The end of plastic? New plant-based bottles will degrade in a year | Plastics

amp.theguardian.com

A worker sorts through plastic bottles at the recycling plant near Bangkok in Thailand.

Show captionA mound of plastic bottles at a recycling plant near Bangkok in Thailand. Around 300 million tonnes of plastic is made every year and most of it is not recycled. Photograph: Diego Azubel/EPAPlastics

Carlsberg and Coca-Cola back pioneering project to make ‘all-plant’ drinks bottles

Sat 16 May 2020 08.05 EDT

Beer and soft drinks could soon be sipped from “all-plant” bottles under new plans to turn sustainably grown crops into plastic in partnership with major beverage makers.

A biochemicals company in the Netherlands hopes to kickstart investment in a pioneering project that hopes to make plastics from plant sugars rather than fossil fuels.

The plans, devised by renewable chemicals company Avantium, have already won the support of beer-maker Carlsberg, which hopes to sell its pilsner in a cardboard bottle lined with an inner layer of plant plastic.

Avantium’s chief executive, Tom van Aken, says he hopes to greenlight a major investment in the world-leading bioplastics plant in the Netherlands by the end of the year. The project, which remains on track despite the coronavirus lockdown, is set to reveal partnerships with other food and drink companies later in the summer.

Ears of wheat.

Sugars extracted from wheat, along with corn and beets, will be used to produce the plant plastic. Photograph: Images of Kent/Alamy

The project has the backing of Coca-Cola and Danone, which hope to secure the future of their bottled products by tackling the environmental damage caused by plastic pollution and a reliance on fossil fuels.

Globally around 300 million tonnes of plastic is made from fossil fuels every year, which is a major contributor to the climate crisis. Most of this is not recycled and contributes to the scourge of microplastics in the world’s oceans. Microplastics can take hundreds of years to decompose completely.

“This plastic has very attractive sustainability credentials because it uses no fossil fuels, and can be recycled – but would also degrade in nature much faster than normal plastics do,” says Van Aken.

Avantium’s plant plastic is designed to be resilient enough to contain carbonate drinks. Trials have shown that the plant plastic would decompose in one year using a composter, and a few years longer if left in normal outdoor conditions. But ideally, it should be recycled, said Van Aken.

The bio-refinery plans to break down sustainable plant sugars into simple chemical structures that can then be rearranged to form a new plant-based plastic – which could appear on supermarket shelves by 2023.

The path-finder project will initially make a modest 5,000 tonnes of plastic every year using sugars from corn, wheat or beets. However, Avantium expects its production to grow as demand for renewable plastics climbs.

In time, Avantium plans to use plant sugars from sustainable sourced biowaste so that the rise of plant plastic does not affect the global food supply chain.

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https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/16/the-end-of-plastic-new-plant-based-bottles-will-degrade-in-a-year?CMP=fb_gu&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&__twitter_impression=true

Sign Petition Tell Coca-Cola you DO NOT want plastic bottles!

change.org

Sign the Petition Ashley Boeka started this petition to Coca-Cola At Davos 2020, Coca-Cola’s head of sustainability, Bea Perez, said that Coca-Cola will not stop producing single-use plastics because consumers “still want them.” She went on to say that it would alienate customers and impact Coca-Cola’s bottom line. “Customers like them because they reseal and are lightweight.” Needless to say, this is a disheartening thing to hear from the person in charge of sustainability at one of the largest companies in the world. Coca-Cola is one of the worst contributors to plastic pollution, producing about three million tons of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute. In 2019, it was found to be the most polluting brand in a global audit of plastic waste by the charity Break Free from Plastic. Although Coca-Cola has made a pledge to recycle as many plastic bottles as possible by 2030, they are still flagrantly contributing to the world’s plastic waste, at a time when our planet cannot afford for LITERALLY ANYONE to solely be concerned about their cash flow. Coca-Cola is one of the most profitable companies in the world – they should be able to find a new, sustainable way to bottle their products to the satisfaction of their consumers. It’s the least they can do. Tell Coca-Cola that you DO NOT want them to produce or sell plastic bottles. Sign and Share today to say NO to Coca-Cola’s Plastic Plans.

https://www.change.org/p/tell-coca-cola-we-do-not-want-plastic-bottles

New Research on the Possible Effects of Micro-and Nano-plastics on Marine Animals

iaea.org

Jennet Orayeva, IAEA Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications 3 minutes


According to the UN Environment Programme, 8 million tonnes of plastic end up the world’s oceans every year, often carried there by rivers. If the trend continues, by 2050 our oceans could contain more plastic than fish.

Environmental plastic pollution has become a major ecological and societal concern. Plastic pollutants vary widely in size, from large debris, such as fishing nets and single-use plastic bags, to invisible nano-sized plastic particles. While the visible impact of large plastic debris, so-called macroplastics, in marine environments has been well documented, the potential harm caused by microplastics and even more by nanoplastics is much less clear.

Plastic particles below 5 mm in length are called microplastics. The smaller ones, with a size equal to or less than 100 nm (1/10 000 mm) are called nanoplastics. They are so tiny that one cannot see them with naked eye or even with an ordinary optical microscope.

Microplastic particles are accidentally consumed by marine organisms, which are then consumed by predator fish. Nanoplastic particles are even more toxic to living organisms as they are more likely to be absorbed through the walls of digestive tracts and thereby transported into the tissues and organs. Consequently, such plastic particles can interfere with various physiological processes, from neurotransmission to oxidative stress and immunity levels of freshwater and marine organisms.

Over the last decade, the global scientific community has invested substantial work into advancing the knowledge of the impact of plastic debris on diverse aquatic organisms. However, monitoring methods for small microplastics and nanoplastics are still in the development phase, which means that their exact concentration in the oceans remains unknown.

“This is where nuclear technology can play an important role,” added Metian. “Nuclear and isotopic techniques are already successfully used to study pollution processes. Their advantage is that they are highly sensitive and precise and can be used similarly to study small microplastic and nanoplastic movement and impact.”

At the same time, from a toxicology perspective, it is important to distinguish the toxicity of plastic particles per se from the toxicity associated with the contaminants that can become attached to them. To date, research into the effects of virgin micro and nano-sized plastic particles in freshwater and marine fish is still limited, hence the increased focus on investigating the toxicity of virgin plastics at the IAEA.

Join them live 2 p.m. EDT April 22

This Earth Day Watch The Story of Plastic Pollution

New York City Ends ‘Unnecessary Single-Use Plastic Bottles’ — Plastic Pollution Coalition

plasticpollutioncoalition.org

Today New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered an executive order to end “unnecessary single-use plastic bottles.” The order prohibits city agencies from purchasing water or soda or other beverages in single-use plastic bottles and restricts the sale of plastic bottles on city property. This includes food vendors on city sidewalks, parks, and sports facilities.

New York City government previously cut plastic straws and cutlery from every city location, from schools to hospitals.

Communities all over the world are taking action to stop plastic pollution. Americans alone discard more than 30 million tons of plastic a year; less than 8 percent of it gets recycled.

To learn more about the actions you can take, visit the Global Plastic Reduction Legislative Toolkit.

Join our global Coalition.

https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2020/2/6/new-york-city-ends-unnecessary-single-use-plastic-bottles

Recycling is a easy New Year resolution to keep all year long!

Tell Mattel: No More Plastic Packaging | Take Action @ The Animal Rescue Site

theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com
Tell Mattel: No More Plastic Packaging | Take Action @ The Animal Rescue Site

Sponsor: Free The Ocean

Every parent has seen it: the amount of plastic packaging for toys is ridiculous. The consequences for our oceans are dire.

