Time to Say Goodbye to Plastic Straws, but What's the Best Alternative
Aug 06, 2018

Companies in Taiwan and the world are phasing out the use of plastic straws in the name of protecting the environment and marine life. How much impact could banning plastic straws really make? What is the best replacement for plastic straws?

The once ubiquitous and popular item has become a symbol of our throw-away culture and the proliferation of non-recyclable materials. In the US and UK alone, 550 million plastic straws are thrown away every day, according to Plastic Oceans Foundation.

Along with single-use carrier bags and disposable cups, the plastic straw’s fall from grace has gone hand-in-hand with an increasing awareness of the damage they are causing, particularly to marine life. Around 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in the world’s oceans each year, according to the United Nations Environment Assembly.

After the BBC television programme Blue Planet 2 underscored the devastating effects plastic can have on sea creatures, and millions of people watched a video of researchers extracting a straw from the nostril of a sea turtle, companies and governments have started to take action.

Starbucks is one example. The global coffee chain said it plans to phase out the 1 billion plastic straws it uses each year by 2020. Demand for straws had been increasing alongside the popularity of cold drinks, it said, with cold beverages making up half of all sales in 2017, up from 37% five years ago. Soon, when you visit Starbucks for a cold drink, you’ll be offered a recyclable lid you can sip through.

The company joins other high-profile brands moving away from straws. McDonald’s is replacing plastic straws with paper ones in all its restaurants in the UK and Ireland and plans to start testing alternatives the US, France, Sweden, Norway and Australia.

IKEA will ban plastic straws in the UK and Ireland later this year and plans to remove single-use plastics from its global product range by the end of the decade. And Hyatt Hotels Corporation said that from September plastic straws and drink picks will be offered “on request only and eco-friendly alternatives will be provided where available.” Even the Queen of England has turned anti-straw.

But not everyone is happy about the straw’s demise, since they are helpful for people that can’t raise a cup to their mouth to drink. And while Starbucks has responded to these concerns, saying anyone who needs a straw can request one made of “alternative materials,” the benefits may prove difficult to match.

Others have questioned how much banning plastic straws will actually help. Adam Minter, author of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade and a Bloomberg Opinion columnist estimates that straws make up a relatively small proportion of all plastic waste in the oceans and argues that clamping down in other areas, for example reducing how much old fishing gear is dumped and lessening company waste, would be more effective than banning straws.

For disabled people and the elderly, plastic straws are flexible and can withstand the temperature of hot coffee, tea or soup, making them useful for eating and drinking. And campaigners say the alternatives -- which include paper, glass or stainless steel -- are unsuitable for use because they either disintegrate or conduct heat.

The World Health Organisation estimates that there are more than 600 million people with disability in the world, and while not all of those will need to use straws to eat and drink, it does give some idea of the scale of the issue.

In Seattle, where a ban came into effect on 1 July, the law says companies can make exceptions for people who require plastic straws. Even so, disability rights groups said firms don’t fully understand that they can still offer straws to those that need them, and the alternatives offered aren’t adequate replacements.

Some campaigners complain that companies and governments are acting in response to their concerns -- changing policies after they’ve been implemented -- rather than proactively considering disability needs when shaping legislation. Scotland’s government wants to outlaw plastic straws by the end of 2019 and has appointed a disability adviser to its expert panel to help make sure “the actions taken do not disproportionately affect disabled people.”

Putting the onus on disabled people to remember their own straws or wash a reusable alternative isn’t a viable or fair solution, campaigners say, as in many cases they may not be able to do so and if they forget to carry a straw with them the consequences of dehydration could be severe.

In a blog post on Greenpeace’s web site, Jamie Szymkowiak, the co-Founder of disability rights group, One in Five, called on manufacturers to produce an environmentally friendly flexible non-plastic straw that is suitable for hot and cold drinks.

Paper is unsuitable because it becomes soggy and a choking risk, he says. Silicone alternatives are not flexible enough and metal, glass and bamboo present dangers for people who have difficulty controlling their bite.

While in their current form, plastic straws can take between 100 and 1,000 years to decompose, biodegradable plastics may offer a viable alternative, since they can break down in as little as 12 weeks under the right conditions. Shunned so far because they cost more than double traditional plastic and because they can’t be easily distinguished from their non-biodegradable cousins, they may yet become part of the way forward.

“We must all work together to demand an environmentally friendly solution that meets all our needs, including those of disabled people,” Szymkowiak says.

“As we move to ridding our oceans, beaches and parks of unnecessary single-use plastics, disabled people shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat by large corporations, or governments, unwilling to push suppliers and manufacturers to produce a better solution.”

By Emma Charlton

Edited by Shawn Chou

Serving Clients Like Starbucks and Nike, Arthur Huang Makes Recycling Popular
Jul 29, 2018

He has turned rice husks into clothing, and kitchen waste into business cards. From furniture at European Starbucks stores to a mobile upcycling unit on the Tibetan Plateau, he is all about exploiting the capitalist production system to make recycling sexy.

In the pursuit and practice of the circular economy, Miniwiz, the company founded by Arthur Huang, has given Taiwan a prominent position within a hot global trend.

