Plastic trash flowing into the seas will nearly triple by 2040 without drastic action

An ambitious plan, two years in the making, might have the solution.

via National Geographic

THE AMOUNT OF plastic trash that flows into the oceans every year is expected to nearly triple by 2040 to 29 million metric tons.

That single, incomprehensibly large statistic is at the center of a new two-year research project that both illuminates the failure of the worldwide campaign to curb plastic pollution and prescribes an ambitious plan for reducing much of that flow into the seas.

Read the full story here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/07/plastic-trash-in-seas-will-nearly-triple-by-2040-if-nothing-done/

Oceans’ plastic tide may be far larger than thought

Artificial fibres now go everywhere. The oceans’ plastic tide may reach their whole depth, entering marine life and people.

via Eco-Business

The world’s seas could be home to a vast reservoir of hitherto unidentified pollution, the growing burden of the oceans’ plastic tide.

Up to 21 million tonnes of tiny and invisible plastic fibres could be floating in the first 200 metres of the Atlantic Ocean alone. And as British research exposed the scale of the problem, American chemists revealed that for the first time they had found microplastic fibres incorporated within human organ tissues.

Read the full story here: https://www.eco-business.com/news/oceans-plastic-tide-may-be-far-larger-than-thought/

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

Landfills emerge as promising battery storage sites to back up renewable energy

via WasteDive.com

Solar panel installations have been one of the fastest-growing types of energy infrastructure in recent years and landfills have become fitting sites due to the sheer amount of land required. Now, for many of the same reasons, energy project developers are looking to landfills for a technology growing even faster than solar: battery storage.

Storage on landfills is still a novel idea, with closed sites seen as largely the most suitable, and only a few examples of these projects exist. But solar on landfills was in a similar position just a few years ago, Tim Ryan, director at New York-based developer BQ Energy, told Waste Dive. BQ Energy focuses specifically on brownfield sites and has built over a dozen solar or wind projects since 2012, but only recently began construction on its first storage venture. Solar on landfills “may seem routine now, but it wasn’t when we started,” Ryan said.

Read the full story here: https://www.wastedive.com/news/landfills-promising-sites-battery-storage-solar-renewable-energy/577898/

COVID-19 is forcing us to rethink our plastic problem

via World Economic Forum

  • The global demand for PPE has caused a concurrent uptick in demand for single-use plastics.
  • As lockdowns are lifted, we may find our reliance on plastic has increased.
  • Companies and governments now have an even more urgent – and tricky – responsibility to transition to a circular economy.

Economic uncertainties and risks of a second wave of COVID-19 might impose significant limitations on waste services. With the pandemic contributing to increased plastic use in healthcare, and large volumes of waste being unfit for recycling due to potential biohazards, medical plastic waste could grow at an unprecedented scale. A similar situation might arise in the food industry and other services that had previously decided to temporally limit reusables. The disrupted waste management and recycling sector would also take some time to recover and would not be able to effectively handle massive volumes of post-pandemic plastic.

Read the full story here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/covid-19-is-forcing-us-to-rethink-our-plastic-problem/

The Philippines Is Making Roads and Cement With Plastic Garbage

Via Bloomberg.com

Philippine companies like San Miguel Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. are using discarded shopping bags, sachet wrappers and plastic packaging to fire cement plants and build roads as the country embarks on an 8 trillion-peso ($157 billion) infrastructure push through 2022.

San Miguel has laid down its first road combining plastic scraps with asphalt, it said in November. The surface material, developed with Dow Chemical Co., used 900 kilograms (1,984 pounds) of plastic to pave a 1,500-square meter (16,145-square foot) test site near the capital.

Read the full story here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-23/the-philippines-is-making-roads-and-cement-with-plastic-garbage

Can the Super Bowl go zero waste?

via National Geographic

TEN THOUSAND HOT dogs, 20,000 pounds of shrimp, 8,000 pounds of short ribs—and that’s only a portion of the food that will be made by the 2,500-strong culinary staff flying into Miami this weekend to prepare snacks for one of the nation’s biggest game days.

Super Bowl 54, this year played in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, will see the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the San Francisco 49ers. Nearly 100 million people watch the Super Bowl every year, in bars, at house parties, and for a lucky few, in the stadium, where tickets start at $4,000.

Read the full story here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/01/super-bowl-54-zero-waste-miami/ https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/01/super-bowl-54-zero-waste-miami/

Hard Rock Stadium To Eliminate 99.4% Of Single-Use Plastics By 2020

via Forbes

Tom Garfinkel remembers sitting in awe and disbelief as he watched the 60 Minutes special on plastic pollution. The vice chairman, president and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium was taken aback by the seemingly endless amount of plastic floating in the oceans, congregating at the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Each year approximately 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans, according to the United Nations. If trends continue, oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050.

Read the full story here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellore/2019/11/18/hard-rock-stadium-to-eliminate-994-of-single-use-plastics-by-2020/#a60cb46e0e9e

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

Dumped fishing gear is biggest plastic polluter in ocean, finds report

via The Guardian

Lost and abandoned fishing gear which is deadly to marine life makes up the majority of large plastic pollution in the oceans, according to a report by Greenpeace.

More than 640,000 tonnes of nets, lines, pots and traps used in commercial fishing are dumped and discarded in the sea every year, the same weight as 55,000 double-decker buses.

Read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/06/dumped-fishing-gear-is-biggest-plastic-polluter-in-ocean-finds-report

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