The State of the Plastic Bottle

January 26, 2022 by  
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In the 1954 movie “Sabrina,” Linus Larrabee declares that the future of business is plastics… The post The State of the Plastic Bottle appeared first on Earth911.

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The State of the Plastic Bottle

Greener Shopping for Business: Circular Ink and Toner from Doorstep Ink

January 26, 2022 by  
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Editor’s note: Greener Shopping recognizes companies that provide genuine improvements in product and service environmental… The post Greener Shopping for Business: Circular Ink and Toner from Doorstep Ink appeared first on Earth911.

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Greener Shopping for Business: Circular Ink and Toner from Doorstep Ink

How You Can Help Protect Our Oceans

January 20, 2022 by  
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A healthy ocean means healthy humans. We depend on the ocean for such fundamental conditions… The post How You Can Help Protect Our Oceans appeared first on Earth911.

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Coca-Cola is cleaning up river plastic pollution worldwide

January 13, 2022 by  
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Coca-Cola and The Ocean Cleanup selected the C?n Th? River in C?n Th? City, Vietnam as one of 15 river locations around the world to tackle plastic pollution. The global partnership between the two organizations will implement advanced technology to intercept and clean up waste in some of the world’s major rivers. The river cleanup project is only one of many actions toward Coca-Cola’s vision for World Without Waste. The company also invested in plant-based technologies and package-less innovations to make 100% of its packaging recyclable globally by 2025. Additionally, the company plans to help collect and  recycle  every bottle and can it sells by 2030.  Related: Plastic will destroy us in nine years “This project will greatly contribute to C?n Th? City’s goal towards an ecological and modern city, imbued with the identity of rivers and the Mekong Delta, visioning by 2030,” said Mr. Nguy?n Chí Kiên, vice director of the department of natural resources and  environment  of C?n Th? City. “To get there, we are looking forward to joining hands of non-profit organizations, private sectors and C?n Th? citizens in such environmental protection projects, maintaining our position as an ‘ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City’ — one of the most remarkable titles that was honorably given to C?n Th? City.” Furthermore, Coca-Cola founded the Packaging Recovering Organization Vietnam with other leading companies, recyclers and government agencies. They work together to accelerate sustainable packaging collection and recycling processes in  Vietnam . In 2020, Coca-Cola launched its first-ever  100% recycled plastic bottle  in Vietnam for its Dasani line. Last year, Coca-Cola switched Sprite from its green bottles to a clear  PET plastic bottle  to boost local recycling. They also put “recycle me” messages on packaging labels across their line of beverages. It was also in 2021 that Coca-Cola partnered with The Ocean Cleanup. The Ocean Cleanup develops technologies that rid the world’s oceans of  plastic . The companies are achieving their goals in two approaches.  First, they developed large-scale systems to concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. Through DNV’s Chain of Custody Standard for Plastics, the plastic is tracked and certified for the integrity of plastic retrieved from any body of water. Secondly, they are cleaning up plastic that has already accumulated in the  ocean . To accomplish that feat, The Ocean Cleanup unveiled the Interceptor in 2019, a  solar-powered  robot that removes marine debris. It became the first scalable solution to prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans from rivers. The Interceptor was launched into the C?n Th? River for testing in December 2021. It is expected to become fully operational over the next few months, where it will remove up to 110,231 pounds of  trash  per day. “The Ocean Cleanup’s mission is to rid the oceans of plastic,” said Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of  The Ocean Cleanup . “I am happy to see progress and our first steps together with Coca-Cola on the road to tackling the complex  plastic pollution  problem in the vast Mekong Delta and its sensitive ecosystems.” Additionally, Coca-Cola and The Ocean Cleanup are working with the People’s Committee of C?n Th? and the C?n Th? Department of Natural Resources and Environment. They will conduct river waste  research  to scale up the project where appropriate.   Via The Ocean Cleanup Lead image via Pexels

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Coca-Cola is cleaning up river plastic pollution worldwide

PPE Use Protects Us Against Coronavirus, but It’s Harming the Oceans

January 10, 2022 by  
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Did you know that 91% of the plastic produced has never been recycled? Yet calls… The post PPE Use Protects Us Against Coronavirus, but It’s Harming the Oceans appeared first on Earth911.

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PPE Use Protects Us Against Coronavirus, but It’s Harming the Oceans

Scientists develop biodegradable, antimicrobial food packaging

December 29, 2021 by  
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Scientists have developed biodegradable food packaging material that kills microbes that contaminate foods. The waterproof packaging uses a type of corn protein called zein, plus starch and other natural compounds. A team of scientists from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, U.S. developed the material. According to a study published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, the new packaging material could help increase fresh foods’ shelf life by days. Lab experiments with the packaging showed its resilience when exposed to increased humidity or enzymes from harmful bacteria . The packaging releases natural antimicrobial compounds that can kill common fungi and bacteria such as E. Coli. Related: Artist 3D-prints biodegradable agar floral lamps Professor Philip Demokritou, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health at Harvard Chan School, says that the new material could be instrumental in resolving the current food safety and waste problems. “Food safety and waste have become a major societal challenge of our times with immense public health and economic impact which compromises food security. One of the most efficient ways to enhance food safety and reduce spoilage and waste is to develop efficient biodegradable non-toxic food packaging materials,” said Demokritou. The material is designed to release the exact required amounts of antimicrobial to deal with any bacteria or humidity that may occur in the food. This ensures that the packaging can endure exposure to different environments . It also takes away the risk of the antimicrobials being ingested and affecting the normal digestion process. In one experiment conducted by the researchers, strawberries wrapped in the newly developed packaging stayed fresh for seven days before developing mold . On the other hand, fresh strawberries packaged in regular plastic boxes only lasted four days before developing mold. The researchers say that the material’s ability to extend shelf life can help prevent food waste. The material is also being championed as an alternative to plastic packaging, which is known to cause pollution issues. Professor Mary Chan, Director of NTU’s Centre of Antimicrobial Bioengineering and the lead author of the study, said, “This invention would serve as a better option for packaging in the food industry, as it has demonstrated superior antimicrobial qualities in combatting a myriad of food-related bacteria and fungi that could be harmful to humans.” + NTU Lead image via NTU and Harvard University

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Scientists develop biodegradable, antimicrobial food packaging

Research finds 30,000 enzymes that can degrade plastic

December 15, 2021 by  
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Microbes across the world and in deep oceans are evolving to eat plastic , according to a new study. The report,  published in the journal Microbial Ecology , found over 30,000 enzymes that can degrade over 10 different types of plastics. The large-scale study scanned over 200 million genes found in DNA samples to arrive at the findings. The study established that one in every four of the organisms analyzed could degrade plastics. More interesting is the correlation between the number of plastic-degrading enzymes found in different locations and the amount of plastic waste in the same area. The researchers say they discovered that the number of plastic-degrading enzymes found correlated to an area’s level of pollution. Scientists concluded that the microbes were evolving based on the type of plastic pollution present in their region. Related: Plastic is threatening animals, too — but this bear survived The findings could be the breakthrough needed to develop alternative ways of dealing with plastic waste . Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, thus contributing to the world’s pollution problem. While some recent studies have highlighted emerging microbes with the capacity to degrade plastics, this line of science is still underdeveloped. Aleksej Zelezniak, a professor at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and one of the study’s authors, said that the correlation between plastic waste and the presence of biodegrading enzymes proves that nature is evolving based on human activities. “We found multiple lines of evidence supporting the fact that the global microbiome’s plastic-degrading potential correlates strongly with measurements of environmental plastic pollution – a significant demonstration of how the environment is responding to the pressures we are placing on it,” said Zelezniak. The researchers say they started the study by compiling a data set of 95 microbes already known to degrade plastic. Then, they looked at other microbes to find those with characteristics similar to the 95. In the end, the researchers found 12,000 new plastic degrading enzymes in the oceans and 18,000 new enzymes on land. Soil samples were collected from over 38 countries, while water samples were collected from 67 unique locations. Researchers now say they will be conducting further tests to study the enzymes’ properties. “The next step would be to test the most promising enzyme candidates in the lab to closely investigate their properties and the rate of plastic degradation they can achieve,” said Zelezniak. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pexels

