Tag: U.S.

Textile Flows in the United States

RRS, a consulting firm with expertise in waste reduction, life cycle management and applied sustainable design has this Sankey diagram on textile streams in the US garment industry.


While the figure doesn’t show any numbers explicitly (which I am sure exist, and were used to set up this schematic Sankey diagram), the idea is to show existing alternative paths for post-consumer textile use. Green flows are recycle, reuse and repurpose, while red streams are to incineration. The largest stream is to landfills. RRS is developing ideas and helping to change the material flows in the textile sector to be more environmentally friendly.

New York Zero Waste Scenario 2030

Came across an interesting article by Tei Carpenter, ‘Waste Not, Want More: Zeroing In on Designing Waste’ in the Avery Review 33 (September 2018). It describes a transition to a zero waste scenario for New York in 2030.

This is the Sankey diagram for the waste situation today (that is… 2018). An incredible 12,838 tonnes per year day. Of which 75% would theoretically be recyclable. Instead, 80% end up as refuse, while only 20% are “diverted”.


There is also a second Sankey diagram that shows how the city would handle its waste in 2030 with a zero waste strategy. Read the article at Avery Review or download as PDF.

Big Oil Climate Lobbying, InfluenceMap

The UK-based non-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) called ‘InfluenceMap’ has produced the below Sankey diagram on obstructive climate lobbying of oil firms and interest groups. These are the spendings in US$ for an unspecified year (possibly 2015).


Source: InfluenceMap, Media Downloads
(via Hypergeometric blog)

Streams are color coded to specify the type of spending (e.g. staff cost, direct lobbying, party donations). Note that the yellow flows (in the range up to 230.000 US$) are not to scale with the others that are on a million US$ range. Some of the elements that represent the sources and the black sum arrow are also overemphasized, showing a height that is larger than the sum of the individual arrow magnitudes. So this is not fully adherent to the principles of a Sankey diagram … but to be fair: they never claimed that it is a Sankey diagram.

This is maybe the first Sankey diagram ever to be featured in the US Senate. Senator [D-RI] Sheldon Whitehouse (yes, that really is his name … you just have to love his “Whitehouse Statement on …” catchphrase) used it in a US Senate testimony in April 2016.

Watch the video how the Whitehouse does quite well explaining the streams of money and to underpin his message with the Sankey diagram. Jump in at 0:25 secs to see Sankey make its Senate appearance…

U.S. Plastic Waste Streams

Ann Arbor based consulting firm RRS has published a Sankey diagam visualization of the plastic streams in the United States. This is from their Data Corner blog.

Breakdown is in percentage values only. The amount of 8,300 MMT seems to be an aggregated figure for a 65 year period from 1950 to 2015. And 80% has ended up on landfills.

Original data is from a study ‘Production, Use, and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made’ authored by Roland Geyer of the University of California, Santa Barbara; Jenna Jambeck of the University of Georgia; and Kara Law from the Sea Education Association.

Trump’s Twitter Attacks Sankeyfied, Axios

Couldn’t help but laugh, despite the seriousness of the topic.

Lazaro Gamio of Axios, a “new media company delivering vital, trustworthy news (…) with expertise, voice AND smart brevity”, has created this Sankey diagram infographic to illustrate the Twitter attacks by Trump and who they were targeting. Shown in a blog post by Axios’ Stef Knight.


via Dataviz blog

Very comical use of Sankey diagrams. I love the red tie and just imagine how it will continue to move out to the right shoulder as POTUS’ Twitter attacks on the media continue. Great!

Feed-to-Food caloric flux Sankey diagram

Another way to look at energy flows! Here is a Sankey diagram of US feed-to-food caloric flux. This is from a paper by Shepon et.al. titled ‘Energy and protein feed-to-food conversion efficiencies in the US and potential food security gains from dietary changes’ published October 2016 in Environmental Research Letters (Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016) 105002 – doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/10/105002) under Creative Commons CC 3.0

Flows are in Pcal (Peta calories, 1012 kcal). Production figures are based on data from U.S. National Research Council and a “Mean American Diet” (MAD) with an average consumption of 2500 kcal per day is used. We can see energy in three feed classes being transformed into energy in edible animal products. The authors explain:

“On the right, parenthetical percentages are the food-out/feed-in caloric conversion efficiencies of individual livestock categories. (…) Overall, 1187 Pcal of feed are converted into 83 Pcal edible animal products, reflecting a weighted mean conversion efficiency of approximately 7%.”

In light of this, energy conversion efficiencies of 30-40% seem to be fantastic…

Check out the article for another Sankey diagram of protein flux.