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Single-use plastics are bad, why can’t we stop using them?

According to Indy Star, we’ve seen the destruction: A turtle struggling to breathe with a plastic straw stuck up its nose. A whale starving to death with a belly tangled by plastic shopping bags.

The public is increasingly aware of the harm that single-use plastic products do to wildlife and the environment. And yet, at grocery stores and restaurants, we take them without a second thought. Why?

Not just McDonald’s and Starbucks: These Indianapolis are curbing their straw waste. This Subaru plant is less trashy than you: How the Lafayette facility went zero waste

“Research shows that knowledge isn’t the only thing that will change behavior. You usually need much more,” said Caitie Nigrelli, an environmental social scientist at Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. “The benefits have to be tangible and the behavior needs to be feasible and within their abilities.”

As plastic production increases and our landfills fill up, can social science help us control our plastic addiction? It’s a social problem. One significant obstacle is that single-use plastic is almost impossible to avoid.

“The consumer often times has little choice to refuse plastic, ” said Trent Hodges, Plastic Pollution Manager for the Surfrider Foundation. “And because it’s so ubiquitous and such a common item, it becomes a force of habit. We go to the grocery store, buy some produce, put it in a plastic bag, walk out.” To break that habit, environmental advocates are turning to social behavior change campaigns.

Models of successful behavior change programs are a familiar part of American culture. The “Click it or Ticket” campaign that began in the 1990s still encourages public seat belt use today. The “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” campaign has helped to curb impaired driving since the 1980s, and who can forget Smokey the Bear’s timeless credo: “Only you can prevent a forest fire.”

Plastic to Funtastic

According to UN environment, plastic accounts for around 90 percent of all ocean trash with 46,000 pieces of plastic covering every square mile. It is high time we became aware of the harm caused by plastic!

On World Environment Day, the Infosys Sustainability team and the Eco Club at Infosys Bangalore partnered with Freethinker – a creative team based out of Bangalore – to support UN Environment and the #BeatPlasticPollution campaign.

The team conceptualized an out-of-the-box program, adding FUN to address a serious issue. The result was ‘Plastic to Funtastic’, a unique experience to educate employees on how to minimize and eliminate single-use plastic from their daily lives and show the frightening consequences of inaction.

Plastic to Funtastic was a carnival-themed event where visitors had fun with plastic. Volunteers were deployed on-the-ground to set up and co-ordinate various games, activities and artistic displays made of plastic, bringing to life the importance of the theme: #BeatPlasticPollution.

The games had a didactic dimension, raising visitors’ awareness about the scourge of plastics and how dependent we’ve become to this ubiquitous material. The visitors not only had a blast in the carnival but also interacted with various eco-friendly professionals who have dedicated their lives to eliminate plastic.

Among them, were vendors showcasing products made from copper and steel; bamboo home remedies made from bio-enzymes; jewelry crafted from recycled waste; and more.

Visitors saw the opportunity to avail of a ‘cutlery bank’ facility free of cost, for small and large functions.  The Adamya Chetana team, an NGO based in Bangalore showcased their initiative to promote zero waste parties.

In keeping with the theme of eliminating and minimizing the use of single-use plastics, visitors received eco-friendly cloth bags as prizes. The Infosys Sustainability team will continue such awareness programs to encourage Infoscions to adopt sustainable lifestyles.

Sea Turtles experiencing struggles with Plastic

According to Newsy, plastic pollution harms many ocean animals, but it can be especially dangerous for sea turtles. Leaving the water can help them avoid plastic in the oceans, but debris on the beaches can cause even bigger problems.

Ocean plastic threatens all seven species of sea turtle. Turtles that get tangled in fishing nets are at risk of drowning or starvation. When turtles eat plastic, they can suffer internal injuries — and they can get stuck floating near the surface since most plastics are lighter than water. Scientists call it “floater syndrome”: Turtles struggle to dive to feed on seagrass, or to escape predators or avoid boats.

The risks are more subtle on land, but scientists worry they could be even more significant. A recent study of Florida beaches found lots of tiny plastic pieces have washed into the dunes where loggerhead sea turtles make their nests. When this plastic warms up, it retains its heat for a long time. Nests can become noticeably warmer.

For sea turtles, that’s a big deal. Nest temperatures play a large role in determining the sex of newborn turtles — so the warm plastic might eventually cause big changes in local turtle populations, Mcdvoice satisfaction survey.

The good news is anything we can do to cut down ocean plastic — on a large or small scale — helps the sea turtles. There are UN campaigns to stop plastic from entering oceans in the first place, and there are local groups that comb the beaches where turtles nest. Some groups, like the nonprofit Ocean Cleanup, want to comb the ocean itself: It plans to start filtering tons of trash out of the Pacific garbage patch sometime in 2018.

Seas of Plastics drown us

According to Eco Watch, the fossil fuel era must end, or it will spell humanity’s end. The threat isn’t just from pollution and accelerating climate change. Rapid, wasteful exploitation of these valuable resources has also led to a world choked in plastic. Almost all plastics are made from fossil fuels, often by the same companies that produce oil and gas.

