135 Madeira Consorcio Excursion 18.5.2023

May 21, 2023 at 11:11 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We met with a small group in Porto Novo at the Recycling and Triage station Estação de Transferência da Zona Leste e de Triagem da Madeira (ETZL/ET) (https://arm.pt/residuos/tratamento/) ,

The recycling service on the island (including P Santo) consists of three plants:  recycling/triage in  Este: Meia Legua/Ribeira Brava , Leste Porto Novo, and the burning plant in Meira Serra.

We toured the facilities with ARM (state owned) colaborators Gorete and Ana Vera, a very interesting experience!

All rubbish is taken there: plastic/ packaging, glass, paper /card boxes and undifferentiated rubbish (which is compacted before being taken to Meia Serra for burning). The station also collects green cuts which go to Meia Serra for composting, and old chairs and metal scrap.

Mattresses are collected (burnt in Meia Serra), and furniture, the “monsters, go to the mainland, as well as car tires.

The facility has serval rubbish piles and spits out neat packages of aluminium cans (can be 100% recycled), cans, non-corrosive metal, paper, carton, glass and then PET bottles and household cleaning bottles.

The facility has a huge machine which is able to do the separation with optical means, magnets and such. In the end, a manual check for recyclable material finishes the circuit.

The recycling quality seems to be good. Around ten containers are shipped to the mainland per month and sold to recycling companies. They pay for the material; this goes helps offset the costs of the service. The mainland recipients do not refuse the material from Madeira, which means that the rubbish delivered is, so to speak, of high quality.

The “Este” station in Porto Novo has about 80 workers. The staff gets a bit more than minimum salary, and most of them live near Porto Novo.


123 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 27.11.2021

Nov 29, 2021 at 9:25 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We watched this talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_katz_the_surprising_solution_to_ocean_plastic/up-next#t-546346   (The website is here: https://plasticbank.com/)

In poor countries, the Plastic Bank receives litter from poor people and gives them credit in form of useful items for their daily lives. The Social Plastic collected is given to the big plastic “consumers” like Shell, BP and they re-introduce it  into the production of plastic bottles for shampoo etc.
Also regarding this topic: a documentary Karen found about the actual ocean clean-up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNk7wO9DUeM

Another outfit is Litterati:


The members pick up litter piece by piece and document it in an App. An amazing amount of litter is this removed, and the app users feel a sense of accomplishment.

This means that plastic waste is redefined not as rubbish but as primary source of product. Western countries used to send their excess waste to China and other countries, officially for recycling but really for dumping. China has already started to refuse such shipments. Now western countries have to find other ways to re-use their rubbish. Burring it may produce electrify (as in Madeira) but it also releases CO2. This gas could be captured in the burning process and compacted, to be turned into tiles and similar products. Still a step that needs to be done. It will cost money and that is where public knowledge needs to increase. Rubbish recycling is essential but we will have to pay for it

Our Supremo Shop in Funchal is going from plastic packaging to bulk storage for dried fruits, and selling the products un-packaged. Customers will have to bring their own containers.

There is already such a shop in the Old Mercado in Ribeira Brave “Unverpackt Laden”

We have doubts that Shell and BP will really go through with it and reintroduce Social Plastic in the production; on their side, this may be gimmick publicity. With big business, corruption may be strong, undermining any good intentions.

Like these big players, non-profits managers may have hefty salaries but they have to be paid well to work the non-profits at all.

Crowd-funding also had a noble goal in the beginning and is turning more and more into a business with profits.

Anything with the label “nature” or “bio” may be false, because these words cannot be protected as a brand (and they shouldn’t be gobbled up by just one company).

In any case, we do have honest people in the “bio” business, also on the island.  But subsidies also corrupt the agriculture; farmers are being paid just to keep their land fallow. At some point, the EU may become dependent on other countries to supply enough food.

COP26 has shown that youngsters are starting to take part in politics. There is an European initiative that they should be able to vote as of the age of 16. They can then exert more pressure to avoid the climate catastrophe.

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