Plastics to outpace coal’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 -report

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The carbon-intensive production of plastics is on pace to emit more greenhouse gases than coal-fired power plants within this decade, undercutting global efforts to tackle climate change, a report released on Thursday said.

The report by Bennington College and Beyond Plastics projected that the plastic industry releases at least 232 million tons of greenhouse gases each year throughout its lifecycle from the drilling for oil and gas to fuel its facilities to incineration of plastic waste. That is the equivalent of 116 coal-fired power plants.

Read the full story here: https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/plastics-outpace-coals-greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-2030-report-2021-10-21/

plastic scrap recycling
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Bubble Curtain Technology Prevents Entry Of 500 Tonnes Of Plastic Waste In Yamuna River

via The Logical Indian

In a bid to address the growing menace of plastic pollution in the water bodies, Geocycle India—the in-house waste management arm of Ambuja Cements Limited and ACC Limited, has been doing enormous efforts to collect and co-process the plastic waste in the country. The company implemented bubble curtain technology in April 2021 to stop plastic from entering the river Yamuna in Agra. Now, it has successfully managed to thwart 500 tonnes of plastic waste leakage in the river within a span of just six months. The collected waste will now be processed within Ambuja and ACC plants, as per India CSR.

Read the full story here: https://thelogicalindian.com/responsiblebusiness/geocycle-indias-bubble-barrier-plastic-waste-yamuna-30936

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

plastic scrap

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/