Over 28 BILLION pounds of plastic enters the ocean each year.1 Plastic packaging is the single biggest contributor, representing a massive 42% of the plastic polluting our oceans.

Plastic in our oceans kills over ONE MILLION marine animals each year. Mammals, fish, sharks, turtles, and birds die from entanglement in or ingestion of plastic.2 Sea turtles are especially susceptible as the plastic they consume gets trapped in their stomachs, preventing them from swallowing real food… and they starve.3 This is a serious issue.

Toys are one of the worst offenders when it comes to plastic packaging, and Mattel is one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers.4 The amount of plastic used to package their toys is staggering. Ironically, the kids opening the toys enclosed in plastic packaging are the ones who are going to be impacted the most. If nothing changes, by the time a 5-year old today turns 35, plastic in the oceans will outweigh the fish.5 Let’s not make children choose between toys packaged in plastic and a healthy ocean.

Although there’ll soon be a ‘How2Recycle’ sticker on some of Mattel’s products6, the truth is only 9% of plastic ever actually gets recycled.7 Mattel needs a wake-up call when it comes to the impact created by their plastic packaging. Not only would a change in packaging benefit our environment, the ocean, and marine life – it would also benefit the children who play with Mattel’s toys. We know this can be done, because Hasbro has already committed to phase out plastic in all of its packaging.8

When we speak out together, we can make companies take action. Tell the CEO of Mattel, Ynon Kreiz, to redesign Mattel’s packaging to eliminate plastic!

Plastic Pollution Affects Sea Life Throughout the Ocean
Pew Charitable Trusts, September 24, 2018
For Animals, Plastic Is Turning the Ocean Into a Minefield
National Geographic, June 2018
Just a Few Pieces of Plastic Can Kill Sea Turtles
New York Times, Sept. 13, 2018
The Top 7 Toy Companies Ranked by Market Share
Global Toy News, December 8, 2018
By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans, study says
Washington Post, January 1, 2016
Mattel Joins How2Recycle
How2Recycle, February 07, 2019
Plastic recycling is a myth: what really happens to your rubbish?
The Guardian, August 17, 2019
Hasbro to Phase Out Plastic from New Toy and Game Packaging
Hasbro, August 20, 2019

The Petition:

To: Ynon Kreiz, CEO of Mattel, Inc.

Plastic packaging is the single biggest contributor to the plastic that ends up in our oceans – which is a staggering 18 billion pounds per year. Plastic pollution kills over 1 million marine animals every year and severely damages the marine ecosystem.

As one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers, Mattel’s product packaging contributes to a massive amount of plastic. I know you’re adding a ‘How2Recycle’ sticker to some of your products but unfortunately, only 9% of all plastic actually gets recycled. The reality is, this won’t meaningfully reduce plastic waste, but using plastic-free alternatives for your packaging will.

It’s estimated that by the time a 5-year-old today, turns 35, plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish. But we can change that. Let’s not give a child the choice between a toy packaged in plastic and a healthy ocean. Ynon, changing Mattel’s packaging would not only benefit the ocean and marine life but would also benefit the children who play with your toys. Please make the right decision and redesign Mattel’s packaging to eliminate plastic.

Thank you!

Free the Ocean

https://theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com/clicktogive/ars/petition/fto-mattel-plastic?utm_source=ars-ta-animals&utm_medium=email&utm_term=01152020&utm_content=takeaction-f&utm_campaign=fto-mattel-plastic&oidp=0x4a568a63ec7cab2cc0a82937

This resolution is easy to keep doing the whole year through!

15 Ways to Reduce Plastic Pollution

Tell Amazon To Stop Polluting Our Planet With Single-Use Plastic Packaging

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Tell Amazon To Stop Polluting Our Planet With Single-Use Plastic Packaging
If you are one of Amazon’s 100 million+ customers you have probably received your fair share of unnecessary plastic packaging from the ecommerce giant. From polystyrene packing peanuts to non-recyclable bubble wrap to plastic-wrapped pouches of air, nearly every Amazon order arrives buried in heaps of wasteful single-use plastic packaging.

And all of this pointless plastic packaging that is designed to be used once and then tossed will plague our planet for generations to come.

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday (two of Amazon’s biggest money-making days of the year) approach, we are calling on the ecommerce giant to STOP polluting our planet with pointless plastic packaging.

Plastic pollutes across its lifecycle, from extraction to use and disposal. More than 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution ends up in our oceans each year, and plastic packaging is a huge contributor.

As more and more people turn to the internet for their shopping needs and as Amazon’s share of the ecommerce market steadily grows the tidal wave of pointless plastic packaging polluting our planet will only continue to mount.

Unless we as consumers DEMAND CHANGE.

Sign our petition to join us in telling Amazon to STOP polluting our planet with single-use plastic packaging.

https://p2a.co/plasticfreeamazon

Ⓒ 2019. All rights reserved. Subject to Privacy Policy.

Plastic Pollution

Sign Petition: Protect Wildlife – Keep Plastic Water Bottles Out of Our Parks

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: National Parks Service

130,000 GOAL

The Trump administration continued its assault on the environment with the recent announcement that it was reversing a 2011 policy that encouraged national parks to stop selling plastic water bottles.

While the original policy wasn’t an outright ban, 23 national parks, including Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, restricted water bottle sales, helping alleviate pollution and harm to the environment and wildlife.

Please sign this petition asking the National Parks Service to allow parks to ban plastic pollution!

Plastic water bottles have no place in our national parks. We already know that the production of plastic and the subsequent pollution caused by the improper disposal of plastic severely harm our environment. On top of that, plastic is a killer to wildlife. Animals often mistake plastic bottle caps for food, resulting in intestinal blockages and other injuries.

The Trump administration needs to stop trying to turn back time. We are moving away from our reliance on plastic, and more people are carrying refillable water bottles every day. Our national parks need to focus on providing water to park visitors in ways that don’t hurt our environment or wildlife.

Please sign this petition and let the National Parks Service know that you want to keep plastic water bottles out.

120,363 supporters

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/393/047/932/?TAP=1732

 

This group is teaching new sailors how to tackle plastic pollution

By Paola Rosa-Aquino on Aug 27, 2019

The Bronx’s City Island docks are a strange mixture of outer-borough New York and New England coast. There are crusty boatyards and pristine yacht clubs, seedy seafood joints and fancy oyster bars, “my she was yar” schooners and “I’m on a boat” party cruisers. But the love of the ocean has always had the ability to bring disparate-seeming forces together — including, in this case, climate activism and the American Sailing Association.

On a recent summer morning, I headed to the docks to watch Captain Dave Jenkins of Soul Sailing prepare a small sailboat. Life vests and nautical maps in hand, Jenkins — a charismatic middle-aged man decked out in an appropriate sailing ensemble (boat shoes included) — boarded a vessel which was moored at the Harlem Yacht Club. We had been going back and forth for months trying to find the right time to head out on the water, only to be forced to reschedule several times due to unfavorable weather conditions. First it was the cold, then the heat, then torrential rain — the kinds of extremes that climate scientists say we should expect more of in the near future.

But on that day, with the sun shining bright and a slight breeze in the air, Jenkins assured me conditions were “ideal for sailing.”

“This is my playground,” Jenkins said of the open water. But it’s not just his alone — the way he sees it, the water belongs to everyone. He takes his sailboat, the Betty Lou, out regularly, showing students how to explore the five boroughs by way of its many waterways. While many people think of sailing as an exclusive endeavor, Jenkins says there are ways to keep the sport accessible. For example, there are a lot of old sailboats out there that sell for cheap and don’t require expensive fuel compared to one of those pesky motorboats.

