The 2016 World Economic Forum report, The New Plastics Economy – Rethinking the Future of Plastics: The New Plastics Economy, claimed that plastic production increased from 15 million tonnes in the 1960s to 311,000,000 tons in 2014. It was predicted that it would triple by 2050, when it will account for 20% of the world’s annual oil consumption. BTS and Samsung have both released content and an initiative over the last few months to combat the issue and raise awareness.
Tom Ford announced the finalists last month for his $1 million plastic innovation award. The initiative aims to replace thin-film plastic with a biodegradable.
Ford and Lonely Whale, a nonprofit foundation based in Calabasas, came up with the idea for 2020. Their mission is to prevent plastics from polluting our oceans.
The award’s judges include Trudie Styler (environmental activist), actor Don Cheadle (LVMH’s sustainability advisor) and Stella McCartney (fashion designer), Susan Rockefeller (jewel mogul and conservationist), and Livia Firth (sustainability champion).
Firth spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the award, saying that he was in awe at Tom for initiating this unprecedented competition. It is the only competition focusing on creating scalable solutions as well as biologically degradable options to thin-film polybags. These bags account for 46% of all plastic pollution globally.
“It is an extraordinary honor to be able to support these finalists in sustainable material development reaching scale and market adoption by 2020. It is something that I am proud to have been a part of. This project is about inter-sectional collaboration between scientists, industry leaders, and other partners in an action-focused alliance, united in the fight against plastic pollution.
64 people applied from 24 countries to be eligible for the prize money. The eight finalists are from India, Kenya, Canada, USA, Iceland, Canada and the United Kingdom. They all have different innovation methods that will be tested in the Caribbean, Pacific Northwest, and at the New Materials Institute at Georgia.
Firth stated that plastic pollution was a major threat to the environment.
“It is estimated that 14 million metric tonnes of plastic are currently on the ocean floor. It will be almost impossible to remove. It is amazing, despite these horrifying facts, to see all these finalists, or should I say climate optimists not being afraid of taking on these challenges head-on, and creating real solutions to improve ocean health.
“It is their determination and attitude that drives progress. This power has always been in the hands of optimism. Because enough people believed they could, humanity has been able to eradicate diseases and overcome injustices.
In Samsung’s Galaxy For the Planet advertisement, BTS from pop was featured earlier this year. This content was released as part of a new series Samsung Galaxy tablets and smartphones that were partially made from “repurposed, ocean-bound discarded fishing wires”.
They are shown holding placards with messages like “The oceans drown in plastic”, “Marine animals suffer, it’s high time for a change” or “With the power and we, us together.”
The problem has become more severe due to the pandemic. According to the National Academy of Sciences, more than 8 million tons of pandemic-related plastic waste were generated in 193 countries by August 23, 2021. Nearly 30,000 tons of plastic waste have been released into the oceans around the globe. Globally, 73 percent of all discharges are from hospital waste. Asia accounts for 72 percent.
Braven Environmental is a supporter for the circular economy of plastic and believes that the problem can be avoided and slowed down by curbing the ocean issue as well as systemic and legislative advanced recycling.
Braven emphasized that the circular economy can reduce plastics entering the oceans by 80 per cent, reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent, make savings of $200 billion annually, and create 700,000.
Braven Environmental CEO Nicky Canosa stated that awareness campaigns across the entertainment sector are “fantastic” and necessary to remind people about the seriousness of the issue. It’s not enough.
Braven can provide an advanced recycling solution to address the growing problem of post-consumer plastic waste plastics. This will reduce the carbon footprint associated traditional plastic waste management. As a planet, our process must change.”
“We have endured so much with COVID-19, and we’ve made great strides in recovering from it. We must not allow medical waste to continue while we tackle the pandemic.