In The #GreatPacificGarbagePatch, New #Marine Ecosystems Are Flourishing
Sea life, stuck to #plastic bottles and other human trash, has journeyed far from coastal habitats — and may threaten local species. https://www.discovermagazine.com/environment/in-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch-new-marine-ecosystems-are-flourishing
Researchers designed a biomimetic robot based on the Hawaiian apple snail, which undulates its foot to drive water flow and scoop up bits of food. The robot uses a 3D-printed sheet as the "foot", while a corkscrew-like structure underneath creates movement to ingest microplastic.
This prototype proved more energy-efficient than traditional pump-and-tube systems. While it will need a larger scale for real-world applications (and possibly a flotation device to compensate for the weight of battery and motor), it's a promising step toward a cleaner #environment.
Read more at the link below.
I see the glut of fannish and subculture knick-knacks, buttons, keychains, cheap jewelry and accessories often thought of as manifestations of self-care, of small business entrepreneurship, of people's very *identities*...
...but what I see is decadence before the fall. As I said in my blog post "On Fossil Media", I can only hope we remember how to do self-care, how to hustle, and how to identify ourselves and each other after it's gone.
Since the #Plastic industry doesn't really care about how it contributes to global #pollution it's time to do your part and start reducing your daily reliance on #SingleUsePlastics. Many of your daily-routine products have non-plastic alternatives.
Instead of hosing down fires, let's stop them from happening in the first place: To tackle environmental challenges, we need to redesign our systems. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/commentary/2023/12/06/japan/social-entrepreneurs-systems-thinking-design/?utm_content=buffer49312&utm_medium=social&utm_source=mastodon&utm_campaign=bffmstdn #commentary #japan #climatechange #environment #plastic #sustainability #startups #entrepreneurs #cop28
"There's more of an illusion of stuff getting recycled than there actually is because there is an imbalance in supply and demand," Butler said, referring to how virgin plastic is often far cheaper to produce than recycled plastic. "Even if we had funding right now, I don't think there is enough commitment from industry to really address the supply and demand imbalance."
Seriously though, this will be huge if it can be scaled up to industrial levels. 🙌
Babies are Being Poisoned by Plastic Pollution #environment #plastic #health #PublicHealth https://www.onegreenplanet.org/human-interest/babies-are-being-poisoned-by-plastic-pollution/
Unilever Faces Backlash Over 53 Billion Sachet Sales, Breaking Its Plastic Pledge #environment #plastic #Unilever https://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/unilever-faces-backlash-over-53-billion-sachet-sales-breaking-its-plastic-pledge/
Small marine creatures swimming in plastic chemicals not reproducing #marinelife #environment #plastic https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/11/231130113102.htm
Dove: Stop poisoning our planet with plastic! #environment #plastic #Dove https://www.greenpeace.org/international/act/dove-open-letter/
Chemical recycling of plastic not so fantastic, report finds #environment #plastic #recycle #recycling https://news.mongabay.com/2023/11/chemical-recycling-of-plastic-not-so-fantastic-report-finds/
Wie die Sensortechnik das Kunststoffrecycling optimieren soll https://www.plastverarbeiter.de/automation/wie-die-sensortechnik-das-kunststoffrecycling-optimieren-soll-166.html
ReVise-UP: Verbesserung der Prozesseffizienz des werkstofflichen Recyclings von Post-Consumer Kunststoff-Verpackungsabfällen durch intelligentes Stoffstrommanagement — https://www.ants.rwth-aachen.de/cms/IAR/Forschung/Aktuelle-Forschungsprojekte/~bdueul/ReVise-UP/
Joseph Hortha, a billionaire snags a #yellowfintuna off the coast of #SantaCatalina, #California.
When he guts that king of the sea, bits of #plastic spill obscenely out of its innards. the very plastic that made his fortune polluting the oceans and this planet with his products for #profit.
