Plastic waste forms huge, deadly masses in camel guts

via Science News

Marcus Eriksen was studying plastic pollution in the Arabian Gulf when he met camel expert Ulrich Wernery. “[Ulrich] said, ‘You want to see plastic? Come with me.’ So we went deep into the desert,” Eriksen recalls. Before long, they spotted a camel skeleton and began to dig through sand and bones.

“We unearthed this mass of plastic, and I was just appalled. I couldn’t believe that — almost did not believe that — a mass as big as a medium-sized suitcase, all plastic bags, could be inside the rib cage of this [camel] carcass,” says Eriksen, an environmental scientist at the 5 Gyres Institute, a plastic pollution research and education organization in Santa Monica, Calif.

Read the full story here: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/camel-eating-plastic-trash-waste-deadly-masses

More than 1.56 billion face masks could end up polluting oceans: report

via CTV

TORONTO — More than 1.56 billion face masks used in 2020 will make their way into our planet’s oceans, joining literal tonnes of other plastic pollution, according to an estimate by OceansAsia.

The Hong-Kong based marine conservation organization released a report on Monday that details one of the devastating side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic: the increase in plastic use and disposal.

Read the full story here: https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/more-than-1-56-billion-face-masks-could-end-up-polluting-oceans-report-1.5221239

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé named top plastic polluters for third year in a row

via The Guardian

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé have been accused of “zero progress” on reducing plastic waste, after being named the world’s top plastic polluters for the third year in a row.

Coca-Cola was ranked the world’s No 1 plastic polluter by Break Free From Plastic in its annual audit, after its beverage bottles were the most frequently found discarded on beaches, rivers, parks and other litter sites in 51 of 55 nations surveyed. Last year it was the most frequently littered bottle in 37 countries, out of 51 surveyed.

Read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/07/coca-cola-pepsi-and-nestle-named-top-plastic-polluters-for-third-year-in-a-row

Java’s protective mangroves smothered by plastic waste

via Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

The mangrove forests on Java’s north coast are slowly suffocating in plastic waste. The plastic problem in northeast Asia is huge and a growing threat to the region’s mangroves; a natural ally against coastal erosion. Based on fieldwork published in Science of the Total Environment, NIOZ researcher Celine van Bijsterveldt shows that restoration of this green protection belt is impossible without better waste management.

Read the full story here: https://www.nioz.nl/en/news/javas-protective-mangroves-smothered-by-plastic-waste

Brewers are addressing the beer industry’s plastic dilemma

via Marin Independent Journal

Early this year, a brewery in East Aurora, New York, began offering customers a free pint of beer for each plastic four-pack or six-pack can carrier that they returned, a reuse program aimed at reducing the volume of plastic that flows into our economy’s waste stream, the terrestrial environment and the ocean.

It was a good move for the beer industry. 42 North Brewing’s effort is focused specifically on the almost ubiquitous beverage carriers made by the company PakTech, and it will hopefully inspire other breweries to follow suit. After all, the United States and the European Union are huge contributors to the world’s plastic crisis, which poses an existential threat to marine wildlife.

Read the full story here: https://www.marinij.com/2020/11/24/brewers-are-addressing-the-beer-industrys-plastic-dilemma/

MRF Summit: Despite pandemic setbacks, 2020 shows bright spots for recycling

via WasteDive

Contamination, automation, globalization and federal engagement were all hot topics at last week’s 2020 MRF Summit, a joint virtual conference hosted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).

Despite the many pandemic- and economy-related challenges the industry has faced this year, SWANA CEO David Biderman highlighted numerous reasons for optimism and embracing opportunities. “The value of the recovered materials coming out of the back of a MRF is about double what it was at the start of year,” he said.

Read the full story here: https://www.wastedive.com/news/mrf-summit-2020-recycling-robotics-pandemic-basel/589533/

This Norwegian start-up wants to build houses out of 100% recycled plastic

via WeForum.org

Using one of the world’s problems to solve another is the philosophy behind a Norwegian start-up’s mission to develop affordable housing from 100% recycled plastic.

Since 1950, more than nine billion tonnes of plastic have been produced globally, of which only 9% is recycled, according to building tech company Othalo, while almost a billion people live in slums.

Read the full story here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/un-africa-recycled-plastic-housing/

The Uneasy Afterlife of Our Dazzling Trash

via The New York Times

Every day, for the past 14 years, Bruce Bennett has received packages filled with CDs. Sometimes a few at a time and sometimes in packs of hundreds, shiny old discs arrive at his CD Recycling Center of America in Salem, N.H., a 300-foot blue trailer tucked behind a commercial strip, to ascend to the CD afterlife.

The CD recycling process requires Mr. Bennett, 55, to store a truckload, or approximately 44,000 pounds, of CDs in a warehouse before the discs can be granulated into raw polycarbonate plastic, resulting in a white and clear powdery material that glints and resembles large snowflake crystals stuck together.

Read the full story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/07/style/the-uneasy-afterlife-of-our-dazzling-trash.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Style

Coronavirus is causing a flurry of plastic waste. Campaigners fear it may be permanent

via CNN

Surgical masks, gloves, protective equipment, body bags — the Covid-19 crisis has spurred a rapid expansion in the production of desperately-needed plastic products, with governments racing to boost their stockpiles and regular citizens clamoring for their share of supplies.Related stories

Such production is necessary. But all that plastic ends up somewhere — and environmental campaigners fear it is just the tip of a looming iceberg, with the pandemic causing a number of serious challenges to their efforts to reduce plastic pollution.

Read the full story here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/04/world/coronavirus-plastic-waste-pollution-intl/index.html

E-car ‘Luca’: horsehair seats, ocean plastics chassis

via Recycling International

Students of the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands have unveiled a car made largely from recycled materials such as PET bottles and household waste.

‘We want to show that waste is a valuable material, even in complex applications like a car,’ says team member Matthijs van Wijk. The group of 22 students has worked on the project for 18 months and the result is a sporty electric car called ‘Luca’ made from materials such as flax and recycled plastic, most of which was fished from the ocean.

Read the full story here: https://recyclinginternational.com/e-scrap/e-car-luca-horsehair-seats-ocean-plastics-chassis/31688/

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