An Phat Holdings praised for efforts to ensure safety & promote production and business activities

On June 24th, 2021, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien; Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung; Secretary of the Party Committee of Hai Duong province Pham Xuan Thang, and leaders of departments and the province paid a visit to the headquarter of An Phat Holdings (An Phat Bioplastics factory, An Dong industrial cluster, Hai Duong). During the visit, leaders of the Ministries and Hai Duong province highly evaluated and praised An Phat Holdings for its innovation to ensure safety for production and business activities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Welcoming the delegation of leaders of Ministries and province, on behalf of An Phat Holdings, there were Mr. Dinh Xuan Cuong – Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and other Group leaders.

Ông Nguyễn Hồng Diên, Bộ Trưởng Bộ Công thương phát biểu tại buổi làm việc.
Mr. Nguyen Hong Dien, Minister of Industry and Trade speaking at the event

In 2021, facing negative impacts caused by Covid-19 pandemic, An Phat Holdings still achieved a stable growth rate. In which, An Phat Holdings’ member companies had achieved positive results in the first quarter of 2021 such as An Phat Bioplastics JSC (Ticker symbol: AAA) recorded consolidated revenue of VND 2,284 billion (~$ 97 million), profit after tax reached VND 90 billion, increase by 45% and 43% respectively over the same period in 2020. It is expected that in the second quarter, AAA will complete nearly 40% of the plan, in which AAA’s profit comes from three segments: industrial real estate, packaging, and compostable product.

Ông Trần Văn Tùng - Thứ Trưởng Bộ Khoc học & Công nghệ phát biểu
Mr. Tran Van Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology speaking at the event

An Tien Industries JSC (Ticker symbol: HII) reported impressive consolidated revenue, reaching VND 1,282 billion (~$ 54.6 million), and profit after tax reaching VND 29.5 billion (~1.3 million) in the first quarter of 2021, up 61% and 286% respectively over the same period in 2020. The company’s positive business results are driven by improving efficiency in the production of plastic additives and plastic resin trade.

In the field of engineering plastics, precision engineering and molding, Hanoi Plastics JSC (Ticker Symbol: NHH) reported consolidated revenue in the first quarter of 2021 reached VND 492 billion (~$ 21 million), increased by 90% compared to the same period in 2020, profit after tax reached VND 12 billion (~$ 510.638), increased 36% over the same period in 2020.

Ông Phạm Xuân Thăng, Bí Thư tỉnh ủy tỉnh Hải Dương phát biểu
Mr. Pham Xuan Thang, Secretary of the Party Committee of Hai Duong province speaking at the event

The interior plastic segment also achieved many positive results when the export market expanded, the number of orders in the first half of 2021 increased sharply compared to 2020.

The year 2021 also marks a significant milestone for An Phat Holdings as the Group promotes the implementation of many projects, especially is urgently preparing to start construction of the largest green material manufacturing plant (PBAT An Phat) in Southeast Asia. With a capacity of 30,000 tons per year, the project will meet the demand for green materials for the Group’s member companies and export markets. With this project, An Phat Holdings will become one of the few suppliers of green materials globally, directly contributing to reducing the price of green products.

Ông Đinh Xuân Cường - Phó Chủ tịch, Tổng Giám đốc Tập đoàn chia sẻ tình hình sản xuất kinh doanh của Tập đoàn
Mr. Dinh Xuan Cuong, Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer shared about the Group’s production and business activities

In addition, the An Phat Complex and An Phat 1 Industrial Park are receiving positive signals from domestic and foreign investors. Previously, in February 2021, An Phat 1 was approved by the Government to invest in the project “Developing infrastructure of An Phat 1 Industrial Park” with an area of ​​180ha in phase 1. When it comes into operation, the industrial park is expected to attract 50-70 manufacturing plants, create jobs for about 12,000 workers, and reach a 100% occupancy rate by 2024. Currently, An Phat 1 is in the clearance process to prepare for construction in the third quarter of 2021. It is expected that the industrial park will come into operation and commercial exploitation from the fourth quarter of 2021. The industrial real estate segment is also expected to become a major revenue driver for An Phat Holdings in 2021.

Along with production and business activities, in the complicated context of epidemic developments in Vietnam and with the operating principle of “Safety for production, safety for workers”, An Phat Holdings has been fiercely in disease prevention and control. Up till now, all production and business activities of 15 member companies, 10 factories with more than 5,000 employees are absolutely safe.

Besides, An Phat Holdings understands that the cooperation of the whole community is indispensable to develop sustainably. The Group has responded to the Government’s call to mobilize socialization resources for the vaccine strategy, donating VND 20 billion (~$ 851,000) for the Government to buy Covid-19 vaccine.

In the second half of 2021, An Phat Holdings will continue to put all efforts to achieve business goals. Along with business tasks, the Group also has a specific plan for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic, aiming to vaccinate all Group’s employees.

The key strategy of An Phat Holdings in the next 3-5 years is to maintain growth and enhance its position by focusing on the fields of green materials, industrial real estate and supporting industry, precision mechanics and molds.

Also, at An Phat Bioplastics factory, the leaders of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Science and Technology, leaders of Hai Duong province and An Phat Holdings planted trees to mark this occasion.

Some images at the event:

Vice Chairman, CEO Dinh Xuan Cuong introduces An Phat Holdings’ manufacturing plant to the delegation
Vice Chairman, CEO Dinh Xuan Cuong introduces An Phat Holdings’ manufacturing plant to the delegation
An Phat Holdings is praised for effort to ensure safety and promote production, business activities
An Phat Holdings is praised for effort to ensure safety and promote production, business activities
The delegation visits An Phat Holdings’ manufacturing plant
The delegation visits An Phat Holdings’ manufacturing plant
Đoàn Lãnh đạo Bộ, tỉnh & Ban lãnh đạo APH trồng cây lưu niệm tại nhà máy An Phát Bioplastics
Leaders of Ministries, province & APH planted trees at An Phat Bioplastics factory

UK start-up The Magical Mushroom Company moves to large-scale production plastic-free packaging

The 100% biodegradable alternative to polystyrene is already being snapped up by major brands, as the company sets its sights set on rapid European expansion.

The Magical Mushroom Company (MMC) has launched large-scale production of its mushroom-derived biodegradable packaging, a plastic-free alternative that can be broken up to biodegrade on a home compost heap or flowerbed. The packaging offers the same performance, at comparable cost, to traditional polystyrene, and is already being used to protect goods ranging from cookers, to cosmetics and a huge variety of everyday consumer products, including Diageo’s non-alcoholic gin brand, Seedlip.

The packaging is made possible through mycelium composite technology, pioneered and patented by US firm Ecovative Design LLC. The process takes the post-processing waste from agricultural products such as hemp, hops, corn and timber and combines them with mycelium – the root system of the mushroom. This living material is then grown to shape using 3D moulds of the packaging design. These moulds are baked, hardening the material and preventing any further growth. The full process, from design to prototype takes just 14 days.

MMC Holding International LTD, trading as The Magical Mushroom Company, has the exclusive EU, UK and Ireland licence to produce Mushroom® Packaging. Its first facility, in Esher, Surrey, began production in August 2020 and has capacity to produce more than a million packaging units per year.

The business will open a second UK plant in 2021, increasing total production to more than three million units per year. This will be followed by the opening of plants in Bulgaria and Italy, which together will provide production capacity for the EU of more than six million units annually. A third continental European plant (in Germany) will open in 2022.

With polystyrene causing immense environmental harm, a commercially viable and practical alternative is essential. Packaging produced by MMC is 100% biodegradable at home and breaks down in soil within 40 days. It also fully breaks down in water in just 180 days, meaning it has the long-term potential to significantly reduce the level of plastic waste in our oceans.

MMC is already working with a number of iconic brands that are serious about reducing their environmental impact. Current clients include Lush Cosmetics, Raine Marine, Bodyshop, Seedlip (from the Diageo group) and luxury designer, Tom Dixon.

Sản xuất nhựa phân hủy sinh học từ chất thải của cá

Scientists working on an alternative to polluting plastic have discovered a biodegradable material derived from fish waste that would otherwise be thrown away, which could be used in a variety of products including packaging and clothing.

Using fish oil, researchers have made a polyurethane-like material  (Mikhailey Wheeler)
Using fish oil, researchers have made a polyurethane-like material (Mikhailey Wheeler)

Canadian researchers say fish heads, bones, skin and guts heading for landfill can be turned into useful material that could replace crude oil-derived polyurethanes, which are found in everything from shoes and clothes to refrigerators and construction materials.

Existing polyurethanes come with a large carbon footprint and are slow to break down.

But the team, led by Francesca Kerton, who is based at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, found that fish-oil based plastics could provide an environmentally friendly solution while also tackling food factory waste.

Previous studies have developed methods for producing plastics from fish waste, but the latest research goes further in determining how the material might be easily broken down again at the end of its useful life.

To produce the new material, the researchers used oil extracted from bits of salmon left after the flesh had been removed and processed for human consumption.

They developed a way of converting the fish oil into a polyurethane-like polymer, first by adding oxygen to the oil in a controlled way to form epoxides, molecules similar to those in epoxy resin.

Then, carbon dioxide was added to the epoxides and the resulting molecules combined with nitrogen-containing chemical compound amines to form the new material.

“It is important that we start designing plastics with an end-of-life plan, whether it’s chemical degradation that turns the material into carbon dioxide and water, or recycling and repurposing,” Ms Kerton said.

“When we start the process with the fish oil, there is a faint kind of fish smell, but as we go through the steps, that smell disappears.”

Since last summer, the team has been tweaking that process to simplify and speed up the breakdown of the fish oil-derived plastic.

Experiments suggested the new material might biodegrade readily when required.

In one, pieces of the plastic were soaked in water, some with lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fats in fish oil.

Under a microscope, the researchers saw microbial growth on the samples, including those that had been placed just in plain water. The team said the results offered an encouraging sign that the new material might biodegrade readily.

Polyurethanes are traditionally made using crude oil and phosgene, a toxic gas, and the process generates isocyanates, which are powerful irritants to the eyes and gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, with links to severe asthma attacks.

In addition, the final product does not readily break down in the environment and the limited biodegradation that does occur can release carcinogenic compounds.

Past research has resulted in polyurethanes made using plant-derived oils to replace petroleum, however the researchers said these were not without their downsides either as the crops, often soybeans, require land and resources.


What will AAA have in the medium and long term?

Ông Nguyễn Lê Trung – Tổng Giám đốc Công ty cổ phần Nhựa An Phát Xanh kiêm Phó Chủ tịch HĐQT An Phát Holdings

Possessing a solid business foundation and many outstanding advantages, An Phat Bioplastics (Ticker symbol: AAA) is not at the market price that businesses and investors expected. So what is the intrinsic value of AAA when its revenue and profit targets are recording positive growth?

Evaluated as the key business of An Phat Holdings (Ticker symbol: APH), AAA is at a lower market price than APH’s member companies and other enterprises in the plastic industry.

However, investors are expecting that AAA will soon regain its position and make a breakthrough in 2021. In a recent interview, Mr. Nguyen Le Trung – General Director of An Phat Bioplastics JSC cum Vice Chairman of An Phat Holdings gave a piece of his mind.

Ông Nguyễn Lê Trung – Tổng Giám đốc Công ty cổ phần Nhựa An Phát Xanh kiêm Phó Chủ tịch HĐQT An Phát Holdings
Mr. Nguyen Le Trung – General Director of An Phat Bioplastics JSC cum Vice Chairman of An Phat Holdings

Sir, in 2021, AAA sets a profit target of VND 550 billion, the highest profit in the business’s history. Until present, is this plan is feasible?

It is expected that by the end of the second quarter, we will complete nearly 40% of the profit plan. However, AAA’s revenue and profit will increase sharply after An Phat 1 Industrial Park officially comes into operation and starts commercial exploitation. Recently, after increasing capital by more than VND 1,000 billion (~$ 42.5 million), financial expenses have been rebalanced. Therefore, we are confident that we can complete the set profit plan.

What factors help AAA expect a breakthrough with the industrial real estate segment in the second half of 2021, sir?

Regarding the industrial real estate segment, newly released statistical reports of many market research companies showed that the rental price of real estate in industrial zones in the North is increasing. However, Hai Duong province is still having a lot of advantages in investment attraction. In particular, Vietnam is studying and implementing the “vaccination passport” measure, which is a good opportunity for foreign investors to promote investment in Vietnam.

Currently, An Phat 1 Industrial Park of AAA is speeding up to complete site clearance to start construction in July. Currently, we are also connecting and working with many investors to seek business cooperation opportunities.

Industrial real estate is expected to bring positive revenue and profit to AAA in 2021 (Photo: An Phat Complex Industrial Park of AAA)
Industrial real estate is expected to bring positive revenue and profit to AAA in 2021 (Photo: An Phat Complex Industrial Park of AAA)

Besides industrial real estate, will industrial packaging and green products bring positive-growth to AAA, Sir?

In short term, the industrial packaging segment will make more contribution to the company’s packaging revenue structure this year when the factories of AAA member company – An Vinh Packaging operate at full capacity.

In terms of green products, we have a broader vision in this area and are seeing many positive changes. In fact, the value of orders of compostable products continued to grow strongly in the first months of 2021, the export volume of green products in the first quarter of 2021 doubled compared to the same period in 2020.

The main markets for these products such as Europe, Japan, the United States… also recorded positive growth in the last 2 months when the epidemic was gradually brought under control. In particular, the successful registration of trademark protection for AnEco’s compostable products in the United States has opened up many opportunities to trade AAA’s green products in this market.

AAA is considered to be the most beneficial from the PBAT Green Material Factory project that An Phat Holdings is implementing. Could you please be more specific?

Currently, we are urgently preparing to start construction of Southeast Asia’s largest green material (PBAT) manufacturing plant and at the stage of completing the licensing procedures. With a capacity of 30,000 tons per year, the factory will meet the demand for input materials for AAA instead of importing as before. This helps AAA save 40 – 50% on raw material costs.

Expected to consume 70% of the raw materials produced in APH’s project, AAA will be the most beneficial from this project thanks to improving profit margins as well as taking initiative in raw materials, making it easier to reach out to big customers.

AAA is also building factory number 8, specializing in producing compostable bags. This plant is expected to have a capacity of 9,600 tons per year, increasing the company’s production output by 9%.

On the stock market, AAA shares are at the price range of 15,000 – 16,000 VND per share. However, investors are expecting a better price for AAA shares. What is your opinion, Sir?

With the advantages and potentials mentioned above, I think the value of AAA shares on the stock exchange is reflecting 50% of the company’s real value. Realizing that there is still a lot of growth potential for AAA, An Phat Holdings will continue to buy more shares and increase its ownership in AAA. I believe that the market will soon reflect the intrinsic value of the company.

Thank you very much!

An Phat Holdings is praised by The government for donating to national COVID-19 vaccine fund

On the evening of June 5, the launching ceremony of the national COVID-19 vaccine fund in Hanoi was held with the presence of the Prime Minister, representatives of leaders of government, enterprises and organizations.

Phó Thủ tướng Chính Phủ Lê Minh Khái (bên phải) trao chứng nhận cho Ông Phạm Văn Tuấn - Quyền Phó TGĐ Tập đoàn An Phát Holdings (bên trái)
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai (right) presented donation certificate to Mr. Pham Van Tuan – Acting Deputy CEO of An Phat Holdings (left)

Attending the event, An Phat Holdings was honored to receive the Government’s commendation as pioneer donor to the national COVID-19 vaccine fund. Representative of An Phat Holdings’ management, Mr. Pham Van Tuan – Acting Deputy CEO of the Group received certification for making contribution of VND 20 billion (~$ 851,000) to the national COVID-19 vaccine fund.

In the fight agaisnt COVID-19, An Phat Holdings wishes to contribute to the community, demonstrating the social responsibility of businesses for the country to quickly stamp out Covid-19.

