The Netherlands to ban carbon-emitting delivery vehicles

April 16, 2021 by  
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The Netherlands has launched a plan that will ban all carbon-emitting delivery vehicles in urban areas. The country has started by allowing only zero-emission delivery vehicles in 14 cities so far and has authorized all cities in the country to come up with zero-emission zones and logistics plans. The full ban is expected to go into effect by 2025. The  environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven  said that the plan comes after a noticeable increase in online shopping deliveries. If the government hopes to reach its zero-emission road traffic target by 2050, it is important to cut these increasing delivery emissions. Related: Do we really need to mine the deep seas to power EVs? “Now that we are spending more time at home, we are noticing the large number of delivery vans and lorries driving through cities,” the environment minister said. “The agreements we are setting down will ensure that it will be a matter of course that within a few years, supermarket shelves will be stocked, waste will be collected, and packages will arrive on time, yet without any exhaust fumes and CO2 emissions .” Research done by the World Economic Forum in 2020  projected  that e-commerce would lead to a 36% rise in delivery vehicles in the world’s 100 largest cities by 2030. According to the report, if all these vehicles were to be on the roads, they would increase emissions by 32%. However, the report also indicates that switching to electric vehicles would cut emissions by 30%. The Netherlands is encouraging the transport sector to go carbon-free by offering $5,900 USD worth of grants to businesses to help buy and lease electric vehicles. Although the Netherlands claims to be the first country to give its cities the freedom to go carbon-free, other cities seem to have made the move already. Research by  Renault  shows that many European cities are already moving toward zero emissions. In Germany, cities have designated low-emission zones, while in Italy, over 100 communities have introduced zones with limited traffic. Madrid, Barcelona and London all have similar measures in place to curb emissions. Via EcoWatch Image via Biontologist

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The Netherlands to ban carbon-emitting delivery vehicles

Toxic chemicals report card grades top retailers

March 30, 2021 by  
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When most people swing by the store to pick up a few items, they aren’t aware that they are basically entering a minefield of toxic chemicals. But the fifth annual Who’s Minding the Store? retailer report card reveals which major retailers are safer and which ones should probably be entered only after donning hazmat suits. Toxic-Free Future is behind the Mind the Store campaign . It’s been publishing chemical report cards since 2016, tracking the biggest retailers in the U.S. and Canada. This year, the report card evaluated 50 major retailers with a total of 200,000 stores across the two countries. Related: EWG warns ‘forever chemicals’ are contaminating US drinking water at levels far worse than expected First, the good news. “Companies are implementing more comprehensive chemical policies and achieving greater reductions over the last five years,” according to the report. Nearly 70% of the 43 retailers graded in the last report, published in 2019, had improved their score by reducing plastics or toxic chemicals or improving policies concerning chemicals. Of the original group of 11 retailers included in the 2016 report card, their average grade improved from a D+ to a B-. Fewer retailers are failing. Nearly half the retailers failed in the 2018 report, compared to only about one-quarter this year. The greatest gains were in the beauty and personal care sector. Ulta Beauty raised its grade from an F in 2019 to a C-, and Sephora went from a D in 2017 to an A. This year’s report card added criteria for screening for certain chemicals that disproportionately affect women of color. Rite Aid, Target and Whole Foods Market are among the companies that have committed to screening for these worrisome chemicals. However, some retailers are still not making the grade. Twelve companies failed this year, due to exposing consumers, workers and the environment to harmful chemicals and plastics in products and packaging . The report named these companies to the the 2021 Retailer Report Card Toxic Hall of Shame: 7-Eleven, 99 Cents Only Stores, Ace Hardware, Alimentation Couche-Tard (Circle K, Couche-Tard), Metro, Nordstrom, Publix, Restaurants Brands International (Burger King, Tim Hortons, Popeyes), Sally Beauty, Sobeys, Starbucks and Subway. + Who’s Minding The Store? Image via Igor Ovsyannykov

