Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Environmental Documentaries - SHU Sustainability showing Entangled

20-Jan Entangled, runtime 75:07 Topics: Species extinction, oceans, policy
Vimeo free access link will be provided at 6:30 PM via Zoom
David Abel, filmmaker and Boston Globe reporter will attend the discussion

ENTANGLED is an award-winning, feature-length film about how climate change has accelerated a collision between the nation’s most valuable fishery, one of the world's most endangered species, and a federal agency mandated to protect both. The film chronicles the efforts to protect North Atlantic right whales from extinction, the impacts of those efforts on the lobster industry, and how the National Marine Fisheries Service has struggled to balance the vying interests. Entangled, from the makers of Lobster War and Sacred Cod, won a 2020 Jackson Wild award, known as the Oscars of nature films. It also won Best Conservation Film at the Mystic Film Festival.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Step up climate change adaptation or face serious human and economic damage – UN report

  • Almost three-quarters of nations have some adaptation plans in place, but financing and implementation fall far short of what is needed
  • Annual adaptation costs in developing countries are estimated at USD 70 billion. This figure is expected to reach USD 140-300 billion in 2030 and USD 280-500 billion in 2050.
  • Nature-based solutions, critical for adaptation, need to receive more attention

Nairobi, 14 January 2021 – As temperatures rise and climate change impacts intensify, nations must urgently step up action to adapt to the new climate reality or face serious costs, damages and losses, a new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report finds.
Adaptation – reducing countries’ and communities’ vulnerability to climate change by increasing their ability to absorb impacts – is a key pillar of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The agreement requires its signatories to implement adaptation measures through national plans, climate information systems, early warning, protective measures and investments in a green future.
The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 finds that while nations have advanced in planning, huge gaps remain in finance for developing countries and bringing adaptation projects to the stage where they bring real protection against climate impacts such as droughts, floods and sea-level rise.
Public and private finance for adaptation must be stepped up urgently, along with faster implementation. Nature-based solutions – locally appropriate actions that address societal challenges, such as climate change, and provide human well-being and biodiversity benefits by protecting, sustainably managing and restoring natural or modified ecosystems – must also become a priority.
Continue reading at: Step up climate change adaptation or face serious human and economic damage – UN report

Details about Recycling in Adrian provided by Stevens Disposal & Recycling Service, Inc.

I asked our local recycling provider Stevens Disposal & Recycling Service, Inc. for clarification about the recycling of plastics 1 and 2 and how they deal with plastics 3-7 that should not be included into their recycling bins but probably ends there quite often. I also inquired about glass that should also not be included into the Stevens' residential recycling collection but most probably also ends up in the totes:

Q: As I am diligently separating type 1 and 2 plastics from other types and bring those plastics and my glass bottles to the county recycling center, I am wondering how many of the 600 subscribing residents in Adrian do this – and how much contaminated recycling you must get. Judging for myself, I did not know about these changes through direct communication by your company – or through the Daily Telegram and only heard of it when I contacted you – it is on the online flyer – but how many customers will actively look for them. So I am sure you get a lot of contamination – can you assure me that you can still recycle paper and cardboard although you probably get a lot of contamination by glass shreds – and that you can effectively recycle metals and type 1 and 2 plastics - due to an effective manual or automatic sorting process? Also, do you recycle plastics 1 and 2 via Clean Tech in Dundee, who does bottle recycling of these valuable resources?
A: Stevens Disposal & Recycling Service, Inc.'s single stream recycling is taken directly to the recycling centers from route.  They are currently using Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority and Hamtramck Recycling. Loads from commercial cardboard only dumpsters are taken directly to Gateway Recycling.

I inquired with both residential recycling centers that Stevens serves, but only Marc Williams, the manager of the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority responded. Below are his responses:

Q: How do you recycle plastics 1 and 2? A: WWRA sorts the commingled plastic into three different types HDPE NAT, HDPE MC AND PET. (these are the most common 1&2) we send it to cleanTech in Dundee MI.

Q: Are these plastics physically recycled (bottle to bottle) or liquified? A: Once at Cleantech the plastic is washed shredded then melted back into pellets and used in making new bottles like Absopure and Tide, Another use is clothing like North Face and Patagonia.

Q: What happens to plastics 3-7? A: 3-7 plastic has become much more difficult to move in the recent years.  Most of the time we have to pay to make sure this commodity is recycled. It becomes very expensive once you add in labor trucking etc..

Q: What about glass? A: Our system isn't set up to have glass meet the quality that is needed to have put back to market.  We have drop off stations located on our webpage that accept glass. This glass separate from the Single-Stream can meet the standard required for further processing. This year alone we recycled 241 tons by this collection method. The glass that is mixed with our Single-Stream is crushed as it goes through our sorting system and ejects from the recyclable along with anything else that is smaller than 1.5 inches . All that material  consequently goes to a landfill. This system removes the glass from the paper and cardboard making them still recyclable. 

