This Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for EVERYONE making Earth-friendly choices in their lives. Every little action adds up, and we promise to make those choices easier to identify and make. This week’s hopeful headlines features an Israeli company turning trash into plastic, a road bump for the proposed Kalama refinery, and signs that renewable power could soon surpass coal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Revolutionary recycling? A new technology turns everyday trash into plastic treasure.

Jim Morrison and Shoshana Kordova in The Washington Post, November 18.

  • An Israeli company called UBQ Materials is melting ordinary trash into plastic. The process includes making a “garbage caramel” that can be used to make psuedo-plastic pellets with manufacturing value.
  • Although skeptical, chief executive of the Plastic Expert Group and former Dow Chemical scientist Duane Priddy said, “it could be a game changer for the global environment.”
  • From the article: “The facility can produce about one ton of UBQ material per hour, 5,000 to 7,000 tons annually. Another site, with an annual capacity of up to 100,000 tons, is being planned.”

Lower Columbia River Methanol Refinery Halted By Washington Regulators For Environmental Review

By Monica Samayoa and David Steves in OPB, November 22.

  • The Washington Department of Ecology decided the environmental review for a proposed methanol refinery in Kalama, Wash. was inadequate.
  • An additional environmental impact review is required and could take up to a year.
  • The proposed refinery would turn fracked gas into methanol to be shipped and turned into plastic in China. Chinese-owned NW Innovation Works – the plant’s primary backer – has so far downplayed the potential emissions and climate impacts.

Solar, wind and hydro power could soon surpass coal

By Matt Egan in CNN Business, November 26.

  • From the article: “The United States will likely get more power in 2021 from renewable energy than from coal, according to projections from the Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis.”
  • Wind energy has already surpassed coal in Texas after making up just 0.8% of the state’s energy profile in 2003.
  • Despite promises from President Trump, the coal industry has recently seen a rapid decline, due largely to environmental concerns, aging infrastructure and the declining costs of natural gas and renewable energy sources.

Feature photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash.