SeaChange uses plasma arc technology to save the oceans from plastic waste

via Inhabitat.com

SeaChange will outfit its ships with something called the Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM). The PEM uses plasma arc technology to zap plastic and other trash before it enters the ocean. Plastic is shredded before it enters the Plasma Arc Zone.

Instead of leaving harmful residues like conventional waste treatment methods, plasma arc technology uses high temperature and high electrical energy to heat waste, mostly by radiation. Organic material can be burned down into a combustible gas called syngas, which can be used as clean fuel for SeaChange’s ships. Inorganic components wind up as glassy slag. This reusable black glass is said to be nontoxic and safe for marine life.

Read the full story here: https://inhabitat.com/seachange-uses-plasma-arc-technology-to-save-the-oceans-from-plastic-waste/

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled

via NPR

Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry containers, yogurt cups.

None of this plastic will be turned into new plastic things. All of it is buried.

“To me that felt like it was a betrayal of the public trust,” she said. “I had been lying to people … unwittingly.”

Read the full story here: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/897692090/how-big-oil-misled-the-public-into-believing-plastic-would-be-recycled

An audio version of this story aired on NPR’s Planet Money

ISRI adopts position on minimum recycled plastic content

via Recycling Magazine

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ (ISRI) new position on minimum recycled plastic content encourages efforts that will help spur demand for recycled plastics. It also aims to increase the commitment by stakeholders throughout the supply chain to ensure plastics are responsibly manufactured, collected, and recycled into new products.

Plastics are a diverse, versatile group of materials that are used in nearly all aspects of daily life, from life-saving medical supplies to light-weight food packaging. However, despite the benefits plastics offer, many remained concerned about high levels of plastic waste entering the natural environment. To avoid further environmental harm, it is imperative that all plastics be handled responsibly at end of life.

Read the full story here: https://www.recycling-magazine.com/2020/08/18/isri-adopts-position-on-minimum-recycled-plastic-content/

COVID-19 Lays Waste to Many US Recycling Programs

via Manufacturing Business Technology

Many items designated as reusable, communal or secondhand have been temporarily barred to minimize person-to-person exposure. This is producing higher volumes of waste.

Grocers, whether by state decree or on their own, have brought back single-use plastic bags. Even IKEA has suspended use of its signature yellow reusable in-store bags. Plastic industry lobbyists have also pushed to eliminate plastic bag bans altogether, claiming that reusable bags pose a public health risk.

Read the full story here: https://www.mbtmag.com/home/news/21138099/covid19-lays-waste-to-many-us-recycling-programs

How NASA’s 3D-Printers Test Recycling Plastic in Space

via FedTech Magazine

NASA’s 3D-printing program began with making tiny wrenches and may end up building infrastructure on the moon. In between those moments, however, astronauts aboard the International Space Station are testing technology designed to make the printing process more efficient.

The space station is currently home to two 3D printers, one known as the Refabricator and another called the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF). A third device, the Recycler, is designed to recycle used material to save room and weight on the ISS, much like the Refabricator. Each works in a slightly different way, and astronauts are trying to determine which works best.

Read the full story here: https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2020/05/how-nasas-3d-printers-test-recycling-plastic-space

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.

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

Draft US law seeks to make plastic industry responsible for waste

via Yahoo The proposed “Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act,” introduced by Democratic lawmakers, would be the most ambitious regulation the US plastics industry has ever seen.

It would require producers to collect and recycle their own waste, create a nationwide drink container refund scheme and phase out certain single-use plastic items.

Read the full story here: https://au.news.yahoo.com/draft-us-law-seeks-plastic-industry-responsible-waste-011137658–spt.html

IKEA’s plan to give plastic and polyester a second life

via Toronto Sun

It was just a little more than a year ago that IKEA Canada announced it would phase out all single-use plastic straws in Canada, nine months ahead of its global commitment to eliminate all single-use
plastics from its product range and restaurants by January 1, 2020.


It should not be surprising that this announcement got a lot of play — people really do care about this topic — but at the same time, only a smaller part of the retailer’s sustainability plans.

Read the full story here: https://torontosun.com/life/homes/ikeas-plan-to-give-plastic-and-polyester-a-second-life

SCIENTISTS TURN ‘TRASH TO TREASURE’ BY MAKING ULTRA-STRONG GRAPHENE FROM COAL, PLASTIC AND FOOD WASTE

via Newsweek

Taking place inside a custom-designed reactor, the environmentally-friendly new process produces one of the strongest materials known to humankind from materials such as coal, plastics and food waste, according to a team of researchers from Rice University in Texas.On-Demand Hydrogen Cells Could Start Era of ‘Green and Sustainable Energy’READ MORE

Experts said the key is temperature and timing, and the results could potentially revolutionize how the world manages several wasteful materials.

Read the full story here: https://www.newsweek.com/rice-university-scientists-produce-graphene-coal-plastic-food-waste-1484576

Plastics industry unveils $500 million federal recycling legislation

via Plastics News

Washington — Two members of Congress and a coalition of businesses and trade groups in plastics, waste management and other materials unveiled a $500 million legislative plan Nov. 15 that would allocate federal funding to beef up recycling and waste management.

The Realizing the Economic Opportunities and Values of Expanding Recycling Act, or Recover Act, would set aside $500 million in federal matching funds for states, local governments and tribes to invest in improving recycling infrastructure. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., and Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind.

Read the full story here: https://www.plasticsnews.com/news/plastics-industry-unveils-500-million-federal-recycling-legislation

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