The Federal Trade Commission announced six enforcement actions last week, including against companies that marketed supposedly biodegradable plastic rebar cap covers, plastic golf tees, and plastic shopping bags, as part of the agency’s ramped up crackdown on environmental claims.
Dutch scientists say they have developed a process that uses nanotechnology to convert plant matter into the basic components of plastics, an innovation that could ultimately provide an alternative to oil-based plastics in the manufacture of thousands of everyday products.
Researchers at the University of Leeds and Durham University have solved a long-standing problem that could revolutionize the way new plastics are developed. The breakthrough will allow experts to create the perfect plastic with specific uses and properties by using a high-tech ‘recipe book’. It will
Small reusable bag company ChicoBag is under fire from three of the country’s largest plastic bag manufacturers for “false and/or misleading description of fact in interstate commercial advertising”, according to the complaint filed jointly by Hilex Poly, Superbag Operating Ltd. and Advance Polybag.
Billion Dollar Plastic is asking ChicoBag to correct the
It should come as no surprise that in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, there has been a renewed push by environmental activists to embrace renewable energy options.
We’ve all heard the “recycle, reduce, reuse” mantra. However, to really combat the current problem of overconsumption and reduce unnecessary waste, this saying should be flipped on its head: “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Recycling is reactive, and society needs to combine it with a proactive solution, because recycling alone will not “fix” our current consumption problem. The first step should be reducing
“Plastics are bad but it’s impossible to avoid them completely”. This is my conclusion after 30 days of staying away from plastics. I was almost rebellious when I was refusing to use plastic materials for the past month. However, I have to admit I have violated my rules more than once.
Within the past month, I was served plastic straws two times with my drinks, used four plastic garbage bags for throwing away my ‘wet’ garbage, purchased shaving
Living four days without consuming plastics hasn’t been such a challenge yet; nevertheless it became more fun. As a quick reference to my last blog post, I aim to reduce my plastic use significantly for 30 days and reuse the products that I already have. My main motivation to do this is to help drawing attention to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and other marine debris around the world.
Plastics can live longer than human beings. It takes 100 years for a plastic bottle to degrade in a marine environment. Given that plastics were invented only in the 19th century, almost all of the plastic content that was produced still exists somewhere in the world.
It is indeed very easy to live without plastic bags and plastic bottles. I bring my own shopping bag when I go grocery shopping and I reuse my old bottles and try to avoid plastic bottles in any kind. It was hard to give up some of beverages that I like. However, I can find access to drinking water easily in many developed cities. Hence, glass bottles and cans always seem to be good options.
After three days, I can say the hardest part of a non-plastic life is when I get coffee to-go from a coffee shop but I’m not supposed to get the plastic lid. It’s difficult to carry and drink cofee without the lid. Moreover, there is even a debate about the coffee cup itself.
I became aware of the great “Pacific Garbage Patch” after I learned about the Plastiki Project. Thanks to the Plastiki boat and its crew who already sailed more than 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness about marine debris and other environmental issues.
My background is in the energy sector and I’m not an expert on environmental issues other than what’s related to power generation. I do recycle as much as I can. However, I admit I have no idea what’s going on in the recycling process, where our materials are coming from or what type of materials we should be using. By reading some statistics, I learned that more than 90 percent of plastics are not recycled.
This made me aware of what we are doing to our ecosystems without even being able to clean up. I became annoyed and upset when I went to the grocery store and realized that I can no longer live in a world without consuming plastics. Plastic materials are not only a major packaging item in our food chain, but we are forced to buy most of our daily needs in plastic packages. Perhaps we are saving energy and money by using plastics, especially in packaging. However, maybe there is a way to reduce plastic consumption to a minimum level.
I haven’t used plastic bags for a long time. Instead, I bring my own reusable bag for grocery shopping. I stopped buying plastic bottles after I watched the animated film, “Story of Bottled Water,” which alerted me to the environmental danger caused by plastics. However, I realized that I still keep consuming plastics. Therefore I set up a challenge for myself:
I will not consume plastics for the following 30 days!
Major business groups representing the food industry, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say they will not support long-awaited food safety legislation if it includes an amendment banning bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in thousands of everyday plastics.
The comprehensive bill, which easily passed the U.S House of Representatives with bipartisan support and is expected to come before the Senate in the next month, would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more authority over food production and place more responsibility on manufacturers and farmers to reduce contamination in their products.
An amendment by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would ban BPA, the primary component of hard and clear polycarbonate plastics — including water bottles, baby bottles, and the linings of canned foods.
“We will not support food safety legislation that bans or phases out BPA from any food and beverage container,” said Scott Faber, vice president for federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
The Plastiki, a sailing boat made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled waste products, has been sailing in the Pacific Ocean for more than 30 days.
Plastiki started its journey March 20 from San Francisco, with the intention to create public awareness about the effects of plastic usage on marine pollution and consequently sea life.
The Plastiki crew aims to explore a number of environmental hotspots, such as soon-to-be-flooded island nations, damaged coral reefs and the challenge faced by acidifying oceans and marine debris, in particular plastic pollution.
Plastiki’s journey is also scheduled to go through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a zone of trash one suspended on the water’s surface, twice the size of Texas, and stretching from the shores of California to the Sea of Japan.
The boat crew consists of six scientists, environmentalists and artists, led by the British adventurer David de Rothschild. The 60-foot boat is sailing with an average speed of five nautical miles per hour and the voyage is set end in Sydney in about three months.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will require new studies on the health and environmental effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a potentially harmful chemical found in thousands of everyday plastics.
The federal agency, which is looking to add the chemical to its list of “chemicals of concern,” will begin measuring levels of the chemical in drinking water and ground water supplies. More than one million pounds of BPA are released into the environment annually, EPA officials say.
While studies have shown that the chemical disrupts development in animals, that link has not been confirmed for humans.
Long a ubiquitous part of modern life, plastics are now in everything from diapers to water bottles to cell phones. But given the proven health threats of some plastics — as well as the enormous environmental costs — the time has come for the U.S. to pass a comprehensive plastics control law.
Since 1950, plastics have quickly and quietly entered the lives and bodies of most people and ecosystems on the planet. In the United States alone, more than 100 billion pounds of resins are formed each year into food and beverage packaging, electronics, building products, furnishings, vehicles, toys, and medical devices. In 2007, the average American purchased more than 220 pounds of plastic, creating nearly $400 billion in sales.
It is now impossible to avoid exposure to plastics. They surround and pervade our homes, bodies, foods, and water supplies, from the plastic diapers and polyester pajamas worn by our children to the cars we drive and the frying pans in which we cook our food.