- Ariel Dorfman
Inside India’s Gargantuan Mission to Clean the Ganges River
The Ganges river is one of the world’s most sacred waterways—and one of its most polluted. To restore it, India is undertaking one of the biggest engineering programs in the history of sanitation
"Plastic pollution from cigarette butts likely costs US $26 billion/year"
New study suggests Polystyrene #nanoplastics exposure could inhibit growth and reduce muscle quality of whiteleg shrimp 🦐 Litopenaeus vannamei. It could induce oxidative stress and muscle tissue damage via alteration of muscle amino acid composition. #plastic
80% of marine litter starts life on land, but we also have to consider our consumption. Reduce single-use plastic use, put your litter in the bin and help #KeepScotlandBeautiful
#marinelife #scotland #pollution #plastic
Read about our #UpstreamBattle campaign: https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/upstream-battle/
One might also speculate that certain #Corporations (those that bottle water and those that make the #Plastic bottles that water comes in) also want municipal water supplies to be at least perceived as "tainted" if not hazardous outright!
At the media event to announce the #Edmonton region’s industrial jewel for this generation - the new & transformational project for our northeast #IndustrialHeartland hub, the $11.5-billion investment from #DowChemical for its #Path2Zero plant that will produce #PlasticPellets to be turned into #plastic goods for all - stood Dow officials & Dow workers alongside #DeputyPrimeMinister #ChrystiaFreeland of the federal Liberal government.
“Each one of the many Dove sachets we found polluting beaches and waterways should be a badge of shame for Dove and Unilever. They can’t continue to flood countries like the Philippines with waste they know can be devastating." #pollution #plastic
"Here, we report a rationally designed #organometallic #catalytic system using earth-abundant metals that achieves Nylon-6 #depolymerization under mild and benign solvent-free conditions at unprecedented rates and selectivity. This process is effective for diverse commodity end-of-life articles such as fishing nets, carpets, clothing, and #plastic mixtures."
Let that sink in: „Babies in the global south are being poisoned by #plastic from the north. Yet they are missing from the data“ | Aidan Charron | The Guardian
“#Sportswear brand #Puma has said it is a step closer to launching a truly #biodegradable #shoe, following a trial in which a specially made version of its Suede #sneakers decomposed under strict conditions”
“Slowing things down was the sole, which in the Re:Suedes was made of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE-E), a type of rubber” #plastic
“the #shoes could not just be thrown into a household food waste collection” https://www.dezeen.com/2023/11/29/puma-resuede-experiment-biodegradable-shoe-design-news/ #compost #sustainability #hemp
I had a procedure at the hospital today (all good!) and was truly horrified by the amount of #plastic waste my two-hour visit generated. Once you see it, you can't stop seeing it.
This is seriously cool - enzymes to break down plastic waste.
'One afternoon, she [Sintawee Sulaiman, University of Osaka, Japan] cut up some plastic packaging from a pair of headphones and left the shards in water overnight with some samples of LCC [leaf-branch compost cutinase enzyme]. By the morning, it looked different.
"The piece of plastic had some holes, or some breakdown," she recalls.'
By Hiroko Tabuchi | Oct. 24, 2023 | New York Times
"When #Maine lawmakers tried to rein in large-scale access to the state’s #freshwater this year, the effort initially gained momentum. The state had just emerged from #drought, and many Mainers were sympathetic to protecting their snow-fed #lakes and #streams.
“BlueTriton isn’t a household name, but its products are. Americans today buy more bottled water than any other packaged drink, and BlueTriton owns many of the nation’s biggest brands, including Poland Spring, named after a natural spring in Maine that ran dry decades ago.
“Maine’s bill threatened BlueTriton’s access to the #groundwater it bottles and sells. The legislation had already gotten a majority vote on the committee and was headed toward the full Legislature, when a lobbyist for BlueTriton proposed an amendment that would gut the entire bill.
“'Strike everything,' starts the proposed amendment, which was written in a Word document that contained a digital signature showing that it had been created by Elizabeth M. Frazier, who represents BlueTriton and is one of the most influential #lobbyists in Maine. The document was e-mailed by Ms. Frazier to lawmakers in the days after the committee vote.
“After BlueTriton’s intervention, the committee pulled the bill back. The company’s actions, which haven’t previously been reported, were described to The New York Times by three state legislators. The Times also reviewed several of the e-mails sent by Ms. Frazier as well as the Word document.
“'We couldn’t believe it. Their amendment strikes the entire bill,' said Christopher Kessler, a Democratic state representative who represents South Portland and a committee member who voted to advance the bill. 'Because all this happened behind closed doors, the public doesn’t know that Poland Spring stalled the process.'
