💚 Eating Up Plastic Waste 🌿

💚 Eating Up Plastic Waste 🌿

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:

  • A revolutionary enzyme that chews up plastic waste 🌿
  • The EPA funds $150 million for environmental and climate justice 💵
  • A deal for renewable energy and gas exports 🤝
  • And more… 💚

Isn’t it amazing when we discover natural solutions for our man-made problems?

Just take plastic waste for example. A man-made product for which we still haven’t found a great recycling solution yet.

Instead, every day, the equivalent of 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans, rivers, and lakes.

Yes, those are the statistics that make me sad too… But those also spark my fire even more to help find and share innovative solutions!

And one of these could be a revolutionary enzyme that chews away plastic waste!

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🌿 How a Plastic-Chewing Enzyme Is Eating Up Plastic Waste

1️⃣ The big picture: A French startup is revolutionizing plastic recycling with a groundbreaking enzyme, originally discovered in rotting leaves, that can efficiently break down PET plastics. This enzyme, known as LCC – leaf-branch compost cutinase, has been re-engineered into a PET-degrading powerhouse, capable of breaking down plastic into its basic chemical components. This process, developed by Carbios, a company based in Clermont-Ferrand, France, represents a significant leap in tackling the global plastic waste problem.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: You’ll be thrilled to know that this enzyme doesn’t just nibble at the edges of the plastic waste issue – it goes right to the heart of it. By breaking down PET plastics into their original monomers, this enzyme enables the creation of new plastics without the need for fresh petrochemicals. This means a massive reduction in plastic waste, as it can transform items like polyester clothing and plastic bottles into reusable materials. It’s a game-changer because it works on a variety of PET plastics, including those with dyes and mixed materials, making recycling more inclusive and efficient.

3️⃣ What’s next: Carbios is scaling up big time! By 2025, they plan to open a large-scale recycling facility in northeast France, capable of processing 50,000 tonnes of PET waste annually. That’s equivalent to recycling two billion bottles or 300 million T-shirts each year. This isn’t just a small step; it’s a giant leap towards a sustainable future where plastic recycling is more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. Plus, with plans to expand their technology to tackle other complex plastics like nylon, the future looks even brighter for reducing our global plastic footprint.

Related: Check out Best Charities That Fight to End Plastic Pollution to learn more about what you could do already now in the fight against plastic waste!

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📢 More Good News…

💵 EPA announces $150 million to fund environmental and climate justice community change grants for Alaska native villages:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing about $2 billion in funding. Around $150 million of this funding has been set aside specifically to support projects benefitting federally recognized Tribes in Alaska. 
  • This large funding aims to support community-driven projects centered around clean energy, strengthen climate resilience, and empower other communities to address environmental and climate justice challenges.

🤝 ‘Africa is our partner of choice’: Germany and Nigeria strike $500M deal for renewable energy and gas exports:

  • Companies in Nigeria and Germany have recently signed two new agreements: a $500 million renewable energy memorandum of understanding (MoU) and a gas export accord.
  • Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz shared that Germany will invest heavily in African green energy projects to the tune of four billion euros until 2030. These investments could help Germany in its transition to becoming carbon neutral.

🦠 Microbes could help reduce the need for chemical fertilizers:

  • Chemical fertilizers account for about 1.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. But MIT chemical engineers have developed a metal-organic coating that shields bacterial cells from damage, while allowing for normal growth and function.
  • Study shows that using the metal-organic-coated bacteria has significantly enhanced the germination rates of various seeds, including vegetables like corn and bok choy.
  • This new organic coating can potentially eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers by providing farmers a cost-effective and efficient alternative.
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🚫 Event of the Week: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

👉 Did you know that this coming Saturday, December 2, is International Day for the Abolition of Slavery? This event is acknowledged every year to raise awareness about modern day slavery and human trafficking and calls to combat these violations of human rights.

1️⃣ The big picture: This event was first organized in 1986 by the United Nations General Assembly. The focus of this day is to eliminate all forms of slavery, including human trafficking, sexual exploitation, child labor, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

2️⃣ Why is this important: Despite our recent advances in society, modern slavery still occurs in almost every country in the world. An estimated 50 million people are in modern slavery. This includes the 28 million lives trapped in forced labor and 22 million people in forced marriages, according to a recent study from ILO. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable are those who are often marginalized, including minorities, migrants, children, and people with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. Many of these victims are also women. This is a day to recognize and eliminate all forms of modern slavery and support survivors.

3️⃣ How can you get involved: One of the best ways for you to support the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is to simply learn and be aware of the various forms of modern slavery and human trafficking that still exist today. You can even take it one step further and sign up for the 50 for Freedom campaign, a treaty made to help millions of children, women, and men reclaim their freedom and dignity.

Additionally, you can check out these organizations below:

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📜 This Week in History

👩🏾‍💼 November 30, 1924: Shirley Chisholm was born. Although she faced many challenges and racial discrimination, she became the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress in 1968. She was also the first woman to seek the nomination for president of the United States in 1973, and legalized abortions throughout her congressional career.

🇧🇧 November 30, 1966: On this day, Barbados gained internal self-rule in 1961 and achieved full independence from Britain.

👩🏼‍🤝‍🧑🏽 December 1, 1988: The first World AIDS Day was held. This event was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1988 and helped spread awareness by educating societies about HIV/AIDS.

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💭 Quote of the Week

“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”

― Shirley Chisholm; first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress in 1968, first African-American candidate for a major-party nomination for President of the United States, author, and activist for civil rights, women’s rights, and social justice///

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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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