See more pictures at the event:

Tập đoàn An Phát Holdings là doanh nghiệp tiêu biểu được biểu dương tại sự kiện
An Phat Holdings attended the event as a typical enterprise making contribution to the national Covid-19 vaccine fund
Đại diện BLĐ Tập đoàn An Phát Holdings, ông Phạm Văn Tuấn - Quyền Phó TGĐ Tập đoàn (thứ 2 bên trái) nhận hoa và chứng nhận đóng góp 20 tỷ đồng
Representative of managements of An Phat Holdings, Mr. Pham Van Tuan – Acting Deputy CEO of the Group (left) received certification of donating VND 20 billion (~$ 851,000)

Co-op ditches plastic ‘bags for life’ and replaces with 10p compostable bag

The 10p compostable carriers will replace Co-op’s “bags for life” ahead of the minimum fee for single-use plastic shopping bags at all supermarkets in England doubling to 10p in May.

Loại túi có thể phân hủy mới đang được dùng tại các điểm bán của Co-op để thay thế “túi tái sử dụng”
The new compostable carrier bag is launching in Co-op stores to replace the ‘bag for life’

The Co-op is to remove plastic “bags for life” from sale in all of its 2,600 stores and replace them with 10p compostable carriers.

The supermarket warns that the low-cost, reusable bag has become the new single-use carrier.

The bags will be phased out from April 30 with all remaining stock expected to be sold by the end of this summer.

The retailer is replacing single-use bags with compostable versions to ensure that customers are able to buy a low-cost, low-impact alternative bag with a sustainable second use.

The minimum fee for single-use plastic shopping bags at all supermarkets in England will double to 10p in May.

The Co-op has welcomed the increase, but is now calling for a policy to require major retailers to report on all reusable bags, as well as single-use bags, to track the true impact of carrier bag levy.

Co-op is urging the government to require supermarkets to report their data on all plastic bags, not just single-use ones

Co-op’s other recommendations include requiring all single-use carrier bags to be certified compostable and to introduce a minimum 50p price for reusable bags to encourage customers to reuse them instead of treating them as single-use.

Greenpeace data suggests supermarkets distributed more than 1.5 billion bags for life in 2019, weighing a total of 44,913 tonnes – a 56% increase on the previous year.

Bags for life use more plastic in their production than conventional single-use carriers, which has in turn increased the amount of plastic in circulation.

The Co-op said its new initiative would remove 29.5 million bags for life, weighing around 870 tonnes of plastic, from sale each year.

Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food, said: “Increased use of bags for life has led to a sharp rise in plastic use.

Morrisons earlier this month said it will replace plastic ‘bags for life’ with a paper alternative

“With over 1.5 billion bags sold each year by retailers, this remains a massive issue for our industry as many shoppers are regularly buying so-called bags for life to use just once and it’s leading to a major hike in the amount of plastic being produced.

“To help tackle plastic pollution and the use of unnecessary plastic, we will be ceasing the sale of bags for life when current stocks are exhausted.

“We’re also ensuring all of our members and customers have access to a low price point option that’s more environmentally friendly, alongside more durable bags at a higher price point.”

Helen Bird, strategic engagement manager at waste and resources body Wrap, said: “All bags, regardless of the material they are made from, impact on the environment.

“The most important thing to reduce this impact is reuse. Just as we all now carry a mask about ourselves, we should be doing the same with shopping bags.

“Supermarkets have a responsibility to incentivise this and we would like to see transparent reporting on all types of shopping bags – whether they are made of traditional plastic, compostable plastic or paper.

“There will be times when we forget to bring a bag and in these instances we can still reuse those bags, and at the end of their life we recycle them at supermarket collection points.

“For Co-op’s shoppers this means that they are able to reuse carrier bags and if they have a food waste collection then they can use it as a caddy liner.”

Earlier this month, Morrisons became the first UK supermarket to completely remove plastic carrier bags from stores.

It replaced the bags with a 30p paper bag it says can hold up to 16kg of shopping and is recyclable and water resistant.


Canadian government officially adds plastic products to its list of “toxic” substances

The designation is already drawing sharp criticism from industry associations.

The Canadian government has officially added “plastic manufactured items” to its list of “toxic” substances on Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

The move, announced on May 12, was first proposed by the federal government last October.

While drawing praise from some environmental groups, industry associations, including the Ottawa-based Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), expressed disappointment with the announcement. “We remain concerned that today’s decision sends the wrong message to global chemistry investors, namely that Canada is ambivalent about the enormous investment prospects for the circular economy for plastics,” CIAC said in a May 12 statement. “[We’re] disappointed that safe inert plastic materials that play such important roles in Canadians lives are being labelled as toxic substances.”

