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Dear Reader,

This week a report was released saying burning plastic to create energy will make net-zero impossible. Meanwhile retail giant Tesco announced a national scheme to collect the ‘soft plastic’ often ignored by local councils. This scheme hopes to collect and recycle more than 1,000 tonnes of plastic a year. Food and beverage giant Mondelēz International also announced an increased commitment to reducing its use of virgin plastics in its packaging by 2025.

Kenya has launched a sanitation project expected to contribute to the reduction of plastic pollution in the Indian Ocean, and F1 has introduced a single-use plastic bottle ban for staff.

Also this week, microplastics have been found in 100% of the samples taken from 50 US rivers, while politicians in California have introduced 12 new bills to tackle plastic pollution.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Plastic Free Post

New Report from Eunomia Research says Burning plastic to create energy will make net-zero impossible

Diverting waste from landfill and burning it at incinerators is said to be key to reducing carbon emissions from waste treatment. However, according to a new report from Eunomia Research and Consulting, commissioned by ClientEarth, electricity generation at incinerators will soon become more carbon-intensive and contribute to more air pollution than landfill by 2035. This is because plastic is derived from crude oil and carbon is released when it is burnt. This report follows Channel 4’s program Dispatches, hosted by Lucy Siegle, investigating the eco-friendly claims of the Incineration Industry.    

Read more here.

Tesco to launch nationwide ‘soft plastic’ collection in stores

Tesco hopes to collect and recycle more than 1,000 tonnes of plastic a year with the rollout of a scheme to collect the ‘soft plastic’ ignored by many local council collections. The supermarket, which launched a trial in the south west of England in April 2019 to start collecting items such as petfood pouches, shopping bags and crisp packets, said it planned to extend the scheme nationwide.  The next stage of the rollout will see soft plastic recycling points introduced to 171 stores in the south west and Wales.

Read more here.

Californian politicians introduce 12 different Bills to combat plastic pollution

A group of eight politicians in California have joined forces to introduce a legislative agenda that addresses component pieces of a growing problem.  The 2021 Legislative Plastics and Waste Reduction Package Allen is leading includes 12 separate pieces of legislation tackling everything from recycling and microfiber waste to food service ware and bottle return programs. 

Read more here.

F1 to drop single-use plastic bottles in 2021

As part of its long-term sustainability efforts, F1 has outlined some key targets it wants to achieve alongside an effort to become carbon neutral from 2030. F1 has elected to step up efforts to cut back on its own single-use plastic bottles in the paddock. From the first test in Bahrain this weekend, and for all grands prix this year, F1’s official staff will not be able to use single-use plastic bottles.

Read more here.

Mondelēz International commits to further reduction in use of virgin plastic

Global food and beverage giant Mondelēz International announced an increased commitment to reducing its use of virgin plastics in its packaging. By 2025, the company is aiming for a 25% reduction in virgin plastic use in its rigid plastic packaging, or a 5% reduction in virgin plastic use in its overall plastic packaging portfolio, assuming a constant portfolio mix. This will be achieved through a combination of elimination of plastic material, increased use of recycled content, and the adoption of reuse models.

Read more here.

Microplastics found in iconic US rivers

A new study published by researchers at PennEnvironment Research & Policy Centre found microplastics in 100% of the samples taken from 50 iconic rivers, lakes and streams in Pennsylvania. To gauge the scope of the microplastic problem, researchers took samples from US waterways over the course of 2020 and tested them for four types of microplastic pollution. The results show that the scope of plastic pollution extends far beyond what was previously thought.

Read more here.

WWF signs with PETCO to manage plastic waste in Kenya

Kenya PET Recycling Company (PETCO) is part of the “DMDP Waste to Value” project launched in January 2020. The company, which manages waste in Kenya, has just signed a partnership agreement for 6 million Kenyan shillings (about 54,700 dollars) with WWF-Kenya, the local branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which initiated this sanitation project.  The initiative is expected to contribute to the reduction of plastic pollution in the Indian Ocean caused by rapid urbanisation and economic growth.

Read more here.

Queensland passes laws banning ‘killer’ single-use plastics

Queensland has become the second Australian state to pass laws banning single-use plastics including straws and cutlery that are blighting the state’s waterways and beaches and endangering wildlife.

Read more here.


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