Scotland bans plastic-stemmed cotton swabs in bid to combat plastic pollution

October 17, 2019 by  
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Following backlash concerning plastic waste buildup in beaches and oceans, Scotland is now the first country in the United Kingdom to officially ban the manufacture, supply and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton swabs, commonly known by the brand name of Q-tips. Environmentalists and conservationists are hailing the change as wonderful news for wildlife and ecosystems. Before the new ban came into effect, several cosmetic giants already made the switch to manufacturing more biodegradable alternatives, like paper-stemmed versions. For instance, pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson made the switch two years ago. Related: The reusable LastSwab might just be the last ear swab you ever buy Speaking about the new legislation, Scottish environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham shared that she is “proud the Scottish government has become the first U.K. administration to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds. Single-use plastic products are not only wasteful but generate unnecessary litter that blights our beautiful beaches and green spaces while threatening our wildlife on land and at sea.” The Marine Conservation Society has indicated that plastic-stemmed cotton swabs have been pervasively littering coastal regions and damaging marine ecology, often disconcertingly found in the intestines of seabird, mammal, fish and turtle populations. In the U.K. alone, estimated consumption of the plastic-stemmed cotton buds is in excess of 1.8 million. Besides that, the journal Science Advances has cited that humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since the early 1950s. Sadly, plastic’s durability wreaks environmental havoc, and current recycling systems are not able to keep up with plastic pollution. Even the Ellen MacArthur Foundation , in partnership with the World Economic Forum, has reported that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, if plastic production rates continue. It is hoped that the new ban will promote more useful regulation to protect the environment while simultaneously affecting consumer behaviors so that the public is better informed about best practices where single-use plastic is concerned. Emma Burlow, Head of Circular Economy at Resource Futures, said that the ban is not only positive for the environment but also for both the economy and job creation. “Banning a product stimulates innovation and that leads to opportunity,” Burlow said. This new ban plays a huge role in the current struggle against ocean pollution, opening up further environmental action and reforms to the U.K.’s resource and waste management system. By 2020, the U.K. is also expected to ban single-use plastic drink straws and single-use plastic stirrers to curtail plastic waste. Via TreeHugger Image via Hans

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Scotland bans plastic-stemmed cotton swabs in bid to combat plastic pollution

Understand 21st century supply chains in 3 charts

August 3, 2016 by  
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Just as much of our economy is driven by consumer purchases, most greenhouse gases and sustainability impacts result from the manufacture of consumer goods. Here’s how.

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Understand 21st century supply chains in 3 charts

US Military Creates Cheap, Lightweight 3D Printer to Manufacture Equipment on the Frontline

November 13, 2012 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock Used extensively in engineering, architecture and product design, 3D printers are now being embraced by the US army. In order to cut the costs of acquiring spare parts for weapons and equipment, the US military is currently developing their own rapid prototyping device. This small 3D printer is cheaper and lighter than many existing models and can replicate parts for the sensitive instruments and systems used by the military. Read the rest of US Military Creates Cheap, Lightweight 3D Printer to Manufacture Equipment on the Frontline Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printer , digital fabrication , Rapid Prototyping , us military , weapons manufacturing

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US Military Creates Cheap, Lightweight 3D Printer to Manufacture Equipment on the Frontline

Morphosis Proposes a Rooftop Public Park to Enliven Spain’s Vialia Vigo Train Station

November 13, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Morphosis Proposes a Rooftop Public Park to Enliven Spain’s Vialia Vigo Train Station Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , green design , Morphosis , rooftop park , sustainable design , TGV station , transportation hub vigo , Vialia Vgo , Vigo Spain

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Morphosis Proposes a Rooftop Public Park to Enliven Spain’s Vialia Vigo Train Station

Researchers Connect Common Household Chemical PFOA to Heart Disease

September 5, 2012 by  
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Teflon Frying Pan photo from Shutterstock Researchers from the West Virginia University School of Public Health in Morgantown have found a strong correlation between human exposure to a common household chemical and cardiovascular disease in the U.S. population. The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has been used since the mid-20th century by such companies as 3M and DuPont in a variety of applications, such as carpeting, apparel, upholstery, leather, floor waxes, and electrical insulation. PFOA has also been used in the manufacture of Teflon and Gore-Tex. Some types of food packaging such as microwave popcorn bags have also been found to contain PFOA, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Read the rest of Researchers Connect Common Household Chemical PFOA to Heart Disease Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cardiovascular , chemical , heart disease , perfluorooctanoic acid , pfoa , Pollution , research

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Researchers Connect Common Household Chemical PFOA to Heart Disease

Will Incandescent Bulbs Go Away?

September 10, 2010 by  
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The “last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent bulbs in the United States” is set to close later this month. Most incandescent bulbs will be banned from sale in the US in 2014, and many other contries have enacted similar bans on incandescent bulbs within the next few years, as well. But while the deadline has been set, and the manufacture of incandescent bulbs is set to end in a couple of years, there is a growing market for specialty incandescent bulbs.

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Will Incandescent Bulbs Go Away?

Scientists Make CO2-Capturing, BPA-Free Plastic

June 2, 2010 by  
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Here’s a neat discovery that solves two problems at once:  scientists have identified classes of organic chemicals that can capture CO2 from the atmosphere and then be used to make safe ( BPA -free) plastics. BPA, a chemical with a growing list of health concerns, is commonly used in rigid polycarbonate plastics (about 2.7 million tons are made every year).  Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore have found a way to make a BPA-free polycarbonate plastic through a process using chemicals called imidazoliums and N-heterocyclic carbenes that “grab” CO2 molecules and bond them with epoxide molecules. The process removes CO2 from the atmosphere and makes a safe form of plastic for drinking bottles, CDs and other typical BPA-laced containers.  If that weren’t enough, this process also gets rid of the need for petroleum in the manufacture of plastics, which would reduce the material’s carbon footprint even further.

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Scientists Make CO2-Capturing, BPA-Free Plastic

Trend Watch: Wisconsin State Legislators Overwhemingly Support BPA Ban For Baby Bottles

February 25, 2010 by  
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Baby bottle nipple.

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Trend Watch: Wisconsin State Legislators Overwhemingly Support BPA Ban For Baby Bottles

BMW to Manufacture Electric Vehicles at Leipzig Factory

February 23, 2010 by  
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German automaker BMW has announced that it is gearing up its Leipzig factory to manufacture electric vehicles , which are expected to roll off the factory floor starting in 2013. The news comes as the company recently debuted their Active-E concept EV at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Known for its precise engineering, the German company is certainly capable of making a big splash in the auto world now that they’ve made a serious commitment to produce electric vehicles

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BMW to Manufacture Electric Vehicles at Leipzig Factory

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