Tag Archives: Living environment

New Zealand clothing brand aims to be completely plastic free by 2023 | Instant News

Last year, an Auckland-based outdoor brand Icebreaker sponsored by ultra French swimmers Ben lecomte to swim across the Pacific from Hawaii to San Francisco via the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. He swims 350 nautical miles during the summer. The goal is simple: swim and collect plastic samples.

Working with a scientific support crew, he was able to further explain a growing problem: plastics are everywhere in our system. Through his entire swimming stretch from Hawaii to the California Coast, he and his crew collected more than 45,000 microplastics. From tiny fragments of plastic to toilet seats to hidden microplastics, they reveal the severity of plastic pollution in our oceans.

This is why Icebreaker, a New Zealand brand founded in 1995, and known for its wool-based collections, is committed to becoming completely plastic free by 2023. For outdoor brands that value performance and sustainability in their clothing, Opting out of synthetic fibers fully environmentally friendly and biodegradable options can be a challenge. Can they do it?

I spoke with Alistair Smith, Director of Global Product Design at Icebreaker, to learn about the process of removing synthetic materials from their collections, and the obstacles they face on this mission to become plastic free.

Chhabra: Why 2023?

Smith: We decided to set plastic-free materials by 2023 as our own goal around the beginning of this year (2020). As you can imagine, the wider apparel industry is a big, slow-moving machine at times. We know that this bold goal cannot be achieved overnight. As we planned projects, we realized that this was not just a case of swapping materials for alternatives.

For some common fibers, such as elastane (which provides stretch), there is no other 100% natural fiber alternative there is which can provide the same ‘off-the-shelf’ performance. So, knowing we were going to build some solutions from scratch, we set 2023 as an optimistic target. We work from chemicals, yarns, fabrics, products, which takes time to get it right, but is the right approach.

Chhabra: How far is the company now on this journey?

Smith: We’re making good progress, but there are still interesting challenges to solve. We started from a very nice place. Our product range is already 87% natural fiber from a material point of view.

We’ve taken some bold and difficult decisions to bring us closer to our goal. For example, we removed 59 ‘synthetic weight’ styles from our range which would have a retail value of US $ 7.9 million.

A big, bold choice, but we know the product doesn’t fit our brand goals and our plastic-free materials by 2023 goal. We are currently working on our 2022 product and are making major progress towards approaching 100% natural fiber.

Chhabra: What was the hardest part of this trip?

Smith: This is a product and material innovation. When it comes to maintaining stretch and recovery, finding a 100% natural fiber solution for elastane has been an exciting journey. It doesn’t exist at the moment. This is a growing area in yarn innovation.

There is a new bio-based synthetic solution where part of the chemical component of elastane can be produced from renewable natural sources, not from oil. But it is a medium term solution, ‘better not perfect’ because it may be 40% or 60% natural. They are definitely better than today’s oil-based synthetic yarns, but our goal remains 100% natural fibers. Staying true to this vision helps us go beyond our comfort zone in material innovation with our partners.

Ultimately, customers only need a product to function, so we are very conscious of maintaining or improving performance and functionality as we eliminate oil-based synthetics. We look at it on a case-by-case basis to ensure that we are doing what’s right for the product and for the customer.

Chhabra: How did the Icebreaker find this alternative material?

Smith: Being part of the VF Corporation brand family has been a huge advantage, because of the cross-brand collaboration. We have worked with and challenged some of the world’s leading chemical and yarn manufacturers. We have shared our ambitions with them and challenged them to help us innovate natural solutions. We’ve also collaborated with several innovative start-up materials companies exploring new natural sources of yarn and materials for apparel. Lastly, bio-synthetics is a growing area where we can make ingredients from sugar cane and castor oil instead of traditional oil-based synthetics. Many of these solutions are still in their infancy, but offer bright prospects for the future.


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The majority believe that Australia is already experiencing climate change | Living environment | Instant News

Fighting the global pandemic and the first recession in 30 years hasn’t left Australians too worried about the effects of climate change, and most voters believe we are already experiencing the effects of warming, according to an authoritative portrait of society.

The latest Nation’s Climate Report, an annual national survey of nearly 2,000 voters that has been running for 13 years, will be launched on Wednesday by New South Wales’ environment and energy minister, Matt Kean.

The survey found that 74% of the sample remain concerned about climate change, the same as last year, and 80% of respondents think we are already experiencing the impacts of climate change.

Over the past five years, the number of Australians who say they believe climate change is happening has increased by 15 points. Surveys show the number of Australians who think we are experiencing “a lot” of the impacts of climate change has increased from 33% in 2016 to 48% in 2020.

The survey also showed that Australians were cold towards the Morrison government “Gas-powered recovery”, with 59% of respondents saying recovery should use renewable energy compared to 12% preferring gas.

But the results show that Australians think the gas industry is bigger than it really is. Survey respondents on average believe mining and gas exploration constitute 8.2% of Australia’s total workforce, when in fact industry accounts for 0.2% of Australian workers. People also think that gas contributes more substantially to economic growth than it actually is.

Voters remain wary of coal seam gas development, with the majority saying CSG has a negative impact on water resources (61%), farmers (56%), climate change (55%), and human health (54%). But once again, Australians believe that the industry makes a positive contribution to the economy, and contributes to job creation.

Meanwhile the Morrison administration continued to reject the call in order to adopt a net zero emission reduction target by 2050, the majority of the sample (68%) supported the measure, and the target had majority support across all voting groups, except for One Country voters.

People also want Australia to lead global action, with a marked change in attitude over the last few years: 71% say Australia should be the world leader in finding solutions to climate change, up from 62% in 2019. Just under two-thirds (62 %) of the sample disagreed that Australia should wait for other countries before strengthening our emission reduction targets, up from 54% in 2019.

Voters are more likely to see the energy transition as an opportunity than in 2019, with 77% of the sample saying emission reductions create opportunities in clean energy for new jobs and investment, which are up seven points a year.

A smaller majority (52%) oppose government subsidies for expansion of coal, oil and gas, which have risen seven points in 12 months. But only a minority of people (11%) have noticed that fossil fuel companies have performed worse on Australian exchanges than the top 300 listed companies over the past 10 years.

The majority of respondents (68%) said that electricity generated by coal should be shut down within 20 years, and 39% want obsolescence within a decade. Fourteen percent of respondents said coal-fired power plants should not be completely eliminated.

This year’s research project also includes a one-time survey in response to forest fires in January. The work shows that people who experience a catastrophic event are more likely to be concerned about the risks.

Kean will launch the survey in a webinar organized by the Australian Institute, a progressive think tank that is now funding surveys originally commissioned by the now-defunct Climate Institute.

NSW Liberal Minister, who outspoken advocate for renewable energy, was recently reprimanded by Scott Morrison to describe the recently approved, controversial, Narrabri coal seam gas development as “gambling”.

Richie Merzian, director of climate and energy at the Australian Institute, said: “Our research shows that far from quelling calls for climate action, the Covid-19 crisis has strengthened Australia’s resolve for all levels of government to take action on climate change. “

Although surveys have indicated for some time the majority of Australians think climate change is real, and prefer renewable energy over fossil fuels, Australian voters voted for a Coalition government in 2013 on the platform of removing the Gillard government’s carbon price, and Coalition have won the next two elections despite having climate action policies that have proved less ambitious than their opponents.

While the Morrison government championed a gas-based recovery, the International Monetary Fund recently argued that a combination of carbon prices and “initial green stimulus” will drive economic recovery from the coronavirus, and help put the global economy on a post-pandemic sustainable growth path.

Australia’s leading business lobby, the Ai Group, also called for the two biggest economic challenges in memory – recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – to be handled together, said it would boost growth and put the country on a solid long-term footing.