“There’s so much to do in the city, they forget about the sixth borough — the water,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins’ love of the water is infectious. But in order for future generations to continue to enjoy it, he knows seafarers like himself need to do more than attract new talent. They also need to keep the ocean as clean as possible. And so every time he takes the sailboat out to open water, whether he’s hanging out with friends or instructing students, he keeps an eye open for any plastic debris.

Grist / Paola Rosa-Aquino

Jenkins says cleaning up trash while you are out on the water is something many sailors have been doing for a long time. But thanks to a new ocean cleanup program by the American Sailing Association, one of the world’s biggest coalitions of sailing enthusiasts, trainers, and charter companies, the habit is becoming formalized.

The group started the crusade, called Operation Plastic Pollution Purge, last year. The campaign, which, according to the American Sailing Association’s website, has exposed around 111 million people to the concept of ocean conservation, urges boaters to reduce or eliminate the number of plastic items they bring on their vessels and to collect and properly dispose of any trash they see while they’re out on open water. It’s an especially important value to instill in new sailing enthusiasts, and something organization says it is uniquely situated to do given its 300 schools and 7,000 instructors.

“It has to start with one person, and what better group of people than sailors,” Lenny Shabes, CEO and founder of the American Sailing Association, told Grist.

Granted, not all types of boats are great for the environment. Big cruise ships, for example, run off of diesel fuel and can actually end up being more harmful to the planet per mile even compared to air travel. But sailboats are largely wind-powered, and when decked out with solar panels like the one currently transporting 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City, can provide a net-zero means of transportation even across long distances.

More than that, Shabes says sailing can benefit the planet because it can make people realize they have a special responsibility to the water. “It’s a very spiritual thing. There’s no propulsion involved, other than what the good earth gives you. The difference between living in New York City and going sailing in the Long Island Sound, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world to sail is immense. To see it become polluted because some yahoo doesn’t care and throws the plastic bottle overboard — it irks me.”

And between the planet’s warming waters and humanities’ growing trash problem, the oceans need all the love they can get. Scientists don’t know exactly how much plastic trash is in the ocean, but some estimates suggest that as much as 244,000 metric tons might bob on the surface. Another 8.5 million metric tons are though to settle on the ocean floor per year. The United Nations estimates that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic debris in our oceans than fish.

“It’s as if you took a New York City garbage truck and dumped it full of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day,” Jenkins said.

If that trash stays at sea, it could cluster up in trash hot spots, the most famous of which is a swirling mass of garbage twice the size of Texas. The patch is located somewhere between California and Hawaii called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. There, currents deposit waste like abandoned fishing gear, bottles, and tiny pieces of pulverized plastics.

Back at the City Island docks, Jenkins and I were just about ready to set sail on our trash-finding venture. As the Betty Lou pulled out from the Bronx and into the open water, it felt like an escape from city life. To the east lay the Sound, Connecticut to the north and Long Island to the south. We headed toward the Long Island Sound.

Jenkins surveyed a nautical chart as we headed south and the ship neared the Throgs Neck Bridge. It wasn’t long before we spotted our first piece of refuse — a bright yellow bag floating on the waves. Jenkins quickly redirected the Betty Lou, grabbing a handy net. As we cruised by, he dipped it into the water and lifted it up to reveal a soggy bag of Funyons. After about three hours of sailing, we’d amassed a modest bag’s worth of trash. Jenkins said that if we’d gone sailing on a Monday after people were in surrounding beaches over the weekend, he would have expected even more prices of plastic surrounding the ship.

Of course, it will take more than a few sailing trips to solve the ocean’s plastic problem. That’s why many countries are either restricting or even wholesale banning single-use plastics. But Bonnie Monteleone, executive director of the Plastic Ocean Project, says these small-scale clean-ups can still do a lot of good. As part of a separate cleanup effort, she hired charter fishermen to pick up trash they see offshore. “Just that exposure of getting people to become aware of how much trash is out there — I call it “the magic eye,” Monteleone told Grist. “Once you do you can’t unsee it. I think any opportunity that will get people out on the water [for this kind of effort] will cast a wider net and get more people proactive at picking up what they see. “

And the stakes are high: The billions upon billions of items of plastic waste choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers and piling up on land is more than unsightly and harmful to plants and wildlife. According to Lauren Coiro, the American Sailing Association’s marine conservationist, plastic Pollution is a very real and growing threat to human health. “In terms of the health of marine life, it’s not good,” Coiro told Grist. “In terms of our own health, it’s not good.”

Indeed, the toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and can be found in the blood and tissue of nearly every one of us. Exposure to these substances is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and a whole slew of other ailments. What’s worse, instead of breaking down, plastic breaks into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics, making it even harder to clean up.

But on a macro level, ocean cleanups can still do their part to help rid the ocean of its plastic scourge. And who better to lead the way than people who are already on the waves? “Sailors are naturally a really easily motivated group of people,” Coiro says. “When we asked sailors to start talking about this and take leadership … a lot of sailors [were] happy to do it..”

At the end of our rendezvous on open water, Jenkins packed the sails away, a process that requires the utmost care to avoid twists, tears, and tangles. With the lines finally coiled and the sails covered, and Betty Lou was tucked in for the day — but perhaps not for long.

If weather conditions are favorable, Jenkins says he’ll go back out and do the same thing all over again tomorrow.

https://grist.org/science/american-sailing-association-ocean-plastic-program-cleanup/

Kids ask McDonalds to ditch plastic Happy Meal toys

treehugger.com

Katherine Martinko feistyredhair July 12, 2019

Their hugely successful petition has even gotten a response – and a promise – from the fast food giant.

The children aren’t happy with their Happy Meals. Concerned about the amount of plastic in the cheap hard toys handed out by McDonalds, and the short length of time that they’re typically played with by kids, two little girls from Southampton, England, have launched a petition, asking fast food restaurants to reconsider what they hand out. Caitlin and Ella, ages 7 and 9, wrote on their Change.org page:

“We like to go to eat at Burger King and McDonald’s, but children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea. We want anything they give to us to be sustainable so we can protect the planet for us and for future generations… It’s not enough to make recyclable plastic toys – big, rich companies shouldn’t be making toys out of plastic at all.”

The petition coincided with the launch of BBC One’s series, ‘War on Plastic.’ The first episode, according to Environmental Leader, featured a trip to a recycling facility that revealed how impossible toys are to recycle and even showed brand new toys from McDonalds at the facility, still wrapped in plastic.

So far the petition has gathered an impressive 370,200 signatures (at time of publishing), and McDonalds has noticed. It issued a statement saying it agrees with the girls’ petition: “We are committed to reducing plastic across our business, including Happy Meal toys.”

This problem isn’t limited to McDonalds, or even to fast food restaurants. It’s a problem with our kid culture these days. Cheap plastic toys are given out to children everywhere – in party loot bags, birthday presents, prizes at fairs and school events, the treasure box after an appointment at the dentist or optometrist. These toys are low quality, break almost immediately, are impossible to repair, and must go to landfill.

Parents can try their best to talk to kids about the problems with plastic, but it would be great to have some additional support from businesses and event organizers that understand we don’t want more plastic gimmicks. Cutting it off at the source is always more effective than dealing with it once it’s already in a kid’s hands.

McDonalds says it will focus more on books, stuffed animals (also a form of plastic, but usually longer lasting), and board games. Environmental Leader reports that “that change alone will reduce the number of hard plastic toys given away by 60 percent compared to the first half of the year.”

Way to go, Caitlin and Ella! We need more kid activists like you. You can sign their petition here.

Their hugely successful petition has even gotten a response – and a promise – from the fast food giant.

https://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/kids-ask-mcdonalds-ditch-plastic-happy-meal-toys.html?utm_source=TreeHugger+Newsletters&utm_campaign=e31828afab-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_11_16_2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32de41485d-e31828afab-243719061

Join The Grassroots Movement for Clean Oceans and Beaches Around the world…. Barrel Bag Made From Recycled Plastic for Beachgoers to Use to Help Clean Up the Beaches ⛱️☀️


WHAT WE DO

We produce a reusable, compact, eco-friendly beach cleanup bag. Our bag is manufactured in the USA and uses fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.

This washable and easy-to-use mesh bag was developed so ocean lovers can pick up some of the 5 trillion pieces of plastic that currently litter shorelines and beaches around the world. Barrel Bag makes it easy for every day to be a beach cleanup day and it serves as an everyday physical reminder to pick up after ourselves and others when we go to the beach or simply take a stroll.

The Barrel Bag team is made up of a grassroots collaboration of passionate people working to make a difference.

We employ high school and college interns interested in gaining real-world work experience and who have a passion for the environment and oceans.
Our Mission

Our goal is to create environmental awareness and help eliminate debris – particularly plastic – from beaches and waterways around the world.

We provide a fun and easy way to store and remove trash from the shore by offering an eco-friendly, compact, reusable clean-up bag to surfers and recreational beach-goers. By partnering with environmentally minded businesses our bags can be distributed free of charge.

We produce high-quality, long-lasting bags that are made from recycled materials. Barrel Bag is a non-profit 501(c)(3).
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Stingray Found Dead With Stomach Containing a Book, a Camera, a Bottle, and a Packet of Cigarettes – WORLD OF BUZZ

wp-1462897416934

 

Published June 16, 2019By Alief Esmail

There is no more denying the fact that we are fully responsible for all the bad things happening to our animal friends. More and more animals are suffering as a direct result of our own ignorance. The war against plastic is happening at full force but we need to do even more before its too late.

Another sad reminder has surfaced recently, where the carcass of a stingray was found dead and after further investigation, its stomach was found to contain full of random objects which might have been thrown by irresponsible individuals. Here are some of the pictures shared by 5 Minutes Beach Clean Up on Instagram.

From the pictures shared, it can be clearly seen that the stingray died from swallowing a pack of cigarettes, a book, an empty bottle and lastly a digital camera!

Poor stingray!

Although the location of the incident happened cannot be determined, the book has what appears to be Mandarin hanzi printed on it. In any case, this is a grim reminder for all of us.

Stingray Found Dead With Stomach Containing A Book, A Camera And A Bottle. – WORLD OF BUZZ 5

We only have one Earth and every living creature on this planet has a vital role. What is the point of being the most powerful creatures on earth, if we only use that power to destroy everything we touch?

Most of us have already started to do something in order to save the environment but we need to step it up! Let’s do this for our future ok?!

Also read: 40kg of Plastic Waste Found in Stomach of Whale That Died From Starvation

Stingray Found Dead With Stomach Containing A Book, A Camera And A Bottle.

https://www.worldofbuzz.com/stingray-found-dead-stomach-containing-book-camera-bottle-packet-cigarettes/?fbclid=IwAR35dzJHuuuCHO6XWUPbqmDqjSywLVb5XAna8CBpBi-kPxySfuzzLqtUG3I

“Co-Founder Alex Schulze Talks All Things 4ocean”

Remote Island Chain Has Few People — But Hundreds Of Millions Of Pieces Of Plastic

npr.org
Christopher Joyce Twitter
Debris blankets the north side of one of the Cocos Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean. Researchers found a huge amount of plastic both onshore and buried in the sand.

When a marine biologist from Australia traveled to a remote string of islands in the Indian Ocean to see how much plastic waste had washed up on the beaches, here’s just part of what she found: “373,000 toothbrushes and around 975,000 shoes, largely flip-flops,” says Jennifer Lavers of the University of Tasmania in Australia.

And that’s only what was on the surface.

The Cocos Keeling Islands make up barely 6 square miles of land, about 1,300 miles off the northwest coast of Australia. It was a good place to measure plastic waste because almost no one lives there. That meant the plastic debris there wasn’t local — it floated in — and no one was picking it up. It gave Lavers a good notion of just how much was bobbing around the ocean.

She was flabbergasted.

“So, more than 414 million pieces of plastic debris are estimated to be currently sitting on the Cocos Keeling Islands, weighing a remarkable 238 tons,” Lavers says.

There are 27 of these islands, most just a few acres in size. Lavers’ team of researchers studied seven of them, mostly in 2017, by marking off transects on beaches and counting all the plastic inside each transect. They multiplied that number by the total beach area of all the islands. Lavers had done this before on other remote islands. “You get to the point where you’re feeling that not much is going to surprise you anymore,” she says, “and then something does … and that something [on the Cocos Keeling Islands] was actually the amount of debris that was buried.”

Where Will Your Plastic Trash Go Now That China Doesn’t Want It?

Lavers didn’t just count the stuff on the surface, she dug down 4 inches into the sand. “What was really quite amazing was that the deeper we went,” she says, “the more plastic we were actually finding.” What happens is that the sun breaks down the plastic on the surface, and the waves pummel it into tiny pieces and drive it into the sand.

“It’s the little stuff that’s perfectly bite-sized,” Lavers says. “The stuff that fish and squid and birds and even turtles can eat.”

Brightly colored pieces of microplastic mar one of the 27 islands in the Cocos Keeling chain. Much of the plastic is hidden under the sand. The sun breaks down plastic debris, and the tiny pieces get buried in the sand.

Brightly colored pieces of microplastic mar one of the 27 islands in the Cocos Keeling chain. Much of the plastic is hidden under the sand. The sun breaks down plastic debris, and the tiny pieces get buried in the sand.

In fact, most of the plastic waste was just under the surface. “We estimated that what was hidden below the sediment was somewhere in the range of 380 million pieces of plastic,” Lavers says. But it probably won’t stay there. Eventually, she predicts, high tides or storms will carry it out to sea.

Lavers describes what her team found in the journal Scientific Reports.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that no place on the planet seems immune from plastic debris. Ecologist Chelsea Rochman at the University of Toronto studies microplastics and says different places simply have different kinds of plastic.

Microplastic Found Even In The Air In France’s Pyrenees Mountains

Take the Arctic, for example. “Contaminants are transported via air currents in addition to ocean currents,” Rochman explains. “And there [in the Arctic], we see high concentrations of small microfibers and small particles, and so, absolutely, you expect different things in different places. And what you find tells you something about where it’s coming from.”

Rochman says she’s not exactly surprised at what Lavers found. “It’s just kind of sad to kind of read about it and think, ‘Yep, OK, this is becoming, I guess, normal.’

“And we never wanted something like this to become normal.”

https://www.npr.org/2019/05/16/723641299/remote-island-chain-has-few-people-but-hundreds-of-millions-of-pieces-of-plastic

A shipload of trouble: Stop Europe and North America from offloading their plastic waste

actions.sumofus.org
94,925 signatures – 5,075 signatures until 100k

In early May, governments around the world will meet in Switzerland for a vote on international rules to help force wealthy states and corporations to stop treating developing countries like dumps for their plastic rubbish.

In the past two decades, businesses in the EU, US, Japan, Mexico and Canada have been exporting millions of tonnes of plastic waste overseas. That’s how European and North American plastic ends up choking the rivers and coasts of countries like Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Together, we can fight that plastic flood and environmental racism — but we need a majority of governments to back the proposal.

