Tag Archives: Plastic

The phenomenon of ‘ugly sandals’ attests to the cyclical nature of fashion | Instant News

About a decade ago, Crocs were the cutest.

Dome-shaped foam clogs became a kind of stereotypical fashion banned, shoes W Magazine noted usually reserved for “gardeners, nurses, Mario Batali, and families vacationing at Disney World”.

Time magazine named them on the list 50 worst finds. Facebook groups from 2009 called I Don’t Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like A Dumbass has more than 1 million followers.

But Crocs’ fate has turned around.

Now, brands notorious for their ugly enrollment of celebrities like Justin Bieber and Post Malone to collaboration deals and you’ll find them on your feet. many influential Australian fashion identities.

The pandemic has helped – who needs fancy shoes when you never leave the house?

But it is more than that.

The story of not only Crocs but Tevas, Birkenstocks, UGGs and other ever outdated shoe types is truly about cyclic and subversive nature of fashion.

The evolution of the ‘ugly’ shoe

When they were first imported from Germany to the US in the 1960s, Birkenstocks were an odd thing.

They transitioned into trends over the decades, first among the counter-culture types of California and then at Paris Fashion Week 2013, when creative director Celine Phoebe Philo wore them on her models.

Before long, they were in the habit of Vogue’s office.

Birkenstocks have become a must-have summer sandal in recent years.(Reuters: Ina Fassbender)

This reclaimed “badness” has helped many brands.

You can see it on Tevas the cool recently – “some the ugliest sandal known to mankind” but also one of the “hottest products” of last year.

And it’s behind the normcore trend, which celebrates ill-fitting basic denim and the kind of gratuitous white sneakers that Jerry Seinfeld wore in the ’90s.

Nicole Adolphe, head of style at The Iconic, says these kinds of brands have gone from “something you associate with your dad or for around the house to a choice of consumer-driven style-driven footwear.”

“The essence of the evolution of this force is revival of the ugly trend“she said, covering” oversized sneakers, mom-fitting denim [and] flat shape, because consumers rebelled against traditional fashion constructions. “

Our insatiable appetite for different, new and exciting – the internet-accelerated framework of thinking – means that what is even recently considered strange can quickly be embraced, says Icaro Ibanez-Arricivita, lecturer and fashion researcher at Queensland University of Technology.

Two pairs of feet wear matching colorful sandals
Teva sandals have been named by fashion insight company Lyst as one of the “hottest products” of 2019.(Instagram: Tevas)

Part of the appeal is ironic – liking something you don’t like seems subversive and cool – and part of it is generational.

“This is something parents don’t get,” said Mr Ibanez-Arricivita.

This is partly a clever marketing trick

Crocs president, Michelle Poole, told The New York Times recently that the company is collaborating with Post Malone because the brand is also “marmite”, a reference to a British spice that tends to be loathed or defended with gusto.

In this way, he has rejoiced and profited from his outer status.

Last week, when Bieber – another controversial pop star – teased the news of his collaboration with Crocs on social media, the company’s share price was up 12 percent.


Mr Ibanez-Arricivita relates this back to the idea of ​​Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel in 2002 to collaborate with the main H&M road network.

“This the tension between the comfortable and the fashionable, the uncool and the cool … those fine lines, transmitted in the right way, can mean cultural influences [and] it equals a lot of money. “

This also happened with the UGG.

A model stands on the runway in a dress and UGG boots as participants watch and take photos of her
UGG on a runway in Berlin in 2009.(Reuters: Tobias Schwarz)

While it has always had an ingenious image of being comfortable in Australia, and popular with surfers in the US, it was reimagined in the 2000s after being bought out by US company Deckers.

As Deckers claimed in a lawsuit against another shoemaker, “repositioning the brand as a luxury sheepskin line”. It was done in part thanks celebrity endorsements from Leonardo DiCaprio and Sex And The City’s Sarah Jessica Parker.

For Birkenstocks, Celine’s 2013 show saw celebrities like Miley Cyrus embrace the brand, helping to redefine the shoe’s image (although a company executive said in 2015 they “don’t count the next fashion trend”).

There’s an element of locking convenience here

Ms Adolphe said Australians had shifted their purchases this year to account for more time spent at home.

“We’ve seen them get attracted to comfort driven footwear from brands like Birkenstocks, UGGS and the like,” he said.

