Plastic Pollution vs. Animal Life

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/grey-seal-horsey-beach-norfolk-england-771362797
Today billions of pounds of plastic waste can be found in the ocean. About 40% of the oceans surfaces are covered by it. Scientists believe there is somewhere between 15 and 51 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean, and have suggested that there is not an entire square mile of surface ocean on the planet that is free of plastic. Thousands of seabirds, sea turtles, and other marine animals are being killed due to ingestion or by becoming tangled in the plastic.
In the North Pacific 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic are consumed by fish which can cause injury or death, as well as be transferred up the food chain. One fourth of all fish caught in the California fish markets have been had plastic in their guts.

For birds the impact is a little different. They accidentally consume plastic, or feed it to their chicks which ultimately takes up capacity in their stomachs causing them to eat less and eventually starve. It is believed that about 60% of all species of seabird have ingested plastic, by 2050 this number is expected to reach 99%.

For larger marine life plastic pollution impacts them in much the same way as it does other marine life. One, it can ensnare them causing injury and strangulation. Two, it can be ingested causing injury, illness, and death. The plastic also can be ingested inadvertently by consuming other marine life that has eaten plastic. In this way plastic concentration in marine life compounds as it goes up the food chain.

Plastic Pollution doesn't just harm marine life, but also has a negative impact on land animals too. In a lot of the ways plastic impacts marine life it also impacts life on land. Plastic pollution is abundant and while land animals might be less likely to get tangled in plastic, except birds, animals are still getting stuck in buckets. Land animals are also accidentally consuming plastic and in a similar way to marine life this causes illness, death, and plastic concentrations being passed up the food chain.

Let us not forget plastic can is also be harmful to the environment and humans too. Hope is not lost. People need to come together and stop plastic pollution. Conscientiously avoid single use plastic packaging. Use reusable alternatives to plastic like metal water bottles. Make sure to properly dispose of plastic that you do use. Helping reduce the amount of outgoing plastic pollution is one step, the other is making concentrated clean up efforts. Doing these two things can reduce plastic waste and have a positive impact on the planet and its inhabitants.

For an opportunity to take action follow this link to a petition to protect wildlife from plastic pollution: https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/ocean_plastics/

For stories of individual animals that have been negatively impacted by plastic pollution follow this link: http://www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/index.en.php?id=934

Sources:
https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/ocean_plastics/
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/ways-plastic-pollution-impacts-animals-on-land/
http://www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/index.en.php?id=934

Tricky Plastic Items


By LENCIA HOLMES June, 13th 2018

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For the American, Canadian, and UK environmental advocates out there, it may come as a surprise that plastic recycling may not be a one stop, throw it in the bin experience. While plastic bottles and cartons can be recycled in your curbside recycle bin, plastic films are recycled differently. Many may not even know plastic bags, case films, produce bags, and other polyethylene (PE) materials can be recycled. They can! Yet, it may require drop off at a local grocery store or recycling center. Find many local drop off locations here – US/CA and UK. A short breakdown of what is and isn’t recyclable PE material is shown below. 
  


For more US/CA plastic recycling specifics, check out this page.
For more UK plastic recycling specifics, check out this page.

As we all try to expand our reach with plastic reduction, share your local resources in the comments below especially if you live outside the US and Canada. We know our Russian and Middle Eastern friends are eager to join the movement as well.

10 Things You Should Know about Lush Packaging

lush
1. Naked: Thirty-five percent of Lush products are sold naked, with no packaging, so zero-waste washing is absolutely possible.
2. Post-consumer plastic: Lush products in pots and bottles are sold in 100% post-consumer plastic. Their plastic bottles can be recycled through your city’s recycling program, but save and return your black pots to your local Lush store for…
3. Free face masks! Did you know you can return five clean black pots to any Lush store in exchange for a free fresh face mask? They chip them down and remold them into new black pots in a closed recycling loop.
4. Continuous improvements: In 2012, Lush made their clear bottles thinner by 10% to reduce our plastic usage. In 2016 alone, this saved almost 13,500 pounds of plastic!
Intergalactic in a plastic-free, compostable bag
Intergalactic in a plastic-free, compostable bag

