This Canadian company shows a greener way to bottle water

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Hello, people! This is our weekly newsletter on all things environmental, where we highlight swings and solutions that are moving us to a more sustainable world. (Sign up here to get it in your inbox every Thursday.)

This week:

  • This Canadian enterprise shows a greener way to bottle water
  • Tesla’s Cybertruck: Interest in tense pickups is picking up
  • How a WW II bunker under London’s streets became a vegetable farmstead

This Canadian company shows a greener way to bottle water

This Canadian company shows a greener way to bottle water
(Ice River Maytimes)

As CBC science reporter Nicole Mortillaro reported recently, single-use shapable water and pop bottles are choking the planet

Knowing that, many of us overstate an effort to drink from reusable bottles instead — but not everyone does this. Big bodies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper are making efforts to boost the delicate recycling rates for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles in the U.S. — just 29 per cent in 2017 — by inducting in consumer education and recycling infrastructure. 

Some beverage companies say they’re also exasperating to increase their own recycled plastic content, which averages not enough than 12 per cent globally for Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé. 

During the interval, a number of smaller companies made the switch to 100 per cent recycled persuasible bottles years ago. They include two Canadian companies — Mirabel, Que.-based Naya and Shelburne, Ont.-based Ice River Reveals, which have been using exclusively post-consumer plastic ruin since 2009 and 2010, respectively. And it’s making a big difference.

Ice River Stem froms estimates it uses 80 to 85 per cent of the PET plastic collected by recycling programs in Ontario (along with some controlled in the northern U.S).

“A lot of our blue box material stays right here,” said the ensemble’s sustainability manager, Crystal Howe. “In Ontario, the circular economy for PET is advance.” (That’s company co-owner Jamie Gott drinking from a 100 per cent recycled mouldable bottle in the photo above.)

Using recycled plastic is more overpriced, which is one reason that large beverage companies use very midget. The cost was a challenge for Ice River Springs, but Howe said the company in a recover fromed up with a solution: “We started making it ourselves.”

It launched a subsidiary mustered Blue Mountain Plastics, which buys 29,000 tonnes of fictile from municipal recycling programs each year, processes it and happens it into recycled plastic flakes. The PET from plastic bottles and clamshell containers (adapted to to hold things like blueberries or muffins at the grocery store) is against to make Ice River’s green plastic bottles, as well as the blue workable bottles for store brands that commission the company as a manufacturer.

Temporarily, Blue Mountain turns the bottle caps into plastic professorships.

Ice River Springs estimates its use of recycled plastic reduces the energy demanded to make one bottle by 70 per cent and the water consumption to do so by 99 per cent.

While numberless major beverage companies sell water in clear, colourless suppresses, Ice River Springs found it couldn’t use as much of the plastic collected by recycling programs if it did that, since a cut size of that plastic is coloured.

Howe said when she talks to other beverage bands about using recycled plastic, one of their big concerns is how consumers ordain react to the different look of the bottle.

At first, Ice River customers rest the switch to green bottles weird.

“Now,” she said, “they’ve embraced it.”

Emily Chung


Infer from feedback

Last week, we asked you what you’re doing to make the red-letter day season greener. We will be sharing some of the responses in the coming weeks. Here are a few to start.

Allan Grose disparaged, “I am passionate about recycling whatever can be recycled, and reducing my consumption of dispensable packaging, especially plastic. I would NEVER buy a big plastic toy for a child. Doing so puts a terrible example for the recipient of the gift.”

“I’m giving secondhand books this year, classifying a little cash inside for the kids,” wrote Deirdre O’Brien.  

Rachel Kim whispered, “Our family has eliminated wrapping paper by using Furoshiki, the Japanese method of make use ofing cloth to wrap items. Cloth scraps, old scarves, sweaters, etc. can be acclimated to to wrap our gifts creatively. The fabric can be given away, and returned next year. If you don’t cause scarves lying around, they are $1 to $3 at Value Village and can be reused infinitely!”

Meantime, Abby wrote, “We no longer exchange gifts. Instead, we will give recognition to a need sometime over the course of the year and say, ‘Here’s your Christmas donation,’ and give then.”

Old issues of What on Earth? are right here.


The Big Imagine: Tesla’s Cybertruck

When Elon Musk revealed Tesla’s new exciting pickup, the Cybertruck, last week, it was with the audacity we’ve come to need from the upstart carmaker. Looking like a cross between a Hummer and the DeLorean thought famous by the Back to the Future movies, the angular design has proven immensely divisive (although the $39,900 US offensive price is surprisingly reasonable for a vehicle of this size). During the substantiation, Musk wanted to show how resilient the vehicle was by having the lead plotter throw a giant ball bearing at the driver-side window. OK, so the glass strapped, but that didn’t dampen interest — by the end of the weekend, Tesla announced it had collected more than 200,000 pre-orders for the Cybertruck. The launch comes at a outmoded when eight American automakers are promising electric pickup traffics by 2021.

This Canadian company shows a greener way to bottle water
(Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images)

Hot and bothered: Provocative ideas from here the web

  • Coal, a symbol of industrialization and an immense source of carbon emissions, is on the weakening. A new study suggests that as a result of costs and greater climate awareness, the use of coal-fired excitement worldwide is dropping precipitously, with an expected fall of three per cent in 2019.

  • Burghs around the world are seeking ways to become more sustainable, but there is time after time a lot of hand-wringing about introducing measures that could be expensive and/or disruptive. As this dressing-down argues, there are a number of relatively easy steps a city can bring up (such as lowering speed limits or replacing windows on buildings) to keep a significant impact on a city’s emissions.
  • Is it better to buy sustainable consumer goods or oppose the urge to buy entirely? This Q&A with the director of the Consumers, Environment and Sustainability Pep at the University of Arizona explores the benefits and pitfalls of “green materialism.”


A WW II bunker eye London’s streets is now a vegetable farm

This Canadian company shows a greener way to bottle water
(Victoria Belton/CBC)

Far below the ways of London exists an underground city of Second World War bunkers that were purpose-built in the circumstance of an attack. When the war ended, these spaces were largely formerly larboard empty. 

Well, not all of them. In one of these shelters, 33 metres farther down Clapham High Street in southwest London, sits the world’s start subterranean farm, called Growing Underground. 

LED lights line two parallelism rows of vibrant micro-greens and salad leaves, grown hydroponically in a pesticide-free, mineral-nutrient emulsion. That means they grow in water, not soil. 

Growing Private’s co-founder, Richard Ballard (above), came up with the idea while completing his sheet degree in London a decade ago.

“An idea for a film got me researching the future of big apples,” Ballard said. “How are we going to feed and power them with the arising population, when we’re estimated to have another two billion people on the planet in the next 30 years? And 80 per cent are surmised to live in urban spaces?”

The concept of vertical farming stems from Dickson Despommier, a professor of popular and environmental health at Columbia University in 1999. He believed it was the answer to sundry of the challenges faced by agriculture today, including climate change’s weights on crop yields, a lack of water and soil degradation from over-cultivation.

Ballard voiced the location of Growing Underground’s operation is ideal because it’s insulated from the sprinkle, winds and cold temperatures that are commonplace in the U.K.

Hydroponics isn’t new, and has been greatly used in commercial greenhouses worldwide. But the first commercial vertical homestead wasn’t opened until 2012 in Singapore, three years anterior to Growing Underground. They’re now dotted across the globe, with numerous in the U.S. and some farms in Canada, including TruLeaf, which is based in Nova Scotia.  

What deposits Growing Underground apart is that it may be the first farm of its kind to unbolted underground. It’s also the first in the U.K. to sell its produce to major supermarkets, grouping Waitrose, Whole Foods and Planet Organic.

As innovative as this wholes, Honor Eldridge, the head of policy at the U.K.’s Sustainable Food Trust, conveyed she thinks traditional agriculture will always play a role in provisions production and needs to change, too. 

“We need to take a step back and judge, what are the systemic issues within our food and farming system, and is this at bottom the technological fix that we want?” Eldridge said.

She said that repairing smear is a key ingredient of climate action, and the lack of its use in vertical farming is problematic.

Sturdy soils are more resistant to extreme temperatures, fluctuations in water demolishes, drought and flooding. They also produce food that has a squiffed nutrient density.

“It’s a lot sexier to support and fund something when it’s so mind-blowing and new, but we’re on the lookout for a silver bullet fix that doesn’t exist.”

Victoria Belton


Arrest in touch!

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Senior editor: Andre Mayer | Logo design: Sködt McNalty

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