Restaurant eating during the pandemic is upending the movement to eliminate single-use plastic

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There’s been a huge increase in takeout. And the CDC is recommending that everything in a restaurant be disposable—even the menus. How will that affect how much waste we generate? With restaurants closed for in-person dining, food delivery—and the waste associated with those take-out orders—has skyrocketed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But even when we can eat out again, single-use plastics will still be prevalent, posing a huge threat to the environment as we revert to a world full of disposables. Read Full Story

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This tableware made from bamboo and sugar waste biodegrades in 60 days

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As importantly, it’s nearly as cheap as plastic. Single-use tableware like cups, plates, and to-go containers are a huge source of waste. Even if they’re deemed compostable , they might still end up in a landfill, where they won’t break down without the specific conditions found in composting facilities. And eco-friendly food containers are often more expensive than plastic, and that upfront cost can be a barrier to adoption for both consumers and restaurants. Now, scientists say they’ve found a solution: tableware that can break down naturally in 60 days and is more affordable than compostable plastic, because it’s made out of sugarcane waste and bamboo. Read Full Story

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Disposable plastic is bad for the environment, but is it illegal? Coca-Cola and Pepsi are about to find out

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A landmark suit filed in California is putting some of the biggest producers of plastic on trial. Coca-Cola. Nestlé. Pepsi. Mars. P&G. These are some of the world’s most iconic brands. They are also some of the biggest plastic polluters on the planet. They sell goods in single-use plastic containers, which end up in our oceans and never biodegrade. Whether we buy their products or not, we’re all affected by their footprint. And in turn, a landmark lawsuit by the Plastic Pollution Coalition and Earth Island Institute has been filed in California against all of the aforementioned corporations and several other major food, beverage, and consumer product companies. The groups are suing for damages to repair the problem of plastic waste. Read Full Story

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Masks, gloves, and other coronavirus waste are starting to fill up our oceans

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The key to preventing coronavirus waste threatening the oceans may be to discourage the use of disposable masks and other single-use PPE. It’s not news that our trash eventually finds its way to the ocean. Because oceans are downstream, litter will eventually find a pathway into our bodies of water if it’s not discarded properly—and often even if it is. But as the COVID-19 crisis slowly generates a new kind of waste, made up of disposable masks and other PPE items, it’s posing new problems for the Earth’s oceans. The flood of PPE could cause immediate danger to wildlife, and long-term plastic pollution that threatens to contaminate food supplies. Read Full Story

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3 Critical PPC Lessons from 2020 for a Brilliant 2021

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The past 10 months or so have given PPC pros a crash course in adaptability, ingenuity and nimble marketing. Those who thrived in pandemic-era PPC deserve some sort of advanced honorary degree in “PPC’ology.” In many instances, smart, effective PPC has literally saved brands from the brink of devastation. But let’s face it, PPC pros have been in a near-constant state of reinvention since PPC first became a thing. Compared to other marketing disciplines such as print and broadcast, we’re in our adolescence at best, which is actually an exciting place to be. 2020 just made us do a lot more reinventing and adapting in a very short amount of time. The tumult of the past several months may be a hidden blessing. Smart PPC pros are now well-positioned to use the tools at their disposal to help brands ride a wave of recovery while adapting to new normals in …

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3 Critical PPC Lessons from 2020 for a Brilliant 2021

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The past 10 months or so have given PPC pros a crash course in adaptability, ingenuity and nimble marketing. Those who thrived in pandemic-era PPC deserve some sort of advanced honorary degree in “PPC’ology.” In many instances, smart, effective PPC has literally saved brands from the brink of devastation. But let’s face it, PPC pros have been in a near-constant state of reinvention since PPC first became a thing. Compared to other marketing disciplines such as print and broadcast, we’re in our adolescence at best, which is actually an exciting place to be. 2020 just made us do a lot more reinventing and adapting in a very short amount of time. The tumult of the past several months may be a hidden blessing. Smart PPC pros are now well-positioned to use the tools at their disposal to help brands ride a wave of recovery while adapting to new normals in …

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Shifting to plant-based plastic is a start—but it can’t be the only solution to plastic waste

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It would take a major reshaping of global agriculture to generate enough material to replace petroleum-based plastic with plant-based ones. Circularity has to be the end goal. To solve our climate crisis, there’s no doubt that we need to change the way we create—and dispose—of everyday things. Nonrenewable fossil fuels are used to make a nearly endless list of items, from plastic forks to styrofoam packaging to synthetic fabrics to steel and concrete. Not only do these products require limited resources and significant amounts of energy to produce, they can be nearly impossible to get rid of. Our recycling system is inadequate, these materials take thousands of years to break down, and so our planet continues to fill up with trash . Read Full Story

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These hungry superworms happily munch through plastic

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A superworm can eat about eight times more than other plastic-ingesting insects. Recycling seems like a simple cure for our plastic addiction: Just take the plastic we have and make it into new items. But problems abound. Current technology mostly creates plastic of a lower quality than it was before, many types of plastic aren’t recyclable at all, and much of the plastic is floating in the ocean, not even in the recycling stream. So it’s vital that we find new ways to break down plastic, and scientists have just discovered one: a superworm that can eat about eight times more than other plastic-ingesting insects like mealworms. Read Full Story

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The U.S. is one of the world’s worst ocean plastic polluters

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Though the U.S. made up around 4% of the global population in 2016, it produced 17% of the world’s plastic waste. Americans may have a distorted view about what happens to the incredible amount of plastic we use. Despite decades of discussion about the importance of recycling, only around half of Americans can leave their recyclables at the curb with the garbage. And even when old plastic bottles or packages do end up in recycling bins, they often aren’t recycled (though glass and aluminum are). Instead, they end up being shipped to other countries that don’t have adequate recycling infrastructure to handle the waste. Because of this, a new study calculates that the U.S. is one of the world’s largest contributors to ocean plastic pollution, ranking just behind Indonesia and India. Read Full Story

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