River plastic Interceptors are stopping trash from reaching the ocean

via CNET

Nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup is continuing its mission of ridding the world of ocean plastic by catching garbage before it makes its way to the sea. The organization has introduced a new third-generation Interceptor that it says can remove larger debris more efficiently and at a lower cost.

The Ocean Cleanup Interceptors were first announced by founder and CEO Boyan Slat in 2019. The trash Interceptors are moored to river beds and use river current to snag debris floating on the surface. Then they direct the trash onto a conveyor belt that shuttles it into six large onboard dumpsters. The Interceptors run completely autonomously day and night, getting power from solar panels. 

Read the full sotry here: https://www.cnet.com/news/river-plastic-interceptors-are-stopping-trash-from-reaching-the-ocean/

Doosan outlines plan to produce hydrogen from plastic waste

via GlobalConstructionReview.com

South Korean equipment maker Doosan Heavy Industries has signed a memorandum of understanding with another Korean company to develop the technology to produce hydrogen from waste plastics and vinyl.

Doosan has teamed up with RevoTech, a plastic pyrolysis specialist, to carry out the work. RevoTech will handle the thermal decomposition of the plastic waste to produce gas, and Doosan Heavy will develop facilities and processes to extract hydrogen from it.

Read the full story here: https://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/doosan-outlines-plan-produce-hydrogen-plastic-wast/

Covid-19: the plastic pandemic

via Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa 

Lowered on the chin or worn correctly, generously distributed in schools and workplaces, sold everywhere at a controlled price, face masks are now a constant presence in the lives of billions of people. A gust of wind or a distraction is enough for them to disperse in the environment, and already in the first months of the pandemic, when for many they were still unavailable, they had become fairly common waste on the beaches of all oceans.

But protective gear – not just masks, but also gloves, aprons, visors – are just one of the factors that have led plastic consumption to skyrocket in times of pandemic.

Read the full story here: https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Europe/Covid-19-the-plastic-pandemic-210266

Plastic Is Falling From the Sky. But Where’s It Coming From?

via Wired

At any given time, 1,100 tons of microplastic are floating over the western US. New modeling shows the surprising sources of the nefarious pollutant.

IF YOU FIND yourself in some secluded spot in the American West—maybe Yellowstone, or the deserts of Utah, or the forests of Oregon—take a deep breath and get some fresh air along with some microplastic. According to new modeling, 1,100 tons of it is currently floating above the western US. The stuff is falling out of the sky, tainting the most remote corners of North America—and the world. As I’ve said before, plastic rain is the new acid rain.

But where is it all coming from? You’d think it’d be arising from nearby cities—western metropolises like Denver and Salt Lake City. But new modeling published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that 84 percent of airborne microplastics in the American West actually comes from the roads outside of major cities. Another 11 percent could be blowing all the way in from the ocean. (The researchers who built the model reckon that microplastic particles stay airborne for nearly a week, and that’s more than enough time for them to cross continents and oceans.)

Read the full story here: https://www.wired.com/story/plastic-is-falling-from-the-sky/

How does plastic debris make its way into ocean garbage patches?

via EurekAlert

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2021 — Tons of plastic debris get released into the ocean every day, and most of it accumulates within the middle of garbage patches, which tend to float on the oceans’ surface in the center of each of their regions. The most infamous one, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is in the North Pacific Ocean.

Researchers in the U.S. and Germany decided to explore which pathways transport debris from the coasts to the middle of the oceans, as well as the relative strengths of different subtropical gyres in the oceans and how they influence long-term accumulation of debris.

Read the full story here: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-03/aiop-hdp022521.php

Fighting the plastics plague, one canoe-full at a time

via the Bay Journal

John Naylor eased his 16-foot fiberglass canoe into the Susquehanna River near a small archipelago of forested and ever-changing mudflat islands known as the Conejohela Flats, once the domain of Native Americans and still a vital stop for migrating shorebirds.

It’s a placid and beautiful spot on the lower Susquehanna between Lancaster and York counties, PA. But the York city resident was there this day to nibble at a growing sheen of ugliness — namely, single-use plastic containers, especially discarded water bottles.

Read the full story here: https://www.bayjournal.com/news/people/fighting-the-plastics-plague-one-canoe-full-at-a-time/article_de8ac85a-6a49-11eb-9dbc-cf4d24cc71ee.html

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste Calls for Submissions for Recycling Technologies

via Alliance to End Plastic Waste

Call for project proposals with innovative solutions in chemical recycling technologies to unlock value for hard-to-recycle plastics

SINGAPORE, 10 FEBRUARY 2021, The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (the Alliance), an international non-profit organisation, has launched a request for proposals (RFP) calling for projects related to Chemical Recycling Technologies and Business Models.

Learn more at: https://endplasticwaste.org/en/news/the-alliance-to-end-plastic-waste-calls-for-submissions-for-recycling-technologies


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    How Paving with Plastic Could Make a Dent in the Global Waste Problem

    via Yale Environment 360

    Roads in which waste plastic is melted down and mixed with paving materials are becoming more common around the world. Although for now they remain a niche technology, experts say the roads could become one of a diverse array of uses for discarded plastic.

    Aroad running through Accra, Ghana’s capital, looks like any other blacktop. Yet what most drivers don’t realize is that the asphalt under them contains a slurry of used plastics — shredded and melted bags, bottles, and snack wraps — that otherwise were destined for a landfill.

    Read the full story here:https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-paving-with-plastic-could-make-a-dent-in-the-global-waste-problem


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      Catalyst turns mixed plastic waste into natural gas

      via Chemistry World

      Plastic waste can now be efficiently converted into methane using a ruthenium-based catalyst. The patented technology could help mitigate the planet’s growing plastic waste problem while producing methane for use as a fuel or chemical feedstock in a more environmentally friendly way than fracking.

      Recovering chemicals and fuel from plastic waste streams is nothing new. Processes including pyrolysis and gasification, which break down plastics using high temperatures and catalytic processes, can recover useful materials. However, these approaches create several products, including waste, and require additional processing and purification.

      Read the full story here: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/catalyst-turns-mixed-plastic-waste-into-natural-gas/4013218.article


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        Seagrass ‘Neptune balls’ bundle plastic waste

        via Phys.Org

        Underwater seagrass in coastal areas appear to trap bits of plastic in natural bundles of fibre known as “Neptune balls,” researchers said Thursday.

        With no help from humans, the swaying plants—anchored to shallow seabeds—may collect nearly 900 million plastic items in the Mediterranean alone every year, they reported in the journal Scientific Reports.

        read the full story here: https://phys.org/news/2021-01-seagrass-meadows-marine-plastic-sea.html