You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘PLASTIC’ tag.
Made from 12,500 plastic bottles, David de Rothschild’s, Plastiki, has successfully crossed the Pacific ocean after 130 days at sea. The journey – meant to help lessen our plastic imprint on the world’s oceans – began in San Francisco three months ago and ended today, 8000 miles later, in Sydney, Australia. You can read all about it at theplastiki.com. While you’re at it, sign a pledge to beat waste.
Photo credit: Plastiki
If you’re a frequent visitor to this site, you know that plastic bags are the bane of our collective existence. And you know you should bring your own shopping bags to the grocery store. But what about those little plastic bags in the produce department? Refuse/Re-use. You can buy reusable produce bags online at places like reusablebags.com or you can even learn to make your own at motherearthnews.com.
Superuse is an online community of designers, architects and others who’re interested in inventive ways of recycling, from bottle-cap festooned guitars to tables made of discarded cassette tapes. At Superuse, everything old is new again.
Built by Japan’s Eagar Co., Ltd., D+ropop* is the world’s most ecologically friendly robot. Made from recycled materials (primarily corrugated cardboard), D+ropop is relatively inexpensive (a little over $5000 USD), light in weight, and performs a variety of customizable routines in its role as a robotic store mannequin.
* ‘D’ as in D-type cardboard; ‘ro’ as in robot; ‘pop’ as in point-of-purchase.
Hat Tip: .plasticpals
Designed by Jin-young Yoon and Jeongwoong Kwon, the Save Water Brick is designed to be manufactured from recycled plastic and decomposed leaves. Its built-in grooves collect water and channel it for gardening, storage, and a variety of other purposes.
HAT TIP: yankodesign.com
Throwing garters is a tradition that goes back to the Dark Ages. Fortunately, it can be carried on responsibly (but as rowdy as you like) with an environmentally-friendly garter created with ribbon woven from yarn made of 100% post consumer polyester that comes entirely from recycled plastic bottles. You can purchase yours at green-wedding.net.
Every year over 1 million marine mammals, reptiles, and birds die because of plastic bags. Animals become entangled in them and routinely ingest them – in which case, they become lodged in the digestive tract. What’s more, as discarded bags slowly decompose they absorb toxic chemicals such as PCBs and DDE; so when they’re ingested, animals and fish are also high doses of deadly synthetic compounds.
Hat Tip://pollution control
The plastic bag monster (a.k.a. a passionately creative high school student from Santa Monica) testifies at a 2008 Santa Monica city council meeting.
Plastic bags have also become the primary material for Dianna Cohen’s wall pieces and installations.
The artist – a co-founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition – describes her work this way: “Cut like paper, sewn like fabric, these constructions have been presented as flat art (framed or mounted) with crumpled and shiny surfaces that are dulled by dirt and time: un-useful pieces of their former selves.”
You can see more at her online gallery: www.diannacohen.com.
Read more: thedailygreen.com.
In 2006, Tesco launched a multimillion pound TV campaign to get people to use fewer plastic bags when they shop. Here’s one of their commercials:
Researchers from England are working on a £1.4 million project to capture and process CO2 from the air turn it into car fuel. Their plan involves developing porous materials that can absorb the gas that causes global warming and convert it into chemicals that can be used to make car fuel or plastics in a process powered by renewable solar energy. More information here.
1,000,000 trees cut down every year; 2,000,000 plastic bottles used every five minutes. The statistics are alarming, yet difficult to envision. Renowned photographer Chris Jordan brings these staggering numbers to life in manipulated digital photographs that are at once alluring and shocking.
This Friday’s Focus is Recycling. It begins with a demonstration of wearable art created from plastic bags:
Designed by Louie Rigano, these rain boots these rain boots are made from discarded plastic bags picked up by impoverished Argentineans who make their living collecting trash in Buenos Aires. Rigano created a template that allows the collectors to easily construct the boots from hot-pressed layers of the plastic. To see more examples of Louie Rigano’s innovative product designs, visit louierigano.com.
The following is a recent blog post from the 5 Gyres group. Please visit their website at 5gyres.org – a project aimed at “understanding plastic marine pollution through exploration, education, and action” (visiting the site will hopefully help justify our use of their photograph). BTW: Friday’s Focus is PLASTIC. 8 new posts, dead ahead.
