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Building a Better Future: Critical Questions on Waste Building a Better Future: Critical Questions on Waste
The Planet

Building a Better Future: Critical Questions on Waste

by Alex Steffen Jennifer Daniel

December 8, 2009

This is one of eight sets of questions to consider when envisioning a city that can win the climate fight. Read the introduction, and take a look at an overview of all eight.

How wasteful are you? How much stuff do people in your city consume? How many of the items that they buy are disposable? How easy is it to join a library, rent a tool, find a car-sharing service? How easy is it to recycle and compost? Do the things they throw away wind up in a landfill, an incinerator, or a recycling plant? How much trash winds up in their garbage cans each year on average, and how does this compare with very recycling-conscious cities like the Netherlands's Amsterdam; Copenhagen; Oslo, Norway; or Seattle?

In Hopenhagen recycling is religion.  PlantBottle™ packaging, The Coca Cola Company's 100% recyclable PET plastic made with up to 30% plant-based material, is one of The Coca Cola Company's most recent packaging achievements. This is part of their commitment to utilize packaging materials more efficiently, recycle more and advance the use of recycled and renewable content in their bottles and cans.

To find out more about Coca Cola's recycling initiatives in Hopenhagen, visit

Illustration by Jennifer Daniel.

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Building a Better Future: Critical Questions on Waste