“Bottlers have faced increasing scrutiny for the millions of throwaway #plastic bottles they produce, the marketing message that their products are safer or healthier than tap water, and for a business model in which they buy freshwater, often at low cost, only to sell it back to the public at much higher prices.
“And while the bottled-water business doesn’t use nearly as much groundwater as the nation’s thirstiest industries, like agriculture, the pressure on bottlers is building as awareness grows of the stress that intensive pumping can place on local water supplies. A Times investigation this year revealed that many of the aquifers that supply 90% of the nation’s water systems are being severely depleted as overuse and #GlobalWarming transform fragile #ecosystems.
“BlueTriton has been caught up in issues of local opposition and water use, and not only in Maine. The company also is fighting for access to water sources in numerous states, including #Michigan, #Colorado and others.
“In response to detailed questions, BlueTriton on Monday pointed The Times to a new page on its corporate website. 'After thoughtful consideration, BlueTriton opposes the proposed legislation,' the page says, because the bill 'would make it unaffordable for any large-scale water purchaser, including Poland Spring, to invest in infrastructure and operations.'
“Ms. Frazier didn’t respond to detailed questions.
“Groundwater use is regulated by states, not the federal government, which means there is little national coordination, monitoring or management of a vital natural resource. Maine’s bill seeks, among other things, to put a seven-year limit on contracts for large-scale freshwater pumping by corporations that ship water out of Maine, and to make the deals subject to local approval. That would block BlueTriton’s current efforts to lock in contracts up to 45 years long for pumping water.
“'We couldn’t believe it,' State Representative Christopher Kessler said of the lobbying effort.
“Industries and other interest groups routinely try to influence lawmaking, and there has been no suggestion that Ms. Frazier violated any rules. But it seemed 'unusual procedurally' for a corporation to propose rewriting an entire bill after it had already advanced within the Legislature, said Anthony Moffa, associate professor at the University of Maine School of Law.
“State senator Mark Lawrence, a Democrat who heads the committee considering the bill, said the committee would consider amendments proposed by any interested person or party. In Maine, 'a lot of the legislation that’s proposed is written by lobbyists, companies, different people like that,' he said.
“Mr. Lawrence also said that, at the same time the amendment was proposed, several members had begun to express fresh concerns that the State Legislature would be setting overly stringent curbs on contracts.
“BlueTriton finds itself pitted against local water boards, environmentalists and other groups across the country.
“In Colorado, environmental groups have been battling a 10-year contract that BlueTriton renewed with a semi-arid county to pump water from the Upper Arkansas River Basin, a region affected by historic drought.
“In #California, BlueTriton has publicly criticized and vowed to fight a cease-and-desist order issued by the state’s water board to stop diverting millions of gallons of water from a spring in San Bernardino County.
“In Michigan, lawmakers have proposed legislation that would close a loophole that enables BlueTriton and other commercial water users to pump water from the protected Great Lakes watershed. Known as the 'bottled-water loophole,' it allows for water to be used this way if it’s in containers that are 5.7 gallons or less.
“On its new corporate page, BlueTriton said 'there is no evidence of adverse impacts to the aquifer' in Colorado, and that California’s ruling 'negatively impacts every water agency and farmer in California that relies on groundwater, and in doing so, indirectly harms every Californian.'
“BlueTriton is a major presence in Maine, drawing water from eight locations around the state. It is currently trying to lock in a new contract of up to 45 years to pump water in Lincoln a former mill town.
“That would be BlueTriton’s second decades-long contract in the state, the kind of deals that would run afoul of the State Legislature’s proposed 7-year cap. The company’s pursuit of these deals, and the uncertainties of how climate change may affect Maine’s water supplies in the future, is what inspired the legislation, said Margaret M. O’Neil, the Democratic state legislator who introduced the bill.
“'We’re seeing our communities get locked into these contracts that are going to last, basically, the rest of my lifetime,' which is too risky, she said, considering climate uncertainties.
“In 2016-17 and in 2020-22, Maine experienced significant drought, followed by wet years. The state has also started seeing what scientists call 'snow drought.' As winters warm because of #ClimateChange, #snowpack and groundwater recharge can dwindle.
“John Mullaney, a hydrologist with the USGS's New England Water Science Center, said that a warming climate meant Maine was likely to experience more variability, with stronger rains but also worsening drought. 'The question is, what will we be able to do in 50 years,' he said. 'There might be changes that need to be made, including reducing groundwater extraction.'
“Industry groups emphasize that Maine still has ample groundwater and that bottled water accounts for only a small portion of its use compared to practices like irrigation. They also stress bottled water’s value in emergencies when drinking water is disrupted.
“And in Maine, BlueTriton has a powerful local ally: local water utilities, which say the revenue generated by selling water to bottlers helps keep costs down for everyone else.
“'Turning away a customer that’s seeking to pay money to the utility because of an alleged problem with extraction would be contrary' to ratepayers’ interests, said Roger Crouse, a board member at the Maine Water Utilities Association. 'If they have a contract that could be expiring in seven years, and the math doesn’t work out, they’re going to have to invest their money somewhere else.'
“Still, hydrologists warn that bottled water should not be discounted as an additional strain on aquifers and watersheds, as well as on residential wells. Last month, the US Geological Survey began its first-ever study of how the activities of the bottled water industry result in changes to groundwater levels, spring flows and water quality. 'Withdrawals, no matter what the use, influence movement of groundwater,' Cheryl Dieter, a hydrologist who is leading the study, said in an interview.
“BlueTriton itself is a creation of Wall Street. It is owned by the private equity funds One Rock Capital Partners and Metropoulos & Co., which paid $4.3 billion in 2021 to buy Nestlé’s North American bottled-water business.
“In Maine, some neighbors of BlueTriton, like Natalie DiPentino, are skeptical of the company for more personal reasons.
“Ms. DiPentino, who lives near Lincoln, can’t prove it but wonders if pumping by Poland Spring contributed to a crisis in her home during a drought in 2017, when her well ran dry along with those of several neighbors. Her family had to haul buckets of river water to flush the toilet, she said. Stores nearby ran out of bottled water.
“After learning about BlueTriton’s proposed 45-year contract at its Lincoln facility, she led calls for a public hearing, arguing that deals were being cut behind closed doors and that Poland Spring would be paying too little, $15,000 a month, for millions of gallons of water. 'You don’t know how badly you need water until you don’t have it in your house,' she said.
“The hearing she sought is now scheduled for next month."
Trying to reduce your plastic consumption? It's not easy.
Die weltweite Plastikverschmutzung könnte reduziert werden. Das kann nur global angegangen werden. Aber wie? Durch ein weltweit verbindliches Abkommen. Die vierte Verhandlungsrunde darüber in Nairobi ist aber gescheitert. Wir erklären, wieso es so schwierig ist, zu einer Einigung zu kommen und wieso es die aber dringend braucht
PBS shows what happens to the #plastic we put in the #recycling bin. It gets shipped (adding tons of C02 to the #climate ) halfway around the world. China won't accept it anymore, so instead people in Thailand salvage what they can, making less than $3/day. 75% of it still gets dumped into the river and carried to the #ocean. The usable 25% gets melted down (releasing toxic fumes) and maybe turned into something low-grade and disposable.
Wanna become a #Plastics myth buster? Find out how much you know about #plastic pollution in this quiz based on knowledge compiled by @HereonHelmholtz
& various scientists. False information leads to false solutions. Could be of particular interest to journalists?
Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran & petrochemical industry stall plastics treaty: Critics #environment #plastic #PlasticTreaty https://news.mongabay.com/2023/11/russia-saudi-arabia-iran-petrochemical-industry-stall-plastics-treaty-critics/
5 Ways the Tobacco Industry is Killing the Planet with Plastic #environment #tobacco #plastic https://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/5-ways-the-tobacco-industry-is-killing-the-planet-with-plastic/
"Now the pressure is on policymakers ... and on business leaders in the fast-moving consumer goods sectors to change their practices."
Did you know that collecting #plastic trash can be a "holiday memory"? Last Sunday we went to the beach and noticed that a group of people collected plastic bottles, plastic sheets, half decomposed #covid masks and other trash stranded by the last winter storm. We decided to join them. An hour well spent. #plasticpollution #nature #travel
CBC:”Ottawa to appeal court ruling that overturned order listing plastics as toxic substance”
#Environment #Canada #Plastic #BanPlastics #SingleUsePlastics #PleaseBoost
in the category of "we're all part of a giant experiment that we didn't sign up for": plastics and chemicals.
