News

The Lost Nurdles Polluting Texas Beaches

Tiny plastic building blocks are spilled into oceans and waterways before they’re even made into plastic goods.

JULISSA TREVIÑOUNDARK

JUL 5, 2019

Last September, Jace Tunnell discovered a layer of tiny, round plastic pellets covering a beach on Padre Island off the southern coast of Texas. There were “millions of them,” he recalled, “and it went on for miles.” Tunnell, a marine biologist, knew exactly what the pellets were, but says he had never actually seen them before.

They’re called nurdles, and they’re the preproduction building blocks for nearly all plastic goods, from soft-drink bottles to oil pipelines. But as essential as they are for consumer products, nurdles that become lost during transit or manufacturing are also an environmental hazard. In the ocean and along coastal waterways, they absorb toxic chemicals and are often mistaken for food by animals. They also wash up by the millions on beaches, leaving coastal communities to deal with the ramifications.

Researchers say nurdles—which weigh a fraction of an ounce (approximately 20 milligrams each)—are found virtually everywhere. It is estimated that more than 250,000 tons enter the ocean annually. In February, Fidra, an environmental group based in Scotland, reported nurdle pollution in 28 of the 32 countries they surveyed, from Ecuador to South Africa.

“Pellets have been around and have been lost since plastic started to be produced,” says Madeleine Berg, a project manager for Fidra, which is working to reduce plastic waste and chemical pollution. And as plastic production continues to rise, researchers worry that the threat to beaches and coastal regions is growing worse.

Read Full Article at Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/07/plastic-pellets-nurdles-pollute-oceans/593317/

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 10.03.18 AM.png

No-take marine areas help fishers (and fish) far more than we thought

July 3, 2019 3.58pm EDT

One hectare of ocean in which fishing is not allowed (a marine protected area) produces at least five times the amount of fish as an equivalent unprotected hectare, according to new research published today.

This outsized effect means marine protected areas, or MPAs, are more valuable than we previously thought for conservation and increasing fishing catches in nearby areas.

Previous research has found the number of offspring from a fish increases exponentially as they grow larger, a disparity that had not been taken into account in earlier modelling of fish populations. By revising this basic assumption, the true value of MPAs is clearer.

Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas are ocean areas where human activity is restricted and at their best are “no take” zones, where removing animals and plants is banned. Fish populations within these areas can grow with limited human interference and potentially “spill-over” to replenish fished populations outside.

Obviously MPAs are designed to protect ecological communities, but scientists have long hoped they can play another role: contributing to the replenishment and maintenance of species that are targeted by fisheries.

Wild fisheries globally are under intense pressure and the size fish catches have levelled off or declined despite an ever-increasing fishing effort.

Yet fishers remain sceptical that any spillover will offset the loss of fishing grounds, and the role of MPAs in fisheries remains contentious. A key issue is the number of offspring that fish inside MPAs produce. If their fecundity is similar to that of fish outside the MPA, then obviously there will be no benefit and only costs to fishers.

Big fish have far more babies

Traditional models assume that fish reproductive output is proportional to mass, that is, doubling the mass of a fish doubles its reproductive output. Thus, the size of fish within a population is assumed to be less important than the total biomass when calculating population growth.

See Full Article at Source: https://theconversation.com/no-take-marine-areas-help-fishers-and-fish-far-more-than-we-thought-119659

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 9.54.35 AM.png

MONTEREY BAY IS A NATURAL WONDER—POISONED WITH MICROPLASTIC

AUTHOR: MATT SIMON SCIENCE 06.06.1909:00 AM

CALIFORNIA’S MONTEREY BAY is one of the more pure, more dynamic coastal ecosystems on Earth. Otters—once hunted nearly to extinction—float among towering kelp forests, which themselves have rebounded thanks to the booming otter population’s appetite for kelp-loving sea urchins. Great whites visit from time to time, as do all manner of whales and dolphins. All told, it’s one of the greatest success stories in the history of oceanic conservation.

Yet it’s poisoned with a menace no amount of conservation can stop: microplastic. Today in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, researchers present a torrent of horrifying findings about just how bad the plastic problem has become. For one, microplastic is swirling in Monterey Bay’s water column at every depth they sampled, sometimes in concentrations greater than at the surface of the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Two, those plastics are coming from land, not local fishing nets, and are weathered, suggesting they’ve been floating around for a long while. And three, every animal the researchers found—some that make up the base of the food web in the bay—were loaded with microplastic.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.wired.com/story/monterey-bay-microplastic/

Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 3.26.39 PM.png

People 'eating a credit card' each week

The average person ingests a credit card worth of microplastics each week through drinking water and consumables such as beer and shellfish.