“Patricks’s Point is in Northern CA on the CA 1. We stopped to camp amongst the redwoods and walked down to the beach at sunset to walk our dog, collect and photograph beach trash. There was almost as much plastic as driftwood — we gathered so much we weren’t able to carry it all, and ended up with little piles along the shore. Here’s a quick picture of what we amassed in about an hour. Some of the most interesting pieces found were: a toy spinning top from the Seoul, South Korea Olympic games in 1988, a pair of kids’ sunglasses that once were bright blue and missing their lenses, and the bottom half of a toy figurine.”
Richie Sowa’s dream was not uncommon – to live on a tiny island off the coast of Mexico. But there’s nothing common about the way he realized his dream. He built his own island – out of garbage – including over 100,000 plastic bottles. Check out this one-of-a-kind experiment in repurposed plastic. Visit Richie’s beach at spiralislanders.com.
The Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach is an enviromental-song cycle, available at better digital music stores worldwide (no plastic CD case required).
When and if you’re confronted with the question, “paper or plastic,” the best choice is neither. Which is to say, BYOB – bring your own reusable bag. According to MSNBC.com, manufacturing all the bags Americans use each year takes 14 million trees (for paper) and 12 million barrels of oil (for plastic). Making paper bags creates 70 percent more air pollution than plastic, but plastic bags create four times the solid waste. And they can last up to a thousand years. The most compelling reason to reject plastic bags can be seen in our next post.
This disturbing video shows the Brydes whale who died after becoming stranded on a Cairns beach. The post-mortem found that the whales stomach was tightly packed with six square metres of plastic – much of it plastic checkout bags. The antidote to the revulsion you’re bound to feel is a visit to one of the following: http://www.seashepherd.org, www.savethewhales.org, and/or http://www.savethewhalesagain.com.
The government of Taiwan is turning 1.5 million recycled plastic bottles into a $9 million, nine-story exhibition hall to host fashion and environmental protection shows at the Taipei International Floral Exposition in November. “The bottles are processed to make bricks that can resist earthquakes and powerful winds,” explains Rachel Chen, from the Far Eastern Group, which is sponsoring the pavilion.
Hat Tip: google.com/hostednews
Kissing tooth brushes. Love, Heart & French Kiss Part II, originally uploaded by Baqir Ali
Preserve® plastic products are made from benign #5 polypropylene plastic that is collected from reputable sources and transformed into new products. Among their many innovate and eco-friendly products is the “mail back” toothbrush, which comes in packaging that doubles as a return envelope – so you can send it back for recycling!
Artist Miwa Koizumi has found a way to transform one of the greatest dangers to our oceans – single use plastic containers – into permanent works of art that celebrate the some of the ocean’s most beautiful creatures. Brilliant. See more at miwa.metm.org.
The post continues: …if you hold the idea that the solution to the plastic pollution problem is to go to any of the 5 gyres and get it, you’re wasting your time and money. The plastic out here will likely photodegrade and break apart into smaller and smaller fragments. After cycling through untold numbers of marine organisms through filter-feeding or food mimicry, the particles will likely sink to the seafloor, either as fish poop or become encrusted by colonizing critters. They will take their polymer chains and absorbed pollutants to the sequestering grave of deep sea mud. Solutions to plastic pollution begin on land. And at 5gyres.org.
According to worldcentric.org, 73 billion styrofoam and plastic cups and plates were put in the trash in 2003 in the USA alone. World Centric provides high quality compostable food service disposables and food packaging products for use in schools, corporate cafeterias, restaurants, hospitals, and homes. They use renewable resources like corn and discarded sugar cane and wheat straw fiber to make sustainable alternatives to plastics and styrofoam.
You can order a “generic sample pack for $7.50 plus shipping and handling at
From a slideshow about plastic bags: www.poconorecord.com.
BELOW: Made to last forever but designed to be thrown away, milk jug rings are just part of the problem.
originally uploaded by Michael_Lehet
The toy industry is one of the most egregious in terms of generating plastic waste. And don’t get us started on those toxin-laden Chinese toys. For a great range of eco-friendly and child-pleasing playthings including recycled plastic trucks and organic plush toys, check out Organic Bug.
Beyond toys, Organic Bug offers an incredible variety of ecologically sound, fair trade, and health-oriented merchandise. The founders invite individuals to use their purchasing power as a vote for social and environmental change, while delivering an informative one-stop shopping experience for today’s busy consumer. We’re sold.
Organic Bug is located HERE!
