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.]
“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.
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.
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.
Next month, Christine Stark—a student with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, who is completing her master’s degree in social work—will complete an examination of the sex trade in Minnesota, in which she compiles anecdotal, firsthand accounts of Native women, particularly from northern reservations, being trafficked across state, provincial, and international lines to be forced into servitude in the sex industry on both sides of the border.
…Through her independent research and work with the Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition, Stark interviewed hundreds of Native women who have been through the trauma of the Lake Superior sex trade. The stories she’s compiled are evidence of an underground industry that’s thriving on the suffering of First Nations women, which is seemingly going unchecked and underreported.
…“The Duluth harbor is notorious among Native people as a site for the trafficking of Native women from northern reservations.” She continues, “in an ongoing project focused on the trafficking of Native women on ships in Duluth, it was found that the activity includes international transport of Native women and teens, including First Nations women and girls brought down from Thunder Bay, Ontario, to be sold on the ships… Native women, teen girls and boys, and even babies have been sold for sex on the ships.”