It is a towering mountain of waste, a 50-year-old dumpsite, in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, locally known as Koshe, an Amharic word meaning “dirty”. However, this heap of waste will be a thing of the past with the construction of its first ever waste to energy plan.
Adoption of biomass power generation technologies in Africa has been challenged by a variety of factors including high capital costs and lack of feedstock. However, with biomass contributing to only 5% of power production in the continent, these projects hold a promise to helping boost the much needed power in developing world. It is not only the largest biomass power plant in Africa, but Gorge Farm AD Plant in Kenya will be Africa's first anaerobic digester.
The traditional plastic bottle is associated with high carbon emissions, and that is set to change with the onset of a PET bottle made of 100% plant materials. The bottle was launched earlier this month by Coca Cola, and is set to help the company eliminate dependency on fossil fuels for production of PET bottles. Coca Cola has, through the previous PET bottle made of 30% plant material, achieved substantial cuts on global emissions and the new development to produce a 100% plant bottle is a key to sustainable packaging.
In African countries experiencing economic growth, increased population and rapid urbanization– waste management has become a constant thorn in their sides. Aided by the rejection of common waste management practices by environmental lobbyists due to the dire negative impact on the environment, this has made the disposal of waste more difficult.
Sanitation and water treatment in the developing world is set to change with the onset of the Omni Processor. The Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation have decided to invest in a machine that turns sewage into drinking water and can also generate energy. Just as importantly it is relatively low-cost, making it a technology that can be rolled out quickly in emerging economies.
We are producing an ever increasing amount of waste, including a large amount of plastic waste that is going straight in our oceans. A recent study estimated plastic waste produced by 192 coastal countries in 2010 was around 275 million metric tons (MT), with 4.8 to 12.7 million MT of this waste entering the ocean. Can our oceans absorb all our CO2 as well as this much plastic? Recycling plays an important role, both in conserving our precious resources and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
The amount of food we waste is a growing issue worldwide, especially with population growth and the shrinking availability of water and arable land. One way to combat food waste is the use of effective packaging. What type of packaging that is needed varies where the food is wasted along the supply chain, and this depends on what market the food is grown in. The Save Food Initiative produced two reports, Global Food Losses and Food Waste, and Appropriate packaging solutions for developing countries.
The Global Cleantech 100, now in its 6th year released by the Cleantech Group, is a list of the top companies in this space worldwide. The Cleantech 100 is no longer just a list of companies from places like the United States, Germany and Japan. Emerging markets are seeing the benefits of clean technology and some of the leading companies in the world are starting to come from emerging markets like Kenya