Tag Archives: marine degradable

Plastic pollution in India

“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.”

I recently ran across a quote by G. K. Chesterton, “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.” This quote is a powerful reality and sums up the environmental issue that our planet faces when it comes to plastic pollution. It got me thinking and I thought I’d write a blog about it.

There is no doubt that the global population is rapidly growing and will continue to do so. We have exceeded 7 billion humans on this planet. The planet we live on is a closed system, meaning that the amount of natural resources we have available to sustain our needs and wants will not change. We can certainly take resources and change their form, but the overall fundamental is that as the population grows we will continue to place a greater burden on the environment to mine, process, develop and use resources to sustain the global needs.

In today’s global perspective, developed countries do not see the massive problem that is being created from the way we are currently using plastics. We live in an environment where the convenience of placing items in a black, blue or green bin and having that material go away makes the problem much less visible.

In underdeveloped countries where the global population is the largest, the problem is much more prevalent and problematic, as they don’t have the resources available to discard their plastic garbage or recycle. People living in those conditions are faced with the problem on a daily basis with plastic litter being a serious problem. Litter at this level blocks water ways, increases illness, kills wildlife, destroys the landscape and this material is not going away anytime in the next hundred years.

There is a sad irony to today’s situation in that the largest concentration of human populations are in underdeveloped countries. Both China and India each have a population of over 1.2 billion people. Both of these countries have poor infrastructure to handle waste and almost no recycling. The United States falls way behind in total population with just over 300 million people.

The irony is that the 300+ million people in the United States consume the planet resources at a rate of over four times the rest of the world! So we are consuming at a level that far exceeds the rest of the world, but with our developed infrastructures we become blind to the problem. Sure, we have recycling, biodegradable and compostable solutions but the truth is the development of our infrastructures makes it convenient for us to see the solution, but not the problem, and therefore we take our time with implementing solutions that will matter most.

The big question lingers in everyone’s mind of What’s going to happen when these underdeveloped nations begin consuming at the level we are currently consuming at? Both China and India are increasing their middle class and that results in more and more people wanting the “convenient and finer things in life”. Considering the fact that the population in the US is only a fraction of the global population, when these underdeveloped nations reach a point where their citizens are consuming a fraction of what we currently do; the planet and its inhabitants are in for serious problems.

It makes sense for brands, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers to get involved in solving this problem. The truth is that consumers will not be able to solve this problem on their own. The biggest opportunity to addressing this issue and making the most impact is within the industry. We are the biggest consumers of resources and control the greatest deal of the problem from sourcing to end-of-life. ENSO Plastics is an environmental company and brings to the table renewable, landfill biodegradable, compostable (home and industrial), marine degradable and products with lower carbon footprints so that industry can take control and reduce its impact on the environment.

The team here at ENSO is dedicated to helping brands, manufacturers and businesses solve the plastics pollution issue facing the world. We would love the opportunity to sit at the table and be a part of the conversation of how your company can take control of the plastic materials being used and implement solutions that make sense and will have the most impact. ENSO Plastics has a proven track record and we ask that you just give us the chance to show you what can be done.

landfill biodegradation

Manufacturers Beware!

Have you ever thought about where your plastic garbage goes?

Shopping for items packaged in plastic may end up costing you more in the long run; that is, if you discard the packaging incorrectly. The same could be true for plastic manufacturers if California passes their latest bill (Assembly Bill 521) on “extended producer responsibility”.

Right now; in San Francisco, California it is against the law to not recycle your trash.  That’s right…you; as a law abiding citizen must separate all of your garbage, recyclables, and compostable items.  To ensure that all citizens are complying with this law, trash auditors check garbage bins the night before it is scheduled for pickup. If you do not comply after several warnings, the non-complying residents will receive fines and/or have to take educational classes on recycling.

Taking this a step further, California is now working towards making plastic manufacturers responsible for the end of life of their product; ultimately, charging hefty fines for material that is not disposed of properly.  (This, after recently making the word biodegradable illegal on labeling)

So who is responsible for all of this plastic pollution that is littering our oceans and filling our landfills? Is it the consumer?  Is it the plastic manufacturer? Is it the recycling industry? (Who happens to discard more plastic than it recycles.) California may think they are doing the right thing by penalizing those who are in the path of plastic – from beginning to end – but they’re not supporting or encouraging better solutions…so who’s fault is it, really?

Despite whose responsibility this may be; it leads to a very important question…”Why are we not producing plastic that is biodegradable or even marine degradable? And, (ok, two questions) if there is a solution, why, as consumers and manufacturers, are we not jumping on that solution?”

I think that if there is a solution to this plastic pollution problem and a plastic manufacturer is using a product that is proven to be biodegradable and/or marine degradable, they are showing their end-of-life responsibility and it should be encouraged and rewarded amongst those companies; as well as, consumers who use such a product.

Does such a product exist?

Yes!

ENSO Plastics has created an additive, that when added to the plastic manufacturing process will cause the plastic to become biodegradable; as well as, marine degradable. There are two customizable blends that offer many options to manufacturers – ENSO RESTORE and ENSO RENEW.

This is the solution California needs to recognize, before they start penalizing all of their citizens and plastic manufacturers. California may want to make the people responsible, but I think the state needs to be responsible by allowing new technology and better options for their residents and local commerce.

Wake up California! The solution is staring you in the face!

 

Oceanic gyres

Destination: Garbage Island

I’ve heard stories over the years about “islands”, out in the middle of the oceans, which are created completely from discarded plastic. It’s hard to believe that such a place would exist. I recently watched the documentary, “Garbage Island”, by Vice. This documentary proved there is no such island, at least not in the terms of plastic patches so thick you could walk on them.

What is actually out there; 1,000 miles from any landmass, is much worse than a simple growing patch of used up plastic. There are vortexes, holding in tons of broken down plastic particles from the plastic that doesn’t sink (LDPE, HDPE). This plastic floats along the currents of the ocean, breaking down year after year from the sun and the salt water, ultimately finding its home in and around the slower currents of the gyres.

It would be relatively easy to scoop up all the large items of trash and clean up our oceans, but the small, usually microscopic, size pieces of plastic particles would be nearly impossible to clean up.  All marine life has to live in an environment that is ultimately becoming toxic. They ingest the plastic particles and, in turn, we ingest the seafood.

How do we limit the amount of plastic that is ending up in our oceans? This isn’t a problem only confined to the United States, this is a worldwide problem. It’s not enough to just know where our plastic products are ending up, i.e. being recycled, landfill, etc. We should also be more aware of what types of plastics are being used and how their end of life is affecting our environment.

ENSO Plastics Restore is leading edge technology that gives plastic material biodegradability in landfills; and ENSO’s Renew resin will make plastic marine degradable. This is a solution that can solve the plastic pollution problem in our oceans. A solution that needs to addressed; because once the plastic is out of our hands, it’s up to nature to take care of the rest.