Archive for November, 2008

Resource war in Congo and green capitalism

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

video_button_white_dred.gifThis is a “democracy now” clip on the current Congo’s resource war and its links to green and communication capitalism. To what extent the new green capitalist governance paradigm that is being taking shape these days will depend on war like these? And to what extent war like these are fundamental to reshape Africa’s role in the new global political economy?


news from green capitalism: recession is bad for recycling

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Here is one example of how green capitalism will not save the planet: recession is bad for recycling. Why?because demand for recycling products drops in a recession, hence much of what we diligently pile up in different boxes may end up in a land incinerator . . .read on from the sector’s paper food production daily NOW is the time to campaign for recycling! When it cost them money!

Waste reduction urged as demand for recyclables drops
By Jane Byrne , 17-Nov-2008

Related topics: Supply Chain, End-of-Line Packaging, Packaging Materials, Primary Packaging

A push for waste minimisation and the production of high quality marketable recyclables is being promoted by stakeholders as demand and prices for recycled materials the UK drop significantly.
The drop in prices has been attributed to reduced demand from China in particular for recycled materials, with manufacturers reducing their output due to current economic restraints.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) and the Local Government Association (LGA), said they want to ensure that the recent slump does not undermine public confidence in the value of recycling, nor lead to unacceptable environmental consequences.

“Recycling remains a better, and cheaper, option than sending material to landfill so people should continue recycling,” claims the joint sector statement.

Consumer confidence

However, a spokesperson for the body representing the UK food and drink manufacturing sector, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), told FoodProductionDaily.com that consumers want to be confident that their efforts to recycle bear fruit by saving valuable resources and the planet.

And the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) warns that as a result of the fall in demand, some material collected for recycling could, in the worst case scenario, go to incineration or landfill.

Steve Creed, Director of Business Growth at WRAP, said that the agency believes the current very low prices for recovered materials will be temporary but that there may be increased storage of some materials including plastics, paper, and metal products in the short term until the markets pick up again.

Quality

According to Creed, what has become clear is the importance of the quality of recovered materials, with high quality materials still in demand in the UK and overseas. “Dialogue between waste producers (including local authorities) collectors and waste processors is crucial, to ensure the right quality of material.”

He said that local authorities and their contactors need to ensure that they have a home for materials that are being stored in the short term, that the storage will not compromise the environment and does not lead to deterioration in the quality of the materials that will further reduce their recyclability or value.

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Recycling developments

Creed argues that, in terms of recycling levels, the UK has come a long way in the last seven years, before which, he added, there was a limited domestic market for the reprocessing of recovered materials.

He said that much of the increase in the UK’s recycling capacity is as a result of WRAP’s involvement and support, including a partnership with Shotton Paper Mill, providing funding for it to convert to using 100 per cent recycled fibre that has resulted in all newsprint produced in the UK now being made with 100 per cent recovered fibre.

“WRAP also helped fund Closed Loop London – which makes plastic milk bottles back into plastic milk bottles,” he added.

Waste reduction

Meanwhile, WRAP launched an initiative last month aiming at inviting proposals for projects to design, develop and trial innovative processes and approaches to reduce waste in the food supply chain.

The agency said that food companies can help reduce waste through such measures as the use of:

Divisible or flexible packaging to aid portioning of food/ingredients by customers such as side-by-side packs, or ‘eat me, freeze me’ packs
Resealable packaging to protect and maximise shelf-life and quality of food
Shelf-life extending packaging technologies such as breathable films, oxygen and ethylene scavengers
Customised, modified atmosphere packs or vacuum-sealed packs where appropriate
Smart labels that clearly communicate food conditions to customers and improve inventory control such as time and temperature indicators and radio frequency RFID technologies, and
Storage information
According to WRAP, an example of innovation in food manufacturing could be an increase in production efficiency and reduction in waste raw materials or products, reductions in product damage or enhanced freezability of the products.

The closing date for proposals is Thursday 20 November, with shortlisted projects announced on 2 December.

news from the senior management team

Monday, November 17th, 2008

So, the G20, the apparently new executive board of global capital, has so far delivered this:

a) yes, you can use “fiscal stimulus” if you so desire (Gordon Brown yes, Silvio Berlusconi no). . .(at least for now . . .)

b) . . .but you cannot increase barrier to trade for a year, hence for example, maintain existing tariffs even if food or other commodities price escalate again . . .

c) we’ll regulate our banks through some bank club, and we’ll see what that means

next episode around April

not much novelty here

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

the common ground of the new management board of global capital is clear:

“Our work will be guided by a shared belief that market principles, open trade and investment regimes, and effectively regulated financial markets foster the dynamism, innovation and entrepreneurship that are essential for economic growth, employment and poverty reduction.” g20 statement.

There it is, capital’s minimum common denominator among blacks and whites, men and women, rich and poor, center and periphery, “first world: and “third world”. And note, this is a belief.See report See text

uncoupling at the party

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

I went partying last night in the dome, inside the castle mountain in Graz, where tunnels and bunkers have been carved out by the Nazis during the second Word War and now are used as dance floors and conference spaces. This is music that — given the sheer volume and the drum&base pumping — passes through you, or at least, it does so if “you let it”, as someone told me (ehm, shouted at me) on the dance floor. Now here is a thought. In the morning I had a workshop on my book as part of the Elevate festival, and among other things we discussed the idea that the capital relation, or the value struggle, passes through us. Mmhh, so, what happens when in the evening the music passes through you? It happens that it is banging the capitalist relation out of ourselves, at least momentarily, leading to the momentary uncoupling from the temporal dimension of capital, the one that requires schedules, deadlines, responsibilities that have no or little meaning as well as endless struggle against it. If you add the fact that in music, rhythm constitutes the commons (see this blog entry), then this is it! The dance/rave culture that lives its nights and morning floating from one dance-floor to another, is the contemporary manifestation of what in the 1970s was called “il bisogno di comunismo” (the need for Communism) . . or “commOnism” . . .