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Eco

Natural vs. Synthetic. Which fibre is better for the planet?

Natural vs. Synthetic. Which fibre is better for the planet?

Natural fibres

As the name suggests, natural fibres originate from the animal or plant world.

Plant materials are obtained from plants, leaves, seeds or flowers and include materials such as cotton, hemp, linen, jute, raffia, coir and natural rubber.

Animal materials are derived from animal hair or its production such as wool, mohair, cashmere, alpaca, silk.

Fabrics made from natural plant or animal fibres follow the same manufacturing process.

1- The fibre (cotton, linen, wool…) will be cultivated in a field or on the animal. Depending on the type of crop, this production will involve the use of fertilisers, pesticides, and large quantities of water.

2- The fibre is then spun into yarn.

3- Once this yarn has been obtained, it is woven or knitted to make a fabric or a stitch.

The transformation of the fibre into yarn and then into fabric does not require any chemical additives.

Synthetic fibres

Synthetic fibres are usually made from petroleum. These include nylon, polyester, acrylic, elastane, polypropylene, microfibres (mostly polyester).

In the case of synthetic materials such as polyester, the fibres are obtained by a chemical process. Before being a yarn, polyester is a kind of gel obtained by the condensation of terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol which are components of petroleum. The chemicals used are removed from the polyester during the washing of the fibre.

Polyester is the most common material used in the manufacture of clothing. It is chosen for its strong, elastic, low-absorbency properties.

So are natural fibres always better for the planet? Not necessarily…

Natural fibres come from plants, animals or insects. They are biodegradable. However, like cotton, they can have other environmental issues. They can need a huge amounts of water of pesticides to grow.

Synthetic fibres are made mainly from coal and oil. They do not degrade. Many of them like Polyester, Nylon, Acrylic or Spandex release microplastics when washed. However, they are not all that bad. They are generally more durable, and synthetic fabrics can be made from recycled plastic.

There is no easy answer as to which fabrics are the best for the planet, but we do recommend looking for sustainable natural alternatives like Hemp. Hemp does not require a lot of water or pesticides to grow so will be more sustainable without releasing microplastics!

How to be the most sustainable?

Before you even think about buying new clothes, try to reuse and wear second hand clothes, go to thrift shops and the like… You’ll be surprised what you can find if you look hard enough!

If you really need to buy something new, it’s a good idea to use organic materials.

This is especially true for organic cotton. Conventional cotton needs a lot of water to grow. Organic cotton crops use less water (91% water saving) and no pesticides, chemical fertilisers or insecticides.

Wool can also be produced organically. Organic wool meets high standards of responsible land management and animal welfare.

The need for organic criteria is less true for fibres such as flax or hemp. Both materials grow more easily, need little water, little or no fertiliser or insecticides.

Thus flax and hemp, even if not organic, are more environmentally friendly textile materials.

This is also the case for alpaca wool. Alpacas naturally produce a lot of wool and require little water and food.

If you want to read more about these sustainable materials our friends at EasyEcoTips have written an article comparing cotton and hemp clothing, click here!

To have a look at our last article, click here!

Source: The Guardian.

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Eco

Which material is easier to recycle: aluminum foil or plastic?

Which material is easier to recycle: aluminum foil or plastic?

About aluminum foil

Aluminum is a mineral. Because of its durability, lightness and workability, it is one of the most widely used minerals in the manufacture of materials. Aluminum is used in the construction and automotive industries, but it is also used in our kitchen (soda cans, aluminum foil, cans, etc.).

In theory aluminum is 100% recyclable, infinitely and without loss of quality. All its physical properties, such as lightness, strength and protection against light or grease are preserved.

Recycling of aluminum packaging is 48% in the UK according to the Guardian. From 26,000 tons in 2014 to 40,000 in 2019, the share of recycled aluminum has only increased in recent years. Conversely, 80% of aluminum car parts are recycled. While aluminum is supposed to be 100% recyclable, how can this difference be explained?

The low recycling rate of aluminum from household waste is linked to the lack of equipment in many sorting centers. These centers manage to sort large aluminum packaging such as cans. But small packaging, smaller than a yoghurt pot, is difficult to identify and ends up in landfill or incineration. They represent about 50% of the annual tonnage. In order to increase the recycling rate, we must therefore succeed in recycling these small packages!

Keep reading, we will give you a tip at the end of the article to solve this problem!

Now, let’s talk about plastic

Plastic cannot be recycled, it can only be downcycled. But what does that mean?

Unlike glass or aluminum, plastic loses quality during the recycling process, which means it has a limited life cycle.

In general, a plastic bottle can be made into a lower quality bottle about twice before being made into other products such as doormats, textiles, plastic lumber, etc.

Recycling plastic is of course preferable to landfilling it, as it reduces waste in the short term. But in the end, this process is not infinite, and the plastic will eventually end up in the trash because it will no longer be possible to use it.

If you want to know more about downcycling our friends at EasyEcoTips have written a full article about it, we invite you to click here!

The problem with recycling small items

Whether it’s plastic or aluminum foil, small items sent individually for recycling are too small to be sorted and may block the recycling equipment.

These include straws, bottle caps, coffee pods, plastic cutlery, paper clips and a million other tiny items like pieces of foil or paper.

While these items are theoretically recyclable, sending them for recycling one by one can be counterproductive. Because it’s a nightmare for the recycling centers. Check yours locally, they can sometimes sort them. If not, there’s a good chance they’ll end up in the landfill…

So what to do? Here’s the trick!

We call it the credit card rule.

It’s simply to ball up all the little pieces of trash we’ve talked about, straws, bottle caps, coffee pods, plastic cutlery, paper clips. We make a ball until it is the size of a credit card. With this technique, the small waste that was not recyclable, becomes much easier to detect by the recycling equipment in the sorting centers!

Source : The Guardian.

Click here to see our latest article!

Categories
Eco

What are the problems of cruise ships?

What are the problems of cruise ships? That’s what we’ll find out in this article.

By the way, did you know that the daily emissions of a cruise ship can be the same as a million cars!

Comparing pollution from cruise ships and cars

Airplanes and cars are often singled out for the pollution they cause on the planet, both releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Ships, on the other hand, are often forgotten. And yet, cruise ships are also responsible for pollution. Much more than cars. This is the result of a study published by the non-governmental organization Transport & Environment in 2019.

The 94 ships of the luxury cruise company Carnival Corporation emit ten times more sulfur oxide than all the 260 million cars in Europe, according to the NGO! The company is not alone in the target of Transport & Environment. The second largest cruise company in the world, Royal Carribean, emits four times more.

Italy, Spain and Greece are particularly affected by pollution.

What about airplanes?

In a peer-reviewed New Zealand study, researchers estimate, for example, that a cruise ship emits somewhere between 250 and 2,200 grams of CO2 per passenger per kilometer, depending on the type of ship and the number of passengers. A flight from Montreal to Paris, by comparison, generates around 163 g of CO2 per passenger per kilometer, according to online calculators.

A family of four driving around emits about 45 g of CO2 per kilometer per passenger.

If you want an even more detailed comparison of which mode of transportation pollutes the most, we invite you to read this article written by our friends at EasyEcoTips!

Cruise companies say they are making efforts to improve their environmental record. Despite this, it is indisputable that these huge floating hotels are extremely polluting. The problems are numerous.

The problems of cruise ships

The air quality on the deck of a cruise ship is as bad as the world’s worse polluted cities. Cruise ships typically use heavy fuel oil in their engines. It has very high sulfur content but is more cost-effective than other fuels.Unfortunately this heavy fuel oil produces high levels of nitrogen oxide, which has been linked to acid rain, higher rates of cancer and other forms of respiratory diseases.

On top of the pollution caused by their fumes, cruise ships have been caught discarding trash, fuel, and sewage directly into the ocean. Some European cities like Marseille or Dubrovnik are having difficulties to cope with the rapid increase of travelers visiting by cruise, resulting in maritime pollution.

Overall, the carbon footprint per person in a cruise ship can be up to 3 times higher than in a plane!

A study by the environmental group Transport & Environment calculated that in 2017, Carnival Corporation’s 47 ships sailing in European waters emitted 10 times more sulfur dioxide than all the cars in Europe.