Without a doubt, the issue that raises the biggest stink for eco-conscious parents is what to do about diapers. It’s estimated that up to 25 million disposable diapers are sold ever year, with at least 90% of those ending up in landfills. As you parents know, that is some seriously toxic waste – so we found two solutions that will work well for both your baby and mother Earth.
gDiapers give parents the ease of a disposable diaper with a 100% biodegradable insert, or the option of using soft and trim-fitting cloth inserts. gDiapers are plastic-free, elemental chlorine free, latex free, and perfume free. For more info, visit gdiapers.com.
EarthBaby is a unique company (serving only Northern California at the moment) committed to eliminating disposable diapers and wipes from landfills. For a monthly service fee of $29.99 they will deliver, pickup, and process their unique, compostable diaper products. Click earth-baby.com for details.
The 5 Gyres Project is the first comprehensive study of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Beginning January 18, 2010, the project will travel thousands of miles across the North and South Atlantic oceans, collecting ocean samples to study plastic accumulation, as well as examining fish for possible plastic ingestion and toxins in their tissues. These expeditions will help further our understanding of the impact of plastic waste on the world’s oceans. Visit http://5gyres.org/ for more information (the site includes a What’s Happening Now blog).
Artist Dianna Cohen uses plastic as her primary medium. She’s also a co-founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition, an organization whose mission is “to create a global community and ignite a social movement that will eliminate the toxic impacts of plastic pollution worldwide.
If you despise one-use plastic bags as much as we do, here’s some news that’s totally, like, nano-tubular. A chemist has created an “upcycling” method of turning the disposable bags into carbon nanotubes. Nanotubes technology is pretty new, but Stanford University researchers recently coated copier paper in ink made of carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires to create bendable, highly conductive storage devices. Nanotubes could also become self-repair tools for electronic circuits in our smart phones and laptops. Here’s the scoop.
originally uploaded by EraPhernalia Vintage (here . . . every now & then)
Newsstand copies of the November issue of Creative Review are wrapped in a revolutionary new bag that dissolves in hot water.
CR is the first magazine to use “Harmless Dissolve,” a new packaging material created by British firm, Cyberpac.
We don’t mean to get on your case, but chances are you could be using more eco-friendly luggage. Introducing the EcoCase - made from 100% recycled plastic. By utilizing recycled materials to create stylish and functional new baggage, HeyUSA repurposes plastic that would have otherwise taken a one-way trip to a landfill.
photo: Vince Alongi
If you were walking down the street and you saw a plastic bag lightly tumbling in the breeze, would you stop to pick it up?
If you’d been with us aboard the Baylis, you would without question.
Welcome to the Derick M Baylis, a 65-foot auxiliary-powered sailing research vessel, a Prius at sea.
Chartered by Sealife Conservation, its mission is to inspire conservation of the Oceans by fostering awareness of the marine environment through research and education. On board, a mixture of open minds: a fifth grader and an ocean activist, college students and college grads, dads and daughters. The most obvious commonality is the desire to experience and learn.
Would you step out of your way to pick up that Styrofoam cup in the park?
A day aboard the Baylis would provide you with more than one reason to do it.
The Baylis has just left its slip and nets are manned on both the port and starboard sides. A candy wrapper is the first catch of the day, small, but certainly there’s not a thought of throwing it back. A simple standard has been set: if you see it, call it out, and it will get hauled in. During the trip to the sea, other debris is collected. The experience is underscored by living sea lions basking on a buoy, pelicans flying overhead, and twenty or so dolphin close enough that you can
hear them breathing and slapping the water. A drifting patch of kelp is hoisted on board and the passengers comb through the leaves looking for life’s beginning stages taking refuge in the safe haven. Tiny crabs and other little creatures are placed in beakers so they can be studied.
A torrent of plastic and other trash is impacting their lives, so while the ocean is where most of earth’s life begins, it seems to be our least-respected resource.
If you were strolling on the beach, would you salvage that plastic cup half buried in the sand?
If you knew the crew of the Baylis, absolutely, you would.
The Billabong seaplane rendezvous with the Baylis off the SoCal coast.
On board are three incredible, big-wave riders. Mike Parsons, Grant “Twiggy” Baker and Greg Long don’t look like the hell men they really are as they board the sailboat from a dinghy, calm and clearly intrigued. Each of them has surfed the largest waves in the world with that same studied character.
They understand the ocean and it’s contents. Around the globe, they have seen pristine beaches turn into dumps and witnessed a bounty of plastic bags and bottles mixed with syringes. They watch as the Baylis nets its own collection of discarded objects, using GPS to note the location.
Would you stop a boat to pick up a floating water bottle?
