The global theme for World Environment Day, June 5, 2023, is "Plastic Wars Fast," a call for global solutions to combat plastic pollution that will showcase how countries, businesses and individuals are learning to use plastic more sustainably. This comes just after a conference on international instruments to combat plastic pollution was held in Paris. The conference aims to reach an internationally legally binding agreement in 2024 on the entire life cycle of plastic products, including their production, design, recycling and disposal, to advance the global fight against plastic pollution.
The dangerous "cycle"
All stages of the "plastic cycle" are dangerous to people's environment, lives, health, food and water. The production of plastics relies almost entirely on fossil fuels, releasing harmful substances during the process, and plastics themselves contain toxic chemicals that pose risks to people and nature. In addition, 85 percent of single-use plastics end up in landfills or dumped into the environment. Meanwhile, incineration, recycling and other "false and misleading solutions" only exacerbate the threat, noting that plastics, microplastics and the harmful substances they contain are in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.
Impacts on "marginalized areas" are severe
The impact of plastic pollution on climate change is also a concern, and one that is often overlooked. Marginalized areas are the most vulnerable to the effects of exposure to plastic pollution and waste. For example, plastic particles found in the ocean limit the ability of marine ecosystems to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. According to data published by the United Nations, more than 400 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year, with approximately tens of millions of tons of plastic waste flowing into the ocean each year.
Treaty negotiations underway
The United Nations Environment Programme projects that the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems could reach about 23 million to 37 million tons per year by 2040. Experts are working on an international binding treaty to address plastic pollution, including in the marine environment. Plastic pollution knows no borders and can only be addressed through swift and decisive collective action. "We cannot solve this dilemma through garbage collection," said Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, adding that "only by eliminating garbage, reducing garbage, promoting whole-life management approaches to garbage, increasing transparency and making a just transition, can lead to success."
A new approach to plastic degradation
On April 23, 2023, Japanese researchers newly reported that they have improved the functionality of plant-based plastics through a new method of polymer material design, while post-use waste plastics can be degraded into fertilizer to be used again. The new method of polymer material design in this research helps to tackle the problem of waste plastics and food.
This year, Israel's Browder School of Engineering issued a statement saying that their research team extracted mucus from some jellyfish that can "trap" tiny particles in water and accelerate their sedimentation, thus removing pollutants such as microplastics more efficiently. The researchers plan to put the latest findings into practical applications, such as the development of biofilters for wastewater treatment to reduce the amount of nanoscale microplastics entering the soil and ocean. Microplastics refer to plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in diameter, and their accumulation in the ocean can pollute ecosystems. U.S. researchers have combined years of observations and found that the amount of microplastic pollutants in the global ocean has grown rapidly since 2005, and there may now be more than 2.3 million tons of microplastics floating in surface waters.
In addition, the "bamboo instead of plastic" initiative jointly launched by the Chinese government and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) can help global management of plastic pollution and make a positive contribution to sustainable development. In the opinion of experts, compared with plastic products, bamboo is tough, malleable, short growth cycle, easy to plant, has the natural advantage of replacing plastic. Bamboo as a green, low-carbon, fast-growing, renewable, degradable biomass materials, in packaging, building materials and other fields can directly replace part of the non-biodegradable plastic products. Using bamboo instead of plastic can increase the proportion of green bamboo products used and reduce plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution is one of the most concerned environmental issues in the world today. Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said the way plastics are produced, used and disposed of is polluting ecosystems, endangering human health and destabilizing the climate.
Graphic sources: Xinhua News Agency, CCTV news client, China News Network, United Nations, Visual China, Surfing Image
Introduction of Henan Pingyuan New Material Technology Co.
Henan Pingyuan New Material Technology Co., Ltd, established in 2017, is located in the Economic Development Zone of Fugou County, Henan Province. As an advanced remanufacturing enterprise, the company focuses on the R&D, recycling, production and sales of PCR/PIR recycled plastics, and is committed to providing the world's leading recycled plastics recycling solutions.
The company has long been committed to solving environmental problems, deeply exploring the potential value of recycled plastics and promoting the improvement of human living environment. In recent years, the company has been actively promoting green low-carbon production and lifestyle, taking the lead in ESG practices in the field of recycled plastics, and continuously creating greater value.
The company is a national high-tech enterprise and a special-purpose new enterprise in Henan Province, and has an engineering technology research center for recycled plastics recycling in Zhoukou City, Henan Province. The company has passed the GRS global recycling standard certification and UL OBP 2809 tend to sea plastic certification, obtained ISO9001 quality system, 14001 environmental system and 45001 occupational health and safety management system certification.
The company has the only set of high-standard pilot laboratory in the domestic recycled plastics industry, and has deep cooperation with many research institutes and universities in production, learning and research. The company's chief scientist, Li Wangliang, is a special guest researcher of Henan Provincial People's Government, and has been selected as one of the 100 people in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and has made outstanding contributions in the field of solid waste resource and high value utilization.
Adhering to the development idea of standardization, grouping and industrialization, the company strives to build independent intellectual property rights and recycling brands, promote the upgrading and transformation of the whole industry, and devote itself to building a green, low-carbon and technology-enabled sustainable circular economy industrial system. The company fulfills its social responsibility with high standards and becomes a model enterprise of green and low-carbon development.
In the next forty years, the recycled plastics industry will see strong development and form a trillion-dollar market demand for recycled plastics. The company actively cooperates with upstream and downstream enterprises in the industry chain, third-party organizations, public welfare organizations and the government to seize the "double carbon" policy and market opportunities. Based on the new development stage, the company will comprehensively implement the new development concept, build a new development pattern, aim at improving the utilization rate of recycled environmental protection materials, enhance the efficiency of resource utilization, extend the recycling industry chain, promote the construction of ecological civilization, and help achieve the global "double carbon" strategic goal.
Henan Pingyuan New Material Technology Co., Ltd. will continue to devote itself to environmental protection and sustainable development, make greater contributions to society through innovative technology and green production methods, and become an important force in promoting the development of circular economy.