1. What is the social or environmental issue being addressed? Waste
CERO Cooperative is simultaneously addressing the problem of landfills receiving organic material, which generates methane and contributes to global warming and the challenge to find green jobs with acceptable wages and working conditions.
2. How is this being addressed?
CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics) is a commercial composting company providing effective commercial composting services:
Providing food diversion and pickup services for commercial clients
Transporting food scraps to local farms, where they are recycled into nutrient-rich compost products used to support the local agrucilture economy
Helping creating quality jobs for local community members, primarily immigrants and people of color
Prioritizing reasonable reasonable pricing to clients by a more direct and efficient process, saving their customers over $400,000 in trash hauling expenses
CERO Cooperative offers a unique business model in which every employee is also part owner.
Sustainability Problem: Reducing plastic waste is a dilemma. It is something that most consumers want to do but find it hard to do so. That is because plastic is readily available, cheap, convenient and durable. Now, an Indonesian-based startup has come up with a delicious and nutritious solution to help reduce our dependence on this environmental hazard.
Using seaweed as raw material, Evoware was able to come up with an eco-solution for problems concerning plastic waste. Evoware’s bioplastic products are eco-friendly, biodegradable and even edible and healthy for human beings. This will not just impact the environment but also for the livelihood of Indonesia’s seaweed farmers. Some benefits of bioplastics:
Food that works as flexible packaging
Has the same function as plastic packaging, plus it dissolves in warm water & is biodegradable
Shelf life: 2 years, without preservatives
Contains high fiber, vitamins and minerals
Maintains shore cleanliness
Improve seaweed farmer’s wellbeing and income
Indonesian company Evoware makes edible seaweed packaging | Daily Mail Online
“A very innovative technology indeed. Again, such ideas will always stumble upon large cost and scalability. And the fact that it needs a carbon-neutral plant to build upon means that it still needs further research since many power plants around the world are still not carbon-neutral.”
Sustainability problem (Primarily Waste, but also addresses Water and Health):
It is no surprise that we generate a lot of waste in this day and age. Of that waste, “40 million tons of reusable plastic cutlery get thrown out every year, most of them after a single use.” It also takes a long time for plastic to break down (up to 1,000 years) and plastic has been found to contain toxins that pose risks to the environment and to humans.