How can we reduce these emissions?

One way to reduce these emissions would be to limit fuel consumption when the ship is in motion, and to use the local power grid during port calls. Unfortunately, only a minority of companies do this.

Ships should also treat their wastewater, some are starting to do so, but progress is slow.

Source: The Telegraph, The Guardian, Forbes.

Categories
Eco

Why are plastic bottles so bad?

Why are plastic bottles so bad? In this article you will learn why it is so bad for you and the environment.

500 billion

That’s the number of plastic bottles that are sold each year in the world.

With a consumption of 7 kilos of plastic bottles per inhabitant of the planet, 91% of plastic bottles are not recycled!

Plastic mineral water bottles are not designed to be reused (it says so on every bottle, it’s not just a marketing strategy to get you to buy more).

The pollution of your water by the plastic in the bottle is inevitable…

Not to mention that a plastic bottle of mineral water will last less than a “hard” plastic bottle and obviously less than a stainless steel bottle (plus you’re wasting your money, which is a shame). 

What is happening to our plastic bottles?

Started only about 60 years ago, the mass production of plastics has accelerated at such a rate that it has generated 8.3 billion tons, most of which are disposable products that end up as waste. Does this sound like an inconceivable amount? Even the scientists who set out to calculate for the first time how much plastic is produced, thrown away, burned or buried worldwide were horrified by such figures.

“We all knew that plastic production had been increasing rapidly and dangerously since the 1950s. But calculating the total amount of plastic ever produced left us speechless,” admits Jenna Jambeck, an environmental engineer at the University of Georgia who specialises in studying plastic waste in the oceans.

The new study, published in July in the scientific journal Science Advances, is the first global analysis to quantify the total amount of plastic produced, and what happened to it. Of the 8.3 billion metric tons produced, 6.3 billion metric tons became plastic waste. Only 9% of this waste was recycled. The vast majority, 79%, is piling up in landfill sites or spilling out into nature as litter. At some point, most of it will inevitably end up in our oceans, as a kind of final container.

If current trends continue, 12 billion tons of plastic will be in landfills by 2050. That’s the equivalent of 1,188 Eiffel Towers.

If you want to learn more about the different types of plastic, please click on this article written by our friends at EasyEcoTips.

 From a financial point of view, what does this mean?

A liter of bottled water costs about 0.40€. On average, you spend more than 220€ / year on mineral water for the purchase of plastic water bottles.

You will no longer have to buy plastic bottles, which are becoming more and more expensive. With your ecological bottle, you can take tap water with you, of course, you can filter your water with a carafe filter, but also all your favourite drinks. A bottle with a leak-proof cap is a small investment in the long run, it will save you money, while giving you the opportunity to stay hydrated by drinking water or your favourite drink!

It is very easy to do without a plastic bottle. Buthow?

Buying a water bottle is an ecological, profitable and more sustainable way for the environment.

The best solution, in our opinion, is an insulated bottle made of stainless steel, which makes them transport resistant and reusable. By choosing sustainable materials, we are helping our environmental footprint by reducing our consumption of plastic bottles containing chemicals.

You will no longer be participating in the mass production of plastic bottles or other single-use bottled waters, you will be eco-responsible.

Source: NationalGeographic.

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Eco

Which is better for the planet: plastic or paper bags?

Which is better for the planet: plastic or paper bags?

About paper bags

Even though paper is biodegradable and comes from trees, its production and distribution have a greater impact on the environment.

Here are some figures. The production of a paper bag uses 3 times more water, emits 2 times more greenhouse gases and contributes 13 times more to the eutrophication of waters (increase of nitrogen and phosphorus which decreases the oxygenation of aquatic environments).

In addition, a paper bag is bulkier and weighs more than a plastic bag, so the carbon footprint of its transport is greater. The same is true if it ends up in landfill if it is not recycled at the end of its life.

Another important observation is that plastic is more resistant. It can therefore be reused more times than its paper version. The main criticism of plastic is that it is extremely slow to decompose. It takes an average of 450 years for a plastic bag to decompose completely. It is therefore a particularly polluting material. Paper bags, on the other hand, take between 2 weeks and a year to decompose. The length of time varies according to the thickness of the bag and any treatments.

