Canada plans to ban ‘harmful’ single-use plastics by 2021 – CNN

Canada will ban many single-use plastic items by 2021, including bags, straws, cutlery and stirring sticks.

…It comes after the European Parliament passed a similar ban on single-use plastic items in late March, including a target to recycle 90% of plastic beverage bottles by 2029.

…”Less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada [is sent to be] recycled. Without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.”

…A report by the European Commission found that 80% of litter in the world’s oceans is plastic.

…Plastic has been found inside marine animals including [thing we eat seems like a reasonably conclusion but somehow is not listed in the animals the quote names.]

Canada plans to ban ‘harmful’ single-use plastics by 2021 – CNN

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You probably are swallowing a credit card’s weight in plastic every week

This plastic contamination comes from “microplastics” — particles smaller than five millimeters — which are making their way into our food, drinking water and even the air.

…The average person consumes as many as 1,769 particles of plastic every week just by drinking water — bottled or from the tap. But there could be large regional variations. It quotes a 2018 study that found twice as much plastic in water in the United States and India than in European or Indonesian tap water.

…Shellfish is the second biggest source of plastic ingestion, with the average person consuming as many as 182 microparticles — 0.5 grams — from this per week. The report says this is because “shellfish are eaten whole, including their digestive system, after a life in plastic polluted seas.”

…Globally, more than 330 million metric tons of plastic is produced each year, and global plastic production is expected to triple by 2050.

…[When] microplastics are shown to damage human health, it will be very difficult to remove them from the environment.

“Therefore we need to tackle plastic pollution at its very source [and] stop it from getting into the nature in the first place,” [Kavita Prakash-Mani, global conservation director at WWF International] told CNN, stressing that the priority should be reducing plastic production [emphasis: peanut gallery].

You could be swallowing a credit card’s weight in plastic every week – CNN

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Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain

“We found that most of the plastic is below the surface.” More, he says, than in the giant floating patches.

And also to their surprise, they found that submerged microplastics are widely distributed, from the surface to thousands of feet deep.

Moreover, the farther from shore they sampled, the more microplastics they found. That suggests it’s not just washing off the California coast. It’s coming from all over.

…The deep ocean is filled with sea creatures like larvaceans that filter tiny organisms out of the water. …”We found small plastic pieces in every single larvacean that we examined from different depths across the water column,” Choy says. Another filter feeder, the red crab, also contained plastic pieces — every one they caught.

…”Anything that humans introduce to that habitat is passing through these animals and being incorporated into the food web” — a web that leads up to marine animals people eat.

Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain : The Salt : NPR

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Why some countries are shipping back plastic waste

Many wealthy countries send their recyclable waste overseas because it’s cheap, helps meet recycling targets and reduces domestic landfill.

For developing countries taking in the rubbish, it’s a valuable source of income.

But contaminated plastic and rubbish that cannot be recycled often gets mixed in.

…Only a tiny fraction of all plastics ever produced has been recycled.

Often, materials that can’t be recycled end up being burned illegally, dumped in landfills or waterways, creating risks to the environment and public health.

 ….Until January 2018, China imported most of the world’s plastic waste.

But due to concerns about contamination and pollution, it declared it would no longer buy recycled plastic scrap that was not 99.5% pure.

…Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Turkey, India and Poland all took up the slack.

…But the rubbish arriving in these countries wasn’t sufficiently recyclable, and it has caused problems.

…”What the citizens of the UK believe they send for recycling is actually dumped in our country,” said Malaysian Minister Yeo Bee Yin.

…However, there is still an overwhelming demand for locations to send plastic and other waste to for recycling, and the challenge of how to dispose of it remains.

…In 2016, 235 million tonnes of plastic waste was generated globally.

On current trends, this could reach 417 million tonnes per year by 2030.

Why some countries are shipping back plastic waste – BBC News

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Here and Now Episode: Carbon Capture Plant In Switzerland Opens To Sell CO2 For Reuse

The first commercial facility that can extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then sell it for reuse opened earlier this month in Switzerland. …But critics say the technology uses too much energy and is too expensive.

Carbon Capture Plant In Switzerland Opens To Sell CO2 For Reuse | Here & Now

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Mississippi residents flooded out for four months think ecosystem-devastating pumps could save them

“There are layers of reasons why this is a bad project,” said Melissa Samet, senior counsel at the National Wildlife Federation, who has followed the project for decades, ”but worst of all is it really gives a false promise of hope to people who are suffering from flooding.”

…Many residents believe there is a solution to their persistent, yearly flooding woes — if only the government would cut through the red tape to enact it. Locals like Deere believe that an unfinished Army Corps of Engineers project known as the Yazoo Pumps, a potential drain for the levee system that protects the Delta, would hold back the floodwaters that regularly threaten almost 20,000 people here.

…Residents of the region, local farmers and Mississippi politicians are calling for the revival of the pumps — a project vetoed by then-President George W. Bush’s administration, called “one of the worst projects ever conceived by Congress” by the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain in 2004, and endlessly decried by environmental advocates.

…The project has been debated for almost 80 years, with frustration and anger building with the passing time.

….Environmental advocates and longtime civil servants who have worked on the project, however, argue that the pumps come at a high cost, potentially draining tens of thousands of vital wetland acres that supports one of the most unique wildlife habitats in the country.

…Conservationists say the Delta’s bottomland hardwood wetlands create one of the most important ecosystems in the country. Twenty percent of the nation’s ducks, 450 different species, including 257 species of birds, rely on these wetlands’ natural resources.

They [would] be devastated by the pumps, according to the EPA’s veto, which said that [up to] 67,000 acres of wetlands could be drained if the pumps were installed.

…“It was a hard decision because EPA knew the area needed flood protection but our analysis of widespread environmental impacts, costs, and other complications fully justified the veto.”

…Buyouts, wetland reforestation and raised homes and roadways are ideas proposed by Shabman in another report that he produced for the EPA about potential alternatives. Environmental advocates, however, claim local leaders were never curious to explore such ideas because they didn’t come with expensive construction contracts benefiting a small number of people in Mississippi.

…Because of those rising waters, Branning entered his property into the Wetlands Preserve Program in 1999, which provides him compensation for the land that he can’t farm if he allows it to be reforested.

“We did that because the program added value, in my opinion, to the land because the land had been cleared and being farmed unsuccessfully numerous years,” he said. “It may do okay for two years and then in two years the high water comes.”

…Branning said he’s happy that it’s helping the environment and noticed that some wildlife has returned, which is good for him as a hunter.

Mississippi residents flooded out for four months say the EPA could save them but won’t

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