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The people who flocked to Cocoa Beach in Florida last weekend left behind 13,000 pounds of litter, prompting the police to threaten a crackdown. Local officials believe that as social distancing and stay in place orders are loosened in parts of the state, there has been an influx of day-trippers who show up and leave […]
Throughout the coronavirus crisis, there have been countless heroes who have emerged to take care of the sick, protect the healthy, and ensure that our society functions as best as it can in extraordinary times. But some of our lesser-acknowledged heroes are the people who are cleaning up our waste and sanitizing our hospitals and […]
Nearly 5 years ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged New York City would send zero waste to landfills by 2030, in part by scaling up an aggressive composting program to turn food scraps into nutrient-rich soil. It’s now 2020 and the city is nowhere near meeting the mayor’s stated goals.
There are more than 23,000 trash cans scattered around New York City and they have been virtually unchanged in design since the 1930s — way before we even thought about plastic, much less recycling it. NYC decided to have a competition to select the best new bin design to replace the old bins — the […]
Selfie insanity has now reached its peak — at the top of Mount Everest, with The New York Times reporting earlier this week that climbers are now “pushing and shoving” to get perfect shot from the flattest part of the summit, after waiting hours jammed in an overcrowded line on an icy, rocky ridge with a several-thousand foot drop on either side.
The 186 nations who are a party to the United Nation’s Basel Convention on solid waste concluded a historic agreement late Friday that will require countries to monitor and control the movement of plastic waste between national borders in order to deal with the world’s plastic crisis. Unfortunately, the United States was not involved in the negotiations or the final agreement because it is one of just two countries that has not ratified the Basel Convention.
With the shutdown over, for employees of our country’s National Parks, the tough clean up job is just getting started. Sadly the toll of the shutdown on our natural heritage may have been greater than feared in some locations. For example, Joshua Tree National Park suffered damage from vandalism that will be irreparable for the next 200 to 300 years, according to former park superintendent Curt Sauer. The Trump Administration kept many parks open for most or all of the shutdown, but volunteers who helped clean up trash and service bathrooms in popular parks like Joshua Tree could not keep up with routine maintenance, much less stop the vandals.
Compostable cups, bags and cutlery were supposed to be the answer to single-use plastic products, but recent news reports say that instead they are causing problems for recycling plants and also ending up in landfills where the conditions are not right for them to decompose. According to The Wall Street Journal and the Daily Caller, in order to decompose, compostables need high heat and moisture — they were actually intended to be sent to specially designed disposal sites, where they will break down properly and can add nutrients to the soil.
On Tuesday, the City of San Diego became the latest U.S. city to ban the use of styrofoam within city limits. The ban covers the use and distribution some very common products like egg cartons, food containers, coolers, ice chests, pool or beach toys, mooring buoys and navigation markers made fully or partially of polystyrene foam, commonly known as styrofoam. Other major cities like New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. also now have styrofoam bans in effect.
Why This Matters: Styrofoam needs to go. The new replacements are better for the planet and completely recyclable. For example, TemperPack’s “ClimaCell” packaging produces 97% less carbon emissions in the manufacturing process than styrofoam and will replace tens of millions of pounds of plastic foam that would otherwise be dumped in landfills and never biodegrade. Good for the economy and good for mother earth. Good for these cities for taking this bold action.
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