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The Guardian’s view of plant-based foods: there’s nothing wrong with veggie burgers | Editorial | Opinion | Instant News

TThe European Parliament doesn’t always have the best press. A moving assembly with messy powers and a decidedly lackluster voter base has allowed critics to misrepresent, often lazily, its judgment. Such are the myths like prohibition banana curved was born, and we all know where it is headed in 2016. But things are improving in Brussels (or is it Strasbourg?) as parliament has reached a very sensible decision in the great fight over whether plant-based products can be labeled as burgers, sausages, escalopes and steaks.

On the surface, it’s a somewhat mysterious debate, so it’s incredible how much voice coverage last Friday was in the UK media, especially since we are no longer part of the EU. It is strange that we have now paid such close attention to the interim parliament for decades that, as members, we either ignore it or scoff at its extraordinary decisions. Parliament discussed efforts by EU farmers to ban terms like burgers and sausages when their contents are made from plant-based alternatives to meat. Parliamentarian convincingly rejects the move, and welcomes the environmental lobby, which argues that shifting away from meat is essential to making the food industry more sustainable.

Green MPs eat a vegetarian burger on Friday night, but it’s not just a win for the environment. What a victory for logic. Yes, sausages are usually made of meat, but it doesn’t have to be. This term is more synonymous with form than content. Glamorgan sausage, made from cheese, leeks and breadcrumbs, is a traditional Welsh delicacy, and there’s nothing to argue against using the term. Rice burgers are popular in Asia; vegan steaks are now part of the culinary landscape; and while the French will undoubtedly insist that the escalop must be made from veal, there is nothing inherently misleading about selling vegan escalopes made from Quorn as long as the ingredients are described. These terms are useful for describing the shape, texture and product that will be replaced. The farmer groups demand the use of “vegetable discs” and “vegetable tubes”, but this will only create confusion and reduce wasteful sales of vegetable products.

MPs seem inconsistent on labeling issues. “Veggie burger” and “vegan sausage” were permitted, but they refused dairy substitutes. The European Parliament has banned “almond milk” and “vegan cheese“, And now it has been expanded to” like cheese “and” yogurt style. “But there are no inconsistencies. Cheese, milk, and yogurt are specialty products, not generic names. It is correct to prohibit these for plant-based substitutes, just as hardliners should taken on oxymorone like meatballs without meat. Consumers need protection from overly enthusiastic marketing. Both sides should call for a ceasefire. Both farmers and environmentalists have a monopoly on wisdom. Many sausages that are thought to contain meat are clearly lacking in meat, and many plant-based products are heavily processed. Whether they are carnivores or passionate vegans, consumers need to be encouraged to read the ingredients on the packaging to understand what they eat and how their food gets to their plates. It’s about nutrition, not politics.


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Corona virus gut: Don’t ignore the climate during the pandemic, Steinmeier warns | News | DW | Instant News

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, president German, said on Sunday that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic should not stop the world from losing sight of its long-term future. In a speech at the German Environmental Awards ceremony, Steinmeier acknowledged that the fight against COVID-19 demands the full focus of today’s society, but he vowed that the virus “will not take our future from us.”

One must not forget about “other great human challenges,” such as protecting resources and the environment, he said. Climate change, stressed Steinmeier, does not stop during a pandemic.

The German president delivered his video remarks for the awards ceremony, which took place largely digitally this year. Steinmeier himself is still under quarantine after one of his bodyguards tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.

This year’s German Environmental Award goes to climate expert Ottmar Edenhofer, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

The ceremony came as Germany registered 11,176 new coronavirus infections, down from 11,714 the previous day. The country also reported 29 new deaths.

Read more: Merkel is in a new plea to stay home amid a tally of record infections

Tour Europe

In SpanishPrime Minister Pedro Sanchez has declared the country’s second state of emergency, imposing a curfew on all regions except in the Canary Islands.

The curfew runs from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time (22:00 to 05:00 UTC / GMT) with regional leaders allowed to change the time, provided measures are more stringent.

They will also be allowed to close regional borders, and public gatherings will be limited to six people from separate households.

