Activities at PVC market should be stopped till fire-safety arrangements made: Delhi Fire Service

via Outlook India

Terming a recent fire incident at the PVC market as the most “intense and widespread”, the fire department said, “It has been observed that the scrap is spilled outside the plots, covering almost the entire stretch of the road, and at some points, it is mixing with the scrap of other plots too. The situation is highly alarming from the fire safety point of view as it helps in propagation of fire at a rapid rate.”

The move comes after a massive fire broke out at an open godown in the PVC market in the Tikri Kalan area on July 11. According to the fire department, it took more than 200 fire-fighters over 10 hours to douse the blaze as PVC materials in huge quantities were stocked up at the spot and since the godown did not have a boundary wall, the risk of the fire spreading to the adjoining areas was high.

Read the full story here: https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/activities-at-pvc-market-should-be-stopped-till-firesafety-arrangements-made-delhi-fire-service/2129182

Degradable plastic polymer breaks down in sunlight and air

via PNAS

Plastic trash chokes shorelines and oceans, in part because plastic polymers do not easily decompose. But a new kind of environmentally degradable plastic could help change that: It breaks down in about a week in sunlight and air, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). Chemical characterization using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectroscopy, among other techniques, revealed that the plastic decomposed rapidly in sunlight from a petroleum-based polymer into succinic acid, a naturally occurring nontoxic small molecule that doesn’t leave microplastic fragments in the environment.

Read the full story here: http://blog.pnas.org/2021/07/degradable-plastic-polymer-breaks-down-in-sunlight-and-air/

plastic scrap

‘Preventing more, picking up less.’ Proliferating plastic pollution sparks change in approach

via Phys.org

As plastic pollution soars—filling waterways, air, soil and living things with the material—some in St. Louis are joining efforts to confront the crisis through new approaches.

Experts hope the shifting strategies—which include harnessing crowd-sourced data to learn more about what kind of waste accumulates and where—could result in better policy interventions and ultimately help spark widespread reevaluation of who shoulders the burden of plastic waste. That means potentially pushing greater responsibility toward producers, instead of leaning on consumers to constantly clean up the mess as disposable, single-use plastic proliferates.

Read the full story here: https://phys.org/news/2021-06-proliferating-plastic-pollution-approach.html

Eyesea enlists shipping industry help to track plastic pollution

via Ship-Technology.com

Non-profit organisation Eyesea aims to track global pollution and maritime hazards in the form of a map with help from the shipping industry. The company recently completed testing its solution with two commercial vessels and has plans for more testing later this year. We spoke to Eyesea to find out more about the technology as well as how the app came to be.

About 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water meaning that protecting the oceans is paramount to the well-being of our planet. Meeting the demands of a growing population has led manufacturing companies to produce increasing numbers of products for consumers which ultimately results in more waste being produced and ending up as ocean pollution.

Read the full story here: https://www.ship-technology.com/features/eyesea-enlists-shipping-industry-help-to-track-plastic-pollution/

Genetically engineered microbes convert waste plastic into vanillin

via Chemistry World

Scientists in the UK have genetically engineered Escherichia coli to transform plastic waste into vanillin. ‘Instead of simply recycling plastic waste into more plastic, what our system demonstrates for the first time is that you can use plastic as a feedstock for microbial cells and transform it into something with higher value and more industrial utility,’ says Stephen Wallace from the University of Edinburgh. The biotransformation ‘isn’t just replacing a current chemical process, it’s actually achieving something that can’t be done using modern synthetic methods.’

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of the most widely used types of plastic. Most existing recycling technologies degrade PET into its substituent monomers, ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid, then repurpose them in second-generation plastic materials. Wallace and Joanna Sadler, also at the University of Edinburgh, want to upcycle these monomers into alternative products.

Read the full story here: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/genetically-engineered-microbes-convert-waste-plastic-into-vanillin/4013767.article

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New tool highlights the world’s ocean pollution problem

via The Denver Channel

We know pollution is a problem, and we know waste ends up in our waterways. But it’s hard to quantify exactly how much waste and where it’s coming from. A new, first-of-its-kind data tool aims to change that by letting us see how much plastic is being dumped, and what’s being done about it.

“A lot of the waste is generated on land and ultimately can end up in the oceans being brought through rain and wind and rivers and other forms of direct dumping that produces between 19 and 23 million metric tons of plastic waste entering our oceans and lakes and rivers every single year,” said Molly Morse, project scientist at UC Santa Barabara’s Benioff Ocean Initiative.

Read the full story here: https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/national/new-tool-highlights-the-worlds-ocean-pollution-problem

National Oceans Day And ‘The Plastic Pandemic.’ What Will You Do?

via Forbes

The covid pandemic increased the amount of plastic used globally in our efforts to try to keep Covid-19 from spreading.

Plastic gloves, plastic bags instead of canvas shopping bags, plastic in face mask fibers, plastic face shields and even those syringes the medical professionals use to vaccinate us all. Plastic water bottles, more takeout food in Styrofoam containers, more plastic garbage bags as we cleaned more and took out the garbage more often, and don’t forget all that bubble wrap for all those online orders….Think about what plastic you used over the past 15 months, for example. Now multiply that times 320 million Americans or 7+ billion people worldwide.

Read the full story here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joanmichelson2/2021/06/09/national-oceans-day-and-the-plastic-pandemic-what-will-you-do/

Sri Lanka Sues Singapore After Ship Spews Plastic Waste, Causing Huge Environmental Damage

via Global Citizen

Sri Lanka is currently dealing with “the worst beach pollution in our history,” after a Singapore-owned container ship carrying toxic chemicals caught fire, burnt for 12 consecutive days, and spilled plastic debris and other hazardous waste into the ocean. 

The ship, carrying tens of tons of nitric acid, caustic soda, sodium methoxide and methane, was located nine miles off the coast of the capital of Colombo when it caught fire on May 20.

Read the full story here: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/plastic-pollution-ocean-ship-sri-lanka/

As the Rest of the World Tackles Plastic Disposal, the US Remains Slow to Move

via Science The Wire

 plasic scrap

For the first time ever, international shipments of plastic waste came under global control this year. That’s because disposable plastic – a major pollutant of the world’s waters and atmosphere, fodder for incinerators, occupier of overflowing landfills, and material for costly recycling – was added to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

The convention is a United Nations treaty aimed at managing the adulterating of lands and seas with novel polluting entities, but how effectively this international protocol will work to control plastics disposal remains to be seen.

Read the full story here: https://science.thewire.in/environment/as-the-rest-of-the-world-tackles-plastic-disposal-the-us-remains-slow-to-move/

On Bonfires outside Bucharest, Waste from Western Europe

via Balkan Insight

plastic scrap

Besides Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria have also become significant destinations for waste from Western Europe since China closed its doors. Much ends up being burned or buried, with dire consequences for the environment and public health.

On May 12, border officials in southern Romania stopped three trucks loaded with 59 tons of waste trying to enter from Bulgaria. The drivers’ paperwork did not entirely match the contents – steel, plastic and scrap metal – so the convoy was turned back.

Read the full story here: https://balkaninsight.com/2021/05/24/on-bonfires-outside-bucharest-waste-from-western-europe/