💚 Smart Cities That Reduce Plastic Pollution 🏙️

💚 Smart Cities That Reduce Plastic Pollution 🏙️

Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes


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Stay impactful,

Happy Tuesday 👋

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

  • Plastic Smart Cities can reduce plastic pollution in our oceans 🏙️
  • A sustainable method to turn seawater into drinking water 🌊
  • New hope for critically endangered vulture species 🦅
  • And more… 💚

Did you know that 76 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic are currently in our oceans? With 8 million pieces being added every single day?

Just thinking about these statistics makes me sad. Especially when we consider the negative effect plastic has on our marine wildlife and ecosystems.

Luckily, communities around the world are now taking action against this threat, with the aim of reducing oceanic plastic pollution by 30% by 2025… 

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🏙️ How Plastic Smart Cities Can Reduce Plastic Pollution in Our Oceans

1️⃣ The big picture: More than 50 cities worldwide are now participating in the Plastic Smart Cities initiative set up by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to remove plastic from our oceans. For example, the Ciliwung River running through Indonesia is filled with plastic and dangerous levels of fecal coliform bacteria. Yet, since 2018, over 2,000 Bangor residents have been trained to sort waste into recyclable materials and earn income by selling these products to recyclers around the world. The hope is that this will create a more circular economy, in which discarded waste can be turned into productive materials.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: High levels of plastic in our oceans can suffocate marine wildlife, raise sea levels, and contribute to the risk of flooding and ill health, as well as being a significant contributor to climate change. There is currently too much plastic in our oceans for governments to handle, which is why communities are now joining the fight. The Plastic Smart Cities initiative is hoped to increase human effectiveness in removing plastic waste from our oceans whilst providing a revenue stream for small or impoverished communities. 

3️⃣ What’s next: The Plastic Smart Cities project in Bangor, Indonesia, is one of many successful pilot studies conducted by the WWF. To date, 8 metric tons of plastic have been collected from 48 Bangor communities. The next step is to expand this project to even more cities around the world to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering our oceans. The Plastic Smart Cities initiative was set up by the WWF to reduce plastic pollution in the world’s oceans by 30% by 2025. 

Related: You can already help to protect our oceans and fight plastic pollution by supporting one of the 9 Best Charities to Save Our Oceans or one of the 9 Best Charities That Fight to End Plastic Pollution.

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📢 More Good News…

🌊 Researchers have found a way to turn seawater into potable drinking water

  • Researchers at NYU Tandon School of Engineering have achieved a major breakthrough in an emerging technique called Redox Flow Desalination (RFD), which can turn seawater into drinking water and store affordable renewable energy.
  • The system involves the separation of incoming seawater into two streams; salinated and desalinated. This increases the salt removal rate by 20% while lowering energy demand.
  • RFD can reduce our reliance on traditional power grids and assist the transition toward a sustainable water desalination process.

🦅 Discovery of endangered vulture species nests in Ghana sparks hope for raptors:

🍄 Fungal-rich soil can improve the lifespan and effectiveness of green roofs:

  • A research team at Dartmouth College is investigating how enhanced soil with native mycorrhizal fungal microbes can help plants endure high temperatures and periodic flooding, improving the longevity of green roofs.
  • Their findings demonstrate that this technique accelerates soil development and fosters a more diverse soil community. 
  • Green roofs have become increasingly popular in recent years to combat climate change. However, in the US, green roofs are typically planted with non-native flora in sterile soil which shortens their lifespan. 
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🔬 Event of the Week: International Day of Women & Girls in Science

👉 Did you know that this Sunday (February 11) is International Day of Women & Girls in Science? This event was founded in 2015 to celebrate the role of women and girls in science and inspire others to take the same career path. 

1️⃣ The big picture: The International Day of Women & Girls in Science was founded by the United Nations during the World Women’s Health and Development Forum to promote gender equality in the science fields. After the sponsorship of 65 countries and the approval of all member states, the role of women in science was brought to the forefront, and gender parity in educational opportunity was recognized. Today, female scientists are celebrated around the world for their contributions to scientific breakthroughs. This event also encourages the private sector to align with the global goal of empowering women and girls in science. 

2️⃣ Why is this important: It wasn’t until 1920 that women were given the right to vote in the US, signifying a massive step towards gender equality. However, today, 42% of women still suffer some form of gender discrimination in the workplace. There has been a steady increase of females entering the science field in recent years, yet, today less than 30% of the world’s scientific researchers are women. This is despite the breakthrough achievements of historic female scientists such as Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, and Beatrice Shilling. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: In 2024, the International Day of Women & Girls in Science will bring together member states, scientists, stakeholders, and students to represent the UNESCO call for action to close the gender gap in science. You can get involved in this event by signing up to be a participant either online or in-person. Alternatively, you can raise the profile of female scientists through your social media or by setting up an awareness event in your local community. 

You can also check out the organizations below that are fighting for gender equality around the world:

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📜 This Week in History

🫅 February 06, 1952: Elizabeth II ascended the throne after the death of her father, King George VI. She would go on to be the longest reigning British Monarch in history.  

🇳🇿 February 06, 1840: The Maori tribes of New Zealand signed the Treaty of Waitangi with Great Britain. This historic agreement launched the basis of the British annexation of New Zealand.  

⚾ February 06, 1895: Famous baseball player George Herman Ruth, known as Babe Ruth, was born. He later went on to hold or share 60 major lead records, including 29 consecutive scoreless innings and he hit 714 home runs in his career.  

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💭 Quote of the Day

It’s worth noting that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.”

— Queen Elizabeth II, UK

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

Stay impactful 💚

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