PFPW.NEWS – June 7, 2020

~   Recycling – Role of Procurement in Stimulating Recycling Markets
~   Plastic Waste – Environmental Impact, Sustainability, Recyclability and Degradation
~   Microplastics – Atlantic Ocean Mapping Begins
~   Microplastics – Distribution on the Deep Seafloor
~   Food Packaging’s Role in Preventing Food Waste

Recycling – Role of Procurement in Stimulating Recycling Markets 
– On June 3, 2020, the EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery announced that a Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar, titled “Procurement of Recycled-Content Products: Stimulating Recycling Markets and Creating Demand” will be held from 1 to 2:30 pm Eastern on June 10, 2020  
– The webinar will “… highlight the role of procurement in stimulating recycling markets, explain the government’s ‘buy-recycled’ program and help facilitate public review of the program … Buying products with recycled content fosters the diversion and recycling of materials from the solid waste stream and promotes the use of these materials in the manufacture of new products. It creates domestic markets for materials collected and recycled through local recycling programs, strengthening local economies and the United States’ recycling system …” #Recycling

Plastic Waste – Environmental Impact, Sustainability, Recyclability and Degradation 
– According to a June 3, 2020 CHEManager Magazine story  the Chemical Sciences and Society Summit (CS3) has released an extensive White Paper titled “Science to enable sustainable plastics” providing analyses of the presentations, discussions and outcomes of the 8th CS3 meeting, held November 10 to 13, 2019 in London, UK – The goals of the meeting were to “… assess the current status of sustainable plastics, identify the most pressing research challenges … and make recommendations about how the field should progress … Developments in chemistry will be key to understand and mitigate the impact of plastics in the environment …” – The summary report contains the following four research challenges: “… To understand the impacts of plastics throughout their life cycles … To develop new sustainable plastics … Closed-loop plastics recycling; and To understand and control plastic degradation …” – The White Paper is significantly more detailed than can be summarized here #Recycling #PlasticWaste #Microplastics

Microplastics – Atlantic Ocean Mapping Begins
– According to a June 4, 2020 news release the University of Pisa is cooperating with others in the HOTMIC project, titled “Horizontal and vertical oceanic distribution, transport, and impact of microplastics,” a three-year project funded with 2.3 million euros under the European Program “JPI Oceans-Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans” – “… Six European countries are involved in the project, and the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of University of Pisa acts as Italian partner. The partners will develop and apply analytical procedures to investigate microplastics in environmental samples collected during scientific cruises aimed to evaluate the extent, type, and distribution of microplastics, even below 10 microns, their transport routes and fate from the estuaries to the open sea and from the surface to the seabed, the degradation mechanisms, and the interaction with biological organisms …” #Microplastics #AtalanticOcean #HOTMIC

Microplastics – Distribution on the Deep Seafloor
– According to a June 5, 2020 Science Magazine story  researchers with the UK University of Manchester and others “… show that thermohaline-driven currents can control the distribution of microplastics … Previous studies propose that microplastics are transported to the seafloor by vertical settling from surface accumulations; here, we demonstrate that the spatial distribution and ultimate fate of microplastics are strongly controlled by near-bed thermohaline currents (bottom currents). These currents are known to supply oxygen and nutrients to deep-sea benthos, suggesting that deep-sea biodiversity hotspots are also likely to be microplastic hotspots …” #Microplastics

Food Packaging’s Role in Preventing Food Waste 
– According to a June 2, 2020 Canadian National Zero Waste Council (NZWC) news release  a new NZWC report “,,, provides insight into how and when packaging can be applied to prevent food spoilage and waste to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions …” – The report “… urges caution about misleading marketing claims around ‘biodegradable,’ ‘compostable’ and ‘bio-based’ plastics’ … Governments are encouraged to establish minimum recycled content requirements, to advance certification programs for recyclable and compostable packaging, improve collection programs and to assist with implementing extended producer responsibility programs, which transfer the cost and management of recycling packaging and paper products to producers …” – Consumer education “… initiatives are important for bringing clarity to issues like ‘best before’ dates, food storage best practices and effective shopping habits …” – #FoodPackaging #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic