There are many products we use in our everyday lives without giving them a single thought. Some of those items, like plastic water bottles, plastic grocery bags, electricity, and even gasoline, can have a pretty big environmental impact. The world is changing, though. The UN has encouraged citizens to reevaluate their plastic use, and even companies in traditionally conservative areas of the U.S. are going green. If you also want to make a difference, check out these five documentaries that will inspire you to consider how you use plastic and other products. 1. Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – Journalist and filmmaker, Angela Sun, takes us to Midway Atoll, a large island in the Pacific that has become an enormous garbage dump, in her documentary Plastic Paradise. The environmental film exposes the problems our society has created by our rabid consumption and the impact it has on the world around us.
The biotherapeutic market has been rapidly adopting single-use technologies to reduce risk and improve operational efficiencies. For more than 20 years, Thermo Fisher Scientific has pioneered single-use technologies for this industry. Our products have been proven to be robust and scalable from laboratory scale-up to current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) production applications, including single-use bioprocessing equipment, flexible containment, and rigid containment product portfolios. Our webinars will explore data, innovative products, and novel strategies featuring single-use solutions for the bioprocessing market.
Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT, SABIC and Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced their collaboration in an innovative circular economy pilot project which aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of closed-loop recycling of single-use facemasks. Due to COVID-19, use of billions of disposable facemasks is raising environmental concerns especially when they are thoughtlessly discarded in public spaces, including – parks, open-air venues and beaches. Apart from the challenge of dealing with such huge volumes of essential personal healthcare items in a sustainable way, simply throwing the used masks away for disposal on landfill sites or in incineration plants represents a loss of valuable feedstock for new material. “Recognizing the challenge, we set out to explore how used facemasks could potentially be returned into the value chain of new facemask production,” says Dr. Peter Dziezok, Director R&D Open Innovation at P&G. “But creating a true circular solution from both a sustainable and an economically feasible perspective takes partners. Therefore, we teamed up with Fraunhofer CCPE and Fraunhofer UMSICHT’s expert scientists and SABIC’s T&I specialists to investigate potential solutions.”
An Indigenous-owned recycling company has partnered with Coles to promote sustainability in the Northern Territory. Founded and managed by Indigenous entrepreneur Narelle Anderson, Envirobank encourages people to contribute to their State or Territory’s container deposit schemes. Community members collect items, take it to an Envirobank collection centre and reap the rewards, whether it be cash or other rewards through Envirobank’s Crunch app. Now partnering with Coles, Envirobank’s new Drop ‘n’ Go pod collection point at the Coles North Lakes store will allow the local community to become more involved in the NT’s Cash for Containers scheme to prevent unnecessary landfill across the Top End. The North Lakes Drop ‘n’ Go pod follows the trial of Envirobank’s Reverse Vending Machine at Coles Casuarina last year which saw community members recycle over 7,500 containers in the past month alone.
Whether delivery or takeout, as a weekday reprieve from cooking or festive food for a weekend celebration, people love their pizza. Over the course of a year in the U.S., people consume an estimated 3 billion pizzas. And during February’s Super Bowl game, Domino’s pizza in the U.S. typically sells around 2 million pizzas. The love for pizza has longevity, too. According to a Reader’s Digest poll, the single food that most Americans would want to eat for the rest of their lives is pizza. While we can debate Hawaiian versus pepperoni and turn our noses up at anchovies, there’s no agreeing to disagree on this: Pizza boxes can be recycled. There’s proof. The Cheese and Grease Study – Mired in myth, and confused by cheese and grease, people have been burying the pizza box in their trash bins, assuming it cannot be recycled. Allow me to set the record straight – it can! In 2020, my company, WestRock, conducted a Grease and Cheese study that concluded normal amounts of grease and residual cheese do not negatively affect the manufacturing of new products from this recycled fiber. These findings were endorsed by industry partners including the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA). Why does this matter? Pizza boxes are made of high-quality corrugated paper, which can be recycled at least seven times, according to the AF&PA. That means we could potentially recover and reuse upwards of 600,000 tons of corrugated board a year! In 2019, to help dispel the myth that…
Tesla Inc. co-founder JB Straubel’s recycling startup Redwood Materials is partnering with North American electronic waste processing company ERI to recycle batteries and solar panels. What Happened: As part of the partnership, Nevada-based Redwood has made an undisclosed investment in ERI and Straubel has been elected to ERI’s board. The partnership will aim to deliver the last mile of electronic recycling of solar panels and batteries in a process that would ensure key elements such as cobalt, nickel, copper, and lithium that are used in electric vehicle batteries are kept out of landfills and responsibly recycled, besides putting them to use again in new products. Straubel left Tesla in 2019 to focus on Redwood and work on recovering and recycling elements such as cobalt, lithium, nickel and copper. The demand for metals is on the rise due to the increasing shift to electric vehicles, along with concerns of its availability and the environmental harm that it could bring.
Targeted to promote a circular economy, India’s vehicle scrapping policy has sought to incentivise owners to dispose of their 25-year-old commercial and 20-year-old private vehicles. But beyond that, handling the scale of vehicles that have already been scrapped because of new emission norms or will be rendered unfit in a test, will still be a challenge since organised scrapping facilities are limited, putting a question mark on environmentally safe disposal of vehicle’s metal and even battery scrap. While launching the policy on Friday, which also found mention in his 75…
During Apple’s financials earnings call the other day, CEO Tim Cook casually announced that Apple’s hardware ecosystem had exceeded 1.65 billion devices by the end of last year. At the time I remember thinking “wow,” and then promptly forgot about it. Then the other night, it struck me just how enormous that number actually is. A billion. Then half again. And a bit more on top to finish. And then it dawned on me just how big of an e-waste problem is facing Apple in the coming years.
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A billion of anything is huge. A billion grains of rice weigh 25 metric tons and take up 30 cubic meters.
Plastic Free July starts today. Even if you only reduce your reliance on single-use plastics this month, it’s an opportunity to reduce plastic pollution, CO2 emissions related to plastic production, and toxins from your life. Simple steps applied every day in your shopping and dining decisions can make a huge difference to the world and its environment. The plastic-free movement has helped people around the world reduce their plastic consumption by 1.8 billion pounds. Created by the Plastic Free Foundation in Australia, Plastic Free July offers guidance for eliminating single-use plastic from your life as well as examples of what others have done. The organization, which was founded in 2011, got an estimated 326 million people involved globally in 2020. This is a movement with momentum. You can be good at plastic elimination, better, or best, based on your preference. The point is to improve and July is the month to get started — if you haven’t already. Do you need some motivation? Check out EcoWatch’s explanation about the volume of plastic in our oceans and its consequences for animal and human life.