Archive for the ‘Environmental Awareness’ Category

Environment, Starbucks

Starbucks is one of a number of companies responding to pressure to be more environmentally friendly. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Associated Press in New York

Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from its stores globally by 2020, in a nod to the growing push for businesses to be more environmentally friendly.

The Seattle-based company said on Monday it will instead use straws made from other materials, and lids designed not to need straws.

McDonald’s also recently said it would switch to paper straws in the UK and Ireland by next year, and test alternatives to plastic straws in some US locations. In February, Dunkin’ Donuts said that it would eliminate polystyrene foam cups from its stores by 2020.

Environmental activists have been pressuring businesses to ditch plastic straws because they can end up in the ocean and hurt marine life. The push gained traction after a viral video in 2015 showed rescuers removing a straw from a sea turtle’s nose in graphic detail.

Local governments have also been looking at the issue. Last week, Seattle’s ban on single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service outlets took effect, and Starbucks says it already offers alternative straws there. Similar proposals are being considered elsewhere, including New York and San Francisco.

While straws have become a high-profile issue, they make up only about 4% of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight. Straws add up to only about 2,000 tons of the nearly 9m tons of plastic waste that hits waters each year.

Still, those who support limiting plastic straws say they are generally unnecessary and a ban is good symbol.

The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the US and Canada to follow next year.

A global rollout of the strawless lids will follow, beginning in Europe where they will be used in selected stores in France and the Netherlands, as well as in the United Kingdom.

 

Article source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jul/09/starbucks-eliminate-plastic-straws-globally-2020

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Earth Day, Seasons, Nature

Regardless of the season, every day is a reason to celebrate Earth Day!

Recycling, BottleDrop Fund, Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC)

Photo credit: Nokwan007/Shutterstock

The group that runs Oregon’s container deposit program announced it will donate unredeemed deposit money to charitable purposes if the redemption rate for containers drops below 80 percent.

The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) manages almost all containers redeemed through the state’s deposit program. OBRC uses the value of unredeemed containers to help fund the collection and recycling of bottles and cans. But this week, the group announced a new initiative called the BottleDrop Fund.

“Any time the redemption rate drops below 80 percent, the target set by the Oregon Legislature, OBRC and the beverage industry will donate the extra value of unredeemed deposits above the cost of running the cooperative to the BottleDrop Fund at The Oregon Community Foundation,” according to OBRC’s announcement. “The BottleDrop Fund will then make charitable grants to nonprofits around Oregon for litter and waste reduction, environmental conservation and education, job training for low-income Oregonians, and other partnerships that solve community problems in the spirit of the Bottle Bill.”

Oregon’s bottle deposit program, the first to launch in the U.S., has seen substantial changes in recent years. In 2017, the deposit increased from 5 cents to 10 cents. A bill passed by the legislature in 2011 called for the doubling of the deposit if the bottle and can recycling rate came in below 80 percent for two years in a row. That happened in 2014 and 2015, when the rates were 68.3 percent and 64.5 percent.

The bill also directed that new beverage types be added to the program. As a result, starting this year, juices, teas, coffees, sport drinks and others were added.

OBRC also expanding its refillable glass beer bottle program (see related story for details).

Around the state, OBRC has been installing standalone, staffed redemption centers, called BottleDrop centers, that incorporate new reverse vending machine technologies. The 2011 law authorized the creation of the BottleDrop centers and allowed retailers near the centers to stop redeeming containers.

OBRC said it has been working to encourage returns by launching a bulk drop-off program, mobile app and matching donation program for charities. “Despite these efforts, bottle return rates could fall for a period, leaving more unredeemed deposits in the system than would be needed,” according to the statement. “That’s why we created the BottleDrop Fund.”

OBRC expects to release details on grant guidelines and eligibility requirements later this year.

Article source: https://resource-recycling.com/recycling/2018/03/13/deposit-program-to-fund-charities-with-uncollected-dimes/

World Water Day, Water, Water Crisis, International World Water Day, United NationsToday is World Water Day, which is celebrated annually on March 22.

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.

As we continue to ensure that every person around the world has access to clean drinking water, let’s also be mindful of our carelessness when it comes to illegally dumping pollutants contaminating our waterways and oceans. While there is still a lot of work yet to be done, there is so much that we can do individually to make this effort possible. Check out the reputable clean water organizations who are making strides to help millions of people around the world have access to clean water.

If someone said to eat your water, you would probably look at them like they were an alien. Actually, we couldn’t blame you because we would probably look at them the same way.

Recently, we came across an article that talked about a way to get rid of plastic packaging and consume your water through an edible blob. It’s called Ooho!. This edible water blob is a water bottle without the plastic. The mission of this water orb is to battle the worldwide epidemic of plastic pollution that plagues landfills, oceans and the typical litter we see lying on our highways and byways.

Designers of Ooho! note that by rethinking the bottle, it is possible to reduce production cost. The container holds water in a double membrane using “spherification,” the technique of shaping liquids into spheres. This process works like an egg yolk, but also holds its shape. These edible, gelatinous blobs or orbs are new alternatives to plastic water bottles. Would you be willing to try this new way of consuming water, with the new Ooho! Water Orb? Check out this biodegradable water blob video presented by Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez.

Recycling Cans, Cans for Kids

Cans For Kids is a registered charity, formed in 1990 to organize the collection and recycling of aluminium cans in Cyprus. To encourage people to save their cans, it was decided to use the proceeds to purchase medical equipment for the children’s wards at Cypriot hospitals. Since its inception, more than 25 million cans have been collected, and over €260,000 euros worth of equipment has been donated to the Makarios Hospital in Nicosia, which is the central pediatric hospital in Cyprus, treating seriously ill children from all over the island. By saving your cans for Cans For Kids, not only do you help the environment, but you know that your efforts are giving something back to the community.

Cans For Kids raises awareness of the benefits of recycling by visiting schools to give talks and show the Cans For Kids video explaining why we should recycle aluminium. Cans For Kids won the World Energy Globe Award in the category “Youth”. Find out more about Cans for Kids, what they do and how you can get involved, by visiting their website at http://www.cansforkids.org/.

The Samburu people, who are related to the Maasais, are pastoralists. They rely heavily on the local environment to sustain themselves and their animals.

BeadWORKS, a company creating opportunities for pastoralist women in northern Kenya is part of a powerful and growing movement to transform lives. By promoting peaceful community partnerships, they are committed to conserving natural resources and wildlife through self-governed, community-owned Conservancies and sustainable, social and ethical enterprise.

BeadWORKS works with community Conservancies to organize Women’s Groups and provide the training, resources and support the women need to participate in BeadWORKS’ community-to-market value chain. Since 2005, participants have grown to include over 1000 women in 135 self-governed Women’s Groups, all earning increasing incomes through BeadWORKS. This income enables the women to survive and improve their families’ lives, without resorting to environmentally damaging activities such as charcoal production, or overburdening their fragile grasslands with sheep and goats. When women have reliable incomes which are independent of unpredictable rainfall, communities and wildlife are able to thrive together.

Visit http://www.beadworkskenya.com/ to learn more about the organization their collections and how they are using beads to change lives!


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