Continue Reading... Tailor-made solutions needed to build resilient health systems in Africa

Tailor-made solutions needed to build resilient health systems in Africa

The Covid-19 pandemic has placed a severe strain on the health system in the world and many healthcare workers have been stretched far beyond their capacity. For most African countries, balancing a response to the pandemic with the challenges of providing universal health care has highlighted the need for resilient health systems that will address the imperatives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and prompt novel, custom-made solutions for the continent and its people. While the collection and analysis of data across the region has enabled some of the continent’s success stories to be showcased, experts agree that the health system challenges faced by the region span over the financial, political and socio-economic spheres and that addressing them will take a multi-faceted and African approach.

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Continue Reading... Why is Recycling of Postconsumer Plastics so Challenging? | ACS Applied Polymer Materials

Why is Recycling of Postconsumer Plastics so Challenging? | ACS Applied Polymer Materials

The ubiquitous use of plastics has been driven by their combination of low cost and properties, but these attributes directly challenge waste management schemes for plastic recycling. Some postconsumer recycling programs are now nearly 50 years old, but a significant fraction of plastics still finds landfills or other dumping strategies at their end of life. With the growing concern regarding plastic waste, especially ocean plastics, there is a need for innovation and alternative strategies for the economic translation of plastic waste to valued product(s) that will promote their efficient circular utilization. This review first describes the technical and economic hurdles associated with the recycling of postconsumer plastics, but then it focuses on providing an overview of emergent strategies to recover plastic waste through new polymer design, new recycling processes, and chemical transformations to value-added products. Specific challenges discussed include plastic waste sorting and separations, product variability including additives, and the high efficiency/low cost in which the existing petrochemical industry can produce virgin polymers, in particular polyolefins.

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Continue Reading... Startups that want you to keep clothes for longer and waste less food are winning over investors backing the circular economy

Startups that want you to keep clothes for longer and waste less food are winning over investors backing the circular economy

Summary List PlacementStartups that pioneer a “circular economy” — decoupling commercial growth from the consumption of finite resources — want to win over a new generation of climate-conscious consumers. The clothing-repair app Sojo is among the startups leading the charge. The London-based company offers clothing repairs and alterations through a food-delivery rider-style model. Users book through an app, and a rider collects the item, which is taken to a seamster and returned within five days. The average consumer in 2016 bought 60% more clothing compared to 2000 but kept each item half as long, according to a McKinsey report that year. At the same time, protecting the environment is a top stated concern for millennials and Gen Zs, more than a quarter of whom say their buying habits have been influenced by a business’s impact on the environment, according to Deloitte.

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Continue Reading... €490,000 awarded to projects promoting circular economy

€490,000 awarded to projects promoting circular economy

10 projects promoting the circular economy in Ireland will benefit from funding of €490,000. Minister of State Ossian Smyth has today (Friday, August 20) announced the recipients of the first Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme (CEIGS). In a circular economy, “waste and resource use are minimised, the value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible through good design, durability and repair, and when a product has reached the end of its life, its parts are used again and again to create further useful products”. Funding under this round of the CEIGS was initially set at €250,000. However, the minister secured an additional €240,000.

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