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Research finds 30,000 enzymes that can degrade plastic

Reno reveals its carbon footprint to the world

December 15, 2021 by  
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Starting this week, the whole world can see Reno’s  carbon footprint . The Nevada city launched a public portal that measures emission, energy and utility info.  The new portal is a partnership between Reno and the 24/7 carbon-tracking platform  Ledger8760 . Now both policymakers and the general public will be able to find out exactly how much carbon Reno’s  buildings , vehicle fleet, meters and public utilities are emitting. Related: Renewables can power the world, according to new study “By making our emissions data public, we are setting a new standard for transparency, as we work to reach our sustainability goals,”  Reno  Mayor Hillary Schieve said in a statement. “We look forward to the invaluable insights we will gain through this partnership to inform action plans that will make a real impact in 2022.” Reno officials hope that by tracking emissions 24/7, they can better understand energy usage patterns according to time of day and season. This intel should help them make better energy decisions. Already the data has indicated that it’s more energy efficient to charge the city’s  electric vehicles  during the day rather than at night. “Our city-wide sustainability goal in Reno, aligned with the state of Nevada, is to reduce our annual greenhouse gas  emissions  by 28% from 2008 levels by 2025, and with that date fast approaching, the accuracy of the data provided by Ledger8760 puts us in a position to better understand how to achieve broader goals,” said Suzanne Groneman, sustainability program manager at the Reno City Manager’s Office, in a statement. “We have a responsibility to our citizens and now we are able to ensure we are making the right investments and decisions with those funds to make for a more sustainable Reno that can be enjoyed by all.” Washoe County and the state of  Nevada  will launch similar public energy dashboards in the near future, also in partnership with Ledger8760. Senate Bill 358, recently passed by the Nevada state legislature, requires electricity providers to use renewable energy to meet at least half of customer needs by 2030. By 2050, that requirement soars to 100%. Via City of Reno Images via Ledger8760 / Reno Public Portal

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Reno reveals its carbon footprint to the world

