Environmental & Sustainability

Biobased Plastics To Avoid Oil Spills?

On a breezy Saturday afternoon, the Planeteers of Southern Maine hosted the local version of “Hands Across the Sand” on a sun-splashed Mother’s Beach in Kennebunk.

It was one of over 100 such events occurring around the world that day. “Hands Across the Sand” is an annual environmental action that was started by a restaurant owner in Florida in response to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Initially planned as an expression of opposition to offshore oil drilling, the mission of “Hands Across the Sand” has expanded to include support for eco-friendly alternatives to fossil fuels in general.

In the Kennebunk event – which was co-sponsored by the Kennebunk Conservation Commission – the Planeteers also emphasized the need for action in dealing with the plastic pollution crisis.

Following the brief “Hands Across the Sand” event – where participants of all ages lined up, hand-in-hand for 10 minutes in a silent show of support for alternative energy solutions and protecting the Environment – the Planeteers led a clean-up of area beaches.

While clearing the beaches and other public spaces of artificial trash has an immediate and positive cosmetic effect, the Planeteers have decided to join other groups in taking the effort to the next level through preliminary data collection and analysis of the types and amounts of human-made debris.

This kind of information is being collected around the globe in order to identify which products and packaging methods are the most significant contributors to environmental contamination.

The ultimate goal of this effort is to reduce plastic pollution at the source. Having this data will provide the foundation for persuading companies, whose products most often end up as contaminating litter, to switch to less-problematic materials in their manufacturing and packaging processes.

In attendance at Saturday’s event in Kennebunk was a representative of a Portland-based group whose primary mission relates directly to solving the problem of plastic pollution – while simultaneously boosting sectors of Maine’s economy.

As Marina Bowie, program associate for Biobased Maine explained, “Biobased manufacturing means using renewable resources — called “biomass” — from forest, farm, and sea, to make all manner of everyday products, including high-value chemicals, biofuels, bioplastics, and advanced materials traditionally made from climate-damaging petroleum and natural gas.

By connecting innovative biobased technology companies with stakeholders in Maine, Biobased Maine is working to help Maine capture a market share in the growing global ‘bioeconomy’ — which will revitalize local mill town communities by reintroducing good, green manufacturing jobs and help to solve the world’s climate crisis and plastic pollution problem.”

Kennebunk is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 10,798 at the 2010 census.

For more information about Biobased Maine, visit their website.



This article was published on http://www.seacoastonline.com

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