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Author(s): Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo, Marco Gusukuma Higa y (Español) T.Reed Miller, Sara Ojeda-Benitez, Samantha E. Cruz-Sotelo, Jorge Jauregui-Sesma.
(Español) Mexicali, a Mexican city located near the US-Mexico border, has faced several challenges related to adopting an
integrated e-waste management system. Thus, the main objective of this work is to propose a new system to be
implemented in phases. The current system is evaluated using several methodological approaches including field
studies, surveys, interviews, and quantitative modeling via material flow analysis. We suggest the need to
properly integrate both the formal and informal sectors to achieve the optimal system that mitigates environmental impacts while preserving the positive social and economic traits of the current system. Thus, without
supplanting the current reuse, refurbishment, repair and maintenance practices, a hybrid system is proposed,
based on a centralized facility that primarily handles those parts or materials that create environmental impacts
and health hazards if mishandled. Furthermore, a decentralized transition phase toward the new system is
Author(s): Marco Gusukuma Higa, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo, Kathia Cáceres Huisacayna
(Español) Consumption of appliances in the residential sector in Peru has been growing continuously during the last 20 years. Although social benefits due to this growth are evident, there are also some related environmental impacts in the use and end-of-life (EoL) phases (e.g., inadequate handling or disposal at the EoL stage). Nevertheless, there is also a hidden potential in the growing stock of household appliances, such as their potential exploitation as resources of industrial materials found in urban areas. Thus, the aim of this research paper is to analyze the evolution of the adoption of electronics in Peruvian households and estimate the stock of electrical and electronic equipment and related materials in the residential sector from 2001 to 2019, and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions due to its use. Material flow analysis is the main methodology used in this research and its application relies on different strategies and the integrated use of official sources. Moreover, a Peruvian input–output table and associated environmental matrices were used to calculate GHG emissions. Results indicate that, in 2019, an average household possessed between 86 and 121 kg of appliances, which means the total stock of household appliances in Peru was in the range of 805,000 to 1,134,000 metric tons, an increase in mass of 70–95% by 2019 compared to 2001. These results will be useful to estimate the urban stock of appliances in the residential sector to help policy-makers design and implement an adequate e-waste management system that comprehends the potential of secondary materials embedded in these products.Open link
Author(s): Diana Ita Nagy, Ian Vázquez Rowe, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo
(Español) The release of microplastics to the ocean is an increasing global environmental concern. The specific characteristics of the Global South (e.g., widespread mismanaged waste and wastewater) make this an even greater
challenge. The current study performed a critical review related to the prevalence of microplastics in the ocean
in Latin America and the Caribbean, analyzing also the possible sources of microplastics release to the marine
environment. A majority of the studies assessed point towards mismanaged waste, inland or offshore, as well as
mismanaged wastewater as critical sources of plastic pollution into the ocean. However, there is a need to delve
into the effects that these microplastics are generating on local biota and human health.
Author(s): Ian Vázquez Rowe y (Español) Daniel Hoehn, Rubén Aldaco, María Margallo, Jara Laso, Israel Ruiz-Salmón, Francisco José Amo-Setién, Rebeca Abajas-Bustillo, Carmen Sarabia, Ainoa Quiñones, Alba Bala, Laura Battle-Bayer, Pere Fullana-i-Palmer
(Español) There is a growing debate surrounding the contradiction between an unremitting increase in the use of resources and the search for environmental sustainability. Therefore, the concept of sustainable degrowth is emerging aiming to introduce in our societies new social values and new policies, capable of satisfying human requirements whilst reducing environmental impacts and consumption of resources. In this framework, circular economy strategies for food production and food loss and waste management systems, following the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, are being developed based on a search for circularity, but without setting limits to the continual increase in environmental impacts and resource use. This work presents a methodology for determining the percentage of degrowth needed in any food supply chain, by analyzing four scenarios in a life cycle assessment approach over time between 2020 and 2040. Results for the Spanish case study suggested a degrowth need of 26.8% in 2015 and 58.9% in 2040 in order to achieve compliance with the Paris Agreement targets, highlighting the reduction of meat and fish and seafood consumption as the most useful path.