So is plastic better than paper?

No, just look at the astronomical quantities of bags that are thrown away every day.

When shopping or buying food, a person ends up with dozens of single-use bags. They usually only use them once and throw them away. Sometimes these disposable bags are also used as garbage bags, but not all sizes are suitable for this purpose.

By the way, if you want to know more about plastics we invite you to read the article “What is the difference between plastics?” written by our friends at EasyEcoTips.

So which is the more sustainable alternative?

Whether it is made of paper, plastic or bioplastic, the disposable bag is always a bad option. A waste that could easily be dispensed with if we were to opt for a truly ecological alternative: the reusable fabric bag. Made of cotton, jute or even synthetic fibre, reusablebags are on the rise. They are much more environmentally friendly as they can withstand hundreds of uses.

Remember: a reusable bag takes more energy to make than a disposable plastic bag, so make sure you reuse it as much as possible to make up for the difference! Choose a nice, strong, durable bag and reuse it as many times as you can! The more you reuse it, the more durable it will be!

Source: BBC.

Categories
Eco

What Is Composting?

Why is it so important to compost your organic waste, you will know everything about compost after reading this article.

What Is Composting?

Composting is the natural process of recycling organic waste (fruits, vegetables, etc.) into a valuable fertilizer that can enrich the soil and plants. This natural process transforms organic matter into a soil-like product called compost, which then becomes humus in the soil.

This process is the result of the fermentation of biodegradable waste in contact with micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi) and oxygen. Everything that grows eventually decomposes; composting only speeds up the process by providing an ideal environment for bacteria, fungi and other decomposing organisms (such as worms, woodlice and nematodes) to do their work. The resulting decomposed material, which often resembles fertile garden soil, is compost. It is rich in nutrients and can be used for gardening, horticulture and agriculture.

Indeed, once the organic matter has decomposed, it is transformed into simple elements that can be assimilated by plants and will continue to be transformed in the soil to form humus. Humus plays a key role in fertility, and composting is therefore of primary importance in the natural garden.

Organic waste can be processed in industrial-scale composting facilities, in smaller-scale community composting systems and in anaerobic digesters, among other options.

Why is it important to compost organic waste?

Compost has a number of benefits that not everyone is aware of. Here are some examples:

– Organic waste in landfills generates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. By composting food waste and other organic materials, methane emissions are significantly reduced.

– Compost reduces and, in some cases, eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers.

– Compost promotes better crop yields.

– Compost can contribute to reforestation, wetland restoration and habitat revitalisation efforts by improving contaminated, compacted, and marginal soils.

– Compost can be used to remediate soils contaminated with hazardous waste in a cost-effective manner.

– Compost can save money compared to conventional soil, water and air remediation technologies, where appropriate.

– Compost improves water retention in soils.

– Compost enables carbon sequestration.

Whether you compost organic waste at home, or in an industrial composting facility, you will reduce significantly your greenhouse emissions, and have a nutrient-rich soil.

But how do you compost at home?

– Start your compost pile on bare earth. This allows worms and other beneficial organisms to aerate the compost and be transported to your garden beds.

– Lay twigs or straw first, a few inches deep. This aids drainage and helps aerate the pile.

– Add compost materials in layers, alternating moist and dry. Moist ingredients are food scraps, tea bags, seaweed, etc. Dry materials are straw, leaves, sawdust pellets and wood ashes. If you have wood ashes, sprinkle in thin layers, or they will clump together and be slow to break down.

– Add manure, green manure (clover, buckwheat, wheatgrass, grass clippings) or any nitrogen source. This activates the compost pile and speeds the process along.

– Keep compost moist. Water occasionally, or let rain do the job.

 

If you want to know how to compost even without a garden we invite you to read the article “You can compost at home with Bokashi” written by our friends at EasyEoTips.

Did you know?

