	  reside	  in.	  	  	   3.1	  ECONOMIC	  EFFECTS	  	   The	   use	   of	   bin	   liners	   have	   increased	   steadily	   in	   the	   past	   couple	   decades.	  Economic	   costs	   include	   not	   only	   costs	   for	   production,	   but	   also	   recycling	   and	  collection.	  The	  promotion	  of	  biodegradables	  and	  new	  types	  of	  plastic	  creates	  a	  need	   to	   invest	   in	   recycling	   facilities.	   Costs	   are	  need	   for	   facilities,	  workers,	   and	  vehicles	   for	   plastic	   collections	   whether	   from	   plastic	   specific	   dumpsters	   or	  curbside	  collection.	  	  	   Litter	  has	  a	  role	  in	  economic	  costs,	  as	  tourism	  is	  a	  vital	  role	  in	  the	  livelihood	  of	  many	   countries.	   Litter	   negatively	   impacts	   tourism	   in	   both	   land	   and	  marine	  environments.	  Litter	   incurs	   insecurity	  and	  unpleasantness	   to	   the	  people	   in	   the	  community.	  More	  litter	  lowers	  tourism	  and	  therefore	  brings	  down	  money	  made	  by	  countries.	  Litter	  in	  the	  marine	  environment	  also	  incurs	  costs	  on	  fisheries	  and	  maritime	   activities	   because	   they	   need	   to	   invest	   in	   cleaning	   and	   disentangling	  garbage	  from	  their	  equipment.	  	  	   3.2	  ENVIRONMENTAL	  EFFECTS	  	   Life	   Cycle	   Assessments	   (LCAs)	   are	   a	   useful	   tool	   for	   determining	   the	  environmental	  impacts	  of	  bin	  liners	  on	  the	  environment.	  For	  many	  products,	  the	  most	  major	   impacts	  are	  due	   to	  production	  costs	  and	  resources.	  The	  secondary	  packaging	  and	  end	  of	  life	  have	  minimal	  impacts	  (see	  Figure	  1	  below).	  	  	   5	   Figure 1: The relative contribution of different environmental impacts of a HDPE bag (BIO Intelligence Service, 2011). 	   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  On	   average,	   about	   2	   kg	   of	   oil	   is	   burned	   to	   produce	   1	   kg	   of	   plastic	  (polyethylene)	   for	   use	   in	   production	   of	   plastic	   bags.	   Each	   kg	   of	   oil	   will	  produce	   about	   3	   kg	   of	   carbon	   dioxide	   for	   a	   total	   of	   about	   6	   kg	   of	   carbon	  dioxide	  per	  1	  kg	  of	  plastic	  produced.	  Depending	  on	  the	  weight	  and	  thickness	  of	   the	   bag,	   one	   plastic	   bag	   can	   produce	   up	   to	   200	   to	   300	   grams	   of	   carbon	  dioxide.	  So	  while	  the	  mid	  and	  end	  life	  cycles	  of	  plastic	  bags	  do	  not	  have	  huge	  impacts,	   the	  production	  contributes	  a	  major	  portion	  of	  the	  carbon	  footprint	  to	   global	  warming.	   The	   end-­‐of-­‐life	   phase	   of	   plastic	   bags	   are	   a	   factor	   in	   the	  amount	  of	  litter	  that	  is	  seen	  around	  the	  community.	  While	  using	  less	  plastic	  may	   reduce	   the	   carbon	   footprint,	   thinner	   bags	   could	   potentially	   lead	   to	  “double	  bagging”	  as	  fragile	  and	  thinner	  bags	  are	  more	  prone	  to	  ripping.	  The	  increased	  use	  of	  all	  types	  of	  plastic	  bin	  liners	  leads	  to	  increased	  litter.	  Litter	  is	   “defined	  as	   the	  pollution	  of	  roads,	  car	  parks,	  beaches,	  parks,	  other	  public	  spaces,	   public	   transport,	   etc.	   with	   carelessly	   or	   deliberately	   dropped	   or	  ignored	   waste”	   (BIO	   Intelligence	   Service,	   2011).	   Marine	   and	   land	   animals	  mistaken	  litter	  as	  food	  may	  be	  harmed	  after	  ingesting	  plastics.	  	   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  Biodegradable	  bags	   are	  marketed	  as	   a	   good	   replacement	   for	   traditional	  HDPE	   plastic	   bags.	   