A hard truth to swallow, but according to Rozalia Project, we are eating our fleece! Rozalia Project has developed the Cora Ball microfiber catcher, the first human-scale, consumer solution to synthetic microfiber pollution in our ocean, lakes and rivers. Check out their successful Kickstarter Campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/879498424/cora-ball-microfiber-catching-laundry-ball
The single biggest pollution problem facing our ocean is microfiber: trillions of pieces of tiny fibers flowing into the ocean – every time we use our washing machines. Our clothing is breaking up, sending this microfiber (made of plastic and chemical-covered non-plastics) out with the drain water – just one fleece jacket could shed up to 250,000 pieces per garment per wash [source]. New York City, alone, could have 6.8 billion microfibers flowing into its harbor every day. We are all contributing to this problem. Learn more about the problem of microfiber pollution here. http://rozaliaproject.org/stop-microfiber-pollution/
Although it may seem counter-intuitive–consider for a moment that recycling may have us incidentally wasting more, and not only because be we are using the wrong receptacles to recycle.
People used more cups and paper when recycling was an option versus when they had to put them in the trash. Researchers say people’s guilt for wasting is overridden by the good feelings for recycling.
As Shankar Vedantam, NPR social science correspondent explained when ask if recycling was ‘bad’: “No, recycling isn’t bad. It’s actually very good. But in fact, that’s where the problem lies. Recycling is so good that it makes us feel virtuous, and that can lead to problematic outcomes. Let me back up and explain. I was talking to Remi Trudel. He’s a marketing professor at Boston University. He told me he was having lunch at a restaurant with his colleague, Monic Sun, when they noticed something.
Then Remi Trudel continues: We noticed that people were just grabbing napkins, like, way more than they needed. And we started thinking is it because they feel, you know, that it’s OK because they’re going to be recycling it anyways? So then we decided to run some experiments to try to prove it. (Source: NPR)
Visit the NPR transcription of the interview here to find out what results came from their studies!
CEF FFT: (After reading the NPR transcript…) Do you think people who normally buy single-use cups and utensils would buy glassware or other long-lasting containers for food and drink if they knew about this potential pitfall of the psychology behind how we perceive the impact of our recycling?
(Photo Credit: Hiroshi Watanabe/Getty Images)
Beginning July 1, 2018, restaurants in Seattle will no longer provide plastic straws and utensils to consumers. The reason for the ban is plain and simple: the waste that results from disposable plastic creates a cost that enterprises in the private sector do not subtract from the surplus value/price realization process but instead transfer to what the early 20th century British economist Arthur Cecil Pigou called in Economics of Welfare a “social cost.”
Think of how much plastic we could reduce every year if the biggest cities all committed to removing plastic straws from their economy!
(Photo Credit: Thomas Vimare)
Thanks to @mchllsong for the share!
Marine Debris office of Response and Restoration has great resources on learning about debris!
Here is a list of some frequently asked questions (and links to answers):
Yet again, we find ourselves turning back to “mother-nature” for answers with regards to environmental restoration.
Announced on BBC news only days ago, we’ve now discovered a caterpillar that munches on plastic bags could hold the key to tackling plastic pollution, scientists say.
Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that the larvae of the moth, which eats wax in bee hives, can also degrade plastic.
Experiments show the insect can break down the chemical bonds of plastic in a similar way to digesting beeswax.
Each year, about 80 million tonnes of the plastic polyethylene are produced around the world.
The plastic is used to make shopping bags and food packaging, among other things, but it can take hundreds of years to decompose completely.
However, caterpillars of the moth (Galleria mellonella) can make holes in a plastic bag in under an hour.
Dr Paolo Bombelli is a biochemist at the University of Cambridge and one of the researchers on the study.
“The caterpillar will be the starting point,” he told BBC News.
“We need to understand the details under which this process operates.
“We hope to provide the technical solution for minimizing the problem of plastic waste.”
Visit the source link on BBC News for more information!
Saltwater Brewery out of Florida has come up with a possible solution to the extreme waste of plastic we find in the ocean from beer rings. Make the rings not only biodegradable but edible!
They say that the United States consumes roughly 6.3 Billion gallons of beer each year, 50% in cans, which means a significant amount of the plastic 6-pack rings end up in the ocean. Sea life, whether it be birds or aquatic life get trapped in the plastic try eating it but are unable to digest so it gets stuck in their stomachs. Some people think that the idea of cutting or ripping the plastic rings will solve the problem, but the animals can still take them in not knowing the plastic material is harmful.
Imagine if the cost to manufacture edible plastic rings dropped because more companies opted to use them? It could mean a significant drop in plastics finding their way into the ocean.
Watch a video here to find out more about Saltwater Brewery‘s vision for cutting down on plastics in the ocean!
For Stiv Wilson, it started off when he noticed a patch of flotsam waste off of the Oregon coast. Then, after researching more into “Ocean Plastic” he was inspired to help put together “The 5 Gyres Project” mounting the task with a few other visionaries they accrued various findings (Check out his website for more figures!). After no time at all had plastic bags no longer distributed in Oregon state as well as putting a huge halt on plastic microbeads found in beauty and cosmetic products.
“[…the] result was a collective vision and set of principles that we’re calling The Tagaytay Accord, as well as a series of proposed collaborative projects we plan to launch in 2017. This fall, we announced this movement effort and asked other groups to join us. Within days, more than 500 organizations signed on, and agreed to build this movement together. We’re calling this movement #BreakFreeFromPlastic.”
-Stiv Wilson, (StoryofStuff.org)
It is clear the the efforts worldwide are not only in regards to recovery from ecological damage that has been done to the planet but also in the prevention of further environmental destruction. Cutting back on what is harmful to the ecosystem is as important as cleaning up the mess we’ve already made. And, of course, how we dispose, reuse and recycle our waste. Aiming to break a vicious cycle!
Let’s Do It! World is an organization leading an effort to put together a worldwide cleaning day in September 2018.
Teams in countries around the world have already began setting up teams. They have multiple maps on their website sharing where teams have set things up, teams who are in the process of setting up and countries where there remains to be a team set up. Nice to have visual data.
When you land on their homepage, they have you recommend a leader to run a cleanup in your area—not a bad way of enrolling inspired individuals to gamify the process of cleaning the planet!
Check out their website for more info on how you can get involved and contribute.
Imagine if we could clean the surface of the earth all at once as a planet. What a spectacle it would be. Save the date?
Plastic waste can be made into building blocks!
Peter Lewis is a New Zealand-based engineer whose research has now laid the foundation for the use of waste plastic to create building materials from a material comprising plastic sourced from the oceans and machine-compressed into the dimensions of a typical concrete masonry unit. Because the blocks do not require a binding agent, such as glue or adhesive, their carbon footprint is said to be far less in comparison to concrete.
The startup ByFusion created by Gregor Gomory is getting started with the project of creating what they are calling RePlast blocks and are exploring different possible uses for the building materials. Gomory told SustainableBrands. “We want to see RePlast used in a modular way in low-income housing, for example. There are much smarter people out there than us that will have ideas.”
Like a bird preparing its nest the materials await to be scavenged. A potential gaming element is evident: Collecting waste plastic materials to get more blocks, more blocks builds more houses. More houses, less trash in the oceans and the land. Next, do we cut down on use of plastics? 🙂