Thirteen years ago, Huang led a team that, beginning with designs for portable wind-powered generators, constantly developed new materials, secured patents, turned rice husks into clothing, kitchen waste into business cards, made recycled Nike sneakers into fixtures for upscale Nike stores, and used recycled plastic bottles to make the Taipei Flora Expo’s EcoARK Museum.

From trendy Nike flagship stores in New York, London, Berlin and Milan to his original furniture brand and Starbucks furnishings, and a movable upcycling system on the Tibetan Plateau encircled by joyful school children, Huang and Miniwiz have a knack for creating mind-blowing things. Not just their astounding R&D and design capacities, but also their completely fresh eye and tremendous ambition are transforming the way people think and act about waste and trash.

“As far as having a positive influence and the future shape of the industry, Arthur Huang is a maverick. He is already a leading figure, but I think he’ll be even more influential in the future, and he shouldn’t be underestimated,” says Jack Tsai, partner in the CID investment group. Huang has identified the opportunities present in the circular economy, and leverages R&D to develop methods to convert waste into new materials with hip looks and fashionable flair. “He is very firm in his value system, and reserves special antipathy for those who would destroy the circular economy,” Tsai adds.

In the past, people saw recycled materials as expensive, lacking durability, and ugly. Yet Miniwiz has not only proven that recycled materials can be inexpensive, but also that they are even more durable and even “sexy.” And the company’s client base, which consists nearly exclusively of Fortune 500 companies, seems to agree, tasking Huang to transform waste into eco-friendly materials. The company’s latest product is modular furniture for Starbucks outlets in Europe, for which it has secured a structural design patent. Even more remarkable, all the material is made from coffee cups recycled from Starbucks shops.

“We’re a company that creates value, not just added value,” says Huang, who pulls no punches and gets straight to the point when speaking his mind in Chinese - perhaps the result of having been educated abroad from a young age. Despite emigrating to the United States at the age of 11, frequent references during conversations to such Chinese literary classics as the History of the Three Kingdoms and the Dao De Jing show his appreciation of the wisdom of the ancients to go with his embrace of youthful rebelliousness.

“A lot of people don’t get what we’re doing. We’re trying to fool the global capitalist system of production,” says Huang, who is looking for ways to make the planet a little better, changing the world a little while people go about happily consuming and enjoying stylish living. Like a true believer, he even chats up strangers at nightclubs about the merits of recycling.

Aligning the Industrial Chain

Considering the essence of each issue lets Huang tackle things from a totally different perspective. The company of nearly 90 staff runs the gamut of expertise from materials to architecture, from structural knowhow to design applications and brand marketing. Miniwiz’s research and development places the entire industrial chain in alignment, becoming the company’s chief strength. Command over an integrated technology platform allows the company to be open to all kinds of possibilities.

Last year he teamed up with Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan to take the 16-ton Trashpresso, the world’s first mobile plastic and fabric waste upcycling treatment system, to the Tibetan Plateau. There, at 4,500 meters above sea level, they gave local elementary school students a hands-on demonstration of how to make waste sustainable. The entire journey was documented by the National Geographic Channel for worldwide broadcast as part of the Jackie Chan Green Hero series.

Although it might seem a bit crazy, the Trashpresso project is tremendously educational. Currently there are two mobile upcycling units: one that has made the journey from Shanghai to Qinghai, demonstrating the upcycling process; and one that tours Europe, appearing at Design Week events from Milan to London.

Perhaps, like his various projects, Arthur Huang keeps blowing people’s minds while strengthening his own convictions.

By Yueh-lin Ma
Translated by David Toman
Edited by HanSheng Huang

CITIC Envirotech records 2-fold increase in Sales and Earnings in 2Q/2018
JCN Newswire
Jul 25, 2018

- Attributes stellar performance to projects secured over the past 12 months.
- Declares its first interim dividend pay-out of 0.5 Singapore cents per share.

SINGAPORE - (ACN Newswire) - Riding on the same growth trajectory that saw it achieve record revenues and net profits for the last three consecutive financial years, Singapore-listed CITIC Envirotech Ltd ("CEL", SGX:CEE), a leading membrane-based water and wastewater treatment and recycling solutions provider, has recorded a more than two-fold increase in sales and earnings during Q2, ended 30 June 2018.

The Group's Q2 net profit leapt 125% YoY to S$43.5 million, on the back of revenue which surged 136.1% to S$291 million. Rising in tandem, H2 net profit jumped 134.1% YoY to S$85.3 million on revenue which expanded 134.7% to S$550.2 million. Revenue growth in Q2 was led by the engineering segment and membrane systems sales, which expanded 111.1% and 431.6% YoY to S$112.5 million and S$122.8 million respectively.

Executive Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Hao Weibao, said: "Demand for wastewater and hazardous treatment solutions has been growing in tandem with the increasing attention on environmental protection in China. The Chinese government in its 13th Five-Year Plan, had also outlined its aim to increase spending on such projects[1]. The recent rapid pace of project wins secured by our Group not only shows this but also attests to CEL's track record and expertise in this segment.

"The Group's recent performance reflects our diversification beyond wastewater treatment projects to other segments within the environmental technologies space." In view of the healthy financial results, CEL has declared its maiden interim dividend payout of 0.5 Singapore cents per share for the six months ended 30 June 2018.

CEL remains upbeat about the opportunities available in the environmental protection industry in China. Besides securing more projects in the water segment, the Group has increased its presence in related environmental services such as ecological restoration, hazardous waste treatment, sludge management and integrated environmental services.