However,	   they	   do	   not	   break	   down	   as	   rapidly	   in	   the	  environment	   as	   expected.	   Their	   impact	   depends	   highly	   on	   the	   type	   of	  material	  they	  are	  manufactured	  from	  and	  where	  in	  the	  environment	  the	  bags	  are	  used.	  They	  require	  more	  resources	  to	  produce,	  in	  turn	  raising	  the	  output	  of	  greenhouse	  gas	  emissions.	  Some	  biodegradable	  bin	  liners	  degrade	  faster	  in	  	   6	  water	   while	   others	   are	   better	   degraded	   in	   direct	   sunlight.	   Only	   under	  composting	   conditions	   do	   biodegradable	   bags	   break	   down	   easily.	   When	  littered,	   they	   have	   the	   same	   impact	   as	   regular	   HDPE	   plastic	   bags	   (ICF	  International	  2010).	  	   Paper	  bags	  are	  also	  a	  more	  biodegradable	  option,	  but	   the	   increased	  use	  may	  lead	  to	  more	  logging	  of	  trees	  for	  more	  paper.	  This	  has	  a	  negative	  effect	  on	  the	   forests	   in	   the	  community.	  Forestry	  also	  affects	   the	   land	  animals	   that	  live	   in	   forested	   areas.	   Paper	   bags	   also	   have	   higher	   green	   house	   gas	   (GHG)	  emissions	  leading	  to	  great	  atmospheric	  acidification,	  water	  consumption,	  and	  ozone	  production	  (ICF	  International	  2010).	  	   3.3 SOCIAL	  EFFECTS	  	   To	  the	  community,	  many	  people	  consider	  even	  small	  amounts	  of	  litter	  to	  be	  unpleasant.	   It	   impairs	  the	  quality	  of	   life,	  creates	  insecurity,	  and	  damages	  the	  image	  of	  urban	  and	  rural	  environments	  (BIO	  Intelligence	  Service,	  2011).	  Excessive	  amounts	  of	  litter	  can	  also	  have	  negative	  impacts	  on	  human	  safety	  and	  health.	  	  	   Health	   effects	   include	  potential	   harmful	  monomers	  or	  materials	   that	   go	  into	  creating	  plastic	  bags	  and	  other	  bin	  liners	  that	  end	  up	  as	  litter.	  Litter	  from	  bin	  liners	  that	  clog	  sewer	  pipes	  can	  create	  breeding	  grounds	  for	  mosquitoes	  and	  parasites	   that	   raise	   risk	  of	   spreading	  diseases.	   Plastic	   bags	   that	   on	   the	  street	  may	  be	  mistake	  by	  young	  children	  as	   toys	  and	  can	  cause	  harm	  if	  not	  properly	  disposed	  of.	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	   	  	   7	  4.0 HOW	  CAN	  THE	  PROBLEM	  BE	  SOLVED	  	  UBC’s	   Composting	   program	   is	   a	   close	   looped	   system	   that	   uses	   in-­‐vessel	  composting	  technique.	  It	  has	  the	  capacity	  to	  process	  5	  tonnes	  of	  organic	  waste	  and	  turns	  it	  into	  compost	  in	  two	  weeks.	  The	  compost	  is	  then	  cured	  in	  a	  pile	  for	  90	  days	  before	  being	  applied	  to	  the	  campus.	  This	  is	  an	  amazing	  program	  that	  is	  helping	  UBC	  reach	  the	  zero	  waste	  goal,	  but	  the	  bin	  liners	  that	  are	  currently	  used	  by	  the	  different	  participating	   faculties	   sometimes	   jam	   the	   in-­‐vessel	   composting	   machine’s	   axles	  creating	  delays	  and	  problems.	  We	  are	  trying	  to	  find	  a	  solution	  to	  this	  problem.	  	  UBC	  being	  at	  the	  forefront	  of	  the	  push	  for	  sustainability,	  the	  aim	  is	  to	  reduce	  and	  reuse	   as	   much	   as	   possible.	   Composting	   the	   massive	   amount	   of	   organic	   waste	  generated	  on	  campus	  is	  an	  integral	  part	  of	  a	  zero	  waste	  goal.	  	   