Our profligate use of plastics has created swirling masses in ocean gyres. It’s worse than once thought. New research concludes that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 16 times larger than previously estimated, with 79,000 tonnes of plastic churning through 1.6 million square kilometers of the North Pacific. That’s larger than the area of Quebec—and it continues to grow! Researchers say if we don’t clean up our act, the oceans will have more plastics by weight than fish by 2050.

The Ocean Cleanup Foundation commissioned the study, published in Nature, based on a 2015 expedition using 30 vessels and a C-130 Hercules airplane to look at the eastern part of the patch.

According to a CBC article, researchers estimate that the patch holds 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, much of it broken down into microplastics less than half a centimeter in diameter. They also found “plastic bottles, containers, packaging straps, lids, ropes and fishing nets,” some dating from the late 1970s and into the ’80s and ’90s, and the large amount of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Fukushima, Japan.

When plastics break down into smaller pieces, they’re more difficult to clean up, and marine animals often ingest the pieces, which is killing them in ever-increasing numbers. Larger pieces can entangle marine animals, and bigger animals often ingest those, too, liquor stores.

The North Pacific patch isn’t unique. Debris accumulates wherever wind and ocean conditions and Earth’s rotation create ocean gyres, including the North Pacific, North Atlantic, South Pacific, South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.

Plastic discs on Italian Beaches

According to The Local, from Tuscany to Campania, hundreds of thousands of unidentified plastic discs have washed up on Italy’s western coast in recent weeks.

The white discs began turning up in southern Italy about a month ago, according to Clean Sea Life, a group that campaigns to clean up Italy’s beaches, which said it received the first report from Paestum beach on February 21st.

Since then hundreds of thousands more have been spotted all along the Tyrrhenian coast, says the group, which has been mapping the sightings and alerting regional authorities. Some of its members picked up 800 of the discs in one hour on a single beach, it said, liquor stores.

It is not known where the discs came from or how so many of them ended up in the sea, but Clean Sea Life suspects that they are parts for a water purification plant that were either washed out during heavy rains or somehow fell into the ocean while they were being delivered.

Oceanographers are studying the log of sightings to try to work out where the spill most likely took place. They believe it was somewhere in the Gulf of Naples and those currents later swept the discs north.

@CleanSeaLIFE

“Update on the big spill of disks, likely used in wastewater treatment aka #hooksetdisks washing up by the 1000s in central Italy. @CleanSeaLIFE coordinating w local, regional auth, coast guard and oceanographers to backtrack source &cleanup #marinelitter #marinedebris #6IMDC”

The group is urging members of the public to let them know if they spot the discs and, even more importantly, to pick them up.

“If it had been done right away, we wouldn’t find ourselves with hundreds of sightings of discs all over the Tyrrhenian a month later,” Clean Sea Life said. “If we don’t pick them up now, they’ll continue to pollute our sea forever, breaking up bit by bit into smaller and smaller pieces without ever disappearing completely.”

Glastonbury to ban plastic bottles in 2019

Attendees of Glastonbury might not be able to enter the festival with plastic bottles on hand. This is because plastic bottles are to be banned from its grounds in 2019. One of the said event’s organizers, Emily Eavis, revealed on BB6 Music that to implement this rule is their top priority next year.

Eavis said, “It is taking a lot of time to tackle it with all the different people we work with. That is the big project at the moment, to get rid of plastic bottles across the whole site.”

According to DJ Mag, the prominent festival takes a fallow year in 2018 while Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza is set to happen on August 4. This allowed the festival organizers to consider more changes when Glastonbury returns in 2019.

“I had this idea that we could do [in The Park] that would be really radical, and thought that would be really cool. It is not the sort of thing you could do in a year off, but two gives us a bit of time,” Eavis added.

It can be recalled that Glastonbury set up numerous free water kiosks throughout the grounds in 2014. They also created stainless steel bottles, which made available to the festival goers. Aside from these, they implemented stainless steel pint cups in 2016 to reduce waste.

In the past years, Glastonbury organizers have been trying their best make the festival more environmentally friendly. This cause is through their “Love the farm, Leave no trace” campaign, where they discourage visitors from urinating, littering, leaving the tents and equipment behind. Moreover, Oxfam, Greenpeace and Water Aid were their previous partners in this campaign.Go to comment section for pizza feedback.

However, cleaning the 135,000 capacity still took two weeks to complete in 2016. Glastonbury is not the only place set to ban plastics, aiming to lessen environmental damage in the future. Ibiza authorities will ban disposable plastics as well by 2020. Furthermore, the planning process for Glastonbury festival 2019 is already in the works.

Plan for Plastics

Vice Presidents Frans Timmermans says the EU has to move fast to prevent plastic marine litter. The EU will update port reception facility rules as part of the strategy to require fishing vessels and deposit any waste accidentally gathered at sea at a port. This is a better option than dumping it back in the ocean.