At the recent Singapore International Water Week from 8-12 July 2018, the Group announced two strategic moves that are expected to have a potentially positive impact on future growth.

The first was the official launch of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Singapore Envirotech Accelerator Pte Ltd ("SEA"), which aims to accelerate the innovation and commercialisation of environmental technologies drawn from intellectual properties and Research and Development performed locally and internationally by institutions, industry and technopreneurs.

Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board, SEA will identify promising Small and Medium Enterprises to fund and mentor and to bring their innovations to market and eventually for a potential listing on the Singapore bourse. Its work is expected to complement the Group's existing services and technologies as well as introduce new innovations to the market.

The second was in relation to CEL's wholly owned subsidiary Memstar Pte Ltd, which announced the opening of its first plant outside Asia. The US$15 million, 40,500 sq.ft membrane manufacturing facility in Conroe, Texas, USA will manufacture Memstar's latest product, the Memstar Advance Reverse Osmosis and Nano Filtration Membrane, which enables the removal of salt from water to facilitate desalination, water recycling and many other water purification applications. With the new product as well as its existing Microfiltration and Ultrafiltration Membranes, Memstar now offers a complete range of membrane filtration products used in water treatment.

"These recent corporate developments demonstrate the Group's commitment to build a sustainable business for the long term. While we are busy chasing down every lead to secure more projects to maintain a robust order book, we are at the same time ramping up for future growth by continuing our development of new products as well as exploring opportunities to invest in technology that will keep us at the forefront of breakthroughs and advancements in clean technologies," said Mr Hao.

[1] This release should be read with today's announce via SGXNet:
[2] 'China's 13th five year plan: what role will wastewater play?', by Water & Wastewater International,  https://bit.ly/2LBywR1

About CITIC Envirotech Ltd.
CITIC Envirotech Ltd ("CEL"; SGX:CEE), formerly known as United Envirotech Ltd, is a leading membrane-based integrated environmental solutions provider which specialises in the manufacturing of high quality membrane products and the application of membrane technologies for water and wastewater treatment and recycling. Its principal activities also include design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of water and wastewater systems using its proprietary advanced membrane technologies such as the Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology.

CEL designed and built several of the largest industrial wastewater treatment plants in Asia using MBR technology. CEL undertakes both turnkey and water investment projects (TOT/BOT/BOO), and provides treatment plant operation and maintenance services. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Memstar Pte Ltd, the Group is one of the largest PVDF hollow fibre membrane manufacturers in the world.

In August 2011, KKR became a strategic investor of CEL after injecting a US$113.8 million convertible bond investment and follow-on equity investment of US$40 million in January 2013. KKR is a leading global investment firm with more than US$ 126 billion in assets under management.

In April 2015, CITIC joined KKR as a strategic investor of CEL and became its largest shareholder after making a joint voluntary unconditional offer with KKR. CITIC Limited is China's largest conglomerate operating domestically and overseas, with businesses in financial services, resources and energy, manufacturing, engineering, contracting and real estate, as well as other services.

In Nov 2016, CRF Envirotech Co., Ltd. completed the acquisition of the entire stake held by KKR China Water Investment Limited in CITIC Envirotech Ltd, and became its second largest shareholder. CRF Envirotech is a joint venture between CRF Envirotech Fund L.P. and China Reform Conson Soochow Overseas Fund I L.P., which are in turn sponsored mainly by China Reform Holdings Corporation Ltd (CRHC), a stated-owned investment company which plays a unique and crucial role in China's state-owned assets management and restructuring process.

CEL was listed [SGX:CEE] on 22 April 2004. For more information, please log on  www.citicenvirotech.com

For analyst and media queries:
August Consulting
Tel: +65 6733 8873
Wrisney Tan, wrisneytan@august.com.sg
Zavier Ong, zavierong@august.com.sg

Company JCN Newswire
Contact Tiara Liu
Telephone +81-3-5791-1821
E-mail info@japancorp.net
Juanjo Oliva will present a collection featuring fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles at the next MBFWMadrid
May 17, 2018

• This well-known designer has been chosen by Ecoembes and MBFWMadrid, through the event's Sustainability and Fashion Committee, to be the next person to take recycling onto the catwalk.
• With this initiative, the two organisations are seeking to promote sustainability and the circular economy in the fashion industry.

Madrid, 16 May 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Ecoembes, the non-profit environmental organisation that promotes the circular economy by recycling containers, and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, through the event’s Sustainability and Fashion Committee, have chosen Juanjo Oliva to be the next person to take recycling onto the catwalk. And he'll do it during the 2019 Spring-Summer edition of MBFWMadrid, which will be held from 6 to 11 July at IFEMA-Feria de Madrid, with a fashion parade under his brand Oliva.

Having been chosen, the prestigious designer will present a unique selection in which the clothes will be made of fabrics manufactured using recycled materials, mainly plastic (PET) bottles. He will thus bring continuity to a project that Ecoembes started in 2015, which has already enjoyed the collaboration of designers Moisés Nieto and María Clè Leal, and the shoe firm Etxaburu. They all accepted this challenge before Oliva, showing how containers can be turned into a new raw material for high quality textiles.

“Being part of this project has made us reflect on where we want to be as stakeholders in the sector, as brands and as designers. Today, the language of fashion has an ethical dimension and we must therefore be committed to the environment and create awareness with personal gestures that range from creativity to the cutting edge. In this way we will advance towards a more reasonable, sustainable model”, explained Oliva. “With this collection we are exploring a new range of possibilities that are opening up for us through research into new fabrics and materials developed using sustainable processes, by studying all the possibilities they hold for finding the beauty that we are seeking in our creations,”, he continued.

A top-flight committee to promote the circular economy in the fashion industry

With this initiative, Ecoembes and MBFWMadrid are strengthening their partnership to show the applications that recycling can have in fashion so as to promote the principles of the circular economy in this industry. This is another step forward after the presentation in January this year of the first Fashion and Sustainability Committee associated with the show, which was created to show off the versatility of fabrics made from recycled PET and to promote their use among top designers. The committee is made up of Benedetta Poletti, director of Elle and editorial director of Hearst España; Kavita Parmar, founder of The IOU Project; María Eugenia Girón, director of the IE Observatory for the Premium and Prestige Market and an expert in premium sustainability; Paloma García López, founder and CEO of The Circular Project, and Lala Herrero, a sustainable fashion consultant. Nieves Rey, director of Communication and Marketing for Ecoembes, and Charo Izquierdo, director of the Fashion Week, are its chairwomen.

“Today it is already possible for waste like PET bottles to be transformed into a variety of versatile, high-quality textiles. It is a tangible, aesthetic demonstration of what can be achieved thanks to the efforts made by people every day to separate plastic containers and put them into the yellow bins. The fact that great designers like Juanjo Oliva are championing this new fashion concept with their creations confirms that the circular economy already has a place in the industry. This is something that makes all of us who work to care for our planet enormously happy”, said Nieves Rey.

Charo Izquierdo added that “This collaboration is a magnificent starting point in the sustainability process that fashion and the catwalk must undertake. The fact that the designer responsible for the first show developed by the Fashion and Sustainability Committee is Juanjo Oliva is undoubtedly a privilege. I am sure that it will be a milestone in the history of our fashion show”.
Juanjo Oliva, a successful career

Juanjo Oliva, a designer from Madrid, started out his career as a fashion illustrator and designer for some outstanding names in the Spanish fashion industry, such as Sybilla and Zara, until some years later he founded his own company. His first show at MBFWM, then known as the Pasarela Cibeles, took place in 2004, with his 04/05 Autumn-Winter collection. Since then, he has been present at all the editions of the Madrid fashion show. He is now taking part in MBFWM with his brand, Oliva.

Oliva’s extensive, solid professional track record has received much heartfelt recognition, as shown by the number of awards he has received over time. Among the most notable are the L'Oréal Award for Best Collection , which he received four times: Autumn-Winter 05/06, Spring/Summer 2009, Spring/Summer 2012 and Spring-Summer 2018; the 2005 Marie-Claire International “Le Prix d'Excellence” for Best New Designer, the 2006 T for Telva” Award for Best National Designer and the ELLE Style Award for Best National Designer in October 2014.

About Ecoembes
Ecoembes (:www.ecoembes.com) is a non-profit organisation that handles the recovery and recycling of plastic containers, cans and cartons (yellow bin) and paper and cardboard packaging (blue bin) all over Spain. In 2016, over 1.3 million tons of light containers and cardboard and paper packaging were recycled in Spain, a recycling rate of 76%. This high rate led to numerous environmental benefits, such as preventing 1 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and saving 7 million MWh, or, in other words, the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of over 700,000 Spanish households. 20.1 million cubic metres of water were also saved.

The partnership between Ecoembes and MBFWMadrid extends beyond this ambitious action with Oliva. The environmental organisation will also be present at the next edition of the country’s major fashion show as an environmental collaborator.

About MBFWMadrid
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid is the major platform promoting Spanish fashion, organised by IFEMA. It will hold its 68th edition from 6 to 11 July at IFEMA-Feria de Madrid and other locations around the city, showing that it is a driving force and binding element in the creative time Spanish fashion is going through. Over six days, this event will host collections from big names in Spanish fashion design—established names and new talent—showcasing yet again the richness of Spanish design. Since its inception in February 1985, the MBFWMadrid fashion show has hosted fashion on the catwalk from more than 300 Spanish designers.

A commitment to Spanish fashion that IFEMA has sponsored for more than thirty years, gradually incorporating Spain’s leading designers throughout that time.

For further information:
Nuria de Miguel, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid Press Department
Tel. No.: +34 627 70 61 49

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

ISH China & CIHE 2018 opens on 22 May with its largest ever exhibition space spanning across 10 halls
May 17, 2018

BEIJING, CHINA --( ASIA TODAY )-- ISH China & CIHE - China International Trade Fair for Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, Sanitation & Home Comfort Systems will be held from 22 – 24 May 2018 at the New China International Exhibition Center in Beijing with its largest ever show to date.

Jointly organised by Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd and Beijing B&D Tiger Exhibition Co Ltd, the three-day event will occupy 10 exhibition halls for the first time, while a record-breaking 116,000 sqm of exhibition space will host 1,300 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions.

The Chinese government’s clean energy heating reforms continue to enhance the development of greener HVAC solutions in the market. To accommodate this growing demand for clean energy heating, two additional halls – E5 and E6 ‒ will be employed for the very first time and will embrace the theme of “Coal to clean energy” with an exhibition area of over 10,000 sqm. In addition to displaying premium HVAC energy-saving products, the two halls will serve as an extended area from halls E1 and E2 to stage wall-hung boilers as well as related products and components.

Visitors to the 2018 fair can expect to find an in-depth showcase of the latest HVAC products and technologies that are suitable for a diverse array of industry sectors. To help international HVAC brands tap into the Chinese market, an “Overseas Area” will make its debut appearance in Hall E1, gathering top global brands from the UK, France, Germany and Italy. Some of the renowned international brands that have confirmed their participation include Bowers Eclipse, Centrotherm, Groppalli, Polidoro and Sermeta.

Another brand new zone catching the attention of fairgoers this year is the “Water Pump Zone” in Hall W1. It is the first zone to be dedicated to a particular product category in ISH China & CIHE and has been established to accommodate the increasing demand from this sector of the industry. Renowned water pump brands from around the world to feature at the zone include Dooch, Grundfos, LEO and Wilo.

The show also features a number of international pavilions showcasing an advanced selection of global HVAC technologies. The Italian Pavilion returns to the show in hall W2 in its largest ever capacity with confirmed exhibitors including Bitron, Cofi, Nordgas, Te-sa, Trafilerie carlo gnutti and Unidelta. The total number of Italian companies present at the show this year has more than doubled demonstrating the appetite the industry has for Italian expertise.

As a loyal participant at the show many times before, the German Pavilion in Hall E2 will again remain as the biggest dedicated exhibition avenue among other zones and areas, utilising over 1,500 sqm of floor space. The pavilion will house nearly 20 leading German brands including Aquatherm, Elco, Fränkische Rohrwerke, Max Weishaupt, ORE and Wefatherm.

Leading domestic and international brands also confirmed their attendance at the fair include A.O Smith, Aquatherm, Ariston, Baxi, Blauberg, Bluepure, Brötje, Chappee, Danfoss, De Dietrich, Devotion, Elco, Enchoy, Fulton, Gassero, Gree, Haier, Hansa, Hitachi, Honeywell, Industrial Combustion, Kiturami, Maincor, McQuay, Midea, Möhlenhoff, Noritz, Oilon, Oventrop, Panasonic, Pettinaroli, Phnix, Riello, Sanica, Siemens, Stiebel Eltron, Vaillant, Vanward, Vexve, Vortice, Watts and Zehnder.

Concurrent event programme offers invaluable market insights into clean energy heating driven by national policies and initiatives Tackling the country’s challenging air pollution situation is a key aim for the Chinese government. Crucial to this are improving the nation’s energy efficiency and reducing emissions. In response to a series of national policies and initiatives, ISH China & CIHE will team up with China Economic Information Service, Xinhua News Agency, China District Heating Association and China Energy Conservation Association to organise the China Clean Energy Heating Forum by inviting global industry experts to explore the future of clean energy heating.

* China Clean Energy Heating Forum
Organisers: - China Economic Information Service, Xinhua News Agency
- China District Heating Association
- China Energy Conservation Association
Co-organisers: - Heating and Radiator Committee of China
Construction Metal Structure Association
- Floor-heating Committee of China Construction Metal Structure Association
- Gas Heating Speciality Committee of China Civil Engineering Society
- Federation of German Heating Industry (BDH)

The 4th China International HVAC Congress (iHVAC) offers unique opportunities for fairgoers to be inspired by new technology Under the spotlight at the concurrent event programme will be the 4th iHVAC Congress, the in-house developed forum series by ISH China & CIHE. Inviting key decision makers from various sectors, the forum is comprised of six key presentations that will shed light on a number of significant industry developments:

* iHVAC – Electric Heating Development in Northern China
Organisers: - Power Energy Substitution Industrial
Development Branch of China Electricity Counci

* iHVAC – Fresh Air System
Organisers: - China Mechanical Ventilation Industry Alliance
- FGK - Association of Air Conditioning and Ventilation in Buildings

* iHVAC – Water Purification System
Organisers: - China Direct-Drinking Water Magazine

* iHVAC – China Innovative Heating Products and Technologies
Organisers: - China District Heating Association

* iHVAC – Air-source Heat Pump Technologies
Organisers: - Heat Pump Committee of China Energy Conservation Association
- Efficient Heating Project of International Copper Association

* iHVAC – Home Comfort System
Organisers: - China Construction Metal Structure Association Indoor Climate Association
- Clean and Fresh Air Committee of China Building Metal Association
- Heating and Radiator Committee of China Construction Metal Structure Association
- Floor-heating Committee of China Construction Metal Structure Association
- Heating and Home Comfort Branch of Shanghai Building Materials Industrial Association

Apart from the iHVAC Congress, another noteworthy concurrent event will explore commercial heating solutions in public institutions such as hotels, schools and hospitals. A total of six presentations will offer ideas on how to achieve improved energy efficiency. Event details as below:

* Energy-saving and Emission-reduction of Public Institution HVAC Congress
Organisers: - China Public Institution Energy-saving Innovation Alliance (Preparatory)

Media Contact
Sheva Ng
Tel. +852 2230 9280

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

Manufacturer & Exporter of Singing Bowls & Handicrafts
May 13, 2018

Kathmandu, Nepal - Best Himalaya, is one of the largest exporter of singing bowls in Nepal with over 6 years of expertise and experience in handling singing bowls. They went live with their official improvised website on March 22 2018. Previously a wholesale exporter, they will now also be selling individual pieces to interested buyers via their website. With the ideals of fair trade in mind, they’re a profit oriented sustainable social business that supports the growth of people, especially women in the rural areas by training, empowering and employing them to help them improve their living standard and provide them with financial freedom.