5. Knot-wraps:
 In 2010, Lush phased out their gift wrapping service and introduced knot-wraps. These square scarves are made of organic cotton or a silky fabric made from recycled plastic bottles, and are a great green alternative to wrapping paper. (They make really cute accessories, too!)
6. Recyclable or reusable: Lush gifts come in fabric knot-wraps, recyclable cardboard boxes or reusable metal tins: no matter which one you receive, its packaging is recyclable or reusable. Lush mail order packages are also packed in 100% recycled (and recyclable) cardboard boxes.
7. Lush packing peanuts: Lush uses plant-based packing peanuts to protect the products in our gifts and mail order packages. Unlike Styrofoam, these are 100% biodegradable: to dispose of them, just toss them in your compost.
8. Nope, that’s not plastic: Naked products in Lush gifts and mail order packages come in bags that look like plastic, but are made of 100% biodegradable cellophane. You can toss these in your compost, too!
9. Ocean plastic: Lush is partnering with the Ocean Legacy Foundation to use recovered plastic from the oceans as a material in our bottles and pots.
10. Lush's catalog: Even Lush's catalog, which has information about all of our products and gifts, is printed on 100% recycled paper.

Tokyo's Way of Recycling its Waste

In Tokyo, the Minato Incineration Plant house a state-of-the-art recycling plant, playing a key role in efforts to promote sustainable living in the capital of Japan. Every week, thousands of plastic crates are placed along the streets of Tokyo to collect recyclable materials. These crates are organized and meticulously separated based on the appropriate receptacles.
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When crates full of glass containers enter the facility, they undergo a process where containers are sorted and organized until they are smashed into shards. The shards are collected by recycling companies and made into road paving material or bottles once again.
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Aside from glass smashing, the plant's activities are mainly focused on compacting, crushing and washing. Cans and tins make their way through magnetized sorting to separate steel and aluminum and then compression. The metals are remade into cans, auto parts or construction materials.

Plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), are compacted into 17-kilogram bales holding the equivalent of 200 1.5 liter bottles. After processing, the PET can be used to make new bottles, fabrics and stationary goods.

The heaviest of the bales made at the Minato plant are fashioned from recyclable plastics such as food packaging, bento trays, shampoo bottles and cup noodle containers. After the items are sorted, they are put through a giant compacting machine and bundled into 280-kilogram bales wrapped in white vinyl. The bales are then shipped to companies that turn them into new plastic products or chemical resources.

Minato Ward currently recycles about 29.8% of its recyclable materials and the current goal is 42% by 2021. Some 26% of burnable garbage and 12% of nonburnable garbage can be recycled. Recycling is a massive industry in Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government says it is promoting the '3R' strategy of reducing, reusing and recycling resources to continue to work with citizens and businesses to bring awareness.
Image result for recycling japan

Read more about recycling in Tokyo:
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2017/06/10/environment/plastic-fantastic-tokyo-recycle-waste/#.WyDB0zNKjGI
http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat26/sub162/item869.html 
https://soranews24.com/2014/05/15/recycling-in-japan-or-reasons-to-get-it-right-and-avoid-eternal-shame/

Beat Plastic Beyond World Environment Day

By LENCIA HOLMES June, 13th 2018

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You may have seen tags like: #BeatPlasticPollution   #OnePlasticFreeDay   #PlasticFreeLiving   #PlanetOrPlastic around this month as June 5th is World Environment Day. Now is a good time to remember that we all have a part to play in reducing waste and securing resources for future generations. The short video below highlights how plastic pollution has and is projected to influence the world.   



Reducing single use plastic is a start to significantly reducing plastic pollution. You can begin making this change today! You don’t have to do it alone either. Be part of the movement and share your commitment with others. Lead with your actions, and use your voice to let your government know that environmental issues and legislative action can not wait.

Here’s some background about plastic’s history and steps you can take to reduce usage. There are worldwide events and initiates you can find too. Or if you want to begin an event yourself, here’s some downloadable event kits to get you started. Let’s make things better a day at a time everyone!

Zero-Waste Beauty DIY

If you're like me, your bathroom is littered with cosmetic and personal care bottles. Unfortunately, our desire to look (and smell) groomed to socially acceptable standards is not without its environmental consequences. The dozens of bottles and tubs adorning our bathroom shelves are made of increasingly scarce resources, and despite our best intentions, many of them are destined for landfills. One way to decrease the amount of trash you produce with packaging and product is to concoct your products at home using natural ingredients. Most of the ingredients can be found in your home! You'll find that turning to DIY is not just safer, but also it's cheaper. It is also allows you to know exactly what is in your products!