The great news is that  food waste is not the only thing we cancompost, but there are also a lot of others everyday objects that we add to the compost pile:

 

  • 1️⃣ Your hair can be added to the compost pile. Fallen hair is dead, and will decompose in the soil.
  • 2️⃣ Coffee filters (as long as they are 100% paper) can be composted, along with the coffee grounds inside!
  • 3️⃣ Cardboard egg boxes can be composted, but we recommend chopping them in little pieces to make the process easier.
  • 4️⃣ Wooden toothpicks (and all wooden objects) are compostable.
  • 5️⃣ Your nail clippings can also be added to the compost safely if they are free from nail polish.
  • 6️⃣ Paper napkins (and everything made of paper like paper ear buds or q-tips) can be added to the compost pile.
  • 7️⃣ Wine corks (as long as it’s natural cork) can be added to the compost pile, as cork is a natural product.

Source: Eartheasy / BBC / NRDC.

Categories
Eco

The inequality of climate change

The inequality of climate change, according to a new study from the University of Brussels, children born in high-income countries will experience twice as many extreme weather events as their grandparents.

But for children in low-income countries, the situation will be worse. According to researchers from the University of Brussels, they will see three times as much!

What does this report say?

The report says that the world’s wealthy need to radically change their lifestyles to fight climate change.According to the report, the world’s richest 1% produce twice as much carbon emissions as the poorest 50%, according to the UN.

The richest 5% alone – the “polluter elite” – contributed 37% of the growth in emissions between 1990 and 2015.

The report’s authors want to dissuade SUV drivers and frequent travellers – and persuade the rich to insulate their homes properly.

But what can we do about it?

Professor Newell from Sussex University said that in order to tackle climate change, everyone needs to feel that they are part of a collective effort, which means that the rich need to consume less to set an example for the poorest.

He continued: “Rich people who fly a lot may think they can offset their emissions through tree-planting schemes or projects to capture carbon from the air. But these projects are highly controversial and unproven over time.

The rich, he added, “simply need to fly less and drive less. Even if they have an electric SUV, it’s still a drain on the energy system and all the emissions created by the manufacture of the vehicle in the first place.

If you want to go further and calculate your carbon footprint to reduce it we invite you to click on the article written by our friends at EasyEcoTips  “Calculate your carbon footprint“.

What is the impact on poor countries?

A 2013 assessment found that many low-income countries are experiencing (and will continue to experience as the climate changes) rising sea levels, higher temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and other extreme weather events. Combined with Oxfam’s data (Oxfam is a global movement of people fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice), this means that the people most vulnerable to the threats of climate change are also those least responsible for it. Oxfam researchers concluded that “climate change and economic inequality are inextricably linked.”

“Climate change is a crisis driven by the “haves”, hitting the “have-nots” hardest,” the report states. “For there to be any justice in the Paris agreement, governments must offer something to the poor, wherever they live.” The central objective of the Paris Agreement is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to continue efforts to further limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Developing countries argue that they should not have as large an emissions reduction obligation as developed countries, which have been able to emit carbon for several decades. However, some developed countries point to the danger of allowing countries that are not as developed as the US and other Western nations, but are still large emitters, to continue to emit without committing to reducing their carbon output.

Source : BBC / OURWORLD.

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Uncategorized

France voted to ban short domestic flights

France voted to ban short domestic flights
French lawmakers have moved to ban short-haul internal flights where train alternatives exist, in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

The Senatehas voted for one of the key and symbolic provisions of the climate and resilience bill. It concerns the abolition of domestic air routes, when an alternative train journey of less than 2.5 hours exists.unless the routes in question carry at least 50% connecting passengers, to avoid transfer to foreign hubs.

Airlines around the world have been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with website Flightradar24 reporting that the number of flights in 2020 were down almost 42% from 2019.

This measure is inspired by the proposals that came out of the Citizens’ Climate Convention, except that the citizens had set the bar much higher, calling for an end to domestic flights when an alternative train journey of less than four hours exists.

The measures could affect travel between Paris and cities including Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux. The French government had faced calls to introduce even stricter rules.

France’s Citizens’ Convention on Climate, which was created by President Emmanuel Macron in 2019 and included 150 members of the public, had proposed scrapping plane journeys where train journeys of under four hours existed.

But this was reduced to two-and-a-half hours after objections from some regions, and the airline Air France-KLM.

But to go a little further we will compare the carbon footprints of the two means of transport, the plane and the train.

Is flying really the most polluting?

For a long time now, when we talk about global warming, we have tended to blame air travel a lot. Indeed, for many years, air travel has been considered the most polluting mode of transport, far more polluting than trains, buses and even cars. Is this true?

Admittedly, overall, air transport  accounts for less than 4-5% of global CO2 emissions, i.e. more than twice as little as road transport. But air travel is still one of the most polluting modes of transport, along with the car. For example, on a journey of a few hundred kilometres, the plane will pollute 10 to 50 times more than an electric high-speed train, or 5 to 10 times more than a bus. The problem with air transport is its generalisation and trivialisation: long-distance air travel should remain exceptional. From an environmental point of view, the growth of air transport is therefore not desirable in itself.

For a plane there are 285 g of CO2/passenger/km.

If you are interested in reducing your carbon footprint on your next flight, we invite you to read the article by our friends at EastEcoTips Offset your carbon footprint when booking your flight.

But what about the train?

Let’s take a concerted example: a trip from Paris to Marseille. If, by TGV, the CO2 emissions for each passenger is 1.7 kg per kilometre, the car will emit 127 kg. This is 74 times more than the train with a single passenger. However, if there are four passengers, it is only 31 kg per passenger. For this one and a half hour journey, it will emit 82.7 kg of CO2 per passenger according to the DGAC. 49 times more than the train.

The gap between the two forms of transport widens if you take shorter journeys. Like a trip from Paris to Rennes. With a Ouigo, we are talking about 0.7 kg of CO2 emissions per SNCF customer. That’s 84 times less than a car (59.3 kg of CO2) and 115 times less than a plane (80.7 kg of CO2 per passenger).

On average, the train emits 14 g of CO2/passenger/km.

So while the difference in pollution is greater or lesser depending on the journey or the number of passengers, the idea given by the SNCF boss is the right one. Undoubtedly, rail is the greenest of the three modes of transport.

Source: BBC / YOUMATTER.

What do you think of this measure? Would you like to see the same implemented in your country?

 

Categories
Eco

What is the difference between plastics?

You may be wondering what is the difference between plastics? Do you find recycling confusing?  You’re not alone!

Recycling plastic is far from easy. Depending on the type of plastic and your local recycling facilities, only some types of plastic will be recycled.

This guide will help you understand better the different types of plastic and know which ones to recycle.

WHICH PLASTICS CAN BE RECYCLED?

Not all plastics are recyclable. At least not yet…

In simple terms, the plastics that can be recycled belong mainly to the families of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). In concrete terms, bottles (water, soft drinks, drinking yoghurt, edible oil, washing powder, etc.) and bottles (shower gel, shampoo, sauce, washing-up liquid, etc.) are recyclable waste.

TO GUIDE YOU IN SORTING YOUR PLASTIC WASTE

1) Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)                                                                    

– CO2-tight

– Transparent or semi-opaque

– Lightweight

– Solid

– Long life

It comes in the form of:

– Food packaging

– Soft drink bottles

– Stuffing of plush and cushions

– Credit or loyalty cards

2) High density polyethylene (HDPE)

Which is:

– translucent

– soft and flexible

– resistant to cold and heat

– not resistant to oxidising agents

It comes in the form of:

– Household products

– Plastic crate

– Motor oil cans

– Milk bottles

– Shampoo bottles

– Medicine bottles

– Soft drink caps

3) Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Which is:

– Rigid or flexible

– Opaque or transparent

– Non-slip or smooth

– Water and fire resistant

– Easy to maintain

– Inert

It comes in the form of:

– Cheese and meat packaging

– Adhesive tape

– Credit or loyalty cards

– Kitchen utensil handles

– Baby bottle nipples

– Garden furniture

– Nappies

4) Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Which is:

– Translucent

– Flexible

– Cold resistant

It comes in the form of:

– Food films

– Garbage bags and plastic bags

– Milk bottle caps

– Ice cube bags

5) Polypropylene (PP)

Which is:

– Resistant to high and low temperatures

– Hydrophobic

– Translucent to opaque

– Hard to semi-rigid

– Highly abrasion resistant

It comes in the form of:

– Butter pack

– Synthetic carpet

– Drinking straws

– Children’s tableware

– Microwaveable dish

6) Polystyrene (PS)

Which is:

– Hard

– Breakable

– Opaque or transparent

It comes in the form of:

– School square and protractor

– Yoghurt or cream pot

– Meat tray

7) Other (O)

Which takes the form of:

– Bottles for water coolers

– Reusable bottles

– Baby bottles

Source: PlasticForChange.