Their vision is to defy the general misconception that companies based in Nepal cannot offer the same quality of goods and services as companies based abroad. Their goal is to promote high quality Nepali handicrafts in the international arena. Their user-friendly web site has an informative blog and podcast section for those who want to read or hear more about these handmade items. They have also featured some exclusive pieces that handicraft lovers can now place direct orders for. Information for interested, resellers and wholesale vendors have also been put up on the site.

"Our products are handmade, meaning they carry with them the love, uniqueness and creativity of the artist. So, every handmade item comes with a part of the artisan's soul and sweat. As technology is developing, our traditional forms of art are being compromised upon and it has now become more essential than ever to promote and preserve our valuable art and culture." Says CEO and chairman, Mr. Sudeep Neupane. He is backed by a team of proficient professionals who are each creditable for the excellent functioning of the company.

Last year, the company exported over 50 thousand singing bowls to different countries around the world. They mostly exported to the US, Canada, UK and Germany. The coming year they plan to focus on other European and Asian countries too. The company had a turnover of approximately NRS 30 million in the last fiscal year. They are excepting a trifold increase in sales in the coming fiscal year.

Another unique service provided by Best Himalaya is the customization of every product. One can easily design or add personalized logos and symbols according to ones wishes on items.

Previously, they had been manufacturing and exporting many other local products apart from singing bowls. However, their focus was mostly on high quality singing bowls then. But now, they're also focusing on promoting other handmade items such as Singing bowls, Tingsha Cymbals, Vajras, bells, statues, prayer flags, resin items along with craft works like cotton clothing, hemp products, shawls and pashmina’s. Some of these products such as vajras, bells, prayer flags and others have spiritual and religious significance and are also used for meditation, improved concentration and spiritual healing. Some items such as singing bowls also have medical benefits such as stress reduction, relieve from stress, anxiety anger, etc.

To visit the company's' official website, follow the link below:https://www.besthimalaya.com/

Sudeep Neupane
+977 9851039902
Best Himalaya Export pvt.ltd.

Biowaste brings clean fuel to rural households in Cambodia
Apr 18, 2018

Biodigesters convert waste into clean gas for cooking

April 2018 — Channeuon Kob awoke at the first light of day to fix breakfast for her family. Now that she would no longer have to smell gas fumes as she prepared breakfast, she was eager to cook. Kob recently purchased a clean cookstove to replace her butane gas cylinders as part of a new biodigester system that converts waste into fuel.

Biodigesters — which consist mainly of a large tank — collect, treat and convert manure and biowaste (human, kitchen and green waste) into clean biogas for cooking and organic fertilizer for crops. For a typical Cambodian rural farming family with two or three livestock, a biodigester system can often provide enough biogas to meet all daily cooking needs.

Eighty percent of Cambodian families in rural areas still use wood as the primary fuel source for cooking. When combined with a clean cookstove, a biodigester system creates a smoke-free cooking environment, producing benefits to respiratory health and safety, particularly for women and children.

Butane gas bottles are used for special occasions or when wood is not available. Although it is more convenient to cook using butane gas, low-quality cylinders and stoves present safety issues — explosions are not uncommon. A biodigester can also save considerable money due to lower fuel consumption.

In comparison to either wood or butane gas fuel systems, biodigesters are cheaper and safer for cooking while producing high-quality organic fertilizer.

Kob purchased her new system from the Cambodian social enterprise firm ATEC Biodigesters International (link is external), which developed the world’s first “plug-and-play” biogas digester that can be installed in high groundwater and flood-prone areas. Kob saw the benefits of her purchase immediately.

“The ATEC’s biodigester is a life changer for me,” said Kob. “Since switching from my gas cylinders to this ATEC’s biodigester, I am able to save $260 per year from my fuel expenses. I feel much safer while cooking. My kitchen is now filled with the aroma of the food I cook, not the smell of cooking gas from the gas cylinders. This biodigester uses waste around the house, so I would definitely recommend it to friends and relatives who have to walk far to collect wood for cooking.”

The USAID Private Financing Advisory Network-Asia (USAID PFAN-Asia) supported ATEC throughout its participation last year at the 7th Asian Forum for Clean Energy Financing (AFCEF-7) business plan competition. The network helped ATEC refine its business plan and develop financial projections. As a result, the company has mobilized $700,000 in equity. The investment was made by a consortium of investors led by Small Giants of Australia and consisting of Fondation Ensemble and ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, both of France, in addition to another private Australian investor. ATEC was second runner-up at PFAN’s AFCEF-7 forum and global winner of its investor forum in Vienna.

“This new round of funding will enable us to expand production to 10,000 units per year in Cambodia and export to other emerging markets,” says Ben Jeffreys, CEO of ATEC. “We expect our biodigesters will benefit as many as 20,000 people in 13 provinces of Cambodia by 2020.”

