GOOD

Why Baby Food Pouches Are Terrible For The Planet

Americans will throw away 80 billion in 2018

When it comes to the products we use on a day-to-day basis, there’s often a conflict between convenience and sustainability. Between 2011 and 2013, sales of single-serve coffee pods more than tripled. But these pods are made of unsustainable plastic and foil and have come to represent a form of careless consumerism. Over the past four years, a consumer backlash has contributed to a huge sales decline of the pods. Now, environmentalists are focusing their attention on a new unsustainable product: baby food pouches.


Traditionally, baby food came in glass containers that were either reusable or could be thrown into a recycling bin. But now, on-the-go parents are choosing convenient, plastic pouches filled with anything from vegetable-beef medley to organic bananas. The pouches, known as doypacks in the industry, come with a plastic snap-off top with a straw-like opening that allows babies and toddlers to easily suck the food out.

“The problem with the disposable pouches is that they’re made from multiple layers of materials and the recyclable components can’t be separated out,” Brent Bell, vice president of recycling at Waste Management, told HuffPost. So these pouches soon pile up in landfills, where they will take thousands of years to biodegrade. By 2018, Americans will throw out an estimated 80 billion of these packs a year.

For those who want to continue to enjoy baby food pouches without the guilt, there’s a company in New Jersey that’s making strides to decrease their environmental impact. TerraCycle accepts used baby food pouch donations and then cleans and extrudes them into new polymers that are remodeled to make recycled products. It has also developed a recycling program where donors can earn money for their favorite nonprofit.


Food
via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
Business
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics