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Greenpeace Asks for Ambitious Measures from G20 Group to Tackle The Plastic Waste Crisis

The G20 ministers agreed to create a framework for action with voluntary measures to reduce marine pollution

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Enviornmental Issues, Greenpeace, Plastic Waste
The commitments reached on these issues at the meeting of Environment and Energy Ministers from the G20 countries held on June 15-16 in Karuizawa were insufficient and vague. Pixabay

Greenpeace on Monday asked the G20 group for more ambitious measures to ease the effects of climate change and to curb marine pollution ahead of the group’s summit in Osaka, western Japan, next week.

The environmental organization said the commitments reached on these issues at the meeting of Environment and Energy Ministers from the G20 countries held on June 15-16 in Karuizawa were insufficient and vague, Greenpeace Japan experts told Efe news.

In a joint declaration adopted during the meeting, the G20 ministers agreed to create a framework for action with voluntary measures to reduce marine pollution and reaffirmed the commitments made under the Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

“Voluntary actions are not enough to deal with such an urgent problem,” warned Hiroaki Odachi of Greenpeace Japan, as he demanded “clear and mandatory actions”.

Enviornmental Issues, Greenpeace, Plastic Waste
Greenpeace on Monday asked the G20 group for more ambitious measures to ease the effects of climate change. Pixabay

Ocean rubbish “is a matter requiring urgent action given its adverse impacts on marine ecosystems, livelihoods … and potentially on human health”, said a statement issued after the two-day meeting in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa.

The Japan government, which is the current chair of the G-20, described the agreement as “a major achievement” and recently launched several initiatives aimed at “exercising leadership” to tackle the pressing problem of ocean pollution, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

These include the development of biodegradable materials, the promotion of recycling and also requires retailers to charge customers for plastic bags from April 2020, while calling for an increased use of bioplastics made of renewable resources such as plants.

Greenpeace said “these are positive developments but could eventually generate side effects and they don’t deal with the underlying problem”. It added that it would be more appropriate to end the “linear, throwaway destructive business model”.

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Japan is the world’s second-largest generator of plastic waste per capita after the US, according to the UN. In 2018, it was the second-largest exporter of plastic waste, according to another Greenpeace report.

The environmental organization also urged Tokyo to “show real leadership” and take “much more ambitious measures” at the national level while pushing for a meaningful agreement within the framework of the G20 that goes in the direction of what was agreed to in Paris in 2016.

Japan is the only country in the G7 (the seven most industrialized nations) that continues to build coal plants and does not plan to get rid of them as recommended by the Paris Agreement, Greenpeace said. (IANS)

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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. The carpet cleaning costs also vary in terms of various places and surface areas.

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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)