Neel Oza: Biofase
A mexican company called Biofase is focused on limiting the usage of single-use plastics by turning discarded avocado seeds into biodegradable cutlery. Biofase takes seeds that would have otherwise been dumped in a landfill and uses its patented process to make a biopolymer, dubbed “avoplast,” which is the material used for the cutlery. There are two types: one that takes 240 days to biodegrade and the other which must be placed in a compost heap. Before the company was founded, all biodegradable plastics had to be imported to Mexico. Now, as many cities in Mexico are shifting towards the banning of single-use plastics, there is now a growing demand for alternatives. Biofase products are used all over the Latin-America.
Raeya Arora: Crayola ColorCycle
Crayola has an innovative program called ColorCycle. ColorCycle is a way to recycle any and all markers. Crayola is committed to keeping plastic markers out of landfills. This program provides K-12 classrooms with a ColorCycle recycling bin to throw out any plastic markers, whether they are regular markers, sharpies, dry-erase markers, etc. they don’t have to Crayola. Crayola collects the bins and saves the markers so they can be repurposed. This program is also helpful to teachers as they can teach younger students about the importance of ‘being green’. Crayola provides teachers with lesson plans so they can easily teach their students. So far this program is used throughout the continental United States and parts of Canada, but due to the Coronavirus this program is currently paused.
Anahita Kharbanda: UK Prioritizes Climate Crisis By Supporting Sustainability in Developing Countries With $4 Billion Plan
To help develop solutions to prevent climate change impacts on biodiversity and wildlife, the United Kingdom’s Government wanted to contribute £3 billion ($5 billion CAD) to developing countries. This money will be distributed from the UK’s current promise of £11.6 billion ($15.6 billion) to global climate funds bringing sustainable food processing and supply to the world’s poorest and a “transformational improvement” for biodiverse habitats. The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary has stated that they will contribute up to £38 million to the Climate Compatible Growth Initiative while boosting their economies and progressing to renewable energy. Also, the UK has recently made a commitment to protect 30% of its land and ocean by 2030 and is already moving toward a cleaner energy economy.
Riya Mehta: Vermont is First State to Ban Throwing Away Food Scraps
In July, 2020, Vermont has become the first state to ban throwing away food scraps. They have created a law to enforce this change. The law requires Vermonters to collect their food scraps in a separate container. At that point, they have three options: compost the scraps on their own property, take them to a drop-off facility or hire an outside company for at-home pickup. The reason this is such a great step for the environment is because when food is disposed of in landfills and covered, it creates methane which is a greenhouse gas. This negatively impacts the environment. According to the EPA, this is twenty-five times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.
Dia Arora: Australia’s National Plastics Plan
The federal government of Australia has announced that the country’s National Plastics Plan is in the works and will fight plastic on several fronts. The government has taken this decision to combat the country’s mounting plastic crisis and has already thought of several bans. For example, a ban will be placed on bringing plastic to beaches and using polystyrene packaging, which is found in takeout containers. One important ban is the one that will be placed on biodegradable plastics. Even though they’re referred to as “biodegradable”, these plastics are really just “degradable” as all plastics are. This makes the name misleading as the plastics still end up in oceans and landfills, but are so small that they can’t be seen. Because of this, the National Plastics Plan is working to ban this problematic plastic by July 2022. The goal of this plan is to ban as much plastic as possible. If successful, this plan will help clean up oceans and landfills, and it will help improve the condition of the environment.