At Article 13, we have long argued that attitudes and behaviours are as crucial to a truly sustainable future as technological innovation. But we have always fully appreciated the importance of technological innovation. And two recently reported-on developments are particularly worthy of mention.
It’s probably not overstating the case to say that whilst the development of plastic has in many ways been a great boon for humankind, it is fast turning into an environmental blight. Only a tiny percentage of it is currently recycled whilst a significant percentage of it ends up in the oceans, threatening ecosystems in ways that we can’t even accurately analyse. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, estimated by some to be the size of Texas, is rapidly gaining its own particular notoriety.
So, any initiatives that help to address the problem can only be welcomed. Ecover, for example, working in partnership with plastic recycling specialists Closed Loop Recycling, are currently trialling a new type of plastic that combines rHDPE (already recycled high-density polyethylene) with waste plastic picked up by EU fishermen from the waters around the UK.
Meanwhile, Philips Consumer Lifestyle has been making significant progress in its use of recycled plastics, testing their lifetime durability, safety compliance and colour stability and demonstrating their suitability for use as standard materials in everything from coffee machines to vacuum cleaners. Their hope and belief is that their work will act as an incentive for the entire recycling industry to continue pursuing the holy grail of the closed loop.
We hope so too.
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