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Life Without Plastic

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So pleased to be a part of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute launch of their "Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea" exhibit coinciding with World Ocean's Day events around the world last week.

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/ActivitiesAndEvents/Celebrations/washed-ashore.cfm
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A newly released United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report "MARINE PLASTIC DEBRIS AND MICROPLASTICS: Global lessons and research to inspire action and guide policy change" considers plastic litter in the oceans "a common concern of humankind".

A few of the key takeaways from the report:
- 'Biodegradeable' plastics do not degrade rapidly in the ocean;
- Need to move toward a more circular economy model for plastics production, to minimize plastic waste;
- There is sufficient evidence to take a Precautionary Approach and act now to reduce plastic entering the oceans.
- There needs to be better governance framework for dealing with plastic pollution, and more cooperation among directly affected nations and communities;
- Marine plastics have serious social, economic and ecological impacts ranging from deaths from navigation accidents involving plastic debris to wildlife death and injury to loss of income and clean-up costs;
- Plastic reduction measures should be taken to minimize leakage into the oceans;
- Improved waste collection and management is the most urgent solution for reducing plastic pollution in the oceans, especially in developing economies.

Lots of work to do!

Here are a couple of commentaries on the report:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0525/Is-biodegradable-plastic-a-big-lie
http://www.treehugger.com/ocean-conservation/great-awful-truth-about-biodegradable-plastics.html

Here is the report: http://www.unep.org/about/sgb/Portals/50153/UNEA/Marine%20Plastic%20Debris%20and%20Microplastic%20Technical%20Report%20Advance%20Copy.pdf
On Monday, the UN issued a report on the state of plastics in the world's oceans, revealing that the term 'biodegradable plastic' may be a misleading misnomer.
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Excellent Rolling Stone article by Plastic Pollution Coalition​ Co-Founder and CEO Dianna Cohen about how the music industry and concert/festival scene are taking action to reduce plastic use and pollution.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-music-industrys-battle-against-plastic-junk-20160519
Touring artists are using their unique influence to help festival organizers move away from single-use plastic
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U.S. Congressional Subcommittee flabbergasted by news of "an ongoing Alaska cleanup effort in an area that holds 30 tons of plastic debris per mile, along shorelines with virtually no vehicle access".

https://www.adn.com/article/20160517/alaskas-100-million-plastic-problem-catches-congressional-attention
Congress is considering how to help with the nation's marine debris problem, particularly in Alaska, where the problem continues to pile up despite millions of pounds of plastic removed from shorelines over the last decade.
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Life Without Plastic

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Lizzie Carr aims to become the first person to stand-up paddleboard 643km along connected waterways from Surrey to Cumbria
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Did you know our fabulously durable 3-Piece Stainless Steel Dish Set - easy-carry plate with insulated bowl and tumbler - is on sale this month? Now you do! Loved by both kids and adults.

http://www.lifewithoutplastic.com/store/3-piece-stainless-steel-dish-set.html
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Have them in circles
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Life Without Plastic

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Happy ‪#‎WorldOceansDay‬! Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet: Take action to prevent ocean plastic pollution! ‪#‎Waveforchange‬
Lots of ideas for action here:
http://www.worldoceansday.org/
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In January of this year the Ellen Macarthur Foundation launched the New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics report at the World Economic Forum’s annual event in Davos. It assesses comprehensively for the first time global plastic packaging flows.

Following on recommendations put forward in the report, the New Plastics Economy initiative kicks off this week with an inaugural workshop that brings together over 40 leading companies and front-running cities. The key idea is to overcome the limitations of incremental improvements and fragmented programmes that, over the last 40 years, have failed to move the needle on material value loss and negative externalities.

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/may/25/the-new-plastics-economy-initiative-launches

http://newplasticseconomy.org
The New Plastics Economy initiative, which envisages improved after-use pathways for plastics, kicks off this week
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In what is said to be a first for automakers, Ford is developing foams and plastics using captured carbon dioxide, which could be integrated into the company's vehicles within five years. Via @TreeHugger.

http://www.treehugger.com/cars/ford-turning-captured-co2-plastics-and-foam-car-parts.html

If these new materials are as easily recyclable as claimed (and hopefully not just downcyclable, i.e., the recycled material can only be used for products of lesser quality/functionality) this development would fit nicely into the growing global movement toward a more circular zero waste economy.

Another concern to be aware of is that Ford talks of the base raw material carbon dioxide polymer being compounded with other additives (no mention of what they might be). If they are similar additives used in synthetic plastics - e.g., phthalates as softening plasticizers - we are really no further ahead than with traditional synthetic plastics.
In what is said to be a first for automakers, Ford is developing foams and plastics using captured carbon dioxide, which could be integrated into the company's vehicles within five years.
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Nestling among the leaves and twigs on the forest floor, they looked like the leftovers from a recent picnic. In fact, they were packets of Walker’s crisps which date back some 22 years.
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Post-mortem examinations of the thirteen North Sea sperm whales recently stranded on the coast of Germany revealed that their stomachs were full of plastic. #recyclingshouldbemandatory

Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/sperm-whales-found-dead-in-germany-stomachs-full-of-plastic-and-car-parts/
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Another innovative repurposing of otherwise waste-destined single-use plastic bottles... via TreeHugger​

http://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/eco-village-panama-will-be-constructed-recycled-plastic-bottles.html
Plastic Bottle Village demonstrates another approach to repurposing single-use bottles.
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Have them in circles
194 people
Claire Plews's profile photo
The Good Stuff Botanicals's profile photo
Dr. Karen Lee's profile photo
Shirley Li's profile photo
Romain Ball's profile photo
Baldassare Sanfilippo's profile photo
Danny Sustaita's profile photo
Jodi Horsley's profile photo
Mudpies Tiaras's profile photo
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Your one-stop shop for safe, high quality, ethically-sourced, Earth-Friendly alternatives to plastics for everyday life.
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LifeWithoutPlastic.com is the one-stop shop for safe, high quality, ethically-sourced, Earth-friendly alternatives to plastic products for everyday life - and a solid resource for info on plastics and alternatives.