You know how this works. If we show governments that this vote has massive public support, we can overcome the plastic industry lobbyists and polluters.

Sign the petition to governments around the world to vote for this game-changing proposal to update international law, and to minimise marine pollution and international dumping of plastic waste.

The Basel Convention is a legally binding agreement on cross-border waste disposal signed by almost every country in the world, including the European Union. With one small tweak, proposed by Norway, countries exporting their plastic rubbish would have to get the prior informed consent of the country receiving it — so developing countries can keep shiploads of plastic pollution from landing on their shores.

But getting all 190 governments on board by May will be no easy task, especially with plastic industry lobbyists desperate to keep the status quo. That’s why we need this campaign right now.

Sign the petition to your government, and all Parties to the Basel Convention, to vote for Norway’s Proposals to amend Annexes II, VIII and IX to the Basel Convention.

https://actions.sumofus.org/a/stop-fake-plastic-recycling-now/?akid=54526.783029.SL_Ruv&rd=1&source=CIEL

Break Free From Plastic
Rethink Plastic
CIEL
More information

Sign the Petition:Ask Target to Eliminate Plastic Bags They are Cho king the Earth

change.org

Customers Who Care started this petition to Target CEO Brian Cornell and 10 others
We, Target customers, ask Target to eliminate plastic bags.

We understand this won’t be convenient to us, but it is time to act. For those of us who also shop at Costco or IKEA, we know we can survive without plastic bags.

2 million single-use plastic bags are consumed every minute. These bags often wind up in waterways and our landscape, degrading water and soil as they break down into tiny toxic bits. These bags have a massive carbon footprint.

Switching to paper won’t help. The carbon footprint of paper bags is even bigger. Paper production uses trees that could instead be absorbing carbon dioxide, releases more greenhouse gases, takes 3 times the amount of water, and results in 50 times more water pollutants. Paper bags do not breakdown faster in a landfill and take more space.

If Target provides bags for purchase, we ask it to charge a meaningful amount because this approach works. Plastic bag use fell by 90% in Ireland following a plastic bag tax of 37 cents. In Australia, 2 major retailers led by eliminating plastic bags in their stores and the country reduced plastic bag use by 80% in 3 months. In Los Angeles county, a plastic bag ban with a charge on paper bags reduced single bag use by 95%. Target’s current 5 cent discount for those bringing bags does not meaningfully curb Target’s plastic bag consumption.

We want Target to act swiftly. Target’s plastic bags are choking the earth.

https://www.change.org/p/target-stop-filling-the-world-with-plastic-bags/sign?utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_human&utm_campaign=518517&utm_content=&sfmc_tk=HN59zdK007tLL%2bIgCs05Zf2QCitGoQRNqFyPCCIZ9%2b1o%2bDFBwMzR0h7VV9tdIc1W&j=518517&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=66848711&mid=7233053&jb=815

Deadline to Sign Petition is Thursday April 18th -Demand Plastic Polluting Corporations Help Stop the Pollution Crisis

act.greenpeace.org

Our world is choking on throwaway plastic. From our parks, to our waterways and all corners of our oceans, the devastating impacts of plastic are mounting.

Despite our best efforts to avoid it, every day we are confronted with plastic packaging. We’re told recycling is the solution — but in Canada, only 10-12% of plastic is recycled. We’re urged to clean up plastic pollution in our communities — but the trash just keeps on coming.

The only way to break free from plastic pollution is to stop it at the source. Corporations must stop churning out single-use plastic in the first place.

Five cleanup and brand audit events held across Canada found that the top five companies contributing to branded plastic pollution are Nestlé, Tim Hortons, PepsiCo., The Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s. They produce billions of single-use plastics annually, and not one of them has a clear plan to reduce their plastic footprints.

Add your name to demand these companies’ CEOs take responsibility for the plastic pollution crisis they’ve helped create.

https://act.greenpeace.org/page/31413/action/1?locale=en-US&utm_campaign=plastic&campaign_project=plasticpolluters&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_medium=email&utm_term=share&utm_content=link&content_specific=nestle.plasticmonster.delivery&ea.tracking.id=en_plastic_plasticpolluters_engagingnetworks_email_20190416_share_link_nestle.plasticmonster.delivery

Greenpeace Canada will respect your privacy and keep you up to date on our campaigns. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Recycle: Limiting & Eliminating

Blue Love Blog

I just started recycling about 6 months ago, and am baffled as to why I was never concerned with it before! I remember any time I moved, I would contact the county trash service and would always be asked, “Would you like to add a recycling bin at no additional charge?” I would always reply, “No thank you.” thinking that I would never remember to do it, and throwing things away were just “so much easier” in my mind. I never thought about the consequences of throwing things away that could be reused.

Why we should limit and eliminate our plastic use:

After researching facts documented in 2018, I’ve learned that over 8 billion tons of plastic each year is disposed of, and less than 10% is actually recycled. Of that 8  billion tons, almost 13 million tons each year is dumped into our oceans. This impacts marine animals, coral…

View original post 962 more words

Plastic Found In Marine Animals At The Oceans Deepest Depths – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
By Alex Larson

While plastics are most commonly seen in shallow ocean waters or discussion generally surrounds areas such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s important to not forget that plastic is literally in every part of our ocean, even the deepest depths.

A recent study published in Royal Society Open Science has found examples of microplastics in animals living in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the worlds oceans at 7 miles under the sea surface.

The team studied 90 deep-dwelling shrimp for microplastic contamination from six ocean trenches around the Pacific Rim. Unfortunately, even though these marine animals live miles under the surface from humans irresponsible habits of plastic usage, they still cannot escape.

“Half of me was expecting to find something but that is huge,” Alan Jamieson, from Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, said in a statement. Jamieson also added that majority of man-made items found in the shrimp were clothes fabrics such as nylon.

The research revealed that 72 percent of the shrimp tested contained at least one plastic micro particle with some containing up to eight particles. Every trench investigated had marine animals with plastic inside of them but the results did vary depending on how frequent plastic was found in the shrimp. For example, in the Mariana Trench, 100 percent of shrimp examined contained plastics while the shrimp from the New Hebrides Trench came out at a 50 percent rate.

“We are piling all our crap into the place we know least about,” Jamieson said, adding that it is hard to know how exactly it was affecting the creatures it contaminated. These particles could just pass straight through the animal, but in the animals we looked at they must be blocking them,” he continued.

While humans addiction to using plastic and continuing to dispose of it irresponsibly continues, the planets oceans will feel it the most. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish while many marine organisms can’t distinguish common plastic items from food. Animals who eat plastic often starve because they can’t digest the plastic and it fills their stomachs, preventing them from eating real food

We need to bring this issue to the forefront of discussion and you can help do that by saying no to single-use plastics in your own life and secondly, petitioning your local businesses and governments to reduce plastic usage or promote laws that prohibit usage.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/03/04/plastic-found-in-marine-animals-at-the-oceans-deepest-depths/

Plastic has a long lifespan. It’s probably shortening yours.

grist.org
By Paola Rosa-Aquino

It’s no secret that plastics are, well, not ideal. Do you know how long it takes for one of those pesky coffee pods to break down? 500 years i.e., the entire duration of the Roman Empire.

That lengthy lifespan of plastic spells big problems for human health. Ubiquitous marine plastic, for instance, degrades and fragments into microplastics that can seep into the food chain and end up in our bodies. That’s bad news for your hormones, as Grist’s Eve Andrews reported, since compounds in plastics can have endocrine-disrupting effects.

So far, much of the research on the impact of plastic on human health has focused on a specific moment in the plastic lifecycle — such as manufacturing, product testing, or disposal. But, according to a first-of-its-kind international report released on Tuesday, the true toll of these polymers should be calculated looking at the whole cycle of a plastic product’s existence, from wellhead to final waste.

The report, authored by the Center for International and Environmental Law in partnership with six other environmental organizations, finds that “each of those stages interacts with others, and all of them interact with the human environment and the human body in multiple, often intersecting, ways.”

The picture is pretty grim: Humans are exposed to a wide variety of toxic chemicals and microplastics along the plastic lifecycle through inhalation, ingestion, and direct skin contact. According to the report, health problems associated with plastics include numerous forms of cancers, neurological, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, diabetes, several organ malfunctions, and impact on eyes and skin.

And shifting plastics away from one area of exposure can end up exacerbating existing disparities. For instance, let’s say you don’t want plastics to end up in the ocean, so you decide to dispose of them by burning them. Those fumes create new types of harmful chemical exposures (such as toxic air emissions, ash, or wastewater). So sure, some folks will have fewer microplastics in their seafood, but now the people living near incinerators (primarily low-income communities and communities of color now) will bear the brunt of that noxious witches’ brew.

While plastic is the material du jour in part thanks to its cheap convenience, the true cost of plastics has not been reflected in the price at the till. “Plastics are harming or killing animals around the globe, contributing to climate change and keeping us dependent on fossil fuels, entering our air, water, and food supplies, and seriously jeopardizing human health throughout their lifecycle,” said Graham Forbes, Global Plastics Project Leader for Greenpeace, in a press release.

So, is there some sort of end-all-be-all solution for this? Alas, as David Azoulay, director of environmental health at CIEL pointed out in a press release, “No global instrument exists today to fully address the toxic life cycle of plastics.”

Thankfully, more and more ventures are crawling out of the woodwork to try to ameliorate the problem, from reusable packaging to … wait for it … edible packaging. I mean, would you shell out a few extra bucks to eat your food wrappers? I know I would.

https://grist.org/science/plastic-has-a-long-lifespan-its-probably-shortening-yours/

This Lent, some Christians are giving up plastic – The Washington Post

a0fdbb6c6bc74138dcaf67820effae1b89876d66

Acts of faith

(Wilfredo Lee/AP)
By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
March 5 at 2:08 PM
Chocolate, alcohol and Twitter are some of the popular indulgences many Christians give up during the period of Lent leading up to Easter. But this year, some churches are encouraging congregants to give up plastics.
Dozens of Pennsylvania churches near Pittsburgh that belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are encouraging their churchgoers to forgo commonly discarded single-use plastics. Each week, parishioners will be encouraged to give up a different item: shopping bags, drinking straws, water bottles, Styrofoam and food wrappers.
The Rev. Sarah Rossing, pastor of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Youngstown, Pa., said the idea originally came from a similar challenge that the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh issued this year to reduce dependence on single-use plastics such as grocery bags and Styrofoam plates.
“It’s a way to think about it as more than just a personal thing, like chocolate or alcohol that’s enjoyable,” Rossing said. “This is asking people to give up convenience … and be more intentional with things and the Earth.”
Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday and runs during the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday on April 21, marks a period of time when some Christians reflect on the biblical story of Jesus’ time in the desert, where he fasted and prayed before his eventual death and resurrection. Many Catholics and some Protestants give up something during the period.
Last year, the Church of England urged its worshipers to give up single-use plastics, distributing a calendar with environmentally themed Bible verses and suggestions on how to avoid using plastics. This year, the church is encouraging congregants to go on “litter pilgrimages” where they walk together, pray together and collect litter.
The Cathedral in the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado as well as several Protestant churches in Portland adapted the Church of England’s calendar for their own use and are also encouraging parishioners to give up plastic this Lent.
The world produces more than 300 million tons of plastic each year, and scientists estimate that up to 91 percent of plastic is never recycled, threatening the environment and poisoning animals. Plastics don’t biodegrade and can stay in landfills for hundreds of years. Several cities, including Washington, have banned Styrofoam containers and are taking action to limit other single-use plastics, such as straws and grocery bags.
On Ash Wednesday, the Episcopal Church will launch a “Creation Care Pledge” inviting members to pledge to environmental activism, such as using a carbon tracker and reducing meat consumption.
Lent can serve as a time for Christians to reflect on how our ordinary way of living has become destructive of God’s creation, says Walter Brueggemann, professor emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary who has written a book on Lent.
“Christians have to resist the dominant world of commoditization in every way that we can think to do,” Brueggemann said. “Fasting is a discipline that gives energy for positive engagement with justice questions. The question is, what does it empower us to do?”
Among Christians in the United States, Catholics (61 percent) are most likely to observe Lent, according to a LifeWay Research survey in 2017. Protestants (20 percent) and Christians with evangelical beliefs (28 percent) are less likely to observe the period.
Stanley Hauerwas, a professor emeritus at Duke Divinity School who has written books on virtue, said that giving up plastic is straying too far from what Lent was meant to be.
“They’re giving up plastic as a way of doing something that seems to make the world a better place. It’s a confusion of categories,” Hauerwas said. “Giving up plastic is aimed at a different set of problems than what Lent is about. Lent is about confession of sin.”
Some churches in the Washington area have caught on to the trend of merging environmental activism and Lent, said Joelle Novey, director of the Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light. She said she didn’t initially think of tying repentance and deprivation to ecological concerns, “but the idea of taking responsibility and ‘fasting’ some aspects of our unsustainable lifestyles seems to resonate deeply in many Christian communities.”
During Lent, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in the District will host five workshops covering solar energy, green homes, green community, green world and green yards. And instead of giving something up like chocolate, parishioners have been encouraged to take a leaf from a cardboard cutout of a tree with an environmental change to make. At Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in North Bethesda, church leaders are asking congregants to fast from single-use plastics, especially straws. And at St. John Neumann in Reston, the Catholic parish will have meatless soup suppers each Friday during Lent using washable ceramic bowls, spoons and water tumblers instead of single-use disposable plastic and paper items.
For Christians who participate in Lent, fasting from a favorite food or beverage (57 percent) and going to church (57 percent) are the most common ways for them to observe the period, according to LifeWay. Additional prayer (39 percent), giving to others (38 percent) or staying away from a bad habit (35 percent) are also popular.
The idea of giving up food, especially sugar and alcohol, since they were associated with feasts, has its roots in early Christian traditions, according to Aaron Damiani, pastor of Immanuel Anglican Church in Chicago, who wrote a book on Lent called “The Good of Giving Up.” By the late second century, Christians fasted for 40 hours, going without food and drink between the afternoon of Good Friday and morning of Easter. Two centuries later, fasting was extended to the whole Lenten season.
“One of the objections to Lent is it’s a trend, that it’s a gimmick, that it’s a flash in the pan that will not have substance to it,” said Damiani, who recommends Christians follow the early Christians in prayer, fasting and almsgiving, or giving money. “This is an ancient practice that the early church found a lot of benefit in. Participating in the life of Christ through training is not a trend.”
The Rev. James Martin, a popular author and priest who is an editor at large for America magazine, said he hasn’t heard of any Catholic parishes encouraging giving up of plastics for Lent but that he thinks it would be in the spirit of Pope Francis’s major document on the environment that came out in 2015.
“Giving up plastic would benefit the common good more than giving up chocolate,” Martin said.
Spiritual preparation for Lent is more than simply giving something up, though, Martin said.
“It’s about your relationship with God. That’s more than simply self-sacrifice,” he said. “If you’re confused about what to do for Lent, just be kind. You can give something up, but doing something positive is just as important.”

https://archive.li/bk5p5

Scott Clement contributed to this report.
washingtonpost.com
© 1996-2019 The Washington Post

These Five Companies Are Leading The Charge On Recycling

forbes.com
Hernando Cortina
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

With scientists predicting that if nothing changes in our plastic consumption habits, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish by 2050, it’s not surprising that this year’s Earth Day theme is End Plastic Pollution. According a recent study from Science Advance, since the invention of plastic in 1907, 8.3 billion metric tons of virgin (non-recycled) plastic have been produced, generating 6.3 billion metric tons of waste, 79% of which has piled up in landfills while just 9% has been recycled. A total of 12 billion metric tons are expected to be in landfills or the environment by 2050 if current production and waste management trends continue.