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Bald eagle population bounces back from brink of extinction

March 29, 2021 by  
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The once shrinking population of bald eagles has quadrupled over the past 12 years, according to a new survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The study has found that there are over 316,000 bald eagles in the lower 48 states of the U.S., with over 70,000 breeding pairs . According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there were approximately 500 breeding pairs of bald eagles in the U.S. in the late 1960s. However, the story changed with the discovery that DDT, often found in insecticides , was affecting wildlife, effectively leading to its ban in 1972. In 1973, the federal government signed the Endangered Species Act, which led to the protections of various species, including the bald eagle. Related: Critically endangered regent honeyeaters are losing their song Since then, the population has been growing gradually, and the bird was removed from the endangered species list in 2007. Following a recent survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has discovered that the number of bald eagles has more than quadrupled since 2009 when they were last counted. Speaking to the press, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said that this turnaround is historic. “The bald eagle has always been considered a sacred species to American Indian people, and similarly it’s sacred to our nation as America’s national symbol,” Haaland said. This success story proves that conservation measures work. Although the birds were hunted, killed and poisoned for years, the population has grown thanks to focused conservation efforts. While the report might seem like a good indication for the future of wildlife in the U.S., the reality on the ground is quite different. A recent study by Cornell Lab of Ornithology has established that the overall population of birds in the U.S. has dropped by about one-third in the past 50 years. A different report by the National Audubon Society has established that about two-thirds of North American birds are at an increased risk of extinction, primarily because of climate change. “By stabilizing carbon emissions and holding warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, nearly 150 species would no longer be vulnerable to extinction from climate change ,” the report noted. + U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Via NPR Image via Jan Temmel

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The (not so) green recovery: New report warns world is failing to ‘build back better’

March 12, 2021 by  
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The (not so) green recovery: New report warns world is failing to ‘build back better’ Cecilia Keating Fri, 03/12/2021 – 01:30 The fiscal spending plans of major economies in the wake of the coronavirus crisis have fallen far short of ensuring the recovery from the crisis does not exacerbate ongoing climate and nature crises, with just one in every $40 committed by governments in the wake of the pandemic set to deliver a positive impact for the planet. That is the bleak headline from a major report published this week by the United Nations Environment Program and Oxford’s Economic Recovery Project, which warns policymakers are missing out on the “greatest chance we have had so far” to redirect the upward trajectory of global greenhouse gas emissions and put the world on track for meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The analysis, which looked at more than 3,500 fiscal policies across the world’s 50 largest economies, finds that just 2.5 percent of all COVID-induced spending to date had “positive green characteristics.” A huge chunk of COVID-related government spending has necessarily focused on welfare payments and the health response, but the report concludes that even when the focus is narrowed to look only at measures designed to deliver a longer-term economic recovery, only 18 percent of spending has “positive green characteristics.” As such, the report concludes that the world is “not yet building back better,” despite repeated promises from governments to engineer a green recovery and the introduction of some promising green stimulus spending programs from a handful of predominantly wealthy countries such as Finland, Denmark, France, Germany and Norway. Humanity is facing a pandemic, an economic crisis and an ecological breakdown — we cannot afford to lose on any front. “Despite positive steps towards a sustainable COVID-19 recovery from a few leading nations, the world has so far fallen short of matching aspirations to build back better,” said Brian O’Callahan, lead researcher at the Oxford University Economic Recovery project. “But opportunities to spend wisely on recovery are not yet over. Governments can use this moment to secure long-term economic, social and environmental prosperity.” For the vast majority of countries, recovery spending has been relatively low and not particularly green, according to the report, with any benefits from the greener elements contained in stimulus packages often undermined by concurrent fossil fuel and consumer-focused spending program. For instance, roughly 16 percent of recovery spending could bring positive air pollution impacts, but 16.4 percent is likely to increase net air pollution. The United Kingdom is among a raft of countries that is “missing opportunities” to deliver a green recovery, given that only a small percentage of its post-COVID spending program has been explicitly green. As such, the report urges policymakers to think long-term when crafting spending programs in the fallout from the pandemic, warning that a “one-dimensional focus on short-term economic recovery” risks stoking inequality and the climate emergency. Of the $14.6 trillion invested by these 50 countries to date, only $1.9 trillion has been invested in long-term recovery measures intended to spur economic activity, it notes. UNEP Executive Director Inger Anderson urged policymakers to carefully consider the Global Recovery Observatory report, which collates examples of green recovery spending from around the world and underlines the social benefits that can be unlocked by carefully designed green policies, such as improved health outcomes, energy cost reductions and enhanced food security. “Humanity is facing a pandemic, an economic crisis and an ecological breakdown — we cannot afford to lose on any front,” she said. “Governments have a unique chance to put their countries on sustainable trajectories that prioritize economic opportunity, poverty reduction and planetary health at once — the Observatory gives them the tools to navigate to more sustainable and inclusive recoveries.” The paper identifies five core green policy areas that policymakers should focus on — green energy, low-carbon transport, natural capital, green building upgrades and green research and development (R&D) — and highlights successful green spending programs to date. Some $66.1 billion has been spent on green energy so far, it notes, of which $25.3 billion focused on renewables and $18.5 billion on hydrogen, the latter boosted substantially by major investment programs by France and Germany. Meanwhile, $86.1 billion has been spent on low-carbon transport, $28.9 billion on green research and development and $35.2 billion on green building upgrades, although it is unclear whether this calculation factors in the recent spending cut to the U.K.’s flagship green housing stimulus program, the Green Homes Grant, which saw ministers initially assign $2.1 billion to the scheme before moving to introduce a new budget for 2021/22 of just $448 million. Meanwhile, the report reveals that $56.3 billion has been announced for natural capital or nature-based solutions, highlighting how just 3 percent of all spending is deemed by the report to have “significantly positive characteristics” for nature protection, with 17 percent likely to have a significant negative impact on natural capital. The report also notes how where green spending programs have been announced, they have been disproportionately focused on industrialized nations. It therefore argues that it is critical for advanced economies and multilateral agencies to “generously” support emerging markets and developing economies to meet their green recovery aspirations. Less-developed economies are hamstrung by higher borrowing costs and weaker fiscal positions than their richer counterparts, the report notes, leading to a scenario where on a per capita basis the total spending in advanced economies was 17 times greater than emerging and developing markets. The conclusions reached by UNEP and the University of Oxford match those of an ongoing series of economic reports by Vivid Economics and Finance for Biodiversity, which has been tracking the “greenness” of different countries’ recovery packages since the outbreak of the pandemic. The latest edition, published last month , concluded that governments of the 30 countries surveyed had “largely failed” to harness the opportunity to combine economic recovery with sustainable growth, calculating that just $1.8 trillion of the $4.6 trillion of stimulus spent to date in “environmentally impactful” sectors, such as agriculture, industry, waste, energy and transport, could be deemed “green.” As Europe approaches the one-year anniversary of the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns, it is clear that policymakers must step up their game and match their much-repeated rhetoric about delivering a green recovery with concrete spending packages that have a net positive impact on nature and climate. They should also look holistically at the program of stimulus packages being unveiled by different branches of government in order to prevent the environmental gains produced by one spending program from being neutralized by the carbon-intensive impacts of another. This holds particularly true in the U.K., as the government faces growing criticism for a lack of joined-up thinking with its climate policies that has allowed for climate and environmental considerations to be sidelined as ministers have rushed to bolster economic activity. You can boost jobs and GDP through new coal mines and domestic flights, but it makes it a lot harder to credibly claim that you are building back better. Pull Quote Humanity is facing a pandemic, an economic crisis and an ecological breakdown — we cannot afford to lose on any front. Topics Climate Change COVID-19 Green New Deal BusinessGreen Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Some $66.1 billion of COVID recovery funds have been spent on green energy as of early 2021, of which $25.3 billion focused on renewables and $18.5 billion on hydrogen.

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The State of Green Business 2021

December 21, 2020 by  
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The State of Green Business 2021 Date/Time: January 25, 2021 (1-2PM ET / 10-11AM PT) Following the challenging, turbulent year that was 2020, what is the state of sustainable business in 2021? Join us for the release of the 14th annual edition of State of Green Business, GreenBiz Group’s award-winning annual report. Each year, the report looks at key trends and metrics assessing how, and how much, companies are moving the needle on the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. The report is produced in partnership with Trucost, part of S&P Global, and covers the performance on the biggest publicly traded U.S. companies (S&P 500) and global players (S&P Global 1200). In this one-hour webcast, coinciding with the report’s release, GreenBiz Group Chairman and Executive Editor Joel Makower and Trucost CEO Richard Mattison will provide insights into key trends and metrics in sustainable business, including new metrics introduced in this year’s report revealing companies’ revenue aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, and how large companies’ emissions align with a 2-degree carbon budget. Among the topics: Why the “S” in ESG is gaining currency The new face of credit risk How ESG scores relate to financial performance Why sustainable mobility is becoming the newest corporate perk Corporate profits at risk from climate change Speakers: Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group Richard Mattison, Chief Executive Officer, Trucost, part of S&P Global If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the archived webcast footage and resources, available to you on-demand after the webcast. Report Partner taylor flores Mon, 12/21/2020 – 10:22 Joel Makower Chairman & Executive Editor GreenBiz Group @makower Richard Mattison CEO Trucost, part of S&P Global @richmattison gbz_webcast_date Sat, 01/25/2020 – 10:00 – Sat, 01/25/2020 – 11:00

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Greenhouse gases hit record levels despite COVID-19 lockdowns

November 30, 2020 by  
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A recent report released by the  World Metrological Organization  (WMO) has revealed that greenhouse gasses have increased to record highs in the atmosphere despite the lockdowns caused by the pandemic. Contrary to the expectations of many, the amount of greenhouse gases has been on the rise in 2020. The slowdown in economic activities and travel across the world is estimated to have caused a 4.2% to 7.5% reduction in the overall emissions in 2020. According to the WMO, this minor reduction due to the pandemic was nothing compared to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Worse yet, the report indicates that growth is higher than the average rate in the past 10 years. Related: Will gene editing and cloning create super cows that resist global warming? “The lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph. We need a sustained flattening of the curve,” said Petteri Taalas, secretary-general for the WMO. The reviewed data revealed that the benchmark station of Mauna Loa in Hawaii experienced a higher rate of carbon emissions in 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019. The station recorded 411.3 ppm in 2020 and 408.5 ppm in September 2019. The same scenario was observed in Tasmania, Australia, where carbon dioxide levels rose to 410.8ppm in September 2020 from 408.6ppm in September 2019. The WMO secretary-general said that these figures are worrying if we look at the fast rate of growth each year. “We breached the global [annual] threshold of 400ppm in 2015 and, just four years later, we have crossed 410ppm,” Taalas said. “Such a rate of increase has never been seen in the history of our records.” Those behind the report are now calling for stringent actions to be taken if the world is to meet the crucial target of cutting emissions in half by 2030. Otherwise, global warming will lead to increased poverty, malnutrition and deaths from droughts, floods, heatwaves and fires. “The needed changes are economically affordable and technically possible and would affect our everyday life only marginally,” Taalas said. “It is to be welcomed that a growing number of countries and companies have committed themselves to carbon neutrality . There is no time to lose.” + WMO Via The Guardian Image via Thomas Millot

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Greenhouse gases hit record levels despite COVID-19 lockdowns

