A sea of plastic

One third of global food production is wasted each year.

Also, all the resources that are needed to produce this food, such as water and fertilizers, are wasted when food is thrown away.

The largest greenhouse area worldwide is located in the Andalusian province Almería, also known as the sea of plastic – or in Spanish: el mar del plastico.

These plastic greenhouses are located alongside the Mediterranean Sea. As the sun and wind are relentless in this semi-desert area, plastic breaks down and ends up in the environment.

I have written many stories about this area, from new attempts to recycle plastic and reuse water to fraud with organic food.

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A new campaign to fish plastic out of the canals in Amsterdam.

Community Supported Agriculture is on the rise again in Europe, as a way to survive for small organic farms.

Nespresso: launch of a new recyclingsystem for its aluminium coffee cups.

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Recycling of carbon dioxide

In 2011, I started to explore which technologies were being developed to recycle the most notorious waste material of our time: carbon dioxide.

It led to the discovery of an unknown Icelandic company that was building the world’s first industrial-scale plant to recycle carbon dioxide from flue stack emissions into fuel by using renewable energy.

This research is still ongoing. Currently, many innovations to recycle carbon dioxide are moving out of the lab and are being scaled up.

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Optimal reuse

The world’s first plant to recycle carbon dioxide into fuel is built in conjunction with a geothermal power station, located some 47 kilometres south west of Reykjavik.

The geothermal reservoir not only contains hot water to create energy, but also very pure carbon dioxide to convert into fuel.

On top of this, the geothermal water is rich in minerals. It flows from the power station to a spa, named Blue Lagoon, where the water is used to bath in. Also, many beauty products are made with these minerals.

Iran

Within ten minutes after I started taking images on the streets in Teheran, I was already approached by the Iranian police.

Air pollution in China

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Economic development still goes hand in hand with creating environmental problems, and in most countries worldwide freedom of speech is not honoured. You don’t have to go to Asia or the Middle-East for this: an article of mine about Italian maffia and waste problems was not published in a British magazine. The editor-in-chief thought the risk to be too high.

Robodock

An Amsterdam-based festival of technofreaks, robot designers, musicians, theatremakers, handymans and IT-experts that create together a mixture of art and technology.

Steel from a nearby located shipyard is recycled into theatrical pieces and decor. It is a bit like the Dutch little sister of Burning Man that is held in the American Black Rock desert each year.

For me as a journalist, it proved to be a turning point as writing about this festival brought me in contact with the world of recycling and its magazines. Diving into this world brought many interesting topics to light.