The United States ranks behind Europe (30 percent) and China (25 percent) in recycling; recycling in the U.S. has remained at nine percent since 2012.
This much plastic enters our oceans every second!
Each year over 100,000 marine animals and one million birds die from ingesting and choking on plastic. Plastics leach harmful chemicals such as DDT into our soil and groundwater. Additionally, plastic products emit millions of tons of greenhouse gases during their production phase, accelerating climate change and polluting our air. Microplastics are accumulating in our soil and water. In spite of years of the mantra “Refuse – Reduce – Reuse – Recycle”, plastics are still a significant problem. China is now refusing to be the dumping ground for our plastic refuse. What will we do about it?
In mid December, the Connecticut River Conservancy submitted an application to the Mass Environmental Trust (the enviro license plate fund in MA) to do a microplastics citizens monitoring program along the mainstem of the CT River in MA. If it gets funded, the idea is to pilot the program and see how easy it would be to expand it to other parts of our watershed. Researching for the grant, they found other rivers that had been tested around the country, but not anything in MA or the CT River watershed.
Sugar-rich cellulose is the most abundant biological material on earth and Marshall Medoff has found a way to use electron accelerators transform agricultural residue such as corn cobs into fuel as well as a bio-plastic that can be programmed to breakdown in as little as 11 weeks. Read more
Do you remember when Frito-Lay gave up their compostable Sun Chip bags because folks complained the bags were too noisy (?!?) We don’t know the decibel level of these new bags, but many of us, for whom tortilla chips and salsa are a basic food group, are grateful for this good news! Read More
Here’s a great resolution for those whose 2018 take-out coffee cup history might look like the above photo: No more single-use cups! Take the time to make great coffee at home and invest in a insulated stainless steel travel mug. No more drive-up window coffee if you can’t use your own travel mug. And support those take-out vendors who give discounts for bringing your own mug. Let’s work together to reduce single-use plastic pollution.
First plastic-free flight in decades departs Lisbon
Cillian O’Brien, CTVNews.ca Staff
December 27, 2018
The first of four plastic-free flights departed Portugal on Boxing Day in a bid by an aircraft leasing company to banish the material from its planes by the end of 2019.
Hi Fly said the first trial trip left Lisbon, Portugal for Natal, Brazil, on Wednesday without a single-use plastic item on board. Among the innovations presented to passengers were bamboo cutlery, new paper packaging and containers that can be easily composted.
Items replaced on the journey include cups, spoons, sick bags, dishes, butter pots, soft drink bottles and toothbrushes.
“This historic Hi Fly flight underlines our commitment to making Hi Fly the world’s first plastics-free airline within 12 months,” Hi Fly president Paulo Mirpuri confirmed to CTVNews.ca in a statement. “Our corporate mission is based around sustainability and we work hand in glove with the Mirpuri Foundation to make sure that our corporate practices match our wider responsibilities to the planet.” Mirpuri is also president of the Lisbon-based Mirpuri Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on
environmental sustainability. “The test flights will help us trial the many substitute items we have developed and introduced, in a real world environment,” Mirpuri said. “We know we may encounter some initial teething problems, but we are confident of addressing these over the coming months.”
Hi Fly aims to make its entire fleet plastic-free by the end of 2019. The firm’s has already removed plastics from its offices, providing employees with water stations throughout its headquarters and distributing water bottles to staff. The leasing company announced its intention to go plastic-free by 2019 back in March. The firm said the
change will require investment. “Human beings have believed the ocean is an inexhaustible source of food and pleasure as well as a limitless garbage dump,” Mirpuri said. “We can no longer ignore the impact plastic contamination has on ecosystems, as well as on human health. We know, too, from the feedback we have received from client airlines and passengers, that it’s the right thing for the airline to be doing.”
Portuguese Minister of Environment João Pedro Matos Fernandes has said the state will cease the use of all single-use plastics by January 2019. Irish airline Ryanair, the largest carrier in Europe by passenger numbers, has also promised to eliminate non-recyclable plastics from its operations by 2023. It will also introduce a voluntary carbon offset payment for customers when booking. Air New Zealand has also pledged to remove single-use plastic items from its flights.
Toxic Garbage Island, an hour-long documentary that shows how the increasing use of the ocean as a garbage dump is slowly destroying ecosystems. Come aboard as the VICE crew takes a cruise to the Northern Gyre in the Pacific Ocean, a spot where currents spin and cycle, churning up tons of plastic into a giant pool of chemical soup, flecked with bits and whole chunks of refuse that cannot break down in nature and that accumulate into massive islands of trash!
Join Sustainable Woodstock and Pentangle for a FREE screening of this very powerful documentary! Donations go to support Pentangle.
December 19, 2018, 6:30 pm
Woodstock Town Hall Theater
Patch Orchards in Lebanon, NH has come up with an excellent solution to the ubiquitous plastic jugs for local maple syrup . . . and it can double as a travel mug once the syrup has been consumed. I’ve been putting off buying a travel mug – they can be quite expensive; I have also been committed to buying local maple syrup in reusable glass canning jars. Perfect solution! Thank you Patch Orchards for this innovative packaging solution! I found mine at Hannaford in Lebanon, NH. Also available at the Lebanon and Hanover Co-ops. And once you have as many mugs as you can re-use, you can bring your own glass containers to the farm stand (off of Churchill Road) and they will refill. (Call ahead to be sure someone will be there 603-448-4130) And enjoy your trip to the top of the world!