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

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UK Seal Found With Frisbee Around Its Neck – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →
GLENN MINGHAM/ FRIENDS OF HORSEY SEALS

An Atlantic grey seal in Norfolk has been rescued after it was found with a plastic ring around her neck on Horsey beach by the Friends of Horsey Seals group.

The marine mammal has been taken to the RSPCA centre at East Winch for treatment and care after being found severely ill and weakened due to the frisbee.

The seal was examined by the wildlife centre’s vet who found the pink plastic frisbee was embedded in the seal’s neck, causing a deep neck wound which had become severely infected. The incident is similar to one that occurred just over a year ago in September 2017 when a very ill grey seal, later dubbed Mrs Frisbee, was also rescued and admitted to RSPCA East Winch with a yellow plastic frisbee cutting deeply into her neck.

The seal appears to be recovering already after removal and treatment and is expected to be released into the wild in February.

Pollution and plastic pollution continue to be a major threat to the health of the oceans and the wildlife that lives in it. Taking care of our planet is unfortunately something that is not a given and it breaks our hearts that incidents like this could be so easily prevented.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/12/20/uk-seal-found-with-frisbee-around-its-neck/

Troubling Video Shows Plastic Bag Being Pulled Out Of Sea Turtle – Sea Voice News

About Alex Larson View all posts by Alex Larson →

Your weekly story of the fight between wildlife and plastic continues here. In yet another incident, an aquarium in South Africa has shared a video on their Facebook page showing them pulling a plastic bag and other trash from a sea turtle’s throat.

In yet another troubling reminder of the hazards that plastic products can pose to marine life, an aquarium in South Africa has shared a video online that shows a plastic bag and other trash being removed from a sea turtle’s throat.

According to Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, the turtle was found washed up on a beach in the town of Struisbaai earlier this month. Showing signs of sickness, the turtle was rushed to the aquarium where veterinarians took a look at the reptile.

According to the aquariums blog page, they suspected a possible lung infection or pneumonia so they started the animal with antibiotics. Over the next couple of days, the team notice the turtle was still becoming weaker. Five days after its arrival, a study was done to investigate if the turtle possible had a blockage.

The video reveals a large piece of black plastic being removed from the animals throat, which was identified to be a plastic bag.

Unfortunately, even after the surgery, the turtle is still in critical condition and the rehabilitation team is monitoring the progress of it.

The oceans are facing a tremendous problem right now in fighting plastic in the ocean. At the current pace, plastic in the ocean is expected to outweigh fish by 2050 and that will only increase exponentially if there is not a plan put in place.

The best bet, stop using plastics. More countries around the World have started to ban plastics in some form but not enough is being done. You can make an immediate impact by choosing items that are not made out of plastic, not using any plastic bags and re-use any item if you have no other choice but purchasing plastic.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/12/03/troubling-video-shows-plastic-bag-being-pulled-out-of-sea-turtle/

Yikes! Study Finds Dolphins Have Potentially Harmful Plastic Additive In Their Bodies

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onegreenplanet.org
Aleksandra Pajda

A new study conducted by researchers from the College of Charleston and Chicago Zoological Society have found phthalates, chemical additives used to make plastics more flexible, to be present in the bodies of bottlenose dolphins. During their study, researchers collected and tested urine samples from 17 dolphins from Sarasota Bay in Florida. The tests allowed for the researchers to see if the animals had been exposed to phthalates within the past three to six months, and sadly, they discovered for the first time that the dolphins did indeed have this harmful additive in their systems, highlighting once again the danger of what can happen when our plastic waste ends up in the environment.

Plastics are now known to leach chemical components, and considering the fact we dump around 8.8 million tons of plastic into the oceans every year, it figures that phthalates would eventually end up polluting the marine environment.

Studies conducted in the past have found a connection between phthalates and some forms of cancer and reproductive issues, National Geographic reports. Like BPA, phthalates function as endocrine disruptors and have been linked to altering the ability of the body to produce and maintain proper levels of hormones. Some of the other health risks associated with phthalates include the development of asthma in children, lower IQs for developing fetuses, and ADHD. Phthalates have also been associated alongside BPA as a possible cause for infertility, especially for males attempting to conceive a child.

While the connection between phthalates and human health are starting to be more understood, there is little known about how they might impact dolphins.

“We weren’t surprised to detect exposure, but what was surprising were the levels we were detecting,” said Leslie Hart, the study’s lead author.

Alarmingly, at least one form of phthalate was found in as many of 71 percent of the tested dolphins.

Since the research was the first to use urine samples to detect the presence of these chemicals, Hart pointed out that the team is still establishing what can be considered as normal and what as anomalous. Nevertheless, some of the animals were found to have levels of phthalate metabolites comparable to concentrations detected in people. It is very surprising since humans presumably come into contact with objects that contain phthalates more regularly. The next phase of research will try to find how dolphins are metabolizing the chemicals.

Hart’s research is also part of an ongoing project which focuses on the study of the health impacts of phthalates and how they end up in the environment. Thanks to rising awareness, more people are actively looking for personal care products that do not contain phthalates, and fortunately, studies following these behaviors have shown that when people avoid phthalates, the chemical traces decrease in their bodies.

As we learn more about the negative impact that plastic has on our lives and the environment, it becomes more important to remove this ingredient from our lives. To learn how you can use less plastic and what alternatives you have, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/dolphins-potentially-harmful-plastic-additive-bodies/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=977e9b56c1-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-977e9b56c1-106049477

Image source: Guillaume Meurice/Pexels

Contact Lenses Add to Earth’s Microplastic Crisis

ecowatch.com
Contact Lenses Add to Earth’s Microplastic Crisis
Lorraine Chow
4-5 minutes

Contact lenses may appear harmlessly soft and small, but a big chunk of American users are improperly disposing their used lenses and adding to the planet’s microplastic problem, Arizona State University researchers found.

In a survey of 409 wearers, about 1 in 5 responded that they flushed their used lenses down the toilet or sink instead of throwing them in the trash, according to a new study presented at the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting and Exposition.

“We found that 15 to 20 percent of contact wearers are flushing the lenses down the sink or toilet,” said Charlie Rolsky, an Arizona State University Ph.D. student who is presenting the work, in a press release.

The flushed lenses, which are mostly plastic, turn up at wastewater treatment plants and become part of sewage sludge that gets spread on farmland.

Contact lenses recovered from treated sewage sludge Charles Rolsky

With 45 million contact users in the U.S., the research team estimated 6-10 metric tons of plastic lenses end up in wastewater in the U.S. alone each year.

Rolf Halden, the director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and one of the authors of the new study, noted at a press conference on Monday that these contacts do not decompose.

“They don’t degrade. They don’t attenuate but they become smaller. So they create what we know as microplastic pollution, which is contaminating the oceans,” he said.

Halden said that fragments have been found in sewage sludge, which can contaminate the soil environment and become ingested by earthworms when it’s spread on land.

“We know that earthworms take up soil and can ingest plastics, and then if birds eat the worms it creates a pathway for plastics to enter the food chain,” he said. Further, after heavy rains, the plastic bits can trickle out into streams and other waterways and make their way into the ocean.

And it’s not just the contact lenses themselves that are an environmental problem. Dailies, weeklies and monthlies are packaged by the billions in polypropylene plastic containers and aluminum lids, and “the unfortunate news is that they do not get recycled very effectively,” Halden said. Only one manufacturer, Bausch + Lomb, has a take-back recycling program.

Soft contacts are usually made of a combination of poly(methylmethacrylate), silicones and fluoropolymers, which makes them feel watery and gel-like. Halden suggested that people flick their contacts down the sink or toilet because they do not feel like solid plastic waste.

The researchers hope their study will teach users to stop flushing their contacts. They are also calling on lens manufacturers, at the very least, to label their products with proper disposal instructions.

“Ultimately, we hope that manufacturers will conduct more research on how the lenses impact aquatic life and how fast the lenses degrade in a marine environment,” Halden said in the press release.