But while locks play a role, this pivot is mostly just fashion doing what fashion does.


Jessie Webb, 27, from Melbourne, is one of the Millennials who voted for Crocs in 2020.

“I kind of like that they have been disliked in the past, so I wear them for convenience and practicality, I also think they are used as a statement.”

Mr. Ibanez-Arricivita said that beauty and ugliness can be seen; they are not the innate qualities of an object.

“Anything that isn’t cool will eventually become cool. It’s just about when and how.”


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NREL, UK University Partner To Dive Deeper into How Enzymes Digest Plastics | Instant News

NREL researchers Chris Johnson and Rita Clare took biological samples from old PET soda bottles Johnson discovered during a cleaning trip around NREL. They are trying to isolate microbes that might damage PET. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

Golden, CO, 01 Oct 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Collaborations between scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Portsmouth University in the UK, and other partners have resulted in further insight into how plastic-eating enzymes work.

The research determined two synergistic enzymes – PETase and MHETase – to work effectively together to break down polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a type of plastic used to make single-use drink bottles, clothing and carpets. This research follows previous collaboration among these partners focuses on PETase.

Bacteria, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, was found on the ground outside a Japanese PET bottle recycling plant in 2016 and proven to excrete both PETase and MHETase. Researchers at NREL and Portsmouth were able to engineer PETase to improve its ability to digest PET, although it is still not fast enough to make the process commercially viable to handle the tons of dumped bottles littering the planet.

Gregg Beckham, a senior researcher at NREL and co-leading a new paper outlining the latest findings, says MHETase and PETase degrade PET more rapidly than PETase alone. “They are better together than separate. PETase performs the initial breakdown of the PET polymer, and MHETase then deconstructs the PETase soluble product to produce the PET building blocks, “he said. Linking genetically separate enzymes makes them function better. By itself, MHETase does not act on PET.

Paper, “Characterization and engineering of two enzyme systems for plastics depolymerization, “Appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. John McGeehan of the University of Portsmouth co-led the research.

Additional authors from NREL are Brandon Knott, Erika Erickson, Japheth Gado, Isabel Pardo, Ece Topuzlu, Jared Anderson, Graham Dominick, Christopher Johnson, Nicholas Rorrer, Caralyn Szostkiewicz, and Bryon Donohoe.

“The team that gathered here was very diverse and multidisciplinary,” said Knott, a chemical engineer. That allows a hypothesis generated in one area to be immediately acted upon via computational or laboratory experiments.

MHETase has not been studied to date to the same extent as PETase. This new research combines structural, computational, biochemical and bioinformatics approaches to uncover molecular insights into its structure and how it functions.

“Now we know in detail at the molecular level how the enzymes actually work on MHET,” said Beckham.

Additional research found two other bacteria containing enzymes such as MHETase, bringing the total known enzymes acting on this synthetic substrate to three.

Research funding comes from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Manufacturing and the Office of Bioenergy Technology. This work was carried out as part of the Bio-Optimized Technology to prevent Thermoplastics from leaving the Landfill and Environmental Consortium (BOTOL).

NREL is the US Department of Energy’s premier national laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency. NREL is operated for the Department of Energy by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC.

Wayne Hicks
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
[email protected]


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It’s a strange time to travel | To select | Instant News

Next week we will be in Pennsylvania to visit our daughter who is at school in Erie on Lake Erie This will be one of our most unique trips as face masks are needed for almost the entire trip . Traveling is just not what it used to be. Do you remember when people smoked cigarettes in the middle of the flight? A little light came on to tell the passengers it was time to put out their cigarettes, we were going to land. Smokers who flew on the plane at the time were very upset when new rules banned smoking on board. I have a feeling these same people would be really unhappy with the requirement to wear a mask for the entire flight We received an email reminding us that anyone over 2 years old must also wear a mask at airports except when we were We were also told that we would receive an “ all-in-one ” snack bag that included a wrapped disinfectant wipe, an 8.5 ounce water bottle and two snacks, as well as a sealed drink on flights over 2 hours and 20 minutes. “On flights shorter than that, we’ll have a sealed drink and that’s it. No more friendly flight attendant taking our drink order. Erie is quite close to Niagara Falls. We were wondering if we could see it or not, as people like to go to the Canadian side for a better view, and the border between the US and Canada is closed at least until the end of August. which is the boat that takes you near the falls, was closed in June, it is now open on the US side and available for people in good health, wearing masks and willing to stand at least 6 feet from other people on a small boat .Fort Niagara opened in July and is available for healthy masked visitors, which is the same for all the restaurants we stop at. There won’t be any buffets though, and it looks like food “that requires minimal preparation” will be the rule. Fortunately, Pennsylvania is not on the list of states that require a 14-day quarantine when we arrive home. We were also assured that the plane is cleaned within an inch of its life and that airports will be cleaner than our homes. Still, we have small containers of disinfectant to use liberally when we feel too far away from a sink and soap, and we’ll avoid other people like the plague. our face, and white where the mask was. It’s a strange time to travel. .