UPDATED 12/06/2019

The average person could be ingesting 2000 tiny pieces of plastic every week - the equivalent of a credit card - with drinking water the largest source.

The No Plastic in Nature report from the University of Newcastle, commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund, suggests people around the world are consuming about five grams of microplastics per week, or just over 250 grams annually.

The study combines data from over 50 studies on the ingestion of microplastics, which are plastic particles under five millimetres in size.

Drinking water is the largest contributor, with the plastic particles found in bottled, tap, surface and groundwater all over the world.

Shellfish, beer and salt are the consumables with the highest recorded levels of plastic.

WWF International's director general Marco Lambertini says the findings should serve as a wake-up call to governments.

"Not only are plastics polluting our oceans and waterways and killing marine life - it's in all of us and we can't escape consuming plastics," he said in a statement.

"Global action is urgent and essential to tackling this crisis."

See Full Article at Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/people-eating-a-credit-card-each-week

Asian countries take a stand against the rich world’s plastic waste

By SHASHANK BENGALI

JUN 17, 2019 

When the MV Bavaria cargo ship chugged out of a Philippine port one morning last month carrying 69 containers of rotted Canadian garbage, it didn’t just end a messy diplomatic spat between the two countries.

It also signaled a sea change in the global recycling system.

After years of pressure, Canada had agreed to take back the waste, which had been exportedto the Philippines beginning in 2013 falsely labeled as plastic scrap. The shipments were part of a decades-old practice in which rich countries including the United States sent used plastic to Asia to be recycled. Often, the shipments included contaminated waste that couldn’t be recycled but made it past customs checks anyway, and countries had few legal avenues to send it back.

That began to change 18 months ago, when China, the biggest consumer of discarded plastics, banned nearly all waste imports to stop the smuggling of non-recyclable scrap. The trade in plastics quickly rerouted to neighboring Southeast Asian countries that lacked effective recycling plants and disposal laws, leaving much of the waste to be burned or dumped in fields and waterways, creating health and environmental hazards.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-asia-plastic-waste-20190617-story.html

Screen Shot 2019-06-18 at 4.44.58 PM.png

How America Is Sabotaging The Global War On Plastic Waste

Most nations have banded together to tackle the crisis, but the U.S. keeps undermining their efforts.

By Dominique Mosbergen

When President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan Save Our Seas Act into law last October, he painted a grim picture of just how dire marine plastic pollution had become.

“Every year, over 8 million tons of garbage is dumped into our oceans,” he declared. “This waste, trash and debris harms not only marine life, but also fishermen and coastal economies along America’s vast stretches.”

While it is true that Asia is the source of an estimated 80% of marine plastic pollution, what Trump failed to mention was that most of it doesn’t actually originate there.

“It’s an uncomfortable fact that ... the vast majority of the waste in these Asian countries that are ending up in the oceans actually come from the U.S. and Europe,” David Azoulay of the Center for International Environmental Law said from Geneva on Thursday.

The U.S., which is one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of plastic, is also the No. 1 exporter of plastic scrap

For decades, it sent much of this waste to China, which had processed about 45% of the world’s plastic scrap until it decided in 2018 to bar most of these imports. As a result, China’s Southeast Asian neighbors have been deluged with American plastic waste. Unlike China, however, countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have neither the infrastructure nor the resources to properly handle this onslaught.

As a HuffPost investigation uncovered earlier this year, bales of plastic trash from countries like the U.S., U.K. and Australia are being illegally dumped or burned across Southeast Asian countries. Local activists in Malaysia said at the time that the U.S. and other wealthy nations were using the region as a “dumping ground.”

Read Full Article at Source Here: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/plastic-regulation-us-obstruction-basel-convention_n_5cde76f0e4b00e035b8da236?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9uZXdzLmdvb2dsZS5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJkWm03r_Hj1sC3ruPTD0zmD7F0DTjMfZPfvgi9gkCEJVTld1vuxwu4zfDb7HEMZ6w5L5TpBAqjrgytlHnZcRPcvlECCVomBYrw8FXrjMtzLKXKwtWcxBiB4ylWEqGDpwzTRoZZkQ6z9EBff4fcEXMGjiKEvV8SU-Voi4c7GRidn

Screen Shot 2019-05-19 at 8.22.11 AM.png

UN adopts global treaty limiting plastic waste trade

By STEVE TOLOKEN

Hoping to slow plastic pollution in the environment, members at a high-level United Nations meeting May 10 decided to include plastic waste in a treaty governing trade in hazardous waste.

The changes in the Basel Convention, which were pushed by Norway and adopted by the 187-nation body, create a legally-binding and potentially far-reaching framework that will put tighter controls on buying and selling of plastic scrap and waste.

At a news conference at the close of the meeting in Geneva, U.N. officials also made note of huge petition drives on social media urging the Basel negotiators to act on plastics waste.

"Plastic waste is acknowledged as one of the world's most pressing environmental issues, and the fact that this week close to 1 million people around the world signed a petition urging Basel Convention Parties to take action here in Geneva ... is a sign that public awareness and desire for action is high," said Rolph Payet, executive secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, a U.N. agency.

Read Full Article at Source: https://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20190510/NEWS/190519991/un-adopts-global-treaty-limiting-plastic-waste-trade

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 9.46.25 PM.png

London Marathon Runners Were Handed Seaweed Pouches Instead Of Plastic Bottles


Trevor Nace
Contributor

London Marathon runners were given a surprising thirst quencher during their run: edible seaweed pouches filled with a sports drink.

The seaweed pouch campaign during the marathon, which took place yesterday on April 28, 2019, helped to reduce the use of hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles. Marathon organizers have grappled with the sea of plastic bottles left over after over 40,000 runners quenched their thirst with single-use bottles of water and sports drink.

However, in the 2019 London Marathon organizers planned to replace 200,000 plastic bottles with innovative seaweed pouches filled with a sports drink. The seaweed pouches, called Ooho, were produced by Skipping Rocks Lab. The seaweed capsules can be bitten to release the liquid inside and eventually entirely consumed, or if the runner prefers not to eat the seaweed film it can be discarded where it will break down quickly.

Read full article at Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2019/04/29/london-marathon-runners-were-handed-seaweed-pouches-instead-of-plastic-bottles/#22dc028b2ba2


Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 2.54.28 PM.png

Miniature transponder technology to be used in the war against ocean plastic

by Newcastle University

Low-cost acoustic tags attached to fishing nets are being trialled as part of a major new project to reduce marine litter and 'ghost fishing'.

Lost fishing gear—known as ghost nets—are a major threat to life in our oceans. Choking coral reefs, damaging marine habitats and entangling fish, marine mammals and seabirds, they are also a danger to boats, catching in the propellers. And they are a key source of plastic pollution, gradually breaking up and disintegrating to add to the growing volume of microplastics in the ocean.

Often lost during storms or in strong currents, the nets can travel long distances and can continue to fish for years afterwards—hence the phrase ghost fishing. Because of this, locating and removing the nets is both highly desirable and a major challenge.

The new NetTag project has been set up to try to reduce and prevent marine litter by developing new technology for the location and recovery of lost fishing gear based on miniature transponders—acoustic devices that pick up and automatically respond to an incoming signal. The project also aims to promote improved practices for the management of fishing waste.

The project is a collaboration between Newcastle University (UK) who develop underwater communication and tracking technology, CIIMAR (PT), INESC-TEC (PT), and the Universities of Aveiro (PT) and Santiago de Compostela (ES), together with stakeholders from the fishing industry across Europe.

Read full article at Source here: https://phys.org/news/2019-04-miniature-transponder-technology-war-ocean.html

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 2.49.18 PM.png

This state is poised to become the first to ban foam food packaging

Maryland's three-year effort built on public opinion that reached a "tipping point." BY LAURA PARKER

MARYLAND IS EXPECTED to become the first U.S. state to ban foam food packaging, takeout containers and cups—and the latest in a growing worldwide effort to ban various disposable single-use plastic products.

The new proposed law passed both of the state’s legislative chambers this week with enough votes to override a potential veto signed by Gov. Larry Hogan, who has not publicly signaled whether he supports the law or not. The law would become the latest in a growing effort worldwide to ban an assortment of disposable, single-use plastic products, due to their impacts on the environment. Hogan reportedly has six days to sign or veto the law.

Prior to the statewide ban effort, Maryland’s two most populous counties—Prince George’s and Montgomery, which both border Washington, D.C.—had already banned foam packaging.

Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore), who sponsored similar legislation last year and in 2017, says changing public opinion helped her third attempt succeed (it was approved 100-37 in the House of Delegates).

“I think we’ve reached a tipping point,” she says. “People are seeing how ubiquitous single-use plastics are, that they are not recyclable and never going away. People are beginning to understand the importance of living more sustainably.”

Read full article at source here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/maryland-styrofoam-food-packaging-ban/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=social::src=twitter::cmp=editorial::add=tw20190410env-styrofoamban::rid=&sf210759299=1

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 2.47.54 PM.png

Is a Snickers Wrapper Hazardous Waste? Limiting the trade in certain plastics isn’t going to mitigate the threat to the environment.

By Adam Minter

April 27, 2019, 5:00 PM PDT

A plastic water bottle, a Snickers wrapper and a container of detergent are dropped into a recycling bin. Are they hazardous waste? They could be, according to a Norwegian government proposal, which marks the latest effort by activists and government officials to tackle the growing tide of plastics threatening the ocean.

The proposal has good intentions: It aims to mitigate the overflow of plastics across the globe, which surged when China stopped importing recycled materials last year. But it’s not going to save the oceans. Quite the contrary: By imposing new layers of red tape, it’s more likely to inhibit the re-use of plastics, promote landfilling and incineration, and intensify the use of virgin raw materials, including petrochemicals.

Over the past two decades, Chinese recyclers and manufacturers developed a cottage industry finding value in rich countries’ leftover materials, eventually becoming the world’s top buyers of scrap plastics. Beijing, determined to boost the fortunes of China’s domestic players, then severely restricted the import of scrap recyclables, including plastics, on Jan. 1, 2018.

Since then, that plastic has found its way to other countries. Many of China’s recyclers and manufacturers relocated abroad, especially in nearby Southeast Asia, where they can import freely. In principle, that’s not a bad thing. Even before the trade war, Chinese manufacturing was moving into lower-cost neighbors, and recyclers were following. Since the imposition of U.S. tariffs on China, that process has continued and even accelerated. It’s only natural that the raw material suppliers — especially the recyclers — follow the manufacturers.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-28/exporting-fewer-plastics-won-t-save-the-ocean

Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 9.46.59 PM.png

In Ancient Oceans That Resembled Our Own, Mass Extinction Was Triggered By Oxygen Loss

by Zachary Boehm, Florida State University

Roughly 430 million years ago, during the Earth's Silurian Period, global oceans were experiencing changes that would seem eerily familiar today. Melting polar ice sheets meant sea levels were steadily rising, and ocean oxygen was falling fast around the world.

At around the same time, a global die-off known among scientists as the Ireviken extinction event devastated scores of ancient species. Eighty percent of conodonts, which resembled small eels, were wiped out, along with half of all trilobites, which scuttled along the seafloor like their distant, modern-day relative the horseshoe crab.

Now, for the first time, a Florida State University team of researchers has uncovered conclusive evidence linking the period's sea level rise and ocean oxygen depletion to the widespread decimation of marine species. Their work highlights a dramatic story about the urgent threat posed by reduced oxygen conditions to the rich tapestry of ocean life.

See Full Article at Source: https://phys.org/news/2019-03-ancient-oceans-resembled-oxygen-loss.html

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 10.59.52 AM.png

A Troubling Discovery in the Deepest Ocean Trenches In the Mariana Trench, the lowest point in any ocean, every tiny animal tested had plastic pollution hiding in its gut.


ED YONG

Alan Jamieson remembers seeing it for the first time: a small, black fiber floating in a tube of liquid. It resembled a hair, but when Jamieson examined it under a microscope, he realized that the fiber was clearly synthetic—a piece of plastic. And worryingly, his student Lauren Brooks had pulled it from the gut of a small crustacean living in one of the deepest parts of the ocean.

For the past decade, Jamieson, a marine biologist at Newcastle University, has been sending vehicles to the bottom of marine trenches, which can be as deep as the Himalayas are tall. Once there, these landers have collected amphipods—scavenger relatives of crabs and shrimp that thrive in the abyss. Jamieson originally wanted to know how these animals differ from one distant trench to another. But a few years ago, almost on a whim, he decided to analyze their body for toxic, human-made pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which have been banned for decades but which persist in nature for much longer.

The team found PCBs galore. Some amphipods were carrying levels 50 times higher than those seen in crabs from one of China’s most polluted rivers. When the news broke, Jamieson was inundated with calls from journalists and concerned citizens. And in every discussion, one question kept coming up: What about plastics?