CIAC also said it would keep working toward extended producer responsibility systems in all provinces and advocate for better recycling access and stronger technology around mechanical and chemical, or advanced, recycling. “By making plastics completely recyclable and transforming waste into new plastic items and other products, we can help Canada realize its goal of zero plastic waste,” said Elena Mantagaris, vice president of CIAC’s plastics division.

And in the U.S., the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said in a statement that a CEPA listing is misleading and counterproductive. “Banning efficient plastic products will likely lead to forced substitutions with alternatives that increase greenhouse gas emissions and prevent the transition to a low-carbon future,” Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics with the ACC, said in a May 12 statement.

And the Washington, D.C.-based Plastics Industry Association weighed in with its own criticism. “Our two countries are powerful plastics economies,” said president and CEO Tony Radoszewski on May 13. “This development is a symbolic gesture to activists and threatens tens of billions of dollars of commerce. The idea that plastic is toxic is the true danger. Such a label could have ramifications far beyond some single-use items. It could fast-track more bans on other consumer products that are fully recyclable. Our main concern should be improving recycling.”

Industry opposition to the CEPA designation is not new. In December 2020, two months after the government announced its intention, Calgary-based Nova Chemicals Corp. filed a formal objection on the grounds that plastic manufactured items are not “toxic” within the meaning of CEPA, nor according to a recent science assessment. “The assessment made no mention of plastic manufactured items causing harm to biota or the environment,” Nova said. “The potential harm identified in the science assessment relates only to a handful of specific macroplastic items…[and instead] the proposed listing is of a category (Plastic Manufactured Items), which would contain every product manufactured from plastic in Canada. This category…was not addressed in the science assessment.” Nova went on to add that a “toxic” designation “would blur the line with those substances that are truly toxic and are properly managed under CEPA Schedule 1.”

Also in December 2020, the Plastics Industry Association filed its own formal objection with the Canadian government, arguing that the listing would amount to a technical barrier to trade that violates World Trade Organization rules and a violation of the “spirit of cooperation” in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade. It also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic “has reinforced that plastic products, whether it be in healthcare or food service, have been essential to survival during this uncertain time.”

Source: Canadian Plastics

New research reveals how airborne microplastics travel around the world

Các hạt vi nhựa trong không khí xuất hiện ở những nơi hẻo lánh trên thế giới, bao gồm cả vùng núi Altai xa xôi ở Siberian. Kirill Kukhmar / TASS / Getty Images
Các hạt vi nhựa trong không khí xuất hiện ở những nơi hẻo lánh trên thế giới, bao gồm cả vùng núi Altai xa xôi ở Siberian. Kirill Kukhmar / TASS / Getty Images
Airborne microplastics are turning up in remote regions of the world, including the remote Altai mountains in Siberia. Kirill Kukhmar / TASS / Getty Images

Scientists consider plastic pollution one of the “most pressing environmental and social issues of the 21st century,” but so far, microplastic research has mostly focused on the impact on rivers and oceans.

However, a new study from researchers at Cornell and Utah State University highlights the increasing threat of airborne microplastics “spiraling around the globe,” The Guardian reported.

Plastic waste breaks down into smaller pieces until it becomes microscopic and gets swept up into the atmosphere, where it rides the jet stream and travels across continents, the Cornell Chronicle reported. Researchers discovered this has led to a global plastic cycle as microplastics permeate the environment, according to The Guardian.

“We found a lot of legacy plastic pollution everywhere we looked; it travels in the atmosphere and it deposits all over the world,” Janice Brahney, lead author of the study and Utah State University assistant professor of natural resources, told the Cornell Chronicle. “This plastic is not new from this year. It’s from what we’ve already dumped into the environment over several decades.”

In the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers tested the most likely sources of more than 300 samples of airborne microplastics from 11 sites across the western U.S. To their surprise, the researchers found that almost none of the atmospheric microplastics came from plastic waste in cities and towns. “It just didn’t work out that way,” Professor Natalie Mahowald from Cornell University, who was part of the research team, told The Guardian.

It turns out that 84 percent of atmospheric microplastics came from roads, 11 percent from oceans and five percent from agricultural soil dust, the scientists wrote.

“We did the modeling to find out the sources, not knowing what the sources might be,” Mahowald told the Cornell Chronicle. “It’s amazing that this much plastic is in the atmosphere at that level, and unfortunately accumulating in the oceans and on land and just recirculating and moving everywhere, including remote places.”

The scientists say the level of plastic pollution is expected to increase, raising “questions on the impact of accumulating plastics in the atmosphere on human health. The inhalation of particles can be irritating to lung tissue and lead to serious diseases,” The Guardian reported.

The study coincides with other recent reports by researchers, who confirmed the existence of microplastics in New Zealand and Moscow, where airborne plastics are turning up in remote parts of snowy Siberia.

In the most recent study, scientists also learned that plastic particles were more likely to be blown from fields than roads in Africa and Asia, The Guardian reported.

As plastic production increases every year, the scientists stressed that there remains “large uncertainties in the transport, deposition, and source attribution of microplastics,” and wrote that further research should be prioritized.

“What we’re seeing right now is the accumulation of mismanaged plastics just going up. Some people think it’s going to increase by tenfold [per decade],” Mahowald told The Guardian. “But maybe we could solve this before it becomes a huge problem, if we manage our plastics better, before they accumulate in the environment and swirl around everywhere.”

Scotland plans ban on plastic straws, plates, knifes and forks and polystyrene cups

Supplying single-use plastic plates and forks would become illegal under the plan (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Plastic plates, straws and cutlery could be banned in Scotland, along with polystyrene food and drink containers, to help stem the tide of plastic that is killing sea life/

The government in Edinburgh has launched a public consultation on whether to outlaw some of the most environmentally damaging single-use plastic items.

Supplying single-use plastic plates and forks would become illegal under the plan (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Supplying single-use plastic plates and forks would become illegal under the plan (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Under the plan, expected to take effect next year, it would be illegal for businesses to supply customers with plastic forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks, plates, trays, bowls or balloon sticks, as well as single-use cups made of expanded polystyrene, including their covers and lids.

Scotland already has a moratorium on plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

The list of items targeted by Holyrood are those most commonly found washed up on European beaches and account for most litter found in the sea, the government said.

If implemented, the ban would bring Scotland into line with rules already introduced in Wales in 2020.

In England a more limited ban on plastic items came into force at the start of October 2020, involving only straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds, but not cutlery, plates or polystyrene cups.

Officials say millions of pieces of plastic are used in Scotland each year, including an estimated 300 million straws, 276 million pieces of cutlery, 50 million plates and 66 million polystyrene food containers.

The consultation also proposes banning oxo-degradable products – those that quickly fragment into microplastics, such as such as many carrier bags.

The EU is due to introduce a single-use plastics ban next year, although the decision-making process has been slowed as officials weigh up what to include, amid heavy lobbying from the plastics industry.

Scottish environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “There is no longer any doubt that plastic waste is having a hugely damaging impact on our oceans, rivers and land ecosystems. We must act now to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic and drive forward a move towards more sustainable, environmentally friendly alternatives.

“Failure to do so is a dereliction of our duty to our children, who will inherit a natural world polluted by the plastics we have thrown away for the sake of convenience.”

She said it was important that the introduction of a ban during the pandemic was carefully considered because of the effect on businesses.


Polystyrene to be phased out next year under Australia’s plastic waste plan

Xốp Polystyrene sẽ bị ngưng ứng dụng trong ngành đồ uống và thực phẩm vào cuối năm 2020 tại Úc

Polystyrene foam commonly used to package consumer goods will be phased out in Australia by mid-2022 as part of a national plan to combat mounting plastic waste.

Xốp Polystyrene sẽ bị ngưng ứng dụng trong ngành đồ uống và thực phẩm vào cuối năm 2020 tại Úc
Polystyrene foam will be phased out in Australia by mid-2022

Conservation groups have welcomed many aspects of the plan, which also includes an end to polystyrene food and beverage containers by the end of 2022, but also criticised its largely voluntary approach to reaching ambitious goals, calling for those targets to be mandated.

The Morrison government also announced it would support “coordinated global action to address marine plastic” through the United Nations, which is developing a treaty on the issue.

The National Plastics Plan, launched in Brisbane by the federal environment minister, Sussan Ley, and the assistant minister for waste reduction and environmental management, Trevor Evans, also included targets to cut plastic pollution from washing machine outflows and from cigarette butts.

By July 2022, Australia should have phased out plastic packaging products that do not meet compostable standards, as well as polystyrene used in loose and moulded forms for a wide range of consumer goods.

By December 2022, polystyrene should be gone from food and beverage containers, and PVC packaging labels will also have been phased out, the plan said.

Ley said the goal was for Australia to be using much less plastic, and to change the way Australians “produce, consume and recycle plastic”.

She said plastic bottles, packaging and consumer goods were creating “mountains of pain” for the environment.

A spokesman for Ley said she expected industry to voluntarily meet the deadlines but the government reserved the right to regulate if needed.

WWF-Australia said the plan’s 38 actions were a breakthrough in tackling plastic pollution.

The government said it would work with industry to have microfibre filters fitted to all washing machines sold in Australia by 2030.

WWF’s plastics campaigner, Katinka Day, said it would put Australia at the forefront of efforts to cut microfibre waste but noted the target was nine years away and called on washing machine companies to move faster.

One study suggested up to 1.5m microplastic fibres were released when clothes from synthetic fibres were washed.

The government has previously announced targets for 2025 including that all packaging be “reusable, recyclable and compostable”, 70% of plastic packaging be recycled or composted and packaging materials have an average of 50% recycled content.

Day said the voluntary approach would not work and a “strong regulatory target” was needed. Evans disagreed, arguing the cosmetics and personal care industry’s voluntary phase-out of microbeads in products showed the voluntary approach could work.

Labor’s assistant environment spokesman, Josh Wilson, said the plan failed to provide national leadership and coordination and was out of step with action being taken by the states and territories.

“On this government’s watch, plastic recycling has fallen from 12% to 9%, while just 18% of plastic packaging used in Australia was recycled in 2018-19, and packaging only incorporates 2% recycled content,” he said. “All these measures are off-track with the 2025 targets.”

Túi nhựa và bao bì dẻo là thủ phạm giết nhiều động vật biển nhất
Deadliest plastics: bags and packaging biggest marine life killers, study finds

Jeff Angel, the director of the Boomerang Alliance of 53 non-governmental organisations concerned about plastic pollution, said the plan was a “substantial effort”.

He welcomed support in the plan to eliminate single-use plastics from beaches by supporting local businesses to switch to alternative products, but said government would need to keep pressure on the industry if it was to meet its 2025 targets.

“Labels saying something is recyclable are meaningless if that does not happen in practice,” he said. “We believe regulation will be necessary.”

Angel said cigarette butts were the most littered item in Australia, and a taskforce announced in the plan needed to find solutions that could include removing butts from cigarettes entirely.

Brooke Donnelly, the chief executive of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, which is leading the delivery of the 2025 targets, said the focus on phasing out single-use plastics by 2025 was excellent.

She said timelines had been agreed across the plastic supply chain since the targets were announced in 2018, and the organisation had a “range of tools, programs and resources” to help businesses make the changes needed.

“There are already plenty of Australian businesses that are making these changes in their packaging,” she said.

On cigarette butts, the government said it would initiate an “industry-led cross-sectoral stewardship taskforce”.

A spokesman for British American Tobacco Australia – the country’s biggest manufacturer of tobacco products – said the company was “not aware of the details” but welcomed “any opportunity to work with the government to address butt litter”.

He said the company was working to develop alternatives that were “more biodegradable”.

He added: “Unfortunately, feasible alternatives are yet to be identified and the only proven strategy to deal with butt litter is for consumers to dispose of them correctly.”

Research last year found plastic bags and flexible packaging were the deadliest items in the ocean. A study in the journal Science last year estimated between 19m and 23m tonnes of plastic in 2016 found its way into rivers and the ocean.

Other research has estimated there is 30 times as much plastic at the bottom of the ocean as there is floating on the surface.

Source: The Guardian