Author(s): Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo, Ian Vázquez Rowe, André Torre García, Eduardo Parodi Gonzales Prada
(Español) The centralization-decentralization dichotomy in wastewater treatment management has been a recurrent topic of discussion in the urban context. The escalation of environmental hazards linked to increasing mismanaged wastewater flows in emerging or developing cities has vivified this conundrum. It is argued that there is a wide range of parameters to identify the optimal level of centralization-decentralization that must be implemented. In many cases, this prevents decision-makers from having a clear picture of the most appropriate management choices that must be undertaken. Hence, the main objective of the current discussion consists of an in-depth comparison between centralized wastewater treatment systems and decentralized systems with source separation in urban environments of the Global South. Moreover, a set of actions that should be considered in order to upgrade wastewater treatment systems amidst the existence of numerous economic, social and environmental constraints are analyzed. Considering the constraints of megacentralization as a preferred option, we argue that decision-makers should restrain from entering a centralization-decentralization dichotomy, seeing the process as a gradient between the two concepts. In fact, we advocate combining the benefits of each of the two perspectives to generate an adaptive management, site-specific solution for urban environments. For this, the inclusion of quantitative management tools, such as life-cycle environmental or cost management methodologies, in multi-objective optimization models, constitutes an interesting path forward towards fostering comprehensive policy support.Open link
Author(s): Ian Vázquez Rowe, Diana Ita Nagy, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo
(Español) Plastic waste has arisen as a worldwide environmental concern, becoming ubiquitous in all marine compartments. Microplastics (MPs) are an important fraction of this accumulation, due to direct emissions from the technosphere or fragmentation of macroplastic waste. Consequently, the aim of this letter is to analyze the effects of microplastics on fishing and aquaculture, identifying the links with food safety and sustainability. Current studies have observed multiple potentially damaging effects of microplastics on marine biota, mainly at lower trophic levels. It is plausible to assume that fishing stocks and aquaculture systems will suffer setbacks due to these damages. However, additional research is needed to understand the potential effects on human health, especially considering that smaller microplastics and nanoplastics, for which data is very scarce, are the particles most likely to be absorbed by human tissues.Open link
Author(s): Ian Vázquez Rowe y otros
(Español) Motivation and problem definition
A large number of public buildings designed with obsolete criteria are at high seismic risk and in need of structural rehabilitation. The task of selecting the optimal strategy poses important challenges for decision-makers due to the variety of intervention options and the fact that the construction sector is perceived to be one of the most corrupt in the economy.
Given that transparency is an efficient anti-corruption strategy, a protocol is proposed for decision-making in seismic rehabilitation projects of public infrastructure that incorporates criteria which serve to increase transparency in the project development.
Firstly, the literature was reviewed to describe current practices and regulations linked to decision-making in seismic rehabilitation/retrofitting of buildings. Secondly, relevant criteria that should be taken into account to favor transparency in decision-making were proposed. Thirdly, these criteria were integrated into a protocol that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs), Building Information Modeling (BIM), and collaborative methodologies that involve all stakeholders that will participate in the decision-making process. Finally, the protocol was applied to a real decision-making case study for the selection of alternatives for large-scale reinforcement of state schools in the city of Lima.
The criteria of auditability or ease of control of the construction process is well regarded by stakeholders as a mechanism to increase transparency. Including these transparency criteria could influence the selection of reinforcement alternatives, especially if the profile of stakeholders is environmentally-oriented. The sensitivity analysis confirmed the dependency of the selection on the decision-maker profile.
Author(s): Ian Vázquez Rowe y otros
(Español) Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been widely applied in many different sectors, but the marine products and seafood segment have received relatively little attention in the past. In recent decades, global fish production experienced sustained growth and peaked at about 179 million tonnes in 2018. Consequently, increased interest in the environmental implications of fishery products along the supply chain, namely from capture to end of life, was recently experienced by society, industry and policy-makers.
This timely review aims to describe the current framework of LCA and its application to the seafood sector that mainly focused on fish extraction and processing, but it also encompassed the remaining stages. An excess of 60 studies conducted over the last decade, along with some additional publications, were comprehensively reviewed; these focused on the main LCA methodological choices, including but not limited to, functional unit, system boundaries allocation methods and environmental indicators.
The review identifies key recommendations on the progression of LCA for this increasingly important sustaining seafood sector. Specifically, these recommendations include (i) the need for specific indicators for fish-related activities, (ii) the target species and their geographical origin, (iii) knowledge and technology transfer and, (iv) the application and implementation of key recommendations from LCA research that will improve the accuracy of LCA models in this sector. Furthermore, the review comprises a section addressing previous and current challenges of the seafood sector. Wastewater treatment, ghost fishing or climate change, are also the objects of discussion together with advocating support for the water-energy-food nexus as a valuable tool to minimize environmental negativities and to frame successful synergies.