Having	   a	   guideline	   to	   determine	  what	   the	   faculties	   that	   are	   currently	   sending	  compost	  to	  UBC	  Composting	  Program	  can	  use	  as	  composting	  bin	  liners	  will	  ensure	  the	   ease	   of	   the	   composting	   process	   and	   make	   certain	   the	   bags	   used	   are	   indeed	  compostable.	   It	  defeats	   the	  purpose	  of	   composting	   if	   the	   food	   is	   sent	   through	   in	  a	  non-­‐biodegradable	  bag	  or	  a	  bag	   that	  requires	  much	   longer	   to	  decompose	   than	  the	  food	  scraps.	  	  There	  are	  two	  recommendations	  for	  UBC	  Composting	  program.	  	  	   1) The	  use	   of	   paper	   bags	   lined	  with	   biodegradable	   resin	   has	   the	   ability	   to	  hold	   the	   food	   inside	   the	   bin	  without	   breakage	   and	   decompose	   at	   a	   fast	  rate	  when	  put	  into	  the	  in-­‐vessel	  composter.	  The	  material	  of	  paper	  and	  a	  thin	  coat	  of	  resin	  will	  be	  easy	  to	  handle	  for	  the	  paddles	  that	  are	  inside	  the	  composting	   vessel	   that	   loosens	   up	   the	   organic	   waste.	   Although	   much	  more	  expensive	  than	  standard	  biodegradable	  bags,	  the	  fact	  that	  it	  will	  not	  jam	   the	   axles	   will	   save	   money	   from	   repairs	   and	   downtime	   of	   the	  composter.	   Being	   stronger	   than	   standard	   biodegradable	   bags,	   the	  decreasing	   chance	   of	   breakage	   will	   make	   clean	   up	   much	   easier.	   The	  absence	   of	   breakage	   will	   decrease	   the	   pungent	   odour	   produced	   by	  organic	  waste.	  	  2) Another	  more	  radical	  method	  we	  propose	  is	  to	  forego	  the	  use	  of	  bin	  liners	  altogether	  and	  changing	  all	  the	  composting	  bins	  into	  a	  bin	  with	  a	  heavy-­‐duty	  lid	  that	  has	  an	  airtight	  seal.	  The	  production	  of	  any	  bin	  liner	  requires	  energy	   and	   resources,	   and	   it	   just	   seems	   counter	   intuitive	   to	   have	   to	  produce	   something	   solely	   for	   the	   purpose	   of	   it	   being	   able	   to	   be	  decomposed.	  	  This	  will	  have	  a	  high	  starting	  capital	  cost,	  but	   the	   fact	   that	  no	   liners	  are	  needed	  will	  make	  the	  money	  back	  fairly	  quickly	  the	  longer	  the	  program	  is	  in	  place.	  A	  quick	  rinse	  after	  each	  time	  it	  is	  emptied	  is	  all	  it	  needs.	  Despite	  	   8	  an	  airtight	   seal,	   odor	  will	   inevitably	   leak	  out,	   but	   the	   fact	   that	  no	   liners	  balances	  that	  disadvantage	  out.	  	  	   4.1	  UBC	  student	  residence	  programs	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  Compost	   bins	   are	   provided	   as	   a	   room	   inventory	   for	   students	   of	   on-­‐campus	  residences	  to	  encourage	  the	  composting	  of	  organic	  wastes.	  However,	  many	  students	  do	  not	  use	  it	  for	  quite	  a	  few	  different	  reasons.	  The	  bins	  with	  food	   scraps	   and	   other	   organic	   wastes	   produce	   awful	   odors	   that	   students	  simply	  do	  not	  want	  to	  deal	  with.	  The	  cost	  of	  biodegradable	  bin	  liners	  for	  the	  compost	   bin	   is	   something	   that	   students	   on	   a	   tight	   budget	   cannot	   afford	   to	  add	  to	   their	   list	  of	  expenses.	  And	  simply	  being	  busy	  will	  make	  the	  students	  skip	  composting	  their	  organic	  wastes.	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  In	   the	   higher	   and	   larger	   student	   complexes,	   garburators	   are	   being	  installed	   to	   make	   disposing	   of	   organic	   wastes	   a	   much	   simpler	   matter	   by	  simply	  grinding	  it	  down	  a	  chute	  for	  organic	  wastes.	  	  	   