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Australia’s recycling crisis: is the government $ 190 million in new infrastructure worth it? | Living environment | Instant News

meslipped quite calmly amid the chaos of Covid-19, but earlier this month Coalition the government received something that was hard to come by for almost seven years in power – praise for environmental problems.

Praise is eligible, and can still be withdrawn. That follows the environment minister, Sussan Ley, announcing the government will do it spent $ 190 million on new recycling infrastructure, said it would help divert 10,000 tons of plastic, paper and glass waste from landfills.

The funding is expected to be juxtaposed by the states, although the details have not been explained, and by the waste industry, forming a “recycling modernization fund” worth $ 600 million to help build infrastructure. Australia needs to sort waste so it becomes uncontaminated and can be turned into a product helpful.

The government also said it plans to amend the law which includes “product control”, which is intended to ensure producers and retailers are responsible for the products they sell once they become waste.

It said companies that failed to comply would be “named and shamed” and it would be easier for consumers to recycle electronic goods. Grants were promised from a fund of $ 20 million to help businesses take on greater responsibility for products throughout their lifetime.

Waste and recycling organizations and environmental groups agree that these are important steps to overcome what is widely agreed as a crisis in the industry. They also agreed that it would fail from what was promised unless the government ensured there was a far greater demand for recycled materials.

That Boomerang Alliance 52 environmental groups and communities wrote to Ley and his assistant minister for waste reduction, Trevor Evans, welcomed steps to make laws, including a suggestion that the new law will introduce possible prison sentences for companies that violate government plans. The essence of the plan is gradual ban on exports of glass waste, plastic and paper tires.

But the alliance director, Jeff Angel, said the steps needed to go further, including the minister’s authority to make the use of recycled content in packaging mandatory, rather than relying on the company’s good intentions. The latest official data shows that only 16% of plastic packaging is recycled, and the rest will be stockpiled.

He also called for honesty in labeling “so that labeled packaging products can be reused, recycled or compost is really reused, recycled or compost – something that clearly hasn’t happened yet”.

“We look forward to legislation that faces the challenge of stopping waste and putting Australia on a much higher recycling path,” Angel wrote. “Undoubtedly, greater employment, new manufacturing industries, and improved environmental performance of our economy will follow.”

Australia was caught unprepared

The seeds of the government’s recycled announcement were planted more than two years ago, when China introduced what, according to Australian standards, is a limit that cannot be reached at the level of contaminated material. it will accept shipments of foreign plastic waste.

This throws global waste and recycling trade into chaos. Australian companies are transferring recyclable materials to Southeast Asia, but in 2019 more countries will begin to return recyclable waste containers, stated that they would not become a landfill.

Australia was caught unprepared. Compared to other developed countries, it generates more waste than average and recycles less. Australia has exported around 4.5 million tons of waste to Asia every year, mostly to Vietnam, Indonesia and China. When the waste company struggles to find new buyers, operator Victoria SKM leaves in administration and warned that up to 180,000 tons of recyclable material would be disposed of at the landfill.

Scott Morrison responded last August with the promise of its own ban. Speaking after a meeting with the state prime minister, he said too much garbage ended up in the ocean and promised Australia would respond by stopping exports of plastic, paper, glass and tires “as soon as possible”.

The pledge became the core of a speech before the UN general assembly in New York when, facing criticism of his government’s harsh attitude to the climate crisis, he stated Australia was “act to protect our oceans“And leads practical research and development in recycling. Experts say this is not true, but welcomed the intention.