Angela Lashbrook, who reported about the new study for The Atlantic, admitted to flushing lenses down the toilet herself. She also polled a few of her contact-wearing friends and was surprised to find they all flushed their lenses, too.

Thanks to the study, she and her friends vowed to make the simple switch of throwing used contacts in the trash.

“It’s quite possibly the easiest change to my behavior I’ve ever had to make that could avoid hurting the environment. My contacts-wearing friends, without my scolding, all pledged to do the same,” Lashbrook wrote.

Watch here to learn more about the study:

https://www.ecowatch.com/contact-lenses-microplastic-waste-2597484024.html?utm_source=EcoWatch%2BList&utm_campaign=4d13d4e552-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-4d13d4e552-86074753

When You Refuse A Straw, You Refuse Oil. And Vice Versa.

Written by Sami Grover

When I first started writing for TreeHugger more than a decade ago, I spent a good deal of time worrying about which environmental problems were actually worth worrying about. When a rap video about banning plastic bags went viral, I gently made the case that we might have bigger things to worry about:
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On a case-by-case basis I have no problem with banning the single use plastic bag. But, given all the environmental challenges ahead of us—from peak oil to climate change to clean water issues—and given the uphill struggle we face getting any kind of action in Government, I do think it is worth asking how much political capital we want to spend on laws that address one of the most visible symptoms, but not the root problem of excessive fossil fuel use.

Since then, the issue of single-use plastics seems to have blown up in the public consciousness. And from hotel chains banning straws to plastic bag taxes drastically cutting the amount of bags being found in the ocean, there’s very real progress being made against the problem of ocean plastic pollution.

This success alone has caused me to rethink the musings of my younger, more opinionated self. After all, even if global climate change is the most pressing overarching problem we face, there’s little doubt that ocean ecosystems will be better able to adapt if they are not simultaneously inundated by a sea (sorry!) of plastic trash.

But even this backtracking misses the more important reason that I was wrong. And that’s the fact that by refusing or restricting single-use plastics, consumers and organizations are directly undermining the fossil fuel economy too. As Lloyd noted before, thanks to fracking, fossil fuel companies are now awash with feedstocks for plastics and they are busy expanding the production pipeline massively. So every time you refuse a plastic straw or bag and—more importantly—push for corporate and/or government action to limit plastic consumption, then you are not just making a contribution to trash-free seas. You are also striking a small blow against oil demand and thus helping to mitigate the climate crisis too.

Of course, the opposite is true also. Every time you ride a bike, or choose transit, or opt for electrified transportation, you are not only cutting back on carbon emissions, but you’re disrupting the economy that’s flooding us with plastic too. BP has just admitted that plastic bans might curb demand growth, and it’s also keeping an eye on vehicle electrification and its impact on future profits. Accelerating the adoption of both simultaneously seems like an excellent way to send Big Oil a message.

https://www.care2.com/causes/when-you-refuse-a-straw-you-refuse-oil-and-vice-versa.html

Related:

How to Tackle the Plastic Straw Problem Without Ignoring Disabled People
The Starbucks Plastic Straw Ban Isn’t as Great as It Seems

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger

Autopsy Reveals The Death Of A Green Sea Turtle Was Due To Plastic

seavoicenews.com
all posts by Alex Larson →

Photo: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources via ReReef

Last week we learned that news that a whale had died due to eating 80 plastic bags and now there is another example of the devastating impact plastic is having on the oceans.

Thailand’s marine officials announced in a report that a green sea turtle was found dead due to plastic that had filled the reptiles stomach.

The turtle was found washed ashore near Chonburi’s Lamchabang Port still living but two days later it died even after receiving medical attention.

Photo: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources via ReReef

The autopsy revealed that was filled with items such as rubber bands, nylon rope, plastic bags and loose pieces of fishing gear. The department’s veterinarian team concluded that the sea creature suffered from a resultant loss of appetite and low levels of protein in its bloodstream, leading to cysts that ultimately resulted in heart failure.

Countries across the world are making a effort to reduce pollution by taking pivotal steps to clean up the environment. One of the many encouraging examples of this over the last year, is India who recently made the decision to ban all single-use plastic by 2022.

Unfortunately for the ocean and the marine life, we have gone way too long looking the other way from the problems we have created and we are now facing the reality where we are finding marine animals regularly dying due to what we have done to our planet.

You can start making a change immediately by saying no to single-use items, reducing plastic usage, and spreading the message of the negative impact single-use plastics have on the world’s oceans.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/06/12/autopsy-reveals-the-death-of-a-green-sea-turtle-was-due-to-plastic/

Shocking Images Of Shark’s Stomach Filled With Plastic Bags

seavoicenews.com
Graphic Images & Video: Shocking Images Of Shark’s Stomach Filled With Plastic Bags
About Alex Larson View all posts by Alex Larson →

Graphic images of a tiger shark’s stomach have revealed four single-use plastic bags stuck inside of the sharks stomach.

The shark was found in South Coast, Australia and adds more weight to a plastic bag ban.

The video was captured by Bermagui commercial fisherman Jason Moyce, who said the he noticed the very sickly looking shark, with its stomach bloated, while fishing for bronzers

Images of plastic bags being removed from the stomach of a juvenile tiger shark. Picture: Trapman Bermagui

Single use plastic is one of the biggest threats to our oceans and is expected to outweigh all marine life by the year 2050. The good news, you can do something about it today. On a personal level, say no to plastics bags, straws and purchase items that limit the amount of plastic. On a larger scale, email, call or write your representatives and explain to them the ongoing issue and tell them that a change needs to be made.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/05/23/graphic-images-video-shocking-images-of-sharks-stomach-filled-with-plastic-bags/

Whales are starving – their stomachs full of our plastic waste | Philip Hoare | Opinion

theguardian.com
Whales are starving – their stomachs full of our plastic waste | Philip Hoare | Opinion
Philip Hoare

In January, 29,2016 sperm whales stranded on shores around the North Sea. The results of the necropsies (the animal equivalent of autopsies) of 13 of those whales, which beached in Germany, near the town of Tönning in Schleswig-Holstein, have just been released. The animals’ stomachs were filled with plastic debris. A 13-metre-long fishing net, a 70cm piece of plastic from a car and other pieces of plastic litter had been inadvertently ingested by the animals, who may have thought they were food, such as squid, their main diet, which they consume by sucking their prey into their mouths.

Robert Habeck, environment minister for the state of Schleswig-Holstein, said: “These findings show us the results of our plastic-oriented society. Animals inadvertently consume plastic and plastic waste, which causes them to suffer, and at worst, causes them to starve with full stomachs.” Nicola Hodgins, of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, added: “Although the large pieces will cause obvious problems and block the gut, we shouldn’t dismiss the smaller bits that could cause a more chronic problem for all species of cetacean – not just those who suction feed.”

The notion of these vast, sentient and placid creatures being stuffed with our trash is emblematic enough of the unequal relationship between man and sperm whale. The fact that the latter possess the largest brains of any animal that has ever lived only underlies this disconnection.

Our use and abuse of animals seems in inverse proportion to the almost ritual reverence in which we purport to hold them

Sadly, to anyone who follows the ongoing story of our impact on cetaceans, the terrible predicament of German whales is not new – although the scale of last January’s strandings is. In 2011, a young sperm whale was found floating dead off the Greek island of Mykonos. Its stomach was so distended that scientists believed that the animal might have swallowed a giant squid. But when they dissected its four stomachs (sperm whales, although predators, have digestive processes similar to ruminants), they found almost 100 plastic bags and other pieces of debris. One bag had the telephone number of a souvlaki restaurant in Thessaloniki. The scientists joked, grimly, that the whale could not call up to complain about the damage caused by their product.

The scale of the fate of the North Sea whales calls to mind the nesting albatrosses of Midway Island, so poignantly recorded by photographer Chris Jordan. He documented the skeletal remains of young chicks, so bloated with the plastic they had been mistakenly fed by their parents – from beer can loops and bottle tops to cigarette lighters – that they had starved from lack of nutrition.