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  Since	   if	   the	  problem	  with	  composting	  was	   that	  students	  were	   lazy,	   they	  wouldn’t	   compost	   even	   if	   bin	   liners	   were	   not	   a	   problem,	   we	   will	   only	   be	  focusing	   on	   the	   bin	   liners	   being	   expensive	   for	   cash	   strapped	   students.	   In	  order	  for	  students	  that	  are	  willing	  to	  compost,	  but	  do	  not	  want	  to	  pay	  for	  bin	  liners,	  here	  are	  two	  options	  we	  feel	  are	  realistic:	  	  	   1) Flyers	   can	   be	   put	   onto	   student	   dorm’s	   doors	   that	   show	   steps	   to	   fold	  newspaper	   into	  a	  bin	  shape	   that	  allows	   for	   its	  use	  as	  a	   temporary	  bin	   liner	  that	   can	  also	  biodegrade	   fairly	  quickly	   and	  at	  no	   cost	   to	   the	   student	   if	   free	  newspaper	  is	  readily	  available.	  2) UBC	  can	  provide	  bin	  liners	  for	  each	  compost	  bin	  provided	  monthly	  and	  have	  part	  of	  the	  fee	  for	  the	  liners	  included	  in	  the	  monthly	  rent	  for	  living	  on	  student	  residences.	  	  This	  way	  the	  price	  would	  seem	  much	  less	  and	  many	  students	  will	  participate	  in	  composting	  since	  they	  are	  already	  paying	  for	  the	  liners.	  	  	   	  	   9	  5.0 CONCLUSIONS	  AND	  RECOMMENDATIONS	  	   Through	  the	  investigation	  required	  to	  complete	  this	  report	  and	  its	  associated	  assignments,	  much	  have	  been	  learned	  about	  the	  impact	  of	  bin	  liner	  choice	  on	  the	  environmental,	  social,	  and	  economic	  level.	  The	  effect	  of	  bin	  liner	  can	  be	  the	  deciding	  factor	  whether	  some	  students	  will	  choose	  to	  compost	  or	  just	  throw	  their	  organic	  waste	  together	  with	  other	  garbage.	  There	  is	  a	  certain	  threshold	  for	  most	  students	  where	  if	  the	  amount	  of	  effort	  required	  to	  compost	  their	  organic	  waste	  is	  reached,	  students	  would	  simply	  forego	  the	  whole	  process	  altogether.	  The	  goal	  to	  increase	  composting	  amongst	  student	  residences	  would	  have	  to	  include	  accessibility	  and	  ease	  of	  being	  able	  to	  compost	  and	  separate	  garbage	  efficiently.	  	  	  For	  student	  residents	  it	  was	  recommended	  above	  that	  UBC	  should	  incorporate	  the	  cost	  of	  compost	  bin	  liners	  into	  residential	  rent	  in	  order	  to	  promote	  composting.	  As	  for	  UBC	  faculty	  composting,	  recommendations	  include	  development	  or	  purchase	  of	  a	  large	  fleet	  of	  airtight	  compost	  bins	  of	  various	  sizes	  to	  replace	  all	  current	  compost	  bins	  that	  do	  not	  require	  the	  use	  of	  liners.	  The	  bins	  can	  be	  cleaned	  by	  a	  quick	  rinse	  of	  water.	  This	  is	  one	  method	  to	  reduce	  the	  amount	  of	  greenhouse	  gas	  emissions	  by	  reducing	  overall	  bin	  liner	  use.	  	  	  Students	  and	  other	  residents	  could	  also	  be	  educated	  about	  the	  effects	  of	  increased	  use	  of	  bin	  liners,	  the	  costs,	  and	  the	  benefits	  of	  managing	  garbage	  without	  using	  bin	  liners.	  There	  are	  some	  very	  interesting	  tips	  on	  the	  Internet	  about	  separating	  garbage	  and	  keeping	  green	  (see	  appendix:	  10	  Tips	  for	  Managing	  Garbage)	  that	  do	  not	  require	  the	  use	  of	  bin	  liners.	  Students	  may	  also	  reuse	  newspaper	  to	  create	  their	  own	  origami	  bin	  liners	  (appendix:	  Newspaper	  Origami	  Bin	  Liner).	  	  