EU vice president for growth and investment Jyrki is focusing on the waste treatment at the source, which highlights the environmental and economic benefits of establishing recycling.

“Every year Europeans generate 25 million tons of plastic waste, but less than 30 percent is collected for recycling. Some 95 percent of the value of plastic packaging is lost from the economy every year. How can we keep the value in the market by recycling?” Katainen said.

They believe changing the way plastics are made must be implemented. The strategy’s headline 2030 goal will mean plastics manufacturers will need to work closely with recyclers to ensure that what they produce is recyclable.

PlasticsEurope has broadly welcomed the strategy but it has set itself a lower voluntary target – making 60% of plastics reusable or recyclable by 2030, with a 2040 target of making all plastics renewable, recyclable, or used for energy recovery.

According to Euractiv, The Commission is considering a variety of tools and may come out with proposals for incentives next year. “We are looking at different types of fiscal incentives,” says Katainen. Some have called for recyclers to be given credits in EU emissions trading as a motivator.

Meanwhile, Delphine Lévi Alvarès, coordinator of the Rethink Plastic Alliance said: “In general we are really in favor of financial instruments to drive recycling.”  The coalition of environmental NGOs added, “But for now we do not have much information on how this tax could be designed, or on which level of the value chain it would be applied. We’ve been asking for information but so far it’s really blurry.” Is this article helpful? Send us a Kroger feedback!

Plastic Industry and Fire Safety

Rockwool, where non-combustible building insulation were made, claims a firm owned by plastic insulation manufacturer Kingspan was given the control of key elements of the tests . This includes some that “can have a direct bearing on the pass/fail outcome.” The Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 71 people in June 2017, spread up combustible plastic insulation and plastic-filled ACM cladding panels that have been wrapped around the Kensington tower block in west London. This is to meet energy-saving targets.

Moreover, Government’s assurance about the safety of combustible cladding on high-rise buildings has been questioned. It comes after a claim that the plastics industry “influenced” official fire tests carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Kingspan revealed to Sky News in a statement that the positions of the fire thermocouples and barriers by Booth Muirie were copied from a previous test at BRE.

The tests were carried out “using the test methodology required” with 32 thermocouples used for each test. The independent advisory panel announced the result last year saying they will help landlords make decisions on any further measures that may need to be put in place to make their buildings safe.” In addition, the Fire Protection Association called for a more realistic test for cladding. The Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association, on the other hand, issued guidance in November 2017.

According to Sky News, Kingspan added, “This was designed to ensure test integrity and comparability of test outcomes and data, a methodology that was fully agreed with DCLG. Booth Muirie had no role in the October 2016 test.”
Furthermore, these tests were carried out with the advice of the Government’s independent expert panel on building safety. It was established after the tragic event in the Grenfell Tower fire. Truly, a support from bank deposits would be of huge help.

Why the Top Level of the Plastics Industry is Dominated By Just a Few Players

In most parts of the world, we tend to have the top-level of the plastics industry being dominated by just a few players. When we make reference to the ‘top level’ of the plastics industry in this context, we are actually referring to the level where the manufacture of plastic products is undertaken. We are also making reference to the level where the sourcing is done, for the raw materials from which plastics are made. By the way, plastics come from petrochemicals.

So, why is the top level of the plastics industry dominated by just a few players?

Well, the answer to that question is simple: the top level of the plastics industry is dominated by just a few players because there are many (and huge) barriers to entry, at that top level of the plastics industry. Only the few well-heeled players who are able to overcome those barriers to entry are able to play at that top level of the plastics industry. The barriers to entry we are making reference to here are mostly of a financial and a logistical nature, though there are technical barriers as well.

Still, it is encouraging to note that there is a greater diversity of players at the lower levels of the plastics industry. Thus, for instance, if you are looking to buy the best headphones made out of plastic, or to buy plastic-based earbuds for ladies, you are likely to be spoilt for choice. But if you want to buy the petrochemicals out of which the plastic products are fashioned, then you will find that there are only a few companies from which you can buy such petrochemicals or raw plastics.

Getting International Markets for Plastic Products

As a businessperson involved in the production of plastic products, you may find yourself being inclined to start looking for International markets. If, for instance, your local domestic market is too small, or if the competition in your local domestic market is too much, then you are likely to be forced to start looking for international markets.

Before venturing out in search of international markets for plastic products, it is important for you to ask yourself whether or not you can actually compete on the international scene. This is not always easy.

Further, before venturing out in search of international markets for plastic products, it is important for you to ask yourself whether or not you have the capacity to handle international orders. These are often huge orders, which typically have to be filled on short notice.

Let’s assume, for instance, that the plastic products you are trying to market internationally are vacuum cleaners. Then you may first need to go to sites where top vacuum cleaners reviews are posted. You may go through specific reviews, like, say, those for the best vacuums for cleaning cars. Then you need to ask yourself whether you can produce similar vacuums, at competitive prices, and in huge enough quantities to serve the international market. If you can, then you can proceed with your endeavor of searching for international markets for the plastic products in question.