Brilliant Sustainability News for 16.1.23.

Brilliant Sustainability News for Positive Thinking

Play It Green focuses on “brilliant sustainability news” every Monday.

That’s because thinking positively creates positive change.

This is both in your response to things and in your ideas and thought patterns.

We do this because we want people to start their week off in a positive frame of mind.

After all, whilst there might be a climate crisis, we can all be part of its solution.

This week’s positive sustainability news focuses on solutions for plastic – one of the most pressing issues when it comes to land and sea pollution.

Brilliant Sustainability News as More Single-Use Plastics are Banned

OUr first Brilliant sustainability news comes as England announces a fresh wave of single-use plastic bans to be implemented this year.

This new legislation will include a ban on plastic plates, bowls, trays and cutlery to restaurants, cafes and takeaways and other hospitality outlets.

It is hoped that the new ban will significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste in the oceans, which currently harms and kills marine animals.

Next, in 2024, the Government is poised to extend restrictions on plates, bowls, trays and cutlery to supermarkets.

Following this, manufacturers of single-use plastic products (including the packaging) will be required to contribute to the cost of their recycling.

Did you know that this isn’t the first plastic legislation in the UK?

In 2018, a 5p charge was introduced on plastic bags, which resulted in a significant reduction in their use.

Then in 2020 single-use straws and stirrers were banned.

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: “This is great news and definitely a step in the right direction.

“As a society, we need to wean ourselves off all single-use items, which take a huge amount of resources to produce”.

Brilliant Sustainability News - Styrofoam packaging like this is being banned in the UK
Styrofoam packaging like this is being banned in the UK

Overall, this new legislation on single-use plastics is a step in the right direction for a sustainable future.

It highlights the government’s commitment to protecting the environment and reducing plastic pollution.

Awesome Sustainability Innovation Transforms Plastic Waste into Useful Products

In more brilliant sustainability news, solar power has been used by scientists to convert plastic waste and greenhouse gases into sustainable fuels.

The system, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, has the potential to reduce plastic pollution and be a “game changer” in the development of a circular economy.

The technology can transform two streams of waste – greenhouse gases and plastic – into two sustainable products – syngas and glycolic acid – at the same time.


This is the first time the process has been achieved using a solar-powered reactor.

According to the UN Environment Programme, approximately 300 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced each year.

In other words, an amount equal to the weight of the human population.

Unfortunately, only 9% is recycled, leaving the rest to rot in landfills or pollute our oceans with microplastics.

The reactor converts carbon dioxide (CO2) and plastics into a variety of products that can then be used in a range of industries.

As an example, CO2 is transformed into syngas, a major component of sustainable liquid fuels.

While plastic bottles are turned into glycolic acid – widely used in the cosmetics industry.

Brilliant sustainability News - Turning plastic waste into products is circular economics
Turning plastic waste into products is circular economics

This new solar-powered technology is a game-changer for sustainable living.

It offers a solution to the plastic waste crisis and has the potential to create new revenue streams for waste management companies.

Along with this, it’s a major step towards a circular economy where waste is transformed into valuable resources.

Exciting Sustainability News as Soil Healing Material made from Plastic

Our final piece of brilliant sustainability news comes from the US.

Scientists at the  University of California have made an exciting breakthrough in our last exciting sustainability news.

They have discovered a way to transform plastic waste into a valuable soil additive.

This new method involves using a specialized enzyme to break down plastic into a highly porous form of charcoal or char.

In turn, this char can be used to enrich the soil.

The process is highly efficient, breaking down plastic in as little as 24 hours.

As a result of the process. the material is rich in nutrients.

For this reason, it is an ideal addition to soil for growing plants.

As well as this, the innovative production process results in a material that can be used to improve soil structure and water retention.

Doing this makes the soil more conducive to plant growth.

This can have a positive impact on agriculture and food production, as well as on the environment.

The plastic-to-soil method has the potential to be a game-changer in the fight against plastic pollution.

Exciting Sustainability News - Turning plastic waste into soil enriching char
Turning plastic waste into soil enriching char

Also, it offers a way to repurpose plastic waste and turn it into something beneficial.

On top of this, it is also a cost-effective solution, as it eliminates the need for expensive disposal methods.

This is brilliant sustainability news and with this new technology, plastic waste can be transformed into a valuable resource, rather than a problem to be disposed of.

That’s it for this week.

Three brilliant sustainability news stories to show how plastic is slowly becoming a problem of the past.

And don’t forget, all of these exciting sustainability news stories started with actions by individuals.

People like you and me can change the world!






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