(meanwhile i'm watching that video eating snacks from plastic packaging, and drinking water from my plastic water bottle.. 😭)
EU agrees to ban exports of waste #plastic to poor countries - https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/17/waste-plastic-eu-ban-exports-non-oecd-countries long overdue
The Federal Court just overturned Ottawa’s single-use plastic ban
“The case was brought forward by a group of major industrial players in plastics, including #Dow Chemical, Imperial Oil and Nova Chemicals.
They argued that Ottawa failed to demonstrate it had enough scientific evidence to justify the regulations.”
"Of the 1,916 pieces of #plastic trash collected with an identifiable brand, over 17% were produced by PepsiCo."
Other identifiable brands included McDonald's and candy maker Hershey's.
The lawsuit said #microplastics had been detected in the city of Buffalo's drinking water supply which "can cause a wide range of adverse health effects, from reproductive dysfunction to inflammation of the intestine and neurotoxic effects".
Scientists in eastern #China find 24 out of 28 #water samples have #plastic particles commonly seen in #SyntheticFibers and #Packaging
Juressa Lee is at the UN #INC3 negotiations for a Global Plastics Treaty in Nairobi.
Juressa is part of the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus and also represents Greenpeace.
Dog shits at the end of your driveway. Dog's owner wants a say on how you clean it up.
"...Now, there's growing concern among those who want deep cuts in #PlasticWaste that plastic producers and some consumer goods companies could weaken the treaty..."
Lifetime Cost of Plastic 10 Times Higher for Low-Income Countries Than Rich Ones
#Environment #Plastic #PlasticPollution #WWF #PlasticInequity #GlobalChange #TreatyTalks #KenyaImpact
Talks on a landmark treaty to end global plastic pollution are advancing in Kenya’s capital.
AP reports: "The gathering in Nairobi is the third in a compressed five-meeting schedule intended to complete negotiations by the end of next year."
"But the problem began in the 1950s when the industry’s ambitions turned to single-use packaging, which now accounts for 40% of the more than 400m tonnes of plastic produced each year – at least 8m tonnes of which finds its way to the ocean. Meanwhile, production is only increasing."
Meanwhile the negotiations in Nairobi to combat the #plastic blighting oceans, floating in the atmosphere & infiltrating the bodies of animals and humans continue.
Some 60 nations have called for binding rules to reduce the use & production of plastic. Others insist to focus on recycling, innovation and better waste management which require #energy.
The best way is to use less plastic in the first place, and to choose more sustainable options whenever possible.
Some of the biggest consumer companies claim to be zero plastics, or “plastic neutral,” which means their operations do not contribute to #plasticpollution.
However, it's important to verify these claims because many of these companies do it through plastic offsetting which has some challenges & limitations.
One of them is how to measure and verify a company's or product's #plastic footprint, and how to ensure that the plastic credits are credible and transparent.
Happy Friday eve, Fediverse!
Here’s a great article about a company in Alaska that’s recovering plastic waste from local communities and upcycling it into “plastic lumber” logs and bricks that can be used to make picnic tables, benches, decks, and retaining walls.
The Alaskan Plastic Recovery team says their company has recycled 600,000 lbs of plastic in its first year, including 9,000 lbs of marine plastic. Nice! 🌎
#ExxonMobile has been touting its supposedly advanced #plastic recycling plant, but won't answer basic questions about it. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/01112023/missing-equations-exxonmobils-advanced-recycling-operation/
Although I might quibble with the use of the word 'negligible' in the article linked below, with regard to the impacts of plastic pollution, I understand their point.
Pollution resulting from the use and disposal of plastics is bad, very bad, but it doesn't compare in magnitude to the dreadful effects of more and more fossil fuels still being used to make more and more plastics. Not when we are expected to DOUBLE the amount of plastics produced in the next couple of decades. This will release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and that is where our climate and our environment and our civilization will pay the highest cost.
Terrible? Yes, of course it is. Suicidal? Quite possibly. But for our capitalist rulers and the politicians they own, it's just Business As Usual.
