Monday October 21, 2019

Every Country Agrees to Reduce Pollution from Plastic Waste Except US

“There is going to be a transparent and traceable system for the export and import of plastic waste,” Payet said

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80 percent of the waste found on 93 beaches was plastic. VOA

Nearly every country in the world has agreed upon a legally binding framework to reduce the pollution from plastic waste except for the United States, U.N. environmental officials say.

An agreement on tracking thousands of types of plastic waste emerged Friday at the end of a two-week meeting of U.N.-backed conventions on plastic waste and toxic, hazardous chemicals. Discarded plastic clutters pristine land, floats in huge masses in oceans and rivers and entangles wildlife, sometimes with deadly results.

Rolph Payet of the United Nations Environment Program said the “historic” agreement linked to the 186-country, U.N.-supported Basel Convention means that countries will have to monitor and track the movements of plastic waste outside their borders.

reduce pollution from plastic waste
Plastic waste piled outside an illegal recycling factory in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat, Malaysia, Oct. 14, 2018. VOA

The deal affects products used in a broad array of industries, such as health care, technology, aerospace, fashion, food and beverages. “It’s sending a very strong political signal to the rest of the world — to the private sector, to the consumer market — that we need to do something,” Payet said. “Countries have decided to do something which will translate into real action on the ground.”

Countries will have to figure out their own ways of adhering to the accord, Payet said. Even the few countries that did not sign it, like the United States, could be affected by the accord when they ship plastic waste to countries that are on board with the deal.

reduce pollution from plastic
Plastic waste floating in ocean waters is turning out to be the most difficult environmental challenge facing many Southeast Asian nations. Pixabay

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Payet credited Norway for leading the initiative, which first was presented in September. The time from that proposal to the approval of a deal set a blistering pace by traditional U.N. standards for such an accord. The framework “is historic in the sense that it is legally binding,” Payet said. “They (the countries) have managed to use an existing international instrument to put in place those measures.”

The agreement is likely to lead to customs agents being on the lookout for electronic waste or other types of potentially hazardous waste more than before. “There is going to be a transparent and traceable system for the export and import of plastic waste,” Payet said. (VOA)

Next Story

Walk on Rugs And Carpets Made Out Of Plastic Waste

Rugs and carpets is one industry using these textiles, but there are still only a handful of players involved in such sustainable manufacturing

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Carpets, Rugs, Plastic Waste, Biodegradable, Recycle
The rugs manufacturer and exporter emphasises green and responsible production using non-polluting manufacturing practices and conservation of energy and materials as far as possible. Pixabay

If non-biodegradable plastic waste is a growing menace the world over, some efforts are on to put it to practical use. Every year, over half of India’s plastic waste is recycled into products, especially polyester fibres that can be used as textiles. Rugs and carpets is one industry using these textiles, but there are still only a handful of players involved in such sustainable manufacturing. Delhi-based The Rug Republic is one such company.

“Necessity is the mother of invention. Our clients needed products, which were light weight, easy to maintain, odour free and equally good for outdoor and indoor. We knew that fibres and yarns are extracted from plastic bottles. That’s how the idea of recycling PET bottles came along,” said Aditya Gupta, owner of The Rug Republic (TRR).

An IIT Roorkee graduate, Gupta converted his father’s small business set-up in Meerut into a highly profitable home fashion brand.

“Polyester is a manmade fibre, synthesised from petrochemical products through a process called polymerisation. Yarns created from recycled polyester can be repeatedly recycled with no degradation in quality, allowing one to minimise wastage,” Gupta told IANSlife.

Under the upcycling process, millions of plastic bottles are bought from waste traders, who collect them from waste pickers. After removing the metal caps, rings, PVC labels of these bottles, they are put in bailing machines, which compress and crush them into bales. These bales are then taken to a recycling facility, where they are shredded, washed dried and turned into ‘washed flakes’. Spinning units used these washed flakes to make a yarn, which is then are used to weave rugs.

Carpets, Rugs, Plastic Waste, Biodegradable, Recycle
Yarns created from recycled polyester can be repeatedly recycled with no degradation in quality, allowing one to minimise wastage. Pixabay

The rugs manufacturer and exporter emphasises green and responsible production using non-polluting manufacturing practices and conservation of energy and materials as far as possible.

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“At TRR, we have been reducing the use of plastic in packaging and labeling material. We are also gradually making a transition towards manufacturing lifestyle products with sustainable materials, and since 2005, we’ve started making recycled jeans,” said Gupta.

“We are known for our creativity and we’re constantly on the look out for new ideas. All our home décor products are eco-friendly made from PET recycled denim, recycled bicycle tubes and recycled fabrics,” he added. (IANS)