Respond to the announcement of government funding, the Australian Council Recycle, which represents about 70 companies, said it was a “big milestone” that would help change recycling. But its chairman, Pete Shmigel, said dealing with soft plastics – the kind that you can rub into your hands and collected in supermarkets – remains a big challenge.

He said there are possible solutions for some recyclable materials – technology can be attached to paper mills to help deal with contamination from paper clips, diapers and plastic bottles, for example – but there are several factories to deal with soft plastics and there is no market for them after recover. He said this could be overcome by requiring the use of recycled materials not only in packaging, but also road construction and major construction projects.

“Actually we don’t have a market for that. We need to create infrastructure to convert soft plastic into resin and produce a place that will use it, “he said.

“If we do two major road projects in each constituency across the country, we can double the percentage of soft plastic that is recycled and reduce oil use. Obviously, that would be a good thing. “

Make it mandatory

Shmigel said companies could be encouraged to improve recycled content in several ways, citing the use of British and French tax credits for those who use recycled goods. He suggested a different approach for Australia: the declaration that recycled goods would be used to build a multibillion-dollar infrastructure, such as Snowy 2.0 pumped development hydro or west Sydney airport.

“They can only say ‘this is where we will show how easy it is to use recycled materials’,” he said. “If you do that, then the state and other local governments will have an example and see it as not too difficult.”

Industry believes that this pathway makes sense both economically and politically. Shmigel said there was three times more work in recycling than at landfill for the same amount of waste, and showed the success of the ABC War on Waste documentary series that people wanted to do more. “This is popular. If voting is not mandatory, more people will recycle rather than vote, “he said.

But he said individuals also have a responsibility – that people need to switch from just thinking about recycling after they use something to thinking about whether they buy recycled goods when they shop.

Angel said the goal must be a circular economy, a term that is still used little in Australia but is common in the European Union, with all parts of society and the economy heading in the same direction. He warned that this included plans to burn more waste to create energy, roads which he said created pollution and greenhouse gases and were slightly better than sending them to landfills.

He said the government required to introduce mandatory procurement of recycled goods by departments and agencies, and noted the state and federal environment ministers had previously suggested they could make mandatory action if the Australian Packaging Covenant Organization, which represented more than 900 million companies, did not show it. can meet recycling target.

The Morrison government opposed, preferring – as in the case of climate change policies – incentives funded by compulsory taxes. It says business and household will not accept larger rulesespecially during recessions.

Angel believes this is not a good sign. “The problem with the current approach is that you end up with pilots and case studies, you don’t end up with the market,” he said.

“There is a reason we have a mandatory container deposit scheme. That’s because all decades of voluntary schemes have failed. “


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Pakistani plastic surgeons lost their lives due to COVID-19 in the UK | Instant News

LONDON / MANCHESTER: A Pakistani plastic surgeon, who works temporarily at the Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI), died of the COVID-19 virus after continuing to use a ventilator for more than three weeks.

Dr. Furqan Ali Siddiqui graduated from Dow Medical College in 1991-2, but specializes in plastic surgery and is considered a thorough professional in his field.

The family of the deceased is still in Pakistan, including his six children who will not be able to attend his final ceremony due to travel restrictions. Dr Siddiqui will be buried in England.

Dr Shabi Ahmed, who serves as a Consultant Urologist and President of DOGANE (Dow’s overseas graduate from Northern Europe) spoke exclusively to Geo News said, “Dr Furqan’s classmates are arranging his funeral at the moment but it is heartbreaking that no one from his family will be able to attend his funeral or bury him. ”

Commenting on the death of his colleague, Dr Salman Shahid said, “Another Pakistani asset was lost. He served on the front lines on MRI when he captured COVID-19 and finally lost his life. May Allah bless him with Jannah and give patience to his family and loved ones.”

Dr. Friends Siddiqui remembers how he used to treat patients for free in Karachi and how much he cared about the poor and the weak. The surgeon’s wife is also a doctor.

Previously, Dr. Habib Zaidi, Dr. Shahid Sattar, Dr. Maimoona Rana, Dr. Nasir Khan and other Pakistani doctors also lost their lives due to viral infections in the UK.

More than 26,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the UK, while more than 170,000 have been infected by a viral disease. British Prime Minister Boris Johson stated that the peak of the corona virus had passed but in spite of that, 674 people had died in the previous 24-hour period.


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