While we are all, as individuals, accountable for our contribution to the planet’s pollution and waste buildup, large corporations play a critical role in either damaging or protecting the environment. At JUST Capital, we’ve heard from the American people – across all demographics – that environmental impact is one of their top concerns when it comes to just corporate behavior.

As part of our analysis and ranking of corporations in the Russell 1000, we look closely at companies’ environmental practices – including their waste and recycling programs. Of the 875 companies we analyzed, just 136 have disclosed both the total amount of waste produced and recycled within a given year (i.e. the latest year they’ve disclosed), and we’ve found that, of the total waste produced by those companies, about 54% is recycled.

These corporations – the largest in the United States – are producing a tremendous amount of waste, and the way it is managed and disposed is likely to critically impact the future of our planet. Here are five leaders that stand above the rest for their environmental stewardship, particularly when it comes to waste management:

These companies:

Recycle more than 85 percent of their waste.
Have made a strong commitment to environmental practices by establishing environmental management systems that include objectives, targets, monitoring and measurement, audits, training, performance records, etc.
Have received external certification (including to the ISO 14001 standard) of their environmental management systems across the majority of their facilities.

These companies are also leaders in our overall rankings, with four in the JUST 100 (including Intel and Texas Instruments at #1 and #2, respectively), and Eaton not far behind, suggesting that environmental leadership is an integral part of overall just business behavior.

We’ve dug into what makes these five companies unique in their efforts to minimize impact, finding notable transparency around their waste and environmental management systems. Here’s what sets them each apart:

Accenture

1st in Environment, 15th Overall in our Rankings

According to Accenture’s 2017 Corporate Citizenship report, the company has made considerable progress toward reducing its environmental footprint and fostering sustainable growth, particularly with regard to carbon emissions – reducing 52% in CO2 emissions per employee. Among Accenture’s top priorities are its reuse and recycling efforts – including the management of e-waste and water.

Intel

2nd in Environment, 1st Overall in our Rankings

Intel continually strives to improve its operations and minimize its impact on the environment. Since 2008, Intel has recycled more than 75% of the total waste generated by its operations, and in an effort to reduce waste in 2013, the company linked a portion of employees’ compensation to solid waste recycling metrics. Intel aims to achieve zero hazardous waste to landfill by 2020, and recycling rates of 90% for non-hazardous waste.

Estee Lauder

3rd in Environment, 84th Overall in our Rankings

Estee Lauder’s Global Environmental and Safety (EAS) team has a strong record of minimizing waste, and continues to identify new ways to improve recovery and diversion rates. Since 2003, the company’s 23 owned manufacturing and distribution facilities have sent zero waste to landfill, and any waste that cannot be recycled is incinerated and converted to energy. At its industrial sites, the company achieved a recycling rate of 88.5% in 2016, and has set a target of 90 percent for 2017.

Eaton

5th in Environment, 183rd Overall in our Rankings

Eaton’s waste reduction efforts are geared toward supporting its operations as well as the communities where employees live and work. Since 2015, Eaton has reduced the waste sent to landfill by its operations from 33,400 to 25,100 metric tons, a 24.9% reduction. More than 120 of its facilities send zero waste to landfill, and the company seeks to increase this in the near term by another 20 sites.

Texas Instruments

6th in Environment, 2nd Overall in our Rankings

With a strong history of environmental stewardship, Texas Instruments makes significant investments to efficiently use, reuse, or recycle materials across its operations, and reduces its potential environmental impact by sourcing materials responsibly, as well as appropriately managing waste handling and disposal. Each major production site around the world operates a robust recycling program for industrial and nonindustrial waste – for example, recycling water used in the fabrication process by feeding utility plant cooling towers.

This year, as we reflect on how we can all strive to #BreakFreeofPlastic, the work of these companies is already moving the needle – significantly reducing the amount of waste produced and sent to landfill by their operations. Corporations across America stand to learn by the example of companies like these, and JUST Capital will continue to track how they lead the charge in environmental impact, as well as in their efforts to build and drive more just business practices overall.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/justcapital/2018/04/20/these-5-companies-are-leading-the-charge-on-recycling/#740ee72323ec#740ee72323ec

This article features research from Sam Schrager, JUST Capital Director Metrics & Data Analytics.

‘Naming and shaming’ is a powerful tool in the fight against plastic waste

Katherine Martinko feistyredhair February 11, 2019

Companies will do anything to protect their brand – maybe even redesign packaging.

Taking a stance against a giant, when you’re only a normal-sized human, requires sharp strategy. Thankfully, Froilan Grate has plenty of that.

Grate is a community activist in the Philippines who has made it his mission to fight the plastic pollution that is overwhelming his homeland. It all started when he moved to the capital for school at age 18. In an interview with NPR, he described the shock of entering Manila Bay and seeing garbage everywhere.

“He felt sick. ‘The contrast of where I grew up, beautiful white sand beaches, clear water, and arriving in Manila where it’s black water with countless plastic, that was shocking to me.’ His first thought at the time, he says, was that his own island would someday end up strewn with plastic as well. His next one was: What can I do to stop it?”

For years Grate headed up local initiatives to improve recycling practices and infrastructure. He spoke to groups about lifestyle changes that would cut down on waste, and joined an organization called the Mother Earth Foundation, working with waste-pickers to get formal employment and better working conditions.

Despite his efforts, every tide brought a fresh wave of garbage to Filipino shores. Grate said, “You realize that despite everything that you do, you really aren’t solving the problem.” He understood that cleanup efforts would never get at the root problem.

That’s when an idea occurred to him. Rather than just collecting plastic trash and removing it to a landfill site, why not leverage the information that came with all that trash and use it to pressure manufacturers to change? That’s when Grate began conducting brand audits – recording the names of the companies that made each individual item and publicize it.

“They feel there is value in brand,” Grate says of the companies. Consumers trust brands. “We wanted to use it against them.”

Manila Bay brand audit© Richard Atrero de Guzman/Greenpeace – Thousands participate in the Manila Bay clean-up and plastic waste brand audit in Roxas Blvd, Metro Manila.brand_audit.jpg.860x0_q70_crop-smart

It was an astute move. As Grate and his team persevered, the rest of the world started to notice. A list began to circulate of the brands responsible for most waste in the Philippines. These are:

Nestle, 16.74%
Unilever, 10.82%
PT Torabika, 10.17%
Universal Robina Corporation, 9.75%
Procter & Gamble, 7.19%
Nutri Asia, 4.74%
Monde Nissin, 4.87%
Zesto, 4.44%
Colgate Palmolive, 4.25%
Liwayway, 2.87%
Peerless, 1.94%
Mondelez, 1.65%

NPR writes, “It’s dirty work — eight days of community trash spread in piles on the concrete floor of a fenced-in outdoor basketball court. It stinks; workers wear masks and gloves.” But the effort paid off. Suddenly the power imbalance had shifted. No longer were the bigwigs in corporate offices impervious to the complaints of people on the ground, the same people who had to live daily with the tangible consequences of poor design.