USAID PFAN-Asia, which started in 2013 and concluded in January 2018, helps companies pitch their projects to investors and improve their business plans. The program assisted 49 companies to mobilize more than $567.5 million in funds directly or indirectly for clean energy investments that will avoid or reduce 17.7 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The program is also helping create self-sustaining, long-term access to regional clean energy financing.


Kenya Could Show Thailand How To Tackle Its Plastic Trash Problem
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Apr 18, 2018

The East African nation of Kenya has the potential to become a role model for Thailand when it comes to curb the exorbitant use of plastic bag across the country and the unavoidable serious pollution and other trouble it creates.

Kenya’s government just issued a decree banning the production, sale, distribution and even use of plastic bags countrywide. Violators will be slammed with fines of between $18,500 and $37,000 and, in extreme cases, face jail time of up to four years. It is the strictest law against plastic bags globally.

The government in Nairobi said it had no other choice than to issue such a law to cope with around 100 million plastic bags daily landing as garbage on the streets, clogging water and sewage pipes, polluting rivers and ending up in stomachs of animals that eat them and subsequently die.

Kenya is among a growing number of countries that declared an outright ban on plastic bags, with others being Italy, Morocco, Mauretania and Myanmar, and some that have local restrictions such as Canada, the U.S., China, India, Australia, the Philippines, South Africa and Brazil.

However, one country that is seen as one of the largest plastic bag polluters in the world still has no regulations whatsoever on the issue even after decades of being aware of the problem: Thailand.

According to statistics, the average resident in Thailand uses eight plastic bags and packages a day since almost everything, not just groceries, but also street food, snacks and even soft drinks, are filled in plastic containers of all sizes.

Across Thailand that means 500 million bags and packages a day. The average bag is in use for just twelve minutes but it takes 500 (in water) to 1000 years (on air) for it to fully decompose. In the meantime, they keep clogging waterways and drains during the rainy season and fill up the Gulf of Thailand with kilometer-long islands of plastic waste.

The problem is that producing plastic bags and packages is a huge industry in Thailand, one of the few in which the country is a leading player in the global market, and there are big business interests behind it. The list of plastic bags producers in Thailand is endless, and they are well-connected with policy makers.

Campaigns by Thai authorities to reduce the distribution of plastic bags have therefore been unsuccessful so far, and retailers and shopping malls currently have very few policies in place to deal with the issue. For example, staff at the odd 7-Eleven store seems to have instructions to give out as many plastic bags and straws as possible for a handful of groceries.

However, experts are not sure whether a radical law such as in Kenya could tackle the problem, since Thailand is known for its rather lax attitude towards state rules. The problem could rather be met with incentives or discounts for shoppers who use cloth-made bags and the threat for retailers that they would lose their business license if they keep handing out enormous amount of plastic bags on daily basis. Producer could be encouraged to use biodegradable materials for bags, and a deposit and recycling system should be put in place.

The problem is the fast-changing administrative environment in Thailand, with ministers, city governors and other supposedly responsible officials shifting posts every little while, which makes the implementation of long-term policies tricky since this allows no consistent policies, let alone encourages political accountability.

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique
E-mail imran@insideinvestor.com
Website http://investvine.com
“Waste Less, Save More” Discussed ahead of Eco Expo Asia
Apr 04, 2018

4 April 2018 – Hong Kong’s vision for a “greener city” through a new wave of innovative waste management and recycling initiatives was outlined to eco-industry leaders and associations along with consul-generals and trade commissioners representing 16 countries at a networking lunch themed “Waste Less, Save More‧Creating Business Opportunities” on 16 March 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The event was an introduction to the Eco Expo Asia 2018 to be held at Asia World-Expo from 25-28 October. The Expo is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.

In the welcoming speech, Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC said the “Waste Less, Save More” theme responded to “strong market demand for waste management schemes and technologies”.

“Waste has become a common problem for affluent societies, with ever-growing amounts of refuse, including food, produced as a result of economic expansion,” he said, explaining the pressing need for imperative measures on waste management and recycling are a “committed focus” of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government.

Hong Kong initiatives
In his keynote address, HKSAR Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing, outlined the latest Environment Bureau waste management and recycling initiatives that could “offer a glimpse into a better, greener world ahead”.

“Waste management is a major challenge for a green city,” he said, as our consumption-driven lifestyles are putting enormous pressure on landfills. “Clearly, Hong Kong needs a more sustainable way to deal with waste.” The Secretary for the Environment went on to explain some of the measures Hong Kong is undertaking to address these problems.

Among the city’s new initiatives is the WEEE∙PARK, a waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) treatment and recycling facility. It is a flagship government-funded waste-to-resources facility that officially opened on 19 March.

Operated by a consortium formed by Germany's ALBA Group and the Integrated Waste Solutions Group, WEEE∙PARK is the modern face of WEEE recycling facility turning WEEE into useful secondary raw materials through a series of detoxification, dismantling and recycling processes using advanced technologies and equipment.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's first self-sustained sludge treatment facility, T·PARK, marks a significant step forward in the city’s waste-to-energy journey. Being one of the most technologically advanced facilities of its kind in the world, T·PARK combines a variety of advanced technologies into a single complex and bring together sludge incinerators with power generation and desalination. To enhance public awareness of sustainable development, a wide range of educational and leisure facilities showcasing the benefits of a waste-to-energy approach in waste management are also open to the public.