If offered Biden’s lead EPA role, Mary Nichols would say yes

October 30, 2020 by  
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If offered Biden’s lead EPA role, Mary Nichols would say yes Katie Fehrenbacher Fri, 10/30/2020 – 03:00 The Presidential election looming next week could change everything for the future of the environment, clean air and the markets contributing to the clean economy. And if Vice President Joe Biden wins, there’s a chance it could change everything for California’s clean air chief Mary Nichols, too.  Bloomberg recently reported that Nichols, the retiring chair of the California Air Resources Board,  was on a shortlist to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if Biden wins the election next week. Others on the list for EPA head, or other environmental roles, include Mississippi environmentalist and former regional EPA administrator Heather McTeer Toney, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Connecticut regulator Dan Esty, according to the report.  During an interview at the VERGE 20 conference on Thursday , Nichols responded to a question about the report, by saying this: I am one of the people who worked at the EPA once upon a time who has been shocked and distressed by the treatment they have received over the last four years. In particular, it’s a much smaller, a much weaker agency than it was supposed to have been. And if the President wants my help, in whatever capacity, to help turn that around, I’m going to say yes.  If Nichols took on the lead role with the EPA, it would be an abrupt 180 for the agency under President Donald Trump. Current EPA head Andrew Wheeler, working with the Trump administration, has rapidly moved to dismantle many environmental, clean water and clean air protections in an attempt to remove red tape for industry. These are the types of regulations that Nichols has spent her 50-year career — including a stint at the EPA during the Clinton administration — helping implement.  In particular, Nichols and CARB have clashed with the Trump administration, and Wheeler, over issues including California’s ability to set stricter auto emissions standards. Last year, the administration revoked the state’s waiver to set stricter auto standards, and California, followed by 22 other states, sued the Trump administration. Of course, the outcome of the election is uncertain, and Nichols is reportedly just one of the names on Biden’s shortlist. The CARB chair told the VERGE audience that she is only planning to step down from CARB at the end of this year because she has some other projects she has her eye on.  My decision to step down from the Air Resources Board and turn over the leadership of this wonderful organization to someone else isn’t really based on a desire to retire. I have been doing this job for a very long time. Longer than anyone else has or maybe ever will. I want to do some other things. I have some ideas and projects in mind, which I’m not ready to make any announcements about. But it’s not a question of retiring.  Regardless of whether the EPA role is in Nichols’ future, we’re clearly looking forward to seeing what she does next.  Topics Transportation & Mobility Policy & Politics VERGE 20 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Courtesy of Kathryn Cooper, GreenBiz Close Authorship

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If offered Biden’s lead EPA role, Mary Nichols would say yes

Renewable energy is the cheapest source of electricity

October 28, 2020 by  
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A new report published by Rewiring America concludes that if everybody in the U.S. switched to solar, wind or other clean energy power, not only could the country reach zero emissions, but households would save an average of $1,050 to $2,585 annually on bills. This adds up to about $321 billion savings per year. The report, No Place Like Home: Fighting Climate Change (And Saving Money) by Electrifying America’s Households , found that more than 40% of U.S. energy-related carbon emissions come from normal household activities like cooking, bathing and commuting. The way forward, according to the report, is decarbonizing households through electrification. This means driving electric cars that we charge via our rooftop solar panels. Instead of powering appliances with natural gas, the report promotes electricity to power heat pumps, stoves and clothes dryers. Related: Japan aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050 “Too often we are told doing the right thing for the environment requires sacrifice and costs more,” Adam Zurofsky, executive director of Rewiring America , told The Guardian . “But no one is talking about the upside — we can actually make a better economy and save people money and a byproduct will be to cut emissions from residential buildings.” This optimistic attitude nicely coincides with an analysis recently released by financial giant Lazard. In Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis Version 14.0 , the firm concluded that wind and solar are the most affordable electricity sources. Building new solar plants is less expensive than keeping existing coal plants running. Of course, the upfront cost is the hitch for individual households. A larger-scale infrastructure will be necessary for all those solar panels, car chargers and batteries to work together. And it all has to happen pretty soon, before humans render the planet uninhabitable for their own species. That’s going to require government help. According to Zurofsky, “The federal government can make it dirt cheap for people to switch to renewables.” Now we have to make sure they do. Which reminds us, please vote. + Rewiring America Via Common Dreams , PV Magazine and The Guardian Image via Charlie Wilde