Our use and abuse of animals seems in inverse proportion to the almost ritual reverence in which we purport to hold them. Whales have become the marine icon of ecological threat. We pay obeisance to their grandeur. But sometimes I wonder if it isn’t all an illusion. We congratulate ourselves for having stopped hunting them (well, most of them). Yet many thousands of cetaceans are compromised or killed by the pollution we allow to escape into the ocean. We cannot make the direct connection between the plastic bottles of water and what they are doing to the ultimate source of their supply. Whales are still victims of our industrialisation, our insatiable thirst for growth at the expense of all else – if in not such a direct way as they were in the past.

Recently, visiting the secret storage unit where London’s Natural History Museum stows the thousands of specimens that they are unable – or reluctant – to display in the museum, the curator of vertebrates, Richard Sabin, showed me a nondescript cardboard box in a corner. He suggested I look inside. When I opened it, I found block after block of solid, pure, spermaceti wax, the solidified oil from the sperm whale’s head.

Whales, in boxes – that’s how we saw them. It was for this substance that American and British whaleships travelled to the South Seas. This stuff that, when liquid, lit the streets of London, New York, Berlin and Paris. It made candles and makeup; lubricated the machines of the industrial revolution. So fine is spermaceti oil that Nasa used it in their space mission, as it does not freeze in outer space.

It is the materiality of the whale that haunts me. What it has provided, albeit unwittingly, to allow us to furnish and light our own lives. Even sperm whale excretions – in the form of ambergris – are the most valuable natural substances known to us, still used as a fixative in high-fashion perfumes. Set that usage against what we now know to be cultural animals, deeply bound by family ties. Of course, it is what makes us most alike that ultimately touches us – and which may be the saving of us both. I told Meera Syal, when we met at Radio 4 the other day, that whale society is entirely matriarchal, and in some species, male whales stay with their mothers all their lives. “Ah,” she said, “they’re Indian whales.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/30/plastic-debris-killing-sperm-whales

Plastic bag-swallowing sperm whales – victims of our remorseless progress | Environment

amp.theguardian.com
Plastic bag-swallowing sperm whales – victims of our remorseless progress | Environment
Philip Hoare

Plastic bags have been blamed for the deaths of sperm whales in the Mediterranean. The Athens-based Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute found that more than a third of the sperm whales found dead in Greek waters had stomachs blocked by plastic waste. But this comes as no surprise to whale watchers.

In a plangent 2011 report by same researchers on a mass sperm-whale stranding, a combination of factors – noise from naval exercises, dehydration and stress that caused toxic chemicals and heavy metals to be released from the whales’ body fat – was found to have caused them to beach. The scene of the dying whales moved the scientists to unusually emotive language as they recorded finding them “agonising on the shore”.

Postmortems of some of the 29 sperm whales that stranded around the North Sea coasts in January 2016 found plastic in their stomachs – including large pieces from cars. But many other factors come into play. Another recent report indicated that intense solar activity in the winter of 2016 may have interfered with the whales’ navigational systems, which rely on electromagnetic pathways on the Earth’s surface. The fact that the same activity caused a spectacular display of northern lights only seemed to echo the sense of the deaths of these huge, sentient and social creatures as omens of the fallout from our disruption of the natural world.

Related: Facing extinction, the North Atlantic right whale cannot adapt. Can we? | Philip Hoare

That Mediterranean whales are swallowing hundreds of plastic bags speaks to a terrible disconnect in the narrative of human and natural history. In the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, sperm whales were hunted for their oil, which played a key role in the industrial revolution, for light and lubrication. Even as late as the 1980s, sperm whales were being killed in their hundreds off the Azores in the mid-Atlantic. But by that time, no one had a use for their oil, and their bones were ground up for use as plant fertilizer. It seems ironic that some of the plastic ingested by the sperm whales of the Mediterranean has come from intensive fruit and vegetable production.

