Afternoon Coffee: Hurricane Sandy, Grocery Packaging CSR, Sweden Needs Your Trash

Stay safe out there, East Coast.
Hurricane Sandy: Deadly Storm Surge Brewing For NY, NJ Coastline -- Significant storm surge will impact New York City and surrounding areas during the landfall of Hurricane Sandy. The projected landfall will place NYC in an onshore wind flow through several tide cycles. Given the geometry of the New York/New Jersey coast, water will be funneled into New York Harbor. Our chief meteorologist at WeatherBELL, Joe Bastardi, has been warning the public that the highly perpendicular angle at which Sandy is approaching will allow for a far more significant surge event than Hurricane Irene. (And no running on Lake Shore, Chicago friends!

A brief history lesson/remembrance.
On Its 83rd Anniversay, Lessons From The Great Depression -- Monday [October 29th] marks the 83rd anniversary of the onset of the worst economic collapse in the history of the modern world: the Great Depression. To observe the occasion, U.S. policymakers should reflect on lessons learned from the crisis. This is more than just an exercise in platitudes. Understanding the effects of policies implemented to aid the recoveries of the early 20th century could go a long way toward accelerating the one we're currently surviving.

Changing the grocery game.
Returnable plastic packaging solutions are the driving force behind supply chain stability -- Retailers are now looking beyond just the box for transporting goods and are increasingly turning to plastic returnable transit packaging (RTP) which provides value for money, supply chain efficiency and helps reduce the amount of waste. There are commercial and environmental pressures to cut packaging waste in the grocery supply chain for example Courtauld Commitment 2 targets a 10% reduction of the carbon impact of grocery packaging, many retailers see plastic RTP as the answer because it is a cost-effective, greener alternative to single-trip products, such as cardboard.

"We've heard of importing goods and raw materials, but importing trash?"
Sweden Plans to Import 800,000 Tons of Garbage Each Year -- Sweden only sends about 4 percent of its waste to landfills. To put that into perspective, the United States landfills about 67 percent of its waste. While that is great for Sweden's environment, it isn't so good for their Waste-to-Energy program, which is capable of treating up to two million tons of household waste, which is converted into heat and electricity. The solution is to import waste from Sweden's neighbor, Norway. Not only is Sweden taking trash off of their hands, Norway will pay them to do so. All told, Sweden plans to import about 800,000 tons each year, most of which will be used in the Waste-to-Energy program. Any toxic waste resulting from the burning will be returned to Norway. But in case you are thinking that Norway is getting the short end of the stick, don't worry – they are happy with the agreement because exporting the trash is more economical than dealing with it.

- Sheena Moore

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