In most cases of contamination WWRA would prefer for it to be disposed of with the trash.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

The global distribution of acute unintentional pesticide poisoning: estimations based on a systematic review | BMC Public Health | Full Text

Human poisoning by pesticides has long been seen as a severe public health problem. As early as 1990, a task force of the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that about one million unintentional pesticide poisonings occur annually, leading to approximately 20,000 deaths. Thirty years on there is no up-to-date picture of global pesticide poisoning despite an increase in global pesticide use. Our aim was to systematically review the prevalence of unintentional, acute pesticide poisoning (UAPP), and to estimate the annual global number of UAPP.

Source: https://www.migrantclinician.org/files/2017-07-05-man-spraying-pesticide-on-field-of-plants.jpg

Continue reading at: The global distribution of acute unintentional pesticide poisoning: estimations based on a systematic review | BMC Public Health | Full Text

Friday, December 11, 2020

Oceans: they pollute, they pay - AllThings.Bio

"Extended producers responsibilities (EPRs). EPRs are based on the polluter pays principle, which simply means that manufactures of these products are responsible to help with clean-up and recycling." A good step toward paying all costs - which will move these companies to produce less or none - and in an effort of doing so, influence our consumer behavior to use less single use - or even other types of plastic...


Continue reading at: Oceans: they pollute, they pay - AllThings.Bio

Take action to ensure polluters pay for their role in the single-use packaging crisis

The UK Government is currently consulting on a major reform to packaging legislation in a move that could force producers to foot the bill for dealing with ever-growing mountains of single-use packaging waste.
We are urging tougher measures to clamp down on pointless packaging altogether and drive a transition away from our single-use society.
You can help by sending an email supporting these core principles for revamping the system! Just copy and paste the text at the end of this article (adding any additional points you may wish to make as to why it’s time to get tough on single-use packaging) and send it to packaging@defra.gov.uk by 13 May.
  • Address the root cause of the problem: A significant reduction in single-use packaging is needed to close the gulf between packaging use and recycling levels in the UK. The EPR scheme must be designed to encourage a wholescale move away from non-essential packaging, with a shift into reusable and refillable alternatives
  • Make sure ‘full costs’ mean full costs: Packaging doesn’t just become a problem at the point of disposal. From sourcing through to consumption, there are social and environmental costs all along its life cycle. Producers must be made to consider these under EPR requirements to properly satisfy the ‘polluter pays principle’
  • Set producer fees to ensure sustainable design: Non-recyclable, excessive and toxic packaging must be phased out through the ‘approved list’ for packaging design, with a fee system designed to encourage reusable and sustainable design choices
  • End the shameful social and environmental impacts of so-called ‘recycling’ exports: The UK must end its reliance on exporting waste overseas, focusing instead on building a circular economy in the UK. The very highest environmental and social responsibility standards must be met for any future waste exports
  • Implement robust monitoring and full transparency: Strong accountability and enforcement measures must be put in place, with third party audits rather than self-monitoring by producers.
Continue reading at: https://eia-international.org/news/take-action-to-ensure-polluters-pay-for-their-role-in-the-single-use-packaging-crisis/ 

Summary of Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2020

    The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act will include the following elements:
    • Require Product Producers to Take Responsibility for Collecting and Recycling Materials
    • Require Nationwide Beverage Container Refunds
    • Source Reduction and Phase-Out Certain Polluting Products
    • Carryout Bag Fee
    • Minimum Recycled Content Requirement:  Plastic beverage containers will be required to include an increasing percentage of recycled content in their manufacture before entering the market.  Additionally, the EPA will be required to implement post-consumer minimum recycled content for other covered products after a review with the National Institute of Standards and Technology is completed to determine technical feasibility.  
    • Recycling and Composting
    • Plastic Tobacco Filters, Electronic Cigarettes and Derelict Fishing Gear
    • Prevent Plastic Waste from Being Shipped to Developing Countries that Cannot Manage It
    • Protect Existing State Action
    • Temporary Pause on New Plastic Facilities
    Read the entire story here: https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/break-free-from-plastic-pollution-act-summary

    Friday, November 27, 2020

    Solar farm being installed on Lake Wilson Road - News - Hillsdale.net - Hillsdale, MI - Hillsdale, MI

    Interesting that conservative Hillsdale County goes solar while Deerfield/Riga are resisting to "destroy prime agricultural land"...

    JONESVILLE - Pine Gate Renewables and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors announced their first wave of solar energy projects into Michigan, with the closest being built near Lake Wilson Road.
    Due to interest posed by local residents, Hillsdale Daily News sought answers from both companies involved and the Fayette Township Planning Commission.
    Tami von Isakovics, director of communications and marketing for Pine Gate Renewables, said the company is a fully integrated utility-scale solar development company headquartered in Asheville, N.C.
    “We operate 480MW of renewable energy in five states and have more than 8GW in development,” von Isakovics said. “As a leader in the industry, Pine Gate focuses on forging partnerships to expand its renewable energy footprint nationwide. It’s mission is to provide renewable power for local communities across the country through project development, financing, construction and environmental preservation.”

    Continue reading at: Solar farm being installed on Lake Wilson Road - News - Hillsdale.net - Hillsdale, MI - Hillsdale, MI