Grate was invited to Washington, D.C., to sit down and talk with the heads of the same companies he was publicly shaming about the problem of plastic pollution. NPR asked Grate if the brand audits had triggered the meeting:

“They weren’t happy about it,” he said of the audits. “And they have questions,” he added, about how his group does them. “But I would say this: The brand audits contributed to the pace of the discussion that’s happening right now.”

brand audit in Philippines© Richard Atrero de Guzman/Greenpeace – Thousands participate in the Manila Bay clean-up and plastic waste brand audit in Roxas Blvd, Metro Manila.

Shame is not always an effective tool for change. In personal relationships, it usually causes people to shut down and become defensive. But as in this case, when the power imbalance between corporation and consumer is so great, and when the consequences of a company’s actions are actively harming the consumer and undermining their quality of life, shame can be necessary and justifiable.

Progress is happening slowly. Look at British chip-maker Walker’s, who was pressured by a social media-driven campaign into redesigning its non-recyclable bags. Unilever and Nestlé have both signed on to the Loop project that will offer limited products in refillable packaging.

This holds a valuable lesson for all of us. While not littering remains a decent rule by which to live, we need to shift our focus to the drivers of this waste and not allow them to blame us for not picking it up or sorting it properly. If packaging cannot be recycled or composted, it shouldn’t be used. These companies have the resources with which to develop better alternatives, but up until now they’ve lacked the motivation to do so.

Shame, however, can be a powerful motivator, so don’t hesitate to point fingers when it comes to plastic. Take a page out of Grate’s book and call them out on social media. Post pictures and ask questions. Demand better. We deserve it, and so does our planet.

Companies will do anything to protect their brand – maybe even redesign packaging.

https://www.treehugger.com/plastic/naming-and-shaming-powerful-tool-fight-against-plastic-waste.html

Plastic is toxic at every stage of its life cycle

treehugger.com
Katherine Martinko feistyredhair February 22, 2019

At no point does it ever stop harming us.

In case you had any doubts about how bad plastic really is, a new study out of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has just revealed that plastic is toxic at every stage of its life cycle.

The 75-page document is a sobering read. It points out the shortsightedness of focusing on specific moments in the plastic life cycle, rather than the entire picture. We know that oil refining, microplastics, plastic packaging, and recycling are huge problems on their own, but put them all together and you have an even more dire situation on your hands.

The report reveals “numerous exposure routes through which human health is impacted at each stage”. In other words, quitting single-use disposables and living zero-waste doesn’t mean you’re safe. Your health – and that of your family – continues to be affected by plastic in ways you might not even realize. These include:

Extraction and Transportation of fossil feedstocks for plastic, which releases toxic chemicals like benzene, VOCs, and 170+ fracking fluid chemicals into the air. These are inhaled or ingested, leading to immune dysfunction, cancer, and neuro-, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, among other things.
Refining and Manufacturing of plastic resins and feedstocks is linked to “impairment of the nervous system, reproductive and developmental problems, cancer, leukemia, and genetic impacts like low birth weight.”
Consumer use of plastic products exposes users to countless unnamed chemicals (which are not listed as ingredients), heavy metals, carcinogens, and microplastics. People ingest, inhale, and touch these to their skin.
Plastic waste management, especially “waste to energy” incineration, releases toxic chemicals into the air, which are absorbed by soil, air, and water, causing indirect harm to people and communities nearby (and sometimes far away).
Fragmenting of plastic results in microplastic pieces entering the environment and human body, leading to “an array of health impacts, including inflammation, genotoxicity, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and necrosis.”
Degradation of plastic results in more chemical leaching. “As plastic particles degrade, new surface areas are exposed, allowing continued leaching of additives from the core to the surface of the particle in the environment and the human body.”

Where does one even begin with this information?

In a way, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. We know plastic is an environmental scourge with real health implications, but to see it analyzed so comprehensively makes the issue more urgent than ever.

The study authors call for plastic exposure to be treated as a human rights issue, saying we need laws that require accurate information about what goes into plastic products at all stages of manufacture and transparency in the development of solutions.

Von Hernandez, global coordinator for the Break Free From Plastic movement, is quoted in the report’s executive summary:

“It is shocking how the existing regulatory regime continues to give the whole plastic industrial complex the license to play Russian roulette with our lives and our health. Plastic is lethal, and this report shows us why.”

Dire as it may be, we cannot let it overwhelm or discourage us. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, and this report offers precisely that. Individuals, communities, health care providers, and policy makers can use it as an effective negotiating tool when it comes to confronting the companies and corporations that continue to churn out plastic at high rates. And confront them we must – especially now that we know what’s at stake.

At no point does it ever stop harming us.

https://www.treehugger.com/plastic/plastic-toxic-every-stage-its-life-cycle.html?utm_source=TreeHugger+Newsletters&utm_campaign=30ae1a3107-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_11_16_2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32de41485d-30ae1a3107-243719061

Greenpeace Ships Set Sail to Tackle the Global Plastic Pollution Crisis

ecowatch.com
Tavish Campbell attaches a GPS tracker onto ghost fishing nets in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Justin Hofman / Greenpeace

By Graham Forbes

Corporations have created a plastic monster. More than 90 percent of the plastics ever produced have not been recycled, yet corporations have plans to dramatically increase their production of plastic packaging. With plastic production set to quadruple by 2050, recycling can never be enough to solve this problem.

But the global movement to hold these corporations accountable is growing. More than 3 million of you have joined us in urging companies to stop polluting our planet with throwaway plastic. And together with over 1,400 allies in the global Break Free From Plastic movement, we conducted 239 cleanups in 42 countries to identify the biggest corporate polluters.

In October, Greenpeace International released the Crisis of Convenience report, based on a survey to 11 of the biggest fast-moving consumer goods companies globally. Despite some of these companies publicly signing a voluntary, non-binding commitment to tackle the crisis, the report revealed that none of the companies surveyed currently have comprehensive plans to move away from single-use packaging; on the contrary, most of them have plans to increase the overall amount of plastic packaging they produce.

So now we are deploying the Greenpeace ships; the Rainbow Warrior and the Beluga, to tell the global story of where plastic pollution really starts and ends. We are rallying supporters worldwide to help hold these companies accountable and to make sure they follow up on their words with bold action. Because we don’t need more talk—we need concrete, urgent action to stop plastic pollution at the source!

Greenpeace’s flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, has been surrounded by giant single-use plastic items in Mediterranean waters. The action seeks to make visible the invisible, and to denounce the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans, especially in the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s time for Nestlé, Unilever, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo., Colgate, Danone, Johnson & Johnson and Mars to be transparent about exactly how much plastic packaging they are producing, and make concrete plans to reduce. It’s time for these corporations to invest in alternative ways to deliver their products to us and phase out single-use plastic.

These companies have created a monster, and we are not willing to allow the plastic monster to grow anymore. We need concrete plans for reduction, and we need them now. We need corporations to slay the plastic monster.

Stay tuned for more details about Greenpeace’s ships’ whereabouts in the coming weeks and months and to see how you can get involved!

https://www.ecowatch.com/greenpeace-ships-plastic-pollution-2628640357.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=5db0be179a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-5db0be179a-86074753

Graham Forbes is Greenpeace’s global seafood markets project leader.