At this point you know the answer is yes. A manned net on the starboard side misses a plastic bottle and suddenly the boat is turning around to gather it – a 65-foot boat on a turnabout for a single water bottle. There are no complaints, only interest in the brand and where it is from. The 180-degree turn for the bobbing plastic makes a point – for if we can stop trash like this from ever leaving the land, it will never find its way to the ocean’s garbage dumps.
That plastic bag, tumbling in the breeze?
Are you going to pick it up?
There was a point in my life when I would have answered, “no.” Or perhaps I wouldn’t have answered the question at all. Today I find myself stuffing plastic bags in my wetsuit sleeve while surfing. There are funny looks from the others in the line -up until I explain that, to a turtle, a plastic bag looks just like a jellyfish. Suddenly, they understand.
Back aboard the Baylis: A chunk of Styrofoam is netted (the little foam balls that break-off are easily mistaken for food by fish and sea birds). A silver Mylar happy birthday balloon is scooped off the surface to a chorus of hilarious, helium-inspired cheers. Things change. I’ve changed. Anything is possible.
Steve Lawrence, greenlandoceanblue
**All unattributed photos by Steve & Madison
Unlike any other running bikes, the Wishbone Bike evolves with a child’s different stages of development. It starts as a trike, converts to a running bike as the child grows, and by four to five years old, the ‘wishbone’ frame is flipped, making it one of the largest running bikes on the market. Every Wishbone Bike has 60% post-consumer recycled plastic wheels, is made from sustainably managed woods and is bonded and finished with eco-friendly products. The Bike box and all printed material inside is recycled and printed with non-toxic inks. For more information, visit skiphop.com.
A town in New South Wales, Australia, may be the first in the world to ban bottled water from store shelves. Just two hours drive south of Sydney, the village of Bundanoon voted for the ban in July. John Dee, a spokesman for the campaign that inspired the decision, says that the 2000-person town demonstrates at the local level how “we can sometimes do things that can surprise ourselves, in terms of our ability to bring about real and measurable change that has a real benefit for the environment. The alternative doesn’t have a sexy brand, doesn’t have pictures of mountain streams on the front of it, it comes out of your tap.”
HAT TIP: wl.theaustralian.news
If you’re wondering about how to replace the plastic containers you use for food storage, here’s a tip: recycle and use glass bottles or jars (a single one can save enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for about 4 hours). Or buy a SLOM JAR with lid for just $2.99 at Ikea (see photo).
Hat Tip: www.brighthub.com
Instead of tossing out cell phones and other electronic devices, artist Boo Chapple suggest that we should eat them. In a pamphlet titled, Consumables, she says that “if electronic devices were edible, we could save on petrochemicals and solve the global food crisis in one simple move. In place of e-waste, there would now be e-food. There would be no more photo essay exposés of towns in China piled with PCB’s, dusted in plastic and beset with birth defects. There would be no more African famines.”
Hat Tip: fastcompany.com/blog
All images are from Consumables, a project by artist Boo Chapple, with photography by Bo Wong.
originally uploaded by emilyizzles
Bisphenol or BPA is used primarily to make plastics. It is also an endocrine disruptor widely-suspected of leading to an assortment of health problems. Now, Science News has published an article suggesting that sales receipts (yes, sales receipts) may provide even greater exposure to BPA than plastic. For more about the research that led to this startling conclusion, visit www.sciencenews.org.
Hat Tip: thedailygreen.com
Phthalates are chemical “plasticizers” used in hundreds of consumer products. Billions of pounds of phthalates are produced every year despite the fact that they’ve been banned in the European Union, Japan, Mexico and Argentina. Researchers believe most of the phthalates in our bodies come from food and studies show they disrupt hormones — in this case, testosterone. Just one more reason you should seek out alternatives to plastic (e.g., BioBags — 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable bags and films – for information visit biobagusa).
Hat Tip: Peligro Films and www.webmd.com.
Photo: iPhone 3G Case available on eBay
Fashions may fade, but plastics last forever. Fortunately, the designers at Bagir are picking up disposable plastic bottles (soooo last season) and transforming them into some of today’s hottest fashions.
For everything from washable clothing made from 55% recycled PET bottles to the transparent suit that turned a few heads at last month’s New York Fashion Week, click on over to bagir.com.
These shoes were made out of recycled plastic bags by Childean design student Camila Labra. The bags were fused together and the result is a material that is flexible, light, and non-toxic. They can be bought for about $45 USD. For more information, visit botasdacca.blogspot.com and if necessary, bring a translator.