"The climate impact of plastic pollution is negligible — the production of new plastics is the real problem"
See also --
"Plastic consumption on course to nearly double by 2050"
It's not an exaggeration to say that the plastics we make are taking over the world.
🟧 To date, humans have created around 11 billion metric tons of plastic. This amount surpasses the biomass of ALL animals, both terrestrial and marine, according to a 2020 study published in Nature.
🟪 Currently, about 430 million tons of plastic is produced yearly — significantly more than the weight of ALL human beings combined.
🟧 One-third of this total takes the form of single-use plastics, which humans interact with for seconds or minutes before discarding.
🟪 Most of the plastic we make, 72%, ends up in landfills or the environment. Only 9% of the plastic ever produced has been recycled, and 19% has been incinerated.
🟧 Half of all plastics in existence have been produced in just the last two decades. Production is projected to continue growing at about 5% annually. If current trends continue, humans will have produced 34 billion tons of plastics by 2050 — three times the current total.
ARTICLE -- "Think your plastic is being recycled? Think again."
„The results are evident in bins, which now seldom overflow, and on streets and forest trails where it is rare to see abandoned cups.“ #plastic
‚It was a plague’: Killarney becomes first Irish town to ban single-use coffee cups | Ireland | The Guardian
4/4 The estimated losses with the #plastic tree guard is 20% but in some cases ours have been higher. So far I have lost around the same amount from the #PlasticFree planting. The advantage is when a young #tree dies I don’t have to go and remove a cane and a plastic guard. And my finished planting of 15 trees looks like this - no visible sign of any soil disturbance or additional plastic items at all. The mature willow at the back left of this picture was planted this was 4-5 years ago.
Microplastics in Clouds Could Be 'Contaminating Nearly Everything We Eat and Drink': Study.
"If the issue of 'plastic air pollution' is not addressed proactively, climate change and ecological risks may become a reality, causing irreversible and serious environmental damage in the future," the study's lead author warned.
Plastic Cloud: New Study Analyzes Airborne Microplastics in Clouds
"Large amounts of microplastics are ingested or inhaled by humans and animals alike and have been detected in multiple organs such as lung, heart, blood, placenta, and feces."
#plastic #airborne #waste #microplastics #AMPs #ocean #marine #atmosphere #biosphere #clouds #rain #ecosystems #contamination #pollution
Clouds now contain microscopic pieces of #plastic that in turn are causing “plastic rainfall”, according to a new study.
A very telling bit of this long read:
"The reason France has a working plastic recycling factory that uses bacterial technology, but the US and China do not, is that the French state has made plastic waste an urgent priority, setting a target that by 2025 all plastic packaging used in France must be fully recycled."
Why do I keep thinking about that very first episode of #Doomwatch, the wonderful early 1970s #ScienceFiction series. The 1st episode is called 'The Plastic Eaters' in which an airplane crashes after plastic-eating microbes are accidentally released ....
I've been following The Ocean Cleanup for the past few years. They've been making steady progress and their latest record yield is a testament to their tremendous commitment. At the same time, it's depressing to know how much plastic is floating around in our oceans.
How likely is it that, in a generation, we will look at storing (and heating) food and drinks in plastic containers the way we look at using asbestos for construction today?
“Packaging food in plastic sounded like a good idea at the time. How wrong we were and how much illness we caused.”
What do you think?
Those milk bags (actual bags of milk) never really took off in the UK. Sainsburys persisted with them for a while. Still a thing in Canada. Still plastic though.
Probably better we all have our own reusable containers that we fill up in the supermarket via a huge multi-teeted depiction of an udder. Yeah that would work.
#ThinkingOutloud #plastic #environment #milk #MilkBags
“#Niue, one of the smallest countries in the world located about 375 miles northeast of Tonga, recently unveiled a plan to raise $18 million to protect its waters by selling sponsorship of its #ocean to fund preservation and conservation efforts.
It will cost $148 to protect 1 square kilometer of ocean around the island nation from threats such as illegal fishing and #plastic waste for a period of 20 years.”
The tools I used were a toaster oven, hydraulic press, and some scissors. Really easy!
Many posts here: http://rasterweb.net/raster/tag/hdpe/