Zero Waste, Plastic Free Beauty and Grooming in Paris. For sustainable, green, plastic-free living. Homemade mouthwash, DIY tooth powder, glass cup for rinsing, sustainably harvested wooden toothbrush, siwak (miswak) sticks to replace floss, unpackaged Alep soap for cleaning and shaving, Merkur 25c safety razor, Buly 1803 grapeseed oil, RMS beauty cosmetics, bamboo toothbrush

How to make DIY Zero Waste Powder Foundation that absorbs oil and evens out your skin tone: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/zero-waste-homemade-powder-foundation

How to make DIY Zero Waste Rose Water Toner with just two ingredients: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/how-to-make-rose-water-toner

How to make DIY Zero Waste Deodorant: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/2016/1/14/zero-waste-deodorant-update

How to make DIY Zero Waste Extra Strength Deodorant: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/diy-zero-waste-extra-strength-deodorant

How to make DIY Zero Waste DIY Mineral Sunscreen: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/diy-mineral-sunscreen

How to make DIY Zero Waste Eyeliner and Mascara: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/zero-waste-eyeliner-and-mascara

How to make DIY Zero Waste Makeup Remover: https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/best-homemade-eye-makeup-remover/

However, if you're not too big on doing it yourself, zero waste makeup brands do exist! It is going to cost more than it's drug store counterparts, but remember that you are paying for high-quality ingredients and quality packaging. Here is a list of zero waste makeup brands: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/10-zero-waste-makeup-brands

Sources:
https://resource.co/article/Packaging/Wasted_beauty_Packaging_cosmetics_industry
https://www.goingzerowaste.com/
http://www.paris-to-go.com/2014/08/zero-waste-beauty-and-grooming.html

An army of plastic fighting drones is joining the fight

The world has been producing plastic since the 1950's, finding extremely rapid growth in the amount of waste generated in the 1980's. It wasn't until the 2010's that governments and other international bodies began to take steps towards addressing the problem of plastic pollution. Photos taken by the drones are being used by machine-learning algorithms to remotely detect plastic waste hotspots. As the world has come together to address the problem, we've found ways to monitor it in order to understand its progress together.

We've developed photo-taking drones used by machine-learning algorithms to remotely detect plastic waste hotspots. Plastic Tide's director, Peter Kohler developed his vision after discovering rubbish everywhere he went during a sailing trip in the South Pacific in 2008. He wanted to harness technology to track marine litter, measure the scale of the problem, as well as monitor the success of initiatives to limit plastic. Image result for drone plastic trash
A shot of a large trash hotspot in Thailand.

The idea is to use drone-mounted cameras to take thousands of aerial photos. These photos are then used to train an AI algorithm to recognize images of plastic trash and distinguish between shells, jellyfish or plastic bags or bottle tops. The end result will be an accurate, open-source map of the worst-polluted coastlines. The project started in the UK, but it has global ambitions to monitor the seabed and the sea surface.



Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/this-ai-is-learning-to-recognize-ocean-plastic-using-drone-photos?utm_source=Facebook%20Videos&utm_medium=Facebook%20Videos&utm_campaign=Facebook%20Video%20Blogs

This Island is Uninhibited, Yet Has The Highest Plastic Pollution Density


A recent article by National Geographic discussed how plastic waste ends up in our oceans. The article was a part of the Planet or Plastic campaign, in an effort to bring awareness to the issue. The article first discussed Henderson Island, an island about the size of Manhattan that contains over 19 tons of garbage. Henderson Island is located in the south pacific, is uninhibited, and has the highest density of plastic pollution in the world. Trash ends up at Henderson Island due to plastic being discarded or mismanaged, and ending up in the ocean. It ends up at Henderson Island due to a current, but not all the plastic waste from the ocean ends up on shore. 

The many pieces of trash left floating in the ocean are affecting wildlife in many ways, killing marine life, and being ingested by smaller marine life, such as phytoplankton, which then effects the food chain on a larger level. Marine life is getting caught in old fishing nets, plastic rings, and garbage. We can improve this by reducing our plastic consumption and properly recycling.