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WVPE is your gateway to green and sustainable resources in Michiana. Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is accomplished by finding a balance between businesses, the environment, and our society (people, planet, and profit).State, National and International resources on sustainability include:The Environmental Protection AgencyThe Natural StepSustainability Dictionary45 Sustainability Resources You Need to Know Explore ways to support sustainability in the Michiana area through the Green Links Directory.Sept. 17, 2019 from 2-3:30pm"Global Warming: A Hot Topic"Sept. 17, 19, 24, and 26All sessions are from 2-3:30pmGreencroft Goshen Community Center in the Jennings Auditorium1820 Greencroft Blvd.Goshen, IN 46526The event will look at possible solutions and suffering as well as consequences beyond warmer weather. The event will examine what other civilizations have or haven’t done when faced with environmental problems. Plus there will be an exploration of the biggest unknown in the climate system: What will the humans do? Paul Meyer Reimer teaches physics, math and climate change at Goshen College. The events are presented by the Lifelong Learning Institute. The Institute can be reached at: (574) 536-8244lifelonglearning@live.com

Report says fixing plastics' pollution in the oceans requires a new approach


The U.S. produces more plastic waste than any country in the world, and a new report from Congress says we have to rethink how we use plastic. Here's NPR's Lauren Sommer.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: Every year, almost 10 million tons of plastic goes into the ocean. That's like having a full garbage truck unloading its waste into the water every minute for an entire year.

KARA LAVENDER LAW: We're really good at buying things and using them and making trash.

SOMMER: Kara Lavender Law is an oceanographer at the Sea Education Association and is an author of a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine about plastics in the ocean. She says plastic takes a huge toll on marine life, both because animals get trapped in it and because they eat it. Birds on Pacific Islands have been found with stomachs full of plastic bits.

LAW: We create these materials, and we need to be responsible for them through their end of life.

SOMMER: Law says their report calls on the U.S. to create a national plastic strategy by the end of next year. One part of the puzzle - recycling because most of us are doing aspirational recycling.

LAW: You know, you put something in the blue bin and you assume that it just magically turns into the next thing.

SOMMER: But in the U.S., only about 9% of plastic waste is recycled. The problem is that many items have several kinds of plastic in them, so they can't be recycled or take a lot of work to separate, which makes it expensive. Winnie Lau, who works on plastics policy at the Pew Charitable Trusts, says there needs to be a bigger market for recycled plastic.

WINNIE LAU: Having governments and companies commit to using the recycled plastic will really go a long way.

SOMMER: Another key strategy - stop using plastic in the first place by switching to biodegradable materials. The American Chemistry Council, which represents plastics manufacturers, says that would lead to increased costs for consumers. Lau says recycling alone won't solve the problem, and it's getting more urgent.

LAU: Even a five-year delay would add about 100 million metric tons of plastic into the ocean over that five years.

SOMMER: But it's not hopeless, she says. It will just take a national strategy where one has been lacking.

Lauren Sommer, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF IL:LO'S "A.ME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.