💚 Revolutionizing Mixed Recycling ♻️

💚 Revolutionizing Mixed Recycling ♻️

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Happy Thursday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • Revolutionizing the recycling of mixed plastics ♻️
  • ‘Largest ever’ investment in US electric grid 💡
  • It’s our day to show care and support 👩🏽‍⚕️
  • And more… 💚

Did you know that we still have a hard time recycling mixed plastics?

Traditionally, plastics still have to be mechanically separated before they can be recycled…

Now, when I think about all the products made our of plastic, I don’t even want to imagine how tedious that process would be.

I mean, have a look at the next plastic item: Could you spot how many different types of plastic this one is made of? Or how you could separate these?

Yeah, me neither… But soon, this might not be an obscatcle to recycling plastics anymore!

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♻️ How Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Recycling of Mixed Plastics

1️⃣ The big picture: The majority of mixed consumer plastics, whether discarded or placed in recycle bins, unfortunately don’t end up being recycled. Instead, nearly 90% of it is either buried in landfills or incinerated, leading to greenhouse gas emissions and airborne toxins. Addressing this pressing issue, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a groundbreaking catalytic recycling process. This new method can selectively and sequentially deconstruct multiple polymers in mixed plastics, turning them back into pristine monomers, which are the building blocks for creating new plastics.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: Traditional recycling methods often involve manually or mechanically separating plastics based on their constituent polymers, which can be both tedious and inefficient. The new multipurpose catalyst introduced by the researchers promises to be more environmentally friendly, requiring up to 94% less energy and resulting in up to 95% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. This innovative approach not only offers a sustainable solution to the global plastic waste problem but also transforms waste plastics into valuable materials that can be reused in producing commercial-grade plastics.

3️⃣ What’s next: This new recycling process has demonstrated its efficiency in deconstructing a variety of polymers commonly found in products like safety goggles, foams, water bottles, and fishing nets. This process provides an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional methods, replacing harsh chemicals and offering good selectivity and thermal stability. As the research progresses, this technology holds the potential to reshape the recycling industry, making it more efficient and sustainable, and significantly reducing the environmental footprint of plastic waste.

👉 Related: Can’t wait for this technology to become mainstream? Then check out the following charities that are already doing great groundwork:

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📢 More Good News…

🌳 The Winnemem Wintu won land back for their tribe:

  • The Winnemem Wintu tribe, which is located in the Shasta Cascade region of Northern California, has recently purchased 1,080 acres of their ancestral lands. 
  • The leftover money, as well as separate grant funding, will support the construction of an eco-village, which will marry Indigenous living traditions with future-forward land management practices.

💡 ‘Largest ever’ investment in US electric grid:

  • The Biden administration announced $3.46 billion in funding to upgrade the US’s aging electric grid, the largest investment to date in the grid.
  • The Department of Energy says the funding will help get more than 35 gigawatts of renewable energy online, equivalent to about half of the utility-scale solar capacity in the nation in 2022.

🏝 The barren island that came back from the dead:

  • The island of Redonda, a volcanic island in the Caribbean Sea, has successfully been restored.
  • After the successful restoration of Redonda, the government of Antigua and Barbuda announced this month that it had established the Redonda Ecosystem Reserve, protecting nearly 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of land and sea.
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👩🏽‍⚕️ Event of the Week: International Day of Care and Support

👉 Aside from National Cat Day, did you know that this coming Sunday, on October 29, will be International Day of Care and Support? This special day was created to raise awareness of the care economy, the importance of care and support, and honor both paid and unpaid caretakers across the globe. It was also recently established this year, making us the first people to honor it!

1️⃣ The big picture: Earlier this year on July 24, The United Nations General Assembly released a resolution proclaiming an International Day of Care and Support to be commemorated on October 29. This brand-new event will emphasize the value of care work and recognize care workers as essential workers, especially women who provide unpaid labor.

2️⃣ Why is this important: Care work across the world often provides little-to-no benefits, protections, compensation, and can even sometimes lead to physical, mental and, in some cases, sexual harm. Additionally, according to the International Labour Organization, women perform 76.2% of the total amount of unpaid care work, which is 3.2 times more time than men. In 2018, 606 million women of working age have declared themselves to be unavailable for employment or not seeking a job due to unpaid care work. This international event was created to recognize and potentially solve the issues caretakers face across the globe and bring awareness to the paid and unpaid work that they provide.

3️⃣ How can you get involved: One of the best ways to honor this coming International Day of Care and Support is to simply bring awareness to the paid and unpaid domestic work that caretakers provide, the gender inequalities they face, and the poor working conditions and support they may struggle with. Additionally, you can also show support to the caretakers in your local community as well as the International Labour Organization, who is attempting to promote decent work and set measures to recognize formal and informal caretakers as essential workers.

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📜 This Week in History

🗽 October 28, 1886: The dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place in New York City. The statue was sent as a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and has now become an iconic symbol of freedom and democracy for many.

🤵🏻 October 27, 1858: Theodore Roosevelt was born. He later became the 26th president of America, the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his conflict resolution skills, and expanded national parks for hundreds of thousands to enjoy. His “Square Deal” and conservation efforts left a lasting impact on American politics and environmental preservation.

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💭 Quote of the Week

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

― Theodore Roosevelt;  the 26th American president, writer, statesman, conservationist, and environmentalist

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society!

Stay impactful 💚

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