A new report released by the New Plastics Economy Initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, recommends replacing commonly used plastics like polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) with less harmful alternatives. (photo – Anastasia Grig, ShutterStock)
Plastics Ban effects Substances of Concern
The executives of 15 major plastics manufacturers including Dow Chemical, Amcor, Coca-Cola and Unilever, made the recommendation that would significantly transform the plastics industry, improve the economics of recycling plastics, and reduce the negative impacts of what the manufacturers call “substances of concern.” See the entire article at GreenBiz.
High Risk for Marine Animals
The inclusion of EPS foam is particularly relevant to plastic pollution in the ocean. Research indicates that it poses a higher risk for marine animals because of the concentrations of water-borne toxins that can accumulate. See our related BlueOcean.net post on Sustainable Seafood, Everything You Need To Know. Interested in Sustainable Seafood?? See our article: Rising Ocean Temperatures and Your Next shellfish Dinner.
EPS is commonly used in takeout food containers that are rarely recycled. Several companies had already begun phasing out EPS after restrictions were passed in over 100 cities in the U.S. and eight other countries. This follows on the success of McDonald’s agreement in 2011 to replace their plastic beverage cups with paper alternatives.
The Race Is On for Non-Plastic Alternatives
These plastic ban successes are spurring on the search for non-plastic alternatives. Dell Computer is pioneering the use of a compostable, mushroom-based packing material in place of EPS foam, which tends to crumble into small bits that are found in beach cleanups and the digestive systems of fish and sea birds. See our related post “Sailing Through the Garbage Bag Sea and a Tasty Alternative”
We also reported on companies that are creating new products with plastic waste recycled from the ocean. See “Your Next Pair of running shoes can be made of Recycled Ocean Plastics.” Plus we had a very moving story regarding plastic straws and where they eventually end up, see: “Sea turtle vs Straw: An Eco Movement goes Viral.”
This article Plastics Ban, Good News from Davos is the latest in a series of BlueOcean.net posts on efforts to lessen the impact of plastics in our Oceans. See our Blueocean.net wrap-around article on plastic ocean pollution: Our Plastic Ocean also featured in our Big Ocean Stories of 2016.
Breaking News: We might have thought we won the battle against the use of microbeads, however think again, the law that President Obama passed had a loophole big enough to drive an industry through. Now other countries that want to curb the use of microbeads are faced with the same issue. Find out more at: The Huffington Post – Obama’s Ban On Plastic Microbeads Failed In One Huge Way Plus see our Action Agenda to Clean-Up Our Ocean, a list of actions that you can do supplied by the National wildlife Refuge System.
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