Did you know that...
Four Asian countries generate about half the plastic waste that ends up in the sea
The volume of plastic waste in the oceans keeps growing in parallel with the development of the economies of South East Asia, the region that is responsible for a huge proportion of the phenomenon. A study conducted in 2010 revealed, surprisingly, that notwithstanding the increase in production and use of plastic tableware between 1996 and 2008, no increase in sea pollution was observed in the areas of maximum production, i.e., Europe and North America. Conversely, a report presented at the “SustPack 2015” Conference held in Orlando, Florida, “Confronting Ocean Plastic Pollution at the Global Level”, revealed that plastic pollution in the oceans was increasing rapidly and 49% of the plastic debris came from just 4 countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The comment that we can make in this connection is that proper waste management obviously makes the difference.
Plastic bank notes
The Clydesdale Bank, one of the three Scottish banks authorised to print bank notes is putting into circulation the first pound notes made of plastic. The new five pound notes made from a polymer are sturdier and ensure a higher degree of security than traditional paper bank notes. Starting 2016, the Bank of England will also issue £5 and £10 banknotes printed on polymer.
The world’s biggest plastic bridge, made from 157 thousand recycled bottles
A 23 m long bridge was built in Romania using 157 thousand plastic bottles secured by wires. The construction was made possible by the action of 500 volunteers who collected the bottles. The bridge can withstand the weight of 200 people. This monument to recycling is the biggest plastic bridge in the world, but was not the first to be built, as smaller plastic bridges already exist in the U.S. and Scotland.
A water treatment system that uses plastic caps
A company born as a spin-off of the University of Pavia has developed an ingenious method to treat effluent waters at a lower cost than with traditional systems by making use of plastic caps. The caps are placed in a steel basket contained in a pool which is filled with the water to be treated. As the basket rotates, the caps are colonised by populations of microorganisms that remove the impurities. After three weeks the effluent waters comply with the parameters specified by the applicable regulations and may be released into the discharge system.
Paris chooses the incinerators
Waste disposal in Paris is largely based on thermal treatment systems. The waste materials are delivered to incinerators where they are used for the simultaneous production of heat and electric energy through cogeneration.
Plastic production by means of bacteria
The Bio-on company has patented Minerv-Pha, a biodegradable plastic of fully natural origin that is produced by colonies of bacteria fed with sugar beet and sugar cane waste. It will be used to manufacture a variety of products including auto parts.
Plastic tableware are eco-friendly
Thanks to an agreement entered into by ANCI and CONAI, since 1 May 2012 plastic dishes and cups are eligible for separate waste collection as plastic waste materials. The new regulation on plastic tableware end-of-life modalities has been adopted by 7,300 Italian cities, which will be able to take advantage of it from the environmental standpoint and increase their income from proper waste disposal.
Food hygiene is nearly a century old
Mass produced disposable cups were invented in the U.S. in 1915 as a replacement for the cups used by different people in public establishments.
A simple and economical measure and a small revolution to prevent the transmission of diseases. For almost a century, in fact, hygiene has been one of the main benefits of disposable tableware. In Europe , some 3 million establishments in the café, fast food, catering and restaurant sectors serve 21,000 meals per second using disposable packaging and tableware.
Disposable tableware play a star role
The use of disposable tableware at major collective events – sports matches, cultural festivals, concerts, transport catering services, in hospitals, school canteens and emergency situations – is now viewed as a necessary choice to ensure hygiene and safety.
Single-use vs. reusable tableware
Eating out calls for practical solutions, and hygiene is a must, but how does single-use compare with reusable tableware from the standpoint of environmental sustainability? A study by the Dutch Organisation for Applied Scientific Research demonstrates that, as long as they are duly recycled, the disposable cups used in vending machines are less harmful to the environment that any reusable alternative. The energy it takes to make glass or ceramic products and the wash cycles involved, in fact, have a heavier impact on the environment.