Oceans awash: Why ‘biodegradable plastic’ often isn’t

A new report from the United Nations “finds that biodegradable plastics, commonly found in plastic bags and bottles, degrade at extremely slow rates,” according to a story in the Christian Science Monitor. CFAES scientist Fred Michel is quoted in the story among others. The issue relates to the growing amount of plastic polluting our oceans. The authors of the report, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, wrote: “There is a moral argument that we should not allow the ocean to become further polluted with plastic waste, and that marine littering should be considered a ‘common concern of humankind.’”

Recycle your plastic flower pots Saturday

Empty plastic flower pots 3This Saturday, June 6, from 8 a.m. to noon, you can recycle your plastic flower pots and trays at CFAES’s Chadwick Arboretum in Columbus. They’ll take nonfood-grade plastic foam packing material, too, such as Styrofoam. It’s another way to reduce what’s filling up (and being interred forever in) our landfills. Details.

Benefits of recycling? There’s an app for that

recycling benefitsAn Ohio State student team has developed a new app called RecycleNow to help cities and other local governments quantify the social, economic and environmental benefits of recycling programs, according to a story by the Big Ten Network’s Matthew Wood. Neil Drobny, director of CFAES’s Environment, Economic, Development, and Sustainability major and coordinator of Ohio State’s Energy and Sustainability Cluster, helped the project get rolling. “The ultimate goal,” he said in the story, “(is) to get cities to recycle more.”

Learn to go big, then go home

How to compost in a very big way“Composting,” says CFAES scientist Fred Michel, “allows the valuable nutrients and carbon that organic materials contain to be used again, reduces fossil fuel use for fertilizers, reduces greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and can be done economically.” Learn how to compost in a very big way.