At the community level, a “Dump Less, Save More” Municipal Solid Waste Charging Scheme is to provide financial incentives to promote waste reduction at source and reduce overall disposal.

In addition, Mr Wong highlighted other environmental initiatives the government is working on. Hong Kong’s first organic resources recovery centre, O∙PARK, is a large-scale waste-to-energy facility with the major target for treating food waste generated from the industrial and commercial sectors including manufacturers, restaurants, hotels and supermarkets. Furthermore, EcoPark and the Recycling Fund are backing the recycling industry to develop enhanced technology to improve waste recovery rates.

At the same time, a HK$300 million “Pilot Green” transportation fund supports the testing of green and innovative technologies for public transport and goods vehicles. The green bond issuance plan promotes the development of green finance in Hong Kong. Moreover, the government will enhance tax concessions for capital expenditure incurred by enterprises in procuring eligible energy-efficient building installations and renewable energy devices by allowing tax deductions to be claimed in full in one year, instead of the current time frame of five years.

“With all these initiatives, we will make Hong Kong cleaner, and save more,” pledged Mr Wong.

Waste management and recycling
At a “chit-chat” panel discussion, Victor Li, Immediate Past Chairperson of the Hong Kong Waste Management Association, and Wolfgang Ehmann, Executive Director of German Industry and Commerce Ltd also examined the issue.

Mr Li noted that waste should be considered a resource, not just waste. To capitalise on future opportunities in the sector, he said waste management should be seriously regarded as resource management: “It’s just a different resource.”

He explained that Hong Kong is setting an example, sharing expertise with the Chinese mainland in addressing the challenge. “Hong Kong is energetic, agile and smart,” he said. “We know how to find the world’s leading experts. We are comfortable that we know what we are doing. We know this is the best way and we have the resources to spend.” But the big question is “how to persuade Hong Kong companies to join our initiatives? We just have to wake up a lot of people.”

Mr Ehmann predicted that waste management and recycling was an industry set for major expansion. “It is a huge issue and challenge worldwide”, he said. “Extending even beyond countries to the ocean, where revelations of giant islands of plastic waste are shocking the world.”

The Secretary for the Environment finally stressed that government efforts alone are not enough. As Hong Kong is set to become a key pillar of the Chinese mainland’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area seek to enhance quality living in a greener environment, he called on industry and society to work together for a more sustainable future.

Eco Expo Asia 2018
Looking ahead, Eco Expo Asia 2018 in October is the region’s premier business platform of its kind, which last year welcomed 335 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, and more than 14,000 buyers from 102 countries and regions, including industry leaders and members of the green tech community from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Asia and beyond.

“Having achieved record-breaking exhibitor and visitor numbers last year, we have much to look forward to as we prepare for the 2018 edition,” said Mr Chau. “I’m sure this year’s Eco Expo Asia will once again attract plenty of buyers and suppliers from around the world to Hong Kong – to do business, network and exchange ideas on innovative green solutions,” he added.

Waste Management and Recycling is again one of the largest exhibition zones along with Water Treatment & Quality Management and Green Transportation. A Startup zone is also an ideal platform for new ventures to showcase their green innovations and solutions to potential buyers, manufacturers and investors – with young entrepreneurs and start-ups from around the globe welcome to participate.

Fair Website
Eco Expo Asia:www.ecoexpoasia.com

Media Enquiries

Selina Fan
Tel: (852) 2584 4298
Email: selina.mi.fan@hktdc.org

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

ADB, China Water Affairs Sign Deal to Improve Urban Water Management in PRC
Mar 02, 2018

BEIJING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (2 March 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a loan equivalent of up to $200 million to help China Water Affairs Group Limited (CWA) improve wastewater management and increase people’s access to clean and reliable water supply in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The agreement was signed by Christopher Thieme, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, and Duan Chuan Liang, CWA’s Chairman, at a ceremony in Beijing.

ADB’s assistance is comprised of two loans of up to $100 million each in US dollars and yuan. The financing, to be disbursed on a project-by-project basis, will support the construction and operation of a series of public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives covering a combination of water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment, and sewage and drainage pipelines in second and third-tier cities in the PRC. The PPP arrangements will help increase private sector participation in the urban water sector.

“Ensuring accessible, safe, and reliable water supplies for the PRC’s urban areas is an urgent development priority,” said Mr. Thieme. “This financing supports CWA in pioneering new approaches to urban water management where multiple services are integrated to increase water efficiency.”

This transaction builds on the success of ADB’s earlier partnerships with CWA, which focused on supplying water to cities and surrounding rural communities. In this new financing, the emphasis is on supporting CWA’s innovations to link the entire water value chain, including wastewater pipelines and treatment.

Once completed, CWA’s projects are anticipated to supply over 10 million cubic meters per day of tap water and treat over 1.8 million cubic meters of wastewater daily. Over 5,000 kilometers of CWA-managed sewage and drainage pipeline networks will also be constructed.

CWA, established in 2003 as one of the first private companies to own and operate water distribution networks in the PRC, has concession operations in more than 50 cities, across 16 provinces and provincial-level municipalities, in the country. CWA’s main business lines include water supply, wastewater management, and water construction services.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com