Even though we stopped hunting these whales (after the 1986 moratorium), it seems they are fated to remain victims of our remorseless progress.

https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/shortcuts/2018/may/23/plastic-bag-swallowing-sperm-whales-are-victims-of-our-remorseless-progress?__twitter_impression=true

The Guardian view on friendly bacteria: an ally against plastic | Editorial | Opinion

Plastic bottles at a dump in Northern Thailand. And bacterium that can consume even one kind of plastic could become a desperately-needed ally.’ photograph: Rungroj Yongrit?EPA

 

Sun22Apr201813:20EDT

Thanks to a genetically engineered enzyme, a bug that eats plastic bottles developed a much bigger appetite for our rubbish. It is a hopeful sign
Plastic bottles at a dump in northern Thailand
Plastic bottles at a dump in northern Thailand. ‘A bacterium that can consume even one kind of plastic could become a desperately needed ally.’ Photograph: Rungroj Yongrit?EPA

Evolution never sleeps. Before 1970 there can have been no significant bacteria that ate plastic, because there was not enough of that plastic in the world to sustain a population. But in 2016 a group of Japanese scientists discovered a new species, Ideonella sakaiensis, in the samples they were sifting from a bottle-recycling plant, that was able to attack and eat PET, the plastic used in most bottles, almost all of which ends up in landfill or dumped at sea, where it may last for centuries. Everything that rots in nature does so because it is being eaten by bacteria. Most plastics – among them PET – were considered totally impervious to bacterial attack, making them almost indestructible unless burned or crushed. So a bacterium that can consume even one kind of plastic could become a desperately needed ally in the struggle to stop the oceans being choked with plastic waste.

What has captured the imagination of the world is that a subsequent group of scientists, who were trying to understand on a molecular level how I sakaiensis breaks down and digests plastic bottles, found the enzymes that it uses and made a slightly different version of one to see what would happen. The new enzyme is much more efficient than the version found in nature, and works on more kinds of plastic. This kind of molecular tweaking of substances, already found in nature, is at the root of another recent scientific breakthrough, the Crispr-Cas9 technique for genetic engineering. It offers some hope that we can use technology to moderate and even to some extent to reverse the impacts that earlier technologies, such as those that make it easy to manufacture billions of tons of plastic, have had on the world around us.

This is going to be essential. The mass production and use of plastics has had such an effect on the Earth that some scientists, speculating wildly that there will still be people around to care about such things in the unimaginably distant future, have proposed the detection of plastic deposits as the best signal of the Anthropocene, the era in which human activity becomes the most powerful factor affecting life on Earth. One of the things this story shows is that our environment is not static and never has been. It is a dynamic system, in which changes of every sort have unintended consequences – PET was widely adopted partly because it seemed to have no ill effects on human health, at a time when no one asked how we would ever get rid of it – and every action produces an unexpected reaction, so that some bacteria learn to be resistant to antibiotics while others learn to feed off plastics. Even plastics have their uses to clean up pollution: they are used as sponges to clean up oil spills, although Australian scientists have just discovered a blend of sulphur and cooking oil that promises to work even better. There is no simpler world to which we can retreat – and for the sake of our children, we will simply have to manage these things better than our parents’ generations did.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/22/the-guardian-view-on-friendly-bacteria-an-ally-against-plastic

This Startup Is Making Plastic Packaging You Can Eat Instead of Throwing Out Made of Seaweed (And It’s Good for You Too)! (VIDEO) | One Green Planet

 

 

 

Aleksandra Pajda
October 10, 2017

From the perspective of waste management, an ice cream cone is a perfect invention – the thing that is devised to hold your ice cream is edible as well! So what if the containers or packaging our food came in could all be just that – edible? There is a company that decided to turn exactly that idea into reality – and their seaweed packaging can be eaten just like anything that is packed inside it.

Evoware is an Indonesia-based startup behind a new kind of packaging that is perfectly good to eat – but which also naturally biodegrades if you do not want to snack on it once your meal is over. “We want to create a cleaner world by stopping plastic waste from the root,” David Christian, co-founder of Evoware, told Fast Company.

Christian’s home country is second on the list of countries that create the most plastic pollution that ends up in the oceans and four Indonesian rivers are among those most polluted in the world. Looking from that perspective, it is very obvious that something has to be done about our plastic packaging obsession – and the company is a step in a right direction.

