Lego Saying ‘No’ To Plastic, Invests Millions Into Search For ‘Sustainable’ Material

Read the full story in the Huffington Post.

Goodbye plastic Legos?

The toy company announced this week that it plans to invest 1 billion Danish Krone (or about $150 million) over the next 15 years in a program to develop new “sustainable” materials which will eventually replace the plastic currently used to make its iconic building blocks. Lego also plans to make its packaging more environmentally-friendly.

10 things we learned about tackling plastic ocean waste

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Earlier this year an NGO warned we could end up with ‘as much plastic in our oceans as fish’. Here is what the experts said in an online debate on plastic pollution.

Why cigarette butts threaten to stub out marine life

Read the full story in The Guardian.

While we know cigarettes damage our bodies, we still don’t fully understand their health implications for our oceans, beyond that other forms of microplastics and microfibres pose a risk to marine organisms. A study from San Diego State University suggests one smoked cigarette butt in a single litre of water is sufficient to kill both marine and freshwater fish, although how this translates from the laboratory to an actual aquatic setting isn’t yet clear.

Can the plastics industry create a collaborative model for change?

Read the full story on GreenBiz.

Plastic is an inherently ubiquitous and valuable material — which is why it’s time to finally move the needle on doing a better job reusing it.

Marine Debris & Plastic Source Reduction Toolkit for Colleges & Universities

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Many plastic food service ware items originate on  college and university campuses — in cafeterias, snack rooms, cafes, and eateries with take-out dining options. That’s why we created this Campus Plastic Source Reduction Toolkit. The toolkit was piloted at three University of California (UC) campuses–Santa Barbara (UCSB), San Diego (UCSD), and San Francisco (UCSF) — but we designed each of these steps to be replicable and easily implemented by other colleges and universities around the country. By following the steps in the toolkit, you can help your college or university reduce plastic waste through source reduction–the process of minimizing the amount of plastic used. Together, we can cut down on plastic waste and reduce the amount of marine debris polluting the planet’s oceans and waterways.

This Company Does Something Cool With Something Most of Us Recycle

Read the full story in HuffPost Green.

Most of us see old milk jugs as something for the recycle bin (or, in the case of one blogger, the makings of a D.I.Y. Storm Trooper helmet). But for toy maker Green Toys, the plastic jugs become the start of something fun: toys.

Green Toys’ line — which ranges from kitchen sets to vehicles piloted by little bears — is made completely from recycled milk jugs. To date, the company has recycled over 24,000,000 jugs. The plastic that milk jugs are made out of is called high-density polyethylene. Since this type of plastic is used for food storage, it is also safe for children. Green Toys products pass several safety tests, including the FDA regulation for food contact.

How can agriculture solve its $5.87 billion plastic problem?

Read the full story in GreenBiz. The story originally appeared in Ensia.

Whether it’s this small organic farm coaxing an impressive yield out of a few acres in Oregon or a large conventional operation somewhere else in the world, plastic is a huge part of modern agriculture — a multi-billion-dollar worldwide industry, according to Penn State Extension. Billions of pounds are used around the world each year, with much of the plastic designed for one season’s use.

There’s a growing recognition by farmers and others in the agricultural community of the need for environmentally responsible disposal solutions for these materials. The question, though, is how to do that with materials designed to not break down in rain, sun and heat, and that can — if burned or left to degrade — pose environmental health hazards.