WHICH PLASTICS ARE NOT RECYCLABLE?

Some plastic waste remains difficult to process in practice. These include packaging that is too thin or too light, such as plastic film or plastic bags. Hard plastic toys and tableware are also not recyclable.

However, technological innovations to make more and better use of plastic packaging are progressing rapidly. So, there is nothing to say that plastic waste that is not recyclable today will not be recyclable tomorrow!

CHECK YOUR LOCAL RECYCLING FACILITY RULES

Unfortunately, now that we talked about the different types of plastics, we need to consider to that recycling rules are different in every country, region, city, council, state…This means that some plastics, although they are recyclable in theory, might be not actually recycled where you live!

That’s why it’s important to check your local recycling facility rules before putting something in the recycling bin.

If you want to read more about recycling, read the article by our friends at easyecotips “Recyclable does not mean it will be recycled“.

AVOID WISHCYCLING

If you are thinking “this is probably recyclable”, it’s called wishcycling, and it does more harm than good. Wishcycling is putting something in a recycling bin in the hope that it will be recycled. Unfortunately, this is a serious issue! Many waste is commonly thought to be recyclable but is actually not, and will pollute the whole bin!

Read more about wishcycling with our article: https://moonqua.com/what-is-wishcycling/

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Eco Uncategorized

Where does the oxygen come from?

Contrary to popular belief, most of the oxygen on earth does not come from trees. So, where does oxygen come from?

In fact, according to scientists, the ocean and phytoplankton produce between 50% and 80% of the oxygen on our planet.

Why do we mistakenly think that trees produce most of our oxygen?

Well, that’s a shortcut we make, that’s what our parents tell us, that’s what we learn at school. But, according to a 2010 study by science.org, tropical forests are responsible for about 34% of the earth’s photosynthesis.

This does not change the fact that trees are very important, they make oxygen from the carbon dioxide in the air (CO2). They are true natural carbon dioxide (CO2) recycling machines. They simply produce less oxygen than we think.

So where is all the oxygen produced?

We tend to forget this, but phytoplankton and the oceans produce more than 50% of the oxygen on our planet. Phytoplankton are the largest producers of oxygen on earth. Like land plants, phytoplankton make oxygen through the mechanism of photosynthesis.

What are phytoplankton?

Phytoplankton, or plant plankton, are micro-organisms that are invisible to the naked eye. These tiny one-celled plants just float in the ocean surface, and go with the flow and they drift with the currents.

They grow through photosynthesis, meaning they convert CO2 using the sun energy, and release oxygen. They also need nutrients from the bottom of the ocean itself like iron, nitrogen or phosphate. Not only do they provide oxygen for all of us on earth, but phytoplankton are also at the bottom of the food chain in the ocean. Small fish eat them and are in turn eaten by bigger fishes.. Surprising as it may seem, it is not huge trees but these tiny plant organisms that play a major role in renewing the oxygen in the air we breathe.

Unfortunately, phytoplankton are in danger because of global warming (if you want to read more about global warming, we invite you to read the article “Climate change is accelerating“. Indeed, they prefer cold waters and as the ocean temperature increases, the population of phytoplankton decreases. This will have a big impact on marine biodiversity and on the land in general as phytoplankton is also part of the food chain.

How does phytoplankton photosynthesis work?

To put it simply, thanks to its chlorophyll, phytoplankton captures sunlight which it uses as a source of energy to produce glucose. To create this sugar, it needs carbon and hydrogen, two elements that it finds in the carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) naturally present in its environment. It then releases what it does not need, namely O2, oxygen.

If you want to read more about phytoplankton, please read the article “phytoplankton are the biggest producers of oxygen on earth“.

Sources:  National Geographic, Science.org.

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