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The Plastic Problem

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BPA and other everyday toxins are being linked to major health problems. How can policymakers protect us?

If you're reading this, chances are you've been exposed to bisphenol A (BPA). A key ingredient in many modern plastics, the chemical compound has been used since the 1940s in everything from baby bottles to goggles to lining for food containers. In recent years, animal studies have demonstrated links between BPA and a host of ill health effects, including breast and prostate cancer. ......read more

Emeco 111 Navy Chair

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Iconic aluminum chair recreated from recycled Coke bottles.

Emeco (Electric Machine and Equipment Company) has been manufacturing chairs in Pennsylvania since 1944. The sustainability-minded company makes sturdy seating out of 80% recycled aluminum, with an estimated lifespan of 150 years and a lifetime guarantee. Now, in a collaboration with Coca-Cola, Emeco goes even greener with its most iconic design, diverting plastic pop bottles from Coke’s......read more

Pop Bottle Dining Barge

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Floating dining room sits on 1,700 plastic bottles.

This floating pavilion on Vancouver's False Creek is being used as a temporary restaurant featuring 4-star local cuisine. Which is neat on its own, but it's doubly cool when you find out it's floating on nearly 1,700 recycled 2L pop bottles. And gets even sweeter when you discover that the Pop Bottle Dining Barge is a fundraising project for the School of Fish Foundation, which......read more

California Bummer

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Statewide plastic bag ban voted down by California lawmakers.

Well, that sucks. The Democratic bill seeking to ban plastic shopping bags across California — a measure we at SHFT adamantly supported — failed in the state Senate late Tuesday night. It would have been the country's first statewide ban, although a few California cities already prohibit their use. With the bill's downfall, the state misses an opportunity to be at the vanguard of a......read more

SHFT Sampler 11-24-10

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Weekly links: Europe's biggest solar plant, Audi's plug-in hybrid, and the tundra tube.

Si bravo! Europe's largest solar farm just opened for business in Italy. Audi announced a plug-in hybrid to drop in 2014. No details yet, but it will be designed by the same people who brought us the bonkers e-tron concept car. The always mind-expanding But Does it Float posted an amazing selection of pics from Swiss-Italian photographer Sylvia Mogni. Miami local Barbara de Vries is......read more

A Leap Forward in Recycling Tech

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New technique could process 100% of Christmas wrapping and other household plastics.

In the shift from the wasteful and earth-damaging ways of the past toward a more sustainable future, technology is our pal. Advances in renewable energy systems, materials production, and waste recycling have transformed our ability to live greener lifestyles. Recently, researchers at the University of Warwick made one such advance in the realm of plastics recycling. Typically, only around 12%......read more

Plastic State of Mind

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A rap parody with a purpose.

Filmmaker Ben Zolno's "Plastic State of Mind" parodizes the hit Jay-Z/Alicia Keys track on behalf of a cause we hold dear around here: banning single use plastic. Commissioned by Green Sangha, a Californian spiritual and activist group, the video reminds us that even though awareness is growing of the harm caused by plastic bags, shoppers use a million grocery bags every single......read more

Plastic Bag Monster

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Terror in the streets of Ljubljana.

Oh, the horror! It's our worst nightmare, in the flesh—errr, plastic. The Plastic Bag Monster is a public art project by The Miha Artnak in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Created from 40,000 plastic bags and 7,500 discarded plastic cups collected from the local schools around the city, the Plastic Bag Monster delivers a metaphorical statement on pollution and waste.  "Plastic Bag Monster......read more

Going Plastic-Free in February

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Rodale issues eco-challenge to readers.

Think you have what it takes to live plastic-free? Now's your chance to try. Rodale has issued a "Plastic-Free February" challenge to its readers. The three ground rules are: 1. No buying or acquiring new plastic 2. No cooking with plastic or storing food in plastic 3. Minimize all other plastic use In today's society, this is no doubt a difficult challenge. Think about the fact that most......read more

Oceanic Plastic Pollution Enters the Food Chain

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Fish eat plastic, you eat plastic.

Hmm... maybe banning plastic bags wasn't such a bad idea after all. The LA times reports on alarming new oceanic research from southern California, where scientists from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project found bits of plastic in  the stomachs of 35% of the fish they collected off the U.S. west coast. That's a lot of fish! The......read more

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