Read Full Article at Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/02/deepest-ocean-trenches-animals-eat-plastic/583657/

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 12.59.37 PM.png

The Ocean Is Running Out of Breath, Scientists Warn Widespread and sometimes drastic marine oxygen declines are stressing sensitive species—a trend that will continue with climate change

By Laura Poppick on February 25, 2019

Escaping predators, digestion and other animal activities—including those of humans—require oxygen. But that essential ingredient is no longer so easy for marine life to obtain, several new studies reveal.

In the past decade ocean oxygen levels have taken a dive—an alarming trend that is linked to climate change, says Andreas Oschlies, an oceanographer at the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany, whose team tracks ocean oxygen levels worldwide. “We were surprised by the intensity of the changes we saw, how rapidly oxygen is going down in the ocean and how large the effects on marine ecosystems are,” he says.

It is no surprise to scientists that warming oceans are losing oxygen, but the scale of the dip calls for urgent attention, Oschlies says. Oxygen levels in some tropical regions have dropped by a startling 40 percent in the last 50 years, some recent studies reveal. Levels have dropped more subtly elsewhere, with an average loss of 2 percent globally.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-ocean-is-running-out-of-breath-scientists-warn/

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 7.42.21 AM.png

The major source of ocean plastic pollution you’ve probably never heard of

“Nurdles” may sound cute but they pose a huge risk to the marine environment. Also known as “mermaid tears”, these small plastic pellets are a feedstock in the plastic industry. Instead of being converted into household items, many end up in the ocean, collecting toxins on their surfaces and being eaten by marine wildlife. Not so cute now, are they?

Nurdles are the building blocks for most plastic goods, from single-use water bottles to televison sets. These small pellets – normally between 1mm and 5mm – are classed as a primary microplastic alongside the microbeads used in cosmetic products – they’re small on purpose, as opposed to other microplastics that break off from larger plastic waste in the ocean.

The small size of nurdles makes them easy to transport as the raw material which can be melted down and moulded into all kinds of plastic products by manufacturers. Unfortunately, mismanagement of these little pellets during transport and processing leads to billions being unintentionally released into rivers and oceans through effluent pipes, blown from land or via industrial spillage.


Read Full article at Source: https://theconversation.com/the-major-source-of-ocean-plastic-pollution-youve-probably-never-heard-of-111687?fbclid=IwAR2U9l0SSRMiWTdMbs7876GNRY0aCrjsgIKAKFmZD2NYA-r6nKIbrFAX4Zo

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 8.44.59 AM.png

The World’s Biggest Brands Want You to Refill Your Orange Juice and Deodorant. P&G, Nestlé and others try to curb plastic waste; Tropicana in glass bottles, Tide in metal cans

By Saabira Chaudhuri

Jan. 24, 2019 3:00 a.m. ET

The world’s biggest makers of shampoo, detergent and packaged food will test selling their products in reusable containers, adopting a milkman-style model to address mounting concerns about plastic waste.

Procter & Gamble Co. PG -1.20% Nestlé SA, NSRGY +0.50% PepsiCo Inc. PEP -1.00% andUnilever UL -0.90% PLC are among 25 companies that, this summer, will start selling some products in glass, steel and other containers designed to be returned, cleaned and refilled.

Critics question whether the project will achieve scale in the face of high costs and entrenched consumer behavior. But, if successful, the companies say the efforts will reduce waste from single-use packaging. It could also be a way to woo eco-conscious consumers, glean data and foster brand loyalty.

“I sometimes wonder if it’s a fair accusation that we’re in the branded litter business,” Unilever Chief Executive Alan Jope said at a conference Tuesday, adding that the company must do more on plastic waste. “That’s what people care about right now.”

See Full Article at Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/big-brands-to-test-refillable-containers-11548316801

Screen Shot 2019-01-24 at 11.13.56 AM.png

Industry group seeks to maintain single-use plastic status quo

By Perry Wheeler

January 14, 2019

Washington, DC – In an effort to preserve their ability to produce cheap single-use plastics, several fossil fuel companies and a fast moving consumer goods company united to launch the Alliance to End Plastic Waste today. The group, which includes Exxon, Dow, Total, Shell, Chevron Phillips, and Procter & Gamble, will look to commit $1.5 billion toward keeping plastics out of the environment, rather than prioritizing the reduction of single-use plastic production.

In response to the group’s announcement, Greenpeace Global Plastics Project Leader Graham Forbes said:

“This is a desperate attempt from corporate polluters to maintain the status quo on plastics. In 2018, people all over the world spoke up and rejected the single-use plastics that companies like Procter & Gamble churn out on a daily basis, urging the industry to invest in refill and reuse systems and innovation. Instead of answering that call, P&G preferred to double down on a failed approach with fossil fuel giants like Exxon, Shell, Dow and Total that fuel destructive climate change. Make no mistake about it: plastics are a lifeline for the dying fossil fuel industry, and today’s announcement goes to show how far companies will go to preserve it.

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 1.18.35 PM.png

“These corporations are scared of our momentum and know we will continue to fight for real systemic change, because that’s what is needed to protect our oceans and people worldwide. The same companies that rely on cheap plastics to profit off of countries in the Global South are now looking to build up some infrastructure so they can claim they tried to tackle the plastics problem, while ensuring their profits keep rolling in. The truth is we will never escape this plastic pollution crisis through better recycling and waste management efforts — only 9 percent of the plastics ever made have actually been recycled. But corporations love to use recycling as a crutch to continue production of cheap plastics.

Real Full Article at Source: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/industry-group-seeks-to-maintain-single-use-plastic-status-quo/

Plastic in the ocean: Plastic producers team up and pledge $1bn to combat the plastic problem

JESSICA TAYLOR 
Plastic-producing companies around the world have teamed up and committed to investing more than $1 billion to cut our plastic waste.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), made up of almost 30 companies, will build solutions that will reduce the amount of plastic created and help deal with single-use plastic that has been disposed of.

The AEPW also announced plans to build better infrastructures for waste management in large urban areas and potential partnerships with organisations such as the United Nations to train government officials in solving the plastic problem.

David Taylor, chairman of AEPW and CEO of Procter & Gamble, said: “Everyone agrees that plastic waste does not belong in our oceans or anywhere in the environment. 

“This is a complex and serious global challenge that calls for swift action and strong leadership. This new alliance is the most comprehensive effort to date to end plastic waste in the environment.”

Screen Shot 2019-01-19 at 11.37.29 AM.png

Taylor urged other companies to join the partnership to help in the fight against plastic.

The AEPW, made up of companies from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, will also be supporting the Renew Oceans project, which is running an ocean cleanup project with a particular focus on the River Ganges. 

Read Full Article at Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/futurelondon/theplasticfreeproject/plastic-in-the-ocean-pollution-1-billion-investment-a4042881.html

Recycling is not enough. Zero-packaging stores show we can kick our plastic addiction

Wrapped, sealed, boxed, cling-filmed and vacuum packed. We have become used to consumables being packaged in every way imaginable.

The history of “packaging” goes back to the first human settlements. First leaves, gourds and animals skins were used. Then ceramics, glass and tin. Then paper and cardboard. But with the invention of plastic and the celebration of “throwaway living” since the 1950s, the environmental costs of an overpackaged world have become manifest.

Plastic now litters the planet, contaminating ecosystems and posing a significant threat to wildlife and human health. Food and beverage packaging accounts for almost two-thirds of total packaging waste. Recycling, though important, has proven an incapable primary strategy to cope with the scale of plastic rubbish. In Australia, for example, just 11.8% of the 3.5 million tonnes of plastics consumed in 2016-2017 were recycled.

See Full Article at Source: https://theconversation.com/recycling-is-not-enough-zero-packaging-stores-show-we-can-kick-our-plastic-addiction-106357

To get to a circular economy we have to change not just the cup, but the culture

Lloyd Alter 

January 8, 2019

Single use plastics drive the linear economy, and it is really hard to bend that into a circle.

TreeHugger has followed Triple Pundit since it started. (Its founder, Nick Aster, helped build TreeHugger and managed our technical side for the first three years.) Mary Mazzoni of 3P recently wrote 8 Things That Moved the Circular Economy Forward in 2018 and illustrated the post with an image of the new Starbucks cup and sippy lid that they are rolling out and that Katherine covered earlier this year.

The circular economy, as defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, "entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system." It is based on three principles:

  • Design out waste and pollution

  • Keep products and materials in use

  • Regenerate natural systems

Read Full Article at Source: https://www.treehugger.com/plastic/if-you-want-circular-economy-you-have-change-our-culture-not-cup.html

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 8.36.22 PM.png