Sustainability is on fire this week!
On this week’s Crisp News, we have Ireland -a whole nation- cutting ties with single-use plastic. Ireland is certainly stepping up this time. We also have Japan debating if it’s time to close down all their nuclear reactors as a response to the last Fukushima disaster.
On another note, we have an astounding realization that we’re still a long way from making renewable energy sustainable. But, scientists worldwide are fixing it.
Without further ado, here’s this week’s Crisp News.
Let’s dive right into it.
Ireland Goes Plastic-Free
Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! No more plastic for ya.
The Irish government is cooking up a plan to ban the use of single-use plastic. This means that it will be illegal in Ireland to use a plastic bag for groceries or to use plastic cutlery. The Minister of Climate Action and the Environment has announced this at the Waste Summit in Dublin.
That’s not all, but the minister also said that banning plastic is only the first step of a much bigger agenda that the ministry has to create a more sustainable environment in Ireland. The ministry is going towards cutting food waste by 50%, increasing recycling by 60% and using double the recycled materials that are being used now.
For a while, European cities have been trying to ban plastic, and they did that by making supermarkets pay a fine for using single-use plastic in their stores for packaging. Believe it or not, these efforts are showing good results! It looks like plastic bags in the waters around Norway, Germany, Northern France, and Ireland has been reduced by 30%.
This is a huge step for humanity! Maybe one day we’ll be telling our grandchildren stories about how “plastic” was legal, and they’ll be amazed.
Kellogg’s Is Making Plant-Based Meat Now
Plant-based meat is on the rise in grocery stores!
Do you know how many people want to get on the “help the environment” wagon but can’t because so many people love meat too much?! A lot!! They’ll be happy to hear that brands like Kellogg’s are creating plant-based meat and selling them in grocery stores and fast-food chains.
Plant-based meat isn’t a new thing. This is what fast-food chains like KFC and Burger King have been selling for years. What’s different is that brands like Kellogg’s will be giving you the chance to cook plant-based meat yourself at home.
Now’s a good time to say that plant-based doesn’t always mean healthy. Even though plant-based meat is a good alternative to animal meat, you still need to check the ingredients before you try it. Most of the plant-based meat products are highly processed.
Also, while we’re still on the topic of replacing unsustainable products, here’s something worth replacing.
Japan Debates Closing down All Their Nuclear Reactors
Who wouldn’t stand behind that? Clearly, a lot of people.
The Japanese Minister of the Environment, Shinjiro Koizumi suggested closing down all nuclear reactors for good. This happened right after the former Environment Minister said that the country needs to dump 1 million tons of radioactive wastewater in the ocean, you can read more about this in last week’s crisp news here.
Koizumi believes that instead of trying to find ways to sustain Nuclear reactors, people need to find ways to close them down. It makes sense. No matter how useful nuclear reactors are, it’s not the best move to keep them around and be at the risk of another Chernobyl disaster.
Sadly, common sense isn’t enough to solve nationwide problems. The Japanese Prime Minister, The Minister of Trade and many other seniors aren’t on board with Koizumi’s idea. They say that it’s unrealistic for Japan to stop using nuclear reactors anytime soon.
Nobody expects this to be easy. After all, all kinds of industries in Japan rely on nuclear energy. Still, we can all dream of the day that all these energy sources are replaced with clean energy.
Speaking of clean energy, there seems to be some trouble there..
Clean Energy Solutions Aren’t so Clean, Yet.
Our environmentalist friends have some clean energy trouble.
Renewable sources of electricity are becoming very popular these days. Not only because of how they help the environment (let’s face it, not everybody cares about that) But, also because renewable energy is much cheaper and way more sustainable than other energy sources.
However, the current way we contain renewable energy isn’t sustainable. Here’s what we mean.
To prevent power cuts and accidents, renewable energy plants use a gas called Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6). This gas is used to insulate wires that carry electricity with ridiculously high voltages to prevent accidents, and it does an amazing job at that.
There is a downside, though. Sulfur Hexafluoride has an enormous negative effect on the environment; 1 kilogram of SF6 is equally bad for global warming as 23,500 kgs of CO2.
To make it worse, SF6 has no smell or color, so it’s very challenging to spot when there’s a leakage. Scientists measured the concentration of SF6 in the atmosphere and it seems to have doubled in the last 20 years.
Some countries, like England, have been aware of the negative effects of SF6. 3 years ago they’ve found an alternative that is 98% less damaging to the environment. Many electrical plants have been switching since then.
It’s good to know that people are now faster at finding environmental threats and fighting them head-on. Call us glass half-full. But, we believe that environmentalists spreading awareness of global warming is helping us move forward towards a sustainable Earth.
That was it for this week’s Crisp News.
As we mentioned above, Ireland and Japan are taking the whole sustainability issue to a whole new level, and they might be carving the way for a more sustainable international ecosystem. On the other hand, we have people trying so hard to make sustainable energy work.
Share this week’s Crisp News with your friends, and let them know what’s happening!