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Renewable energy is the cheapest source of electricity

A closed loop fashion system requires scaling solutions now, not later

October 2, 2020 by  
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A closed loop fashion system requires scaling solutions now, not later Deonna Anderson Fri, 10/02/2020 – 01:00 The fashion industry is damaging to the planet — it’s responsible for 10 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. But there are companies — both large and small — trying to solve this problem. Back in 2017, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation tapped on large brands such as Burberry, Gap and H&M to make fashion circular  — ensuring that clothes are made from safe and renewable materials, establishing new business models to increase their use and developing systems that would enable more old clothes to be turned into new garments. Outside of this particular coalition of companies, other fashion businesses are attempting to make the industry more circular by using customizable digital technology, eliminating excess production and tracking the life cycle of products. One of those companies is San Francisco-based clothing startup unspun , which produces sustainable jeans via a unique digital process: customers design their ideal pair of jeans, use their smartphones to takes a 3D scan of their bodies, then receive the custom-built denim in the mail.  “We think it’s really important to think of this from a closed loop and regenerative system, because humans are so used to going for the ‘next thing,'” said Beth Esponnette, co-founder of unspun, during part one of a discussion about scaling circular fashion during Circularity 20 in late August. It’s really hard to change our behavior, and even if we were able to do that, it’s not going to fix the problems in the system. “It’s really hard to change our behavior, and even if we were able to do that, it’s not going to fix the problems in the system,” Esponnette continued. She noted that unspun is not trying to villify consumption, but rather to set up a more responsible industry. The company is designing for disassembly and thinking about how to go from yarn to product and back to yarn again. “It’s not quite ready yet but it’s soon to be on to its first prototypes, so we really see the industry being no-waste and actually infinitely customizable, definitely by 2050, hopefully even by 2030,” she said. While the company is not completely zero-waste at this time, it has a commitment to eventually get there. In the meantime, it works with Blue Jeans Go Green to turn its cutting waste from from the jean making process into denim insulation for homes.  At this point, a pair of custom-fitted unspun jeans costs $200 — a price that not every person who wants to make more sustainable fashion choices can afford. That’s one reason why addressing the environmental impacts of the fashion industry will require multiple solutions to be at play at the same time.  Addressing the environmental impacts of the fashion industry will require multiple solutions to be at play at the same time. Making changes along the apparel supply chain At a different part of the supply chain, labeling and embellishment manufacturer Avery Dennison has a vision of the future: where every physical label on a garment will have a digital twin or ID that would tell the sustainability or end of life story of the piece of clothing. It also could help a consumer know what to do with the garment at its end of life, whether it can be resold, repaired or recycled. “That’s what really drives us, to be able to help enable that whole circularity of the industry,” said Debbie Shakespeare, senior director of compliance and sustainability at Avery Dennison. Right now, the fashion industry operates primarily in production and consumption, but avoids the decomposition part of the loop because of the perception that it will be wasteful, said Beth Rattner, executive director at the Biomimicry Institute, which provides sustainability advising to companies, including some in the world of fashion.  Of the total fiber input used for clothing, 87 percent is either landfilled or incinerated. But working in only the front part of the loop is only ignoring a waste problem that already exists, and is even getting worse. Of the total fiber input used for clothing, 87 percent is either landfilled or incinerated, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation , a think tank advancing the circular economy. Plus, there’s the waste that’s harder to see than the piles of fabric in a landfill. “We still have polyester that’s ending up in microfibers, which are ending up in the ocean, in our seafood dinner,” Rattner said. “We’re eating about a credit card worth of plastic every year.” The fashion industry must contend with its long history of operating unsustainably A recent report from the Biomimicry Institute called The Nature of Fashion  points out how the fashion industry has unsustainably operated as a collective for decades. “It’s safe to say that no one ever looked at a barrel of oil and thought, ‘That would make a nice-looking dress,'” the report’s forward reads. “And yet, for nearly 80 years, we have collectively looked past the ill-effects of petroleum and focused solely on the versatile, low price-point clothing that polyester makes possible.” It’s safe to say that no one ever looked at a barrel of oil and thought, “That would make a nice-looking dress.” The report argues that new fibers — no matter how recyclable they may be — should not be developed if there is no natural decomposition for them, because man-made material loops always leak into the environment . “The fashion industry now more than ever needs to look at materials in the larger context of natural systems,” Anita Chester, head of materials at Laudes Foundation, a partner for the report, said in a press release at the time of the report’s release. During the Circularity 20 session, Rattner gave attendees a vision and a call to action by telling them to imagine having a pantry of Twinkies in a pantry after deciding to be a healthy eater — likening them to the mounds of polyester sitting in our waste management system. Should you eat all those Twinkies first, and then go buy your kale? Should we keep using the same materials that we’ve been using? “We know that the Twinkies are bad for us,” she said “We don’t have to keep eating them, we can do something else with them. So my call to action is: we don’t have to eat the Twinkies.” Pull Quote Addressing the environmental impacts of the fashion industry will require multiple solutions to be at play at the same time. Of the total fiber input used for clothing, 87 percent is either landfilled or incinerated. It’s really hard to change our behavior, and even if we were able to do that, it’s not going to fix the problems in the system. It’s safe to say that no one ever looked at a barrel of oil and thought, “That would make a nice-looking dress.” Topics Circular Economy Fashion Circularity 20 Textile Waste Apparel Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock New Africa Close Authorship

