PFPW.NEWS – June 26, 2020


~   Nanoplastics Accumulate in Plants
~   EU Recycling Targets
~   Europe’s Seas are “Neglected and Abused
~   Plastic Waste in the Ocean – NAS Seeks Committee Members
~   Reducing Plastic Waste – Consumers and Businesses expect more from Government

Nanoplastics Accumulate in Plants 
– According to a report published June 22, 2020 in the journal Nature by researchers in China and the US  “… the fates of microplastics (0.1–5 mm in size) and nanoplastics (<100 nm) in marine environments are being increasingly well studied … little is known about the behaviour of nanoplastics in terrestrial environments … especially agricultural soils … we show that both positively and negatively charged nanoplastics can accumulate in Arabidopsis thaliana [a small flowering weed native to Eurasia and Africa found by roadsides and in disturbed land] … Our findings provide direct evidence that nanoplastics can accumulate in plants, depending on their surface charge. Plant accumulation of nanoplastics can have both direct ecological effects and implications for agricultural sustainability and food safety …” #Microplastics #NanoPlastic

EU Recycling Targets 
– According to a June 23, 2020 European Environment Agency (EEA) report  “… EU legislation includes recycling targets for municipal, construction and demolition, and electronic waste … there is significant potential to increase recycling from all of these streams. However, to fully exploit this potential, current barriers need to be overcome, e.g. price competition from virgin resource alternatives, infrastructure capacity and the complexity of certain waste products. This also requires strong implementation of targeted regulations to increase separate collection. Implementing new policy measures, some of which are already included in Europe’s 2020 circular economy action plan, can both directly and indirectly exploit the potential for increased recycling … The most important barrier to increasing recycling of these waste streams is the low market price of natural resources/virgin raw materials. Next is the mixed and complex composition of some waste products … Regulations requiring more frequent and higher quality separate collections … [and] extended producer responsibility schemes can effectively exploit the potential for further increasing recycling …” #Recycling #PlasticWaste

Europe’s Seas are “Neglected and Abused” 
– On June 25, 2020, the European Environment Agency (EEA) released a report noting that “… Faced with the increased threats posed by overexploitation of marine resources, pollution and climate change, urgent action is needed to bring Europe’s seas back to good condition … we are running out of time to reverse decades of neglect and misuse. We still have a chance to restore our marine ecosystems if we act decisively and coherently and strike a sustainable balance between the way we use of seas and our impact on the marine environment … The condition of our seas determines their capacity to supply, amongst others, oxygen, food, a habitable climate, and certain raw materials, and it also supports our recreation, leisure and health …” #PlasticWaste

Plastic Waste in the Ocean – NAS Seeks Committee Members
– The Ocean Studies Board of the US National Academies of Science is seeking by July 17, 2020, the nomination of individuals to serve on a panel during an 18 month study of US “… contributions to global ocean plastic waste, as defined in the draft ‘Save Our Seas Act 2.0’ bill …”  
– The study is to “… Evaluate United States contributions to global ocean plastic waste, including types, sources and geographic variations … Assess the prevalence of marine debris and mismanaged plastic waste in saltwater and freshwater … Examine the import and export of plastic waste to and from the United States … Assess the potential value of a national marine debris tracking and monitoring system … Develop recommendations on knowledge gaps … [and] Recommend potential means to reduce United States contributions to global ocean plastic waste …” #PlasticWaste

Reducing Plastic Waste – Consumers and Businesses expect more from Government 
 According to a June 23, 2020 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) news release, UNEP and “… Food Industry Asia (FIA) today released a regional survey of consumers and food and beverage businesses across South-East Asia that shows a significant disconnect between expectation and action on reducing plastic waste … We will need fundamental change throughout the plastic value chain to achieve clean seas and beat plastic pollution … Consumers are concerned about plastic waste, but are not changing habits … Businesses understand that their current efforts are not sufficient … Targets by businesses on plastic waste need strengthening … Both consumers and businesses want and expect further action by governments. Consumers and businesses recognise that governments are concerned with plastic waste. Key actions by government considered most critical include mandating waste segregation, enhancing collection systems, ensuring consistent labelling on product recycling, and imposing littering fines and charges …” #PlasticWaste #Recycling