This	  report	  was	  done	  in	  hopes	  that	  the	  research	  will	  help	  raise	  ideas	  and	  awareness	  to	  alleviate	  the	  costs	  in	  all	  three	  aspects	  of	  bin	  liner	  use	  and	  create	  a	  greener	  society	  at	  UBC,	  Vancouver,	  and	  the	  rest	  of	  the	  world.	  	  	   	  	   10	  6.0	  REFERENCES	  	  Agresti,	  James.	  (2012).	  Bans	  on	  Plastic	  Bags	  Harms	  the	  Environment.	  The	  Wall	  Street	  Journal.	  Updated	  June	  15th,	  2012.	  	  Department	  for	  Environment	  Food	  and	  Rural	  Affairs	  (2013).	  Single-­‐Use	  Plastic	  Bag	  Charge	  for	  England:	  Call	  for	  Evidence.	  	  Edwards,	  C,	  Fry,	  J.	  M.	  	  (2011).	  Life	  Cycle	  Assessment	  of	  Supermarket	  Carrier	  Bags.	  	  	  	  Government	  of	  South	  Australia.	  (2008).	  The	  Bin	  Liner	  Dilemma.	  	  ICF	  International	  (2010).	  Master	  Environmental	  Assessment	  on	  Single-­‐Use	  and	  Reusable	  Bags.	  	  	  Shohel,	  M.	  R.,	  Rafizul,	  I.	  M.,	  Roy,	  S.,	  Asma,	  U.	  H.,	  Hasibul,	  M.	  H.,	  Didarul,	  M.	  (2013).	  GIS	  Application	  for	  Suitable	  Location	  of	  Waste	  Bin	  for	  Solid	  Waste	  Management	  in	  Khulna	  City.	  International	  Journal	  of	  Engineering	  Research-­‐Online,	  Vol.	  1	  (Issue	  1),	  pp	  26-­‐34.	  	  Wikipedia	  (2014).	  Bin	  Liners.	  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bin_bag	  	   	  	   11	  7.0	  APPENDIX	  	   7.1	  	  	  10	  TIPS	  TO	  MANAGING	  GARBAGE	  WITHOUT	  PLASTIC	  BAGS	  	   10	  TIPS	  TO	  MANAGE	  	  GARBAGE	  	  WITHOUT	  PLASTIC	  BAGS	  	   1. Separate	  your	  garbage	  (into	  more	  than	  one	  bin)	  	  2. The	  bins	  do	  not	  need	  to	  be	  bins	  	  3. Composting	  is	  not	  as	  scary	  as	  it	  sounds	  	  4. Learn	  your	  recyclables	  from	  your	  non-­‐recyclables	  	  5. Be	  selective	  about	  what	  you	  buy	  	  6. Rinse	  your	  garbage	  (if	  possible	  such	  as	  milk	  cartons)	  	  7. Buy	  meat	  cuts	  that	  do	  not	  have	  bones	  	  8. Keep	  your	  food	  scraps	  container	  clean	  	  9. Start	  a	  garden	  	   10. Your	  garbage	  can	  be	  cleaner	  and	  more	  manageable	  without	  plastic	  bags	  	  	  	  	   12	  7.2 	  	  	  NEWSPAPER	  ORIGAMI	  BIN	  LINER	  	  	  	  	      Organics Origami – Paper liner for Kitchen Container For best results use 3 – 4 sheets of newsprint   1)  Start off with a square,        2)  To form a Triangle                      3)  Bring point C to AB      then bring point B to A               A               A             A                                                                                                                                                                                        AC                 AB                                                                        AB                                                                                                                                                                                 C                                                                                                                                                          C                              B                                                              B                                      B     4)  Bring Point B to AC  5)  Fold A points down on both sides                                                                A                                                                                                                  A     AC                                                                                                       B                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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