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Flow of plastic waste in the ocean could triple by 2040

July 24, 2020 by  
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New research by The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ has found that the plastic flow into the oceans could triple by 2040 without immediate action. But the study, “Breaking the Plastic Wave: A Comprehensive Assessment of Pathways Towards Stopping Ocean Plastic Pollution,” also outlines solutions that could cut this plastic waste by more than 80%. According to the researchers, the methods currently used to deal with plastic pollution are less effective unless they are consolidated and accompanied by new technology and more research. The report shows that if governments continue addressing plastic waste as they are currently, the amount of plastic waste flowing into oceans could only be reduced by 7% in the next 20 years. With no intervention, the plastic waste entering the ocean could grow from 11 million to 29 million metric tons by 2040. Because plastic lasts for hundreds of years, the cumulative amount pf ocean plastic could reach 600 million tons (the equivalent weight of 3 million blue whales) by that point. Related: Record high amount of microplastic found on seafloors “Breaking the Plastic Wave” identifies eight measures that could reduce plastic waste by 80%. The proposed measures include reducing plastic production and consumption, substituting plastics with biodegradable alternatives, designing product packaging for recycling , increasing recycling, increasing waste collection rates and reducing plastic waste exports. More technological advancements, business models and research and development are needed to completely eliminate plastic waste in the oceans, according to the study. Although many of these methods are already being applied by some governments, the report proposes a more consolidated approach. The researchers estimate that governments could save up to $70 billion and reduce plastic-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2040 by adopting these measures together. According to Martin Stuchtey, SYSTEMIQ’s founder, the plastic pollution problem is solvable if action is taken now. “Our results indicate that the plastic crisis is solvable,” Stuchtey said. “It took a generation to create this challenge; this report shows we can solve it in one generation.” + Breaking the Plastic Wave Image via Sergei Tokmakov

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