💚 From Waste to Valuable Resources 🔄

💚 From Waste to Valuable Resources 🔄

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Hey fellow impactful ninja ?

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Eventually, my dream is to one day turn this passion project into my full-time job and provide even more helpful information. But that's still a long time to go.

Stay impactful,

Happy Thursday 👋

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

  • Using light to turn plastic waste into valuable chemicals 🔄
  • The Bureau of Land Management proposes to use public lands for solar energy ☀️
  • The EU will force cosmetic companies to pay to reduce microplastic pollution 💲
  • And more… 💚

Just imagine that you could turn your waste into valuable resources…

Sounds too good to be true?

Ok, maybe if you think about all the waste generated—but it seems like researchers are discovering ways how we could eventually get there!

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🔄 How Light Turns Plastic Waste into Valuable Resources

1️⃣ The big picture: Scientists at the University of Adelaide have made a groundbreaking discovery that could turn polyethylene waste, the most common type of plastic, into valuable chemicals. Using a method called light-driven photocatalysis, powered by solar energy, they’ve found a way to break down this durable plastic into ethylene and propionic acid. This innovative approach not only offers a solution to the global plastic waste problem but also creates a sustainable source of important chemicals.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: The transformation of polyethylene waste into useful products is a significant step towards tackling the environmental crisis caused by plastic pollution. Polyethylene, found in everything from shopping bags to packaging, represents a major portion of landfill waste. By converting this waste into valuable chemicals, this method not only cleans up the environment but also reduces our reliance on fossil fuels for producing these chemicals. The process’s reliance on solar energy further enhances its sustainability, making it a green solution to a global issue.

3️⃣ What’s next: The team at the University of Adelaide is now looking to refine and scale up this technology. The potential applications of this method are vast, from reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste to creating a new, sustainable source of chemicals for various industries. As this technology develops, it could play a crucial role in the transition to a circular economy, where waste is not an endpoint but a beginning for new products. The next steps will involve improving the efficiency and scalability of the process, with the hope of bringing this solution to the global market.

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📢 More Good News…

☀️ The BLM proposes 22 million acres of public lands for solar energy:

  • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently announced their plan to provide approximately 22 million acres of land for solar application in order to help the US meet their clean energy goals.
  • The BLM has also announced their potential next steps on sustainable energy projects in California, Nevada and Arizona with the potential for more than 1,700 megawatts (MW) of solar power generation and 1,300 MW of battery storage capacity.
  • Currently, the BLM is reviewing 67 proposed clean energy projects on public lands, including wind, solar and geothermal energy. If approved, they have the potential to contribute over 37 GW (gigawatts) of clean energy to the Western electric grid.

💲 The EU will force cosmetic companies to pay to reduce microplastic pollution:

  • Companies that sell medicines and cosmetics will now pay at least 80% of the additional expenses needed to remove microplastics from the water.
  • While governments will cover the remaining costs to help products stay affordable, this strategy aims to safeguard the environment and the public from potential pollutants originating from these products that may find their way into water bodies.

✔️ Palau is the first nation to ratify treaty to protect high seas:

  • Palau has become the first nation to ratify the high seas treaty, which seeks to protect and manage ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction. The establishment of the high seas treaty has been under debate for nearly 20 years, but U.N. member states finally reached a consensus to approve the treaty in March 2023. 
  • Several parties are close to ratifying the treaty, including the Chilean Senate and the Maldives, both of which are anticipated to sign and ratify the treaty.
  • Although numerous other countries still need to ratify the agreement for it to become global law, Rebecca Hubbard, director of the High Seas Alliance, has expressed confidence that at least 60 countries will have ratified it by June 2025.
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🖤 Event of the Month: Black History Month

👉 Did you know that Febrary is Black History Month? This event was founded in 1976 to celebrate black history and promote the achievements of black communities. 

1️⃣ The big picture: Black History Month was originally set up as Negro history week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson after he participated in a national celebration of the 15th anniversary of emancipation. He then decided to form an organization to promote the scientific study of black history, which became the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). It’s thought that Woodson chose February to encompass the births of two Americans who played an important role in shaping black history; Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Carter passed away in 1950 but his legacy continued to build. In the late 1960s, young black college students began campaigning for a longer celebration of black lives, eventually becoming Black History Month in 1976.

2️⃣ Why is this important: By 1860, 4 million of the 4.4 million African Americans were held as slaves. Despite the nationwide abolishment of slavery in 1865, Black Americans still face discrimination, lower pay, and decreased access to education compared to white Americans. Black History Month is a time to celebrate racial pride, educate yourself on black history, and fight for racial equality in all aspects of life. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: One of the best ways you can get involved in Black History Month is to raise awareness of the issues and discrimination still facing Black communities today. You can do this by setting up an awareness event or by promoting equality through social media. 

You can also check out the organizations below that are fighting for racial equality and promoting the achievements of the Black community:

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📜 This Week in History

👨🏾 February 1, 1902: American writer Langston Hughes, one of the most important figures and interpreters to the world of the Black experience in the United States, was born. His contributions to literature and advocacy for equality continue to inspire readers and contribute to the ongoing dialogue on race, identity, and social justice.

👩‍💼 February 1, 2009: Icelandic politician Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was sworn in as the country’s prime minister, becoming the first woman to hold that post in Iceland and the world’s first openly gay head of government.

🇺🇸 February 3, 1870: The ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution ensured the right to vote for all individuals, regardless of their race. This, along with the Fourteenth Amendment, secured the civil rights of former slaves.

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💭 Quote of the Week

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly.”

― Langston Hughes; American poet, novelist, playwright and social activist

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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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