 

 

Seaweed, the material from which Evoware’s packaging is created, is obviously superior to plastic in a number of ways – it does not create non-biodegradable waste, it sucks up carbon dioxide while growing, it is grown without fertilizers, water, or any other resources. In fact, seaweed farmers in Indonesia are currently producing more product than they can sell, Fast Company reports, and they struggle to make a living.

While the details of the production process are confidential, the Evoware seaweed is tested for food safety and made into food packaging that can be eaten and dissolves in hot water without the use of chemicals. And the product is actually also nutritious since seaweed is high in fiber and vitamins – and it is also halal.

 

The Evoware packaging is already being tested – and tasted – for example at a food festival in Ubud, Bali, where a waffle vendor Bruxel Waffle is one of the early customers using the new packaging. So far, the seaweed product is more expensive to make than plastic packaging – but the costs will be lower as the company gets from pilot production to full-scale manufacturing. Hopefully, it will find many fans – and we will all have a chance to test it in the future.
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/startup-making-edible-packaging/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=44f400e027-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-44f400e027-106049477

To learn more about Evoware, http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/startup-making-edible-packaging/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=44f400e027-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-44f400e027-106049477

To find out how to use less plastic in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

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


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/393/047/932/

The Next Time You Use Disposable Plastics – Think of a Dead 37-Foot Sperm Whale | One Green Planet

One Green Planet
Imagine you’re taking a day to relax on the beach. There’s a warm, gentle breeze rustling your voluminous, freshly-washed hair –you pretty much look like a super model. You reach for a chip and hear the crinkle of cellophane mixing with the hypnotic sounds of the surf crash against the beach. As the sun presses down on your oiled bronzing skin, you grab your water bottle feel the cool plastic, slick from perspiration, beneath your palm as you take a swig of the ice cold water. Now imagine a 37-foot sperm whale washing up dead at your feet on the beach. Back to reality . . .
A juvenile sperm whale recently washed up dead on a beach of the Davao Gulf just outside of a resort in Samal, located in the Philippines. The autopsy revealed that the whale had, “large amounts of plastic trash, fishing nets, hooks and even a piece of coco lumber in its stomach,” and experts believe the cause of death for this majestic creature was choking on plastic. Seems a little crazy that such a mammoth whale could be taken down by plastic, but this is not the first time this has happened. Of the 54 whale deaths that have been reported in the Davao Gulf, only four of them can be attributed to natural causes. That means that 50 whales have died because of human industry and pollution. This is unacceptable, but how do we stop these senseless deaths?

The Next Time You Use Disposable Plastics – Think of a Dead 37-Foot Sperm Whale

So think back to your fictional day on the beach. Did you know that 18,000 tons of shampoo bottles are thrown out every year? Or that 40 billion plastic bottles end up in landfill every year. We generate around 8.8 million tons of plastic waste annually and only 15 percent of it is recycled – the majority of it makes it back into our oceans. From there it makes it into the stomachs and throats of marine life like the young sperm whale in this picture. Plastic pollution chokes, cuts, and entangles marine life and is currently endangering 700 different species with extinction around the world. So the next time you’re fantasizing about your perfect day, cut disposable plastics out of the picture, and while you’re at it – cut them out of your real life as well. Join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign to learn about how you can stop plastic pollution at the source. Stop daydreaming about saving the world and start doing it.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.

Creativity : Upcycle Plastic bottle to a Container :)

PROPEL STEPS

Zip1

Here’s how to make your own.

Measure an inch and a half from the base of the water bottle, and mark with a pen. Use a sharp scissors to cut away the bottom from the bottle. Do the same with another empty plastic bottle.

zip2

Select a zipper that wraps around the bottle comfortably. We found a seven-inch zipper fits perfectly with an 18- or 20-ounce bottle. Secure the zipper to the inside of one bottle with hot glue. Create small lines of glue and press quickly while hot for best results.

zip3

Open the zipper, and attach the top just like you did the bottom.

zip4

Zip the container together, and you’re ready to store your stuff!

zip5

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