Countries across continents continue to report daily records of infection rates.

Hungary recorded more than 3,000 cases for the first time Sunday, the government said. It’s the country’s highest one-day tally, bringing the total number of infections to 59,247. Hungary also reported 35 new deaths, for a total of 1,425 deaths.

That great Britain is considering reducing the mandatory quarantine period for people exposed to COVID-19. “The team is looking at what we can do around this period of isolation, it will be scientifically led,” Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis told Sky News on Sunday, following reports that the period could be shortened to seven or 10 days.

Italy is tightening restrictions after a record number of new cases. Cinemas, theaters, gyms and swimming pools will have to close under new rules announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte which will take effect Monday. Bars and restaurants, meanwhile, should stop serving at 6pm Italy reported nearly 20,000 new cases over a 24 hour period on Saturdays.

Read more: Long COVID: Several coronavirus patients have recovered, but are still not well


In United States of America, Vice President Mike Pence’s main aide has tested positive for the coronavirus. A spokesman for the vice president said Pence and his wife had tested negative, although Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive on Saturday. Pence is set to continue his campaign schedule, but as a “close contact” of the infected individual, he will be monitored for symptoms, as per CDC guidelines for key US workers.

Meanwhile, the US’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said it was not clear whether a Covid-19 vaccine safe and effective until early December. He said that widespread vaccination was unlikely until later in 2021.

“When you talk about vaccinating a large part of the population so that you can have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak, it will most likely not be until the second or third quarter of this year,” Fauci told the BBC.

His remarks came as the US reported a record number of new coronavirus infections for the second day in a row, with nearly 89,000 plus people testing positive.

Read more: The US could see half a million deaths from coronavirus by the end of winter, the study warned

Asia Pacific

In China, that The western region of Xinjiang closed schools for a week and conducted citywide tests after discovering cases of COVID-19 in Kashgar. A 17-year-old girl tested positive for the virus on Saturday during a routine check-up but reported no symptoms. It is the first localized infection in mainland China since October 14.

Xinjiang authorities say close contact of the infected person has been isolated and nucleic acid tests have been launched to cover 700,000 residents of Kashgar. More than 300,000 people have been tested as of Sunday.

State of Victoria in Australia has postponed easing of coronavirus restrictions in Melbourne following the outbreak in the north of the city. Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the state was waiting for the results of testing 3,000 people in Melbourne over the past 24 hours, describing it as a “respite of caution,” but not a setback. He said authorities wanted to rule out the possibility of community transmission linked to the cluster.

Melbourne has had restrictions restricting retail business in the city since early August, with 5 million people living under stay-at-home orders. Andrews warned the latest outbreak threatened to push the reopening date closer to November 1. “I know everyone will be disappointed we didn’t make that move today,” he said. “Me, too.”

Read more: Corona Virus: Teacher’s Students Apply for a German Visa

dr / sms (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)


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DORA will hold a community food fair 29 Oct-Nov. 1 | | Instant News

Individuals are asked to maintain a 6 foot high social distancing when standing in line and wearing masks.

“DPU recently completed a mini park across the street from our office with a view to dressing up the area a little. As we discussed how to use the area, food service seemed to be the most attractive,” DPU spokesman Randy Etters said.

“With a pandemic depriving our citizens of the annual fair and its food, we are discussing the possibility of holding a food fair with DORA and the city. Our community is missing a lot this year, we feel that it will be a nice change of pace for everyone. , “Said Etters.

Roberson said, “With the COVID 19 pandemic, our normal schedule of events cannot be carried out, but we have some things to come in the coming weeks. We have a schedule for golf tournaments, smallholder markets and holiday markets. “

He said the Orangeburg County Fair, as well as the Taste of Orangeburg, which is also traditionally held in October and features a variety of local restaurants and caterers selling their goods, was being replaced by a food fair.

The county fair was canceled earlier this year because of the coronavirus. Roberson said Taste of Orangeburg was also not being held this year because of COVID-19.


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