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As CNN explained, though there has been some progress with the creation of biodegradable polymers, the researchers warned microplastics “will continue to cycle through the earth’s systems.”
Why This Matters: We have the tools to keep plastic out of the environment, yet we need to get to work ASAP. As the World Wildlife Fund’s Head of Plastic Waste and Business, Erin Simon, wrote for ODP: “we need to create a truly circular economy in which plastic maintains its value at every stage of its life cycle, stopping it from becoming waste in the first place. But in order to accomplish that, we first need a firm grasp of the policy proposals, emerging technologies, and other potential solutions that will shape much of the dialogue around this critical issue.”
Domestic legislation like The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act is a crucial step to tackling U.S. plastic pollution. The bill would shift some financial responsibility for the end-of-life management of plastic packaging to producers, thereby creating an incentive for them to design products that can be more easily reused or recycled. This is a key step as municipal budgets are often strapped for cash and cannot adequately collect and manage plastic waste.
In addition to this, two-thirds of UN member states have already indicated they are open to the idea of a global treaty on plastic akin to the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. This latest PNAS study shows that microplastics don’t linger where they’re created, thus plastic pollution is truly a global problem. The world must come together to ensure that all nations have the support they need to properly manage plastic and create circular economies.
Straight To The Source:Wired wrote of the study that 84% of airborne microplastics in the American West actually comes from the roads outside of major cities. The tires spinning on roads, the braking process, and exhaust from cars help spread microplastic particles, the study revealed.
Additionally, another 11% of microplastics could be blowing all the way in from the ocean. (The researchers who built the model reckon that microplastic particles stay airborne for nearly a week, and that’s more than enough time for them to cross continents and oceans.)
Bike riders and commuters across the nation will be getting some special benefits for purchasing an electric bicycle. Included in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget plan is $7.4 billion in tax credits for e-bike purchases. The administration hopes that it can encourage more people to choose biking instead of driving to help curb transportation emissions, […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Those three arrows in a triangle are an easy shorthand for recyclables, but there’s one problem: just because the symbol is printed on a product, doesn’t necessarily mean the item is recyclable. It simply informs consumers of the type of plastic used based on the number within the arrows. […]
“Recycling just got saucy.” Taco Bell has announced that it’s teaming up with recycling firm TerraCycle to keep its iconic sauce packets out of landfills. The company says that more than 8 billion of their spicy sauce packets end up in landfills each year, but with this new partnership, those friendly packets can become something […]
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