Day: September 4, 2018

Invasive Species Are Riding on Plastic Across the Oceans

Read the full story at National Geographic.

Crustaceans and mollusks foreign to the United States have survived up to six years riding on ocean trash.

In India’s Largest City, A Ban on Plastics Faces Big Obstacles

Read the full story at e360.

Facing a scourge of plastic bags, the Indian state that includes Mumbai mandated a sweeping ban on plastic bags and other throwaway plastic items. But the chaos that followed shows the challenges of restricting a material so deeply embedded in the modern economy.

San Jose Is Recycling Its Plastics With A Revolutionary New Method

Read the full story at Green Matters.

What actually happens to our used plastics when they’re hauled off to recycling centers? They might be washed and shredded, then molded into the basis for a new bottle. Or they might be melted all the way down into an oil or fuel that can be used to power cars. Scientists could also, theoretically, feed them to the much-touted plastic-eating enzyme.

But there’s another way, one that could help us reuse hard-to-recycle plastics like bags. It comes courtesy of the startup BioCellection, which just partnered with San Jose to reshape the city’s recycling process.

Mathy Stanislaus on what it will take to make waste a climate issue

Read the full story in WasteDive.

Few people are as plugged in to the international waste and recycling conversation as Mathy Stanislaus.

Now a circular economy fellow at the World Resources Institute, Stanislaus previously spent nearly eight years as assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. During that time, he was credited with pushing the sustainable materials management approach, adopting a 50% food waste reduction goal and representing the U.S. during G7 climate talks, among other accomplishments.

Since the end of the Obama administration, Stanislaus has remained engaged in these issues for WRI and is also helping establish the new Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy as senior policy advisor to the World Economic Forum.

Stanislaus delivered a complex and thought-provoking keynote talk at WASTECON in Nashville, Tennessee last week. Waste Dive spoke to him afterward, the first time since he left the EPA in 2016, to learn more.

Tribal elder raises river restoration awareness

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

When the Brown Bridge Dam was being removed from the Boardman River in Traverse City in October 2012, Hank Bailey, a tribal elder from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, feared that people would die because of damage caused by its removal.

Caveats: A collection of dataviz caveats

Data to Viz has compiled a very useful collection to help you avoid the most common mistakes people make when creating visualizations.

‘Clean tax cuts’ and the global free market for plastic solutions

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

An estimated 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year — a large number, but dwarfed by the roughly 4.9 billion tons of plastic waste dumped on land and sea since 1950.

The cause: 50 years of disposable plastic products and packaging, with globally inadequate investment in low-waste alternatives and recycling systems. Consumers do not pay — and few companies voluntarily shoulder the full cost of preventing or cleaning up the waste produced by their products. A key barrier to both investment and the rapid adoption of better solutions and policies remains sheer cost.

Much of the world has explored plastic bans, taxes, alternative materials or producer responsibility regulations, but little focus has been given to the potential financial incentives that can drive needed investment and make solutions cheaper, even profitable.

Fortunately, an innovative new class of free market solutions called Clean Tax Cuts, or CTCs, can directly drive up investment and also drive down that crucial cost barrier that has left the world with a large gap in recycling and material recovery capacity.

Recycling Is Crashing? Far From It.

Read the full story in Governing.

China’s restrictions have certainly had an impact, but there’s plenty that local governments can do to keep it viable.

Sea level rise already causing billions in home value to disappear

Read the full story at Axios.

Sea level rise may seem like a far-off threat, but a growing number of new studies, including one out Thursday, shows that real estate markets have already started responding to increased flooding risks by reducing prices of vulnerable homes.

The bottom line: According to a new report by the nonprofit First Street Foundation, housing values in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut dropped $6.7 billion from 2005 to 2017 due to flooding related to sea level rise. Combined with their prior analysis of 5 southeastern coastal states with $7.4 billion in lost home value, the total loss in 8 states since 2005 has been $14.1 billion.

Driving the news: A recent slew of studies show how the housing market is responding to the increasing risk of coastal flooding — with billions in value disappearing as investors wake up to the systemic risk.

Your Stakeholders Are Listening, So What Are You Saying?

Read the full story at Sustainable Brands.

Understanding who your business affects and how they affect your business is key to long-term success. If you only focus on customers, you are falling way short. To truly take your business from local to national and on to global levels, you have to consider all the ways your company interacts with the world around it and, most importantly, what stories you are telling.

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