About Pragya Yajurvedi

This author Pragya Yajurvedi has created 52 entries.

Could these balls help reduce plastic pollution?

Concern is mounting over the volume of plastics in our oceans and, in particular, how tiny particles of plastic and other synthetic materials are infiltrating every part of our ecosystem. Can technology help address the problem? In October 2009, windsurfing teacher Rachael Miller went to help clean up an island off the coast of Maine in the north-east of the US. There had been a heavy storm and “we found the beach covered in debris”, she says, mostly washed up plastic fishing

Britain’s first plastic-free supermarket zones open

A north London supermarket has become Britain’s first to introduce plastic-free zones, in a move campaigners believe will spur the giant chains to follow suit. Thornton Budgens in Belsize Park has converted more than 1,700 product lines to non-plastic packaging over the past 10 weeks, part of a journey that promises to take the store “virtually plastic-free” within three years. Supported by local resident celebrities Jim Broadbent and Dame Janet Suzman, the supermarket claims to have becoming a “public

Recycling alone will not solve the plastic problem

Plastic, a durable, malleable, customisable material that is easy to manufacture, is arguably the definitive 20th century “mod-con”. It has proved irresistible to consumers and manufacturers who have been complacent about the collateral damage it causes the environment. But the tide — now awash with an additional 8m tonnes of plastic entering the oceans annually — is slowly turning. The scale of the environmental problem is staggering. More than 6.3bn tonnes of plastic waste has been produced since the 1950s, more

Beyond Plastic Bans: Creating Products To Replace It

One of the BillerudKorsnäs packaging redesign projects replaced the plastic casing around camping gear with cardboard.At the Swedish-owned BillerudKorsnäs design lab in Portland, Oregon, he’s laid down a massive sheet of it, as big as a king-size bed. He flips the switch on a machine that zips around the cardboard, stabbing and cutting it like a robotic exact-o knife. “Basically anything we create, any design we’re looking to validate, we cut out with this machine,” he says. “This lets us know

UK to consult on plastic packaging tax, chancellor says

The government is to introduce a new tax on plastic packaging as it seeks to ramp up efforts to tackle the scourge of litter and waste from single-use plastics, it was confirmed in the budget. Food and drink companies will be taxed on plastic packaging that does not include at least 30% recycled content, in a drive to reduce dependence on “virgin plastics” that are difficult or impossible to recycle, such as black food trays and plastic straws. But the

Business giants join Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global commitment to eradicate plastics pollution

Business giants, financial investors, non-profit organisations and national Governments have vowed to eradicate plastic waste and pollution, as part of a new Global Commitment spearheaded by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.The UK and Scottish Governments are among the five governments and cities to sign upThe New Plastics Economy Global Commitment will be launched in collaboration with the UN Environment at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali later today (29 October). The Commitment aims to create a “new normal”

Tesco and Nestlé pledge to tackle impact of abandoned plastic fishing gear

Supermarket giant Tesco and consumer goods firm Nestlé have joined a coalition of businesses, non-profits and public sector bodies which have pledged to tackle the 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear abandoned in the world’s oceans each year.The GGGI currently funnels $1m into these projects annually, but this will rise to $2m next yearThe companies are the latest signatories to the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), which was set up by non-profit World Animal Protection in 2015 in a bid to

Big consumer brands pledge to turn tide on global plastic waste

Big brands – from Coke to Kellogg – pledged on Monday to cut all plastic waste from their operations in what the United Nations called the most ambitious effort yet to fight plastic pollution. The initiative comes as public pressure mounts on manufacturers and retailers to pare back the deluge of plastic packaging that is clogging landfills and choking the seas. “We know that cleaning up plastics from our beaches and oceans is vital, but this does not stop the tide of

Unilever partners with Veolia to create circular economy for plastic packaging

Consumer goods giant Unilever has today (24 October) agreed a partnership with waste management Veolia, which will see the companies work together to develop innovative solutions to the plastic waste crisis.Through the partnership, the two companies will invest in recycling structure capacity and develop new, closed-loop processes and business modelsUnder the new partnership, the firms will partner for a three-year period to develop emerging technologies that could create circular economy solutions for the world’s plastic waste streams. Starting in India and

Single-use plastics ban approved by European Parliament

The European Parliament has voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans. MEPs backed a ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks. The proposal also calls for a reduction in single-use plastic for food and drink containers like plastic cups. One MEP said, if no action was taken, “by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans”. The European Commission