Let's balance out

Illicit plastic export and sustainable fashion
Published by Charlie on 2020-02-13
It isn't as bad as you think. Or maybe it is.

Another week has passed and we're back with the climate updates! This is "Let's balance out" and you'll read one good news and one bad news about the climate crisis. Shall we begin?

So what do you want first? The good news or the bad news?
BAD NEWS

An investigation led by Greenpeace Italy exposed an illicit export of plastic waste to Malaysia. So the EU law allows plastic waste being exported in non-Eu countries but only if it's recyclable. And what's happening is that, because of a lack of thorough controls, Italy is exporting a huge amount of contaminated and hard-to recycle plastic in illegal factories in Malaysia.

Greenpeace Italy reports that they know only a small number of the containers that leave the country get properly checked.
Not only it's a great shame for everyone, but it's also very dangerous. Since these companies that receive plastic waste don't know how to deal with non-recyclable or contaminated plastic waste, a lot of it is left outside the factories and in landfills, or burnt. "Tests carried out on water and soil samples close to mounds of discarded plastic showed an alarming level of contamination, while doctors said that respiratory illnesses had risen in villages hosting illegal factories."
The Italian government is of course urged to stop immediately this illegal export.

What I have to say about this situation is simple. It's easy to point the finger at other countries that are not doing enough for the environment when the only reason we don't have this kind of pollution problems is because we literally move them from our country to the same countries we point the finger at.

If you want to read more about the investigation you can do that here!
GOOD NEWS

When we talk about the relationship between fashion and the environment we always hear about how fast fashion harms the planet. And I've always wondered why we never hear of sustainable fashion brands, but now there is a very good news!

Innovation and fight for the climate joined forces and, in the attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of some fabrics, it looks like they've found the way to sustainable fashion.

Alternative materials like algae, mushrooms and pineapple are being looked into as CO2 absorbing fabrics for clothes.

This is amazing! We could absorb carbon from the air just from wearing some clothes! Here to know more!

Photograph: Lai Seng Sin/Reuters
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