Hamama makes growing microgreens in your home effortless

November 30, 2021 by  
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There’s simply nothing more rewarding than growing your own  food , except when an innovative product makes it ultra-easy to do so. Hamama is the newest option in the urban or indoor gardening trend, and it provides a breadth of options to keep your palate pleased.  We all know creating healthy food options for the farm-to-table experience can be overwhelming, expensive and backbreaking. Worth it, to be sure, but not always possible. Honestly, it becomes kind of a hard sell to go through the work of building raised beds, hauling dirt, mixing compost, and planting a garden when Hamama helps you create microgreens with only a few minutes of effort. Related: Urban gardens don’t get much greener than El Terreno  The company uses a unique and innovative Seed Quilt. The description fits since it’s basically a compartmentalized bed of paper pillows stuffed with seeds. To support seed germination and growth, a moss-like layer is attached to the bottom side of the seed quilt. This layer is immersed in  water , which allows it to slowly absorb it from the bottom and provide it to the seeds on the top.  For nearly every growing  environment , you’ll simply need to remove the packaging, add water up to the clearly-marked fill line and place your Seed Quilt inside. In a week, your microgreens will be ready for harvest. On a rare occasion in very dry surroundings, you may need to add a drizzle more water.   There are myriad seed options for your microgreen garden. Choose from a lineup of non-GMO seeds and an expanding selection of organic options. They already offer Hearty Broccoli, Spicy Daikon Radish, Sweet Wheatgrass, Energizing Kale, Earthy Clover, Hot Wasabi Mustard, and Fragrant Fenugreek in all-organic seeds. There is also a Super Salad Mix, Zesty Mix, and Refreshing Cabbage to consider. Hamama is dedicated to introducing new varieties and going completely organic soon.  The basic setup is a BPA-free plastic tray. However, they do now offer a new ceramic grow tray instead. You can also upgrade the look with the bamboo frame that holds the plastic tray. Hamama also offers some grow shelf options so you can have a few trays growing at the same time while adding to your  interior design .  There are several options to get started, from a basic starter kit with your choice of three Seed Quilts to a Superfood Superstar kit that includes 36 Seed Quilts. When it’s time to harvest your microgreens , cut them all down to around ¼” of the quilt and store them in a bag along with a paper towel or napkin. The entire Seed Quilt can then be added to the compost pile or yard debris cart. Personal review This was a very fun product to sample. The packaging is paper-based and includes inspiring little notes to help overcome any doubts you might have about your ability to grow microgreens inside your home. Trust me — it truly can’t be any easier. To  plant , all I had to do was add the water and the Seed Quilt to the tray. Hamama included a bamboo frame, which is very nice quality and adds a welcome visual appeal. Having said that, I was equally impressed by the quality of the plastic tray.  Within 12 hours of pressing the quilt into the water, I began to see it come to life. A few days later, the puffed-up pillows burst open to release the tops of the microgreens. A few days after that, they were at full height and ready for harvest. It really was only seven days. I planted the Spicy Daikon Radish and will say I’ve never tried these microgreens before. At first bite, they taste like a bland sprout, but within moments my tastebuds came to life with the memory of biting directly into a radish. The company also provided Hearty Broccoli and Energizing Kale, but I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet.  I will also say the process is very forgiving of the harsh conditions I exposed it to. I have many curious critters in my home and it took more than a few tries to find a spot where the dogs and cats left it alone. It wasn’t safe on the table, on the bar, or on the window sill, which means it was moved multiple times into areas with heavy and light traffic flow and a huge variation in  natural light . I’m convinced I can do no wrong in using the system to grow microgreens, and that’s saying something from someone who’s never claimed to have a green thumb.  I was a little lost on how to use my microgreens, but the Hamama website offers a plethora of  recipe  options you can follow or use as inspiration. Now I find myself adding the greens to sandwiches, salads, soups and dips and can’t wait to experiment with more flavors. Bon appetit!  + Hamama  Images via Hamama and Dawn Hammon Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Hamama. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

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Hamama makes growing microgreens in your home effortless

Scotland’s plastic ban may fail due to UK’s internal strife

November 12, 2021 by  
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The Scottish government has announced it will ban the sale of plastic straws, cutlery and polystyrene food packaging next year. This is part of a larger plan to reduce plastic waste and cut pollution. The ban will include all polystyrene food packaging containers and their lids, as well as balloon sticks, plates, coffee stirrers and other single-use plastics. Although the Scottish government has pledged to enact the ban on June 1, doubts abound due to its entanglement in U.K. climate policies. The ban itself is parallel to a similar ban planned across the U.K. Individual countries within the union have expressed their doubts about the ban’s effectiveness, prompting the move for individual policies. Related: Innovative biomaterials to help the world replace plastic The U.K. is accused of being slow to enact key climate decisions. In 2020, England banned plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers, but the ban has yet to begin. The U.K. is still consulting on the matter, in a process that seems to be taking a lifetime. Due to such delays, the Scottish government is worried the ban could be undermined by the U.K. market’s internal rules. Under U.K. market rules, all the countries in the union have to wait for a harmonized move on climate matters, since they share the same market and customers. According to Lorna Slater, a Scottish Green Party Minister, the climate disaster is an emergency and should be addressed fast. Slater says there is no time to waste since the oceans and landfills are already overwhelmed by plastic waste. “Every year, hundreds of millions of pieces of single-use plastic are wasted in this country,” Slater said. “They litter our coasts, pollute our oceans and contribute to the climate emergency. That has to end and this ban will be another step forward in the fight against plastic waste and throwaway culture.” Slater has expressed her fears over the matter, saying that if the ban is implemented in Scotland alone, it might be sidestepped by people shopping in England. The minister has written to other ministers to see whether the U.K. could consider allowing Scotland to make independent policies on the matter.  The U.K. and its four member states have been criticized for being reluctant to implement these bans. Already,  the E.U. and its 27 member states  have banned single-use plastics. The U.K. is now under pressure to speed up its process to avoid littering the region. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

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Scotland’s plastic ban may fail due to UK’s internal strife

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