Plastic Is Everywhere And Recycling Isn’t The End Of It

Read the full story from NPR.

Few inventions in modern history have been as successful as plastic. It’s in vehicles and building materials and most of our electronic devices. We wrap stuff in it and even wear it.

Now a research team has tallied up how much plastic has been produced and where much of it has gone. Turns out, it’s literally almost everywhere.

Now: Play Jenga With Ocean Plastic

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

The Plastic Bank, on the other hand, is tackling the human angle. It provides a living wage to individuals in developing countries who are willing to clean up the plastic on their beaches. The refuse is then funneled to companies that recycle it into products sold across the globe.

One of the companies that has been working to develop a supply chain is Pokonobe Associates, the maker of the Jenga game. The company has discovered that commercial plastic fishing nets provide ideal material for making Jenga’s light-weight stackable blocks. But there’s another motivator to its interest: It hopes that by creating a means to recycle fishing nets into toys, it can educate consumers about the importance of stopping ocean pollution.

How sustainable are biodegradable and plant-based plastics?

Read the full story in Packaging Digest.

Rethinking all aspects of the plastics supply chain in terms of full lifecycle, from sourcing to end-of-life, is the key for manufacturers and major brands aiming to design into a more circular plastics economy. Driven by demand for more sustainability and positive environmental impacts in consumer packaged goods (CPGs), there is a growing industry for bioplastics—plastics made from plant biomass, such as corn.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation Announces $2 Million Plastics Innovation Prize

Read the full story from Triple Pundit.

To help spur what it calls the “New Plastic Economy,” the Ellen MacArthur Foundation plans to launch a $2 million innovation prize in partnership with the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit.

Millions Of Pieces Of Plastic Are Piling Up On An Otherwise Pristine Pacific Island

Read the full story from NPR.

More than 37 million pieces of plastic debris have accumulated on a remote island in the South Pacific, thousands of miles from the nearest city, according to estimates from researchers who documented the accumulating trash.

Turtles get tangled in fishing line, and hermit crabs make their homes in plastic containers. The high-tide line is demarcated by litter. Small scraps of plastic are buried inches deep into the sandy beaches.

It’s the highest density of debris reported anywhere in the world, scientists say. Their research on trash accumulated at Henderson Island, largest of the the Pitcairn Islands, was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution

Read the full story from the University of Cambridge.

A common insect larva that eats beeswax has been found to break down chemical bonds in the plastic used for packaging and shopping bags at uniquely high speeds. Scientists say the discovery could lead to a biotechnological approach to the polyethylene waste that chokes oceans and landfills.