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June 2, 2021
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About Smart Plastic

Founded in 2016, Smart Plastic is revolutionizing the potential of plastic to improve the environment for future generations.

Company

We have reached a tipping point in the balance of health and decline of the planet. Our purpose is to have a measurable impact on improving the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants.

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We have reached a tipping point in the balance of health and decline of the planet. Our purpose is to have a measurable impact on improving the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants.

SEE ON:
Michael Stephens
Director of Technology, Smart Plastic

We have reached a tipping point in the balance of health and decline of the planet. Our purpose is to have a measurable impact on improving the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants.

We have reached a tipping point in the balance of health and decline of the planet. Our purpose is to have a measurable impact on improving the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants.

About Smart Plastic

Founded in 2016, Smart Plastic is revolutionizing the potential of plastic to improve the environment for future generations.

Company
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Related posts

We’re going back to PACK EXPO 2022!

Visit us at PACK EXPO 2022 in Chicago, IL, October 23-26, 2022.

In four weeks, the Smart Plastic team will be headed to PACK EXPO International 2022!

Last year's event was truly remarkable - we had the opportunity to meet industry leaders from across the United States and beyond. Our entire team is looking forward to this opportunity again.

We will be at Booth #W-23046 in the Containers and Materials Pavillion (West Building) all week.

This year our team is ready to chat all things sustainability, including how our revolutionary ECLIPSE™ Stretch Film and Co-Ex films are making a serious impact on the polymer industry.

PACK EXPO International is the largest packaging and processing trade show in the world. With over 2,000 exhibitors and >40,000 attendees, there will be no shortage of networking and engaging with the industry's best!

Learn more about this year’s event by visiting https://www.packexpointernational.com/

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1 min read

In four weeks, the Smart Plastic team will be headed to PACK EXPO International 2022!

Last year's event was truly remarkable - we had the opportunity to meet industry leaders from across the United States and beyond. Our entire team is looking forward to this opportunity again.

We will be at Booth #W-23046 in the Containers and Materials Pavillion (West Building) all week.

This year our team is ready to chat all things sustainability, including how our revolutionary ECLIPSE™ Stretch Film and Co-Ex films are making a serious impact on the polymer industry.

PACK EXPO International is the largest packaging and processing trade show in the world. With over 2,000 exhibitors and >40,000 attendees, there will be no shortage of networking and engaging with the industry's best!

Learn more about this year’s event by visiting https://www.packexpointernational.com/

We’re going back to PACK EXPO 2022!

In four weeks, the Smart Plastic team will be headed to PACK EXPO International 2022!

Last year's event was truly remarkable - we had the opportunity to meet industry leaders from across the United States and beyond. Our entire team is looking forward to this opportunity again.

We will be at Booth #W-23046 in the Containers and Materials Pavillion (West Building) all week.

This year our team is ready to chat all things sustainability, including how our revolutionary ECLIPSE™ Stretch Film and Co-Ex films are making a serious impact on the polymer industry.

PACK EXPO International is the largest packaging and processing trade show in the world. With over 2,000 exhibitors and >40,000 attendees, there will be no shortage of networking and engaging with the industry's best!

Learn more about this year’s event by visiting https://www.packexpointernational.com/

SEE ON...

We’re going back to PACK EXPO 2022!

Visit us at PACK EXPO 2022 in Chicago, IL, October 23-26, 2022.

Read more
1 min read

Meet our longest standing technical partner, LMPE

Smart Plastic Technologies has been working with LMPE since 2016 to conduct research and develop SPTek products. This technical partnership is integral to our work and company growth.

At Smart Plastic our partnerships are a fundamental support mechanism for our business. We are thrilled to highlight a key technical partner that we have been working with since the beginning to create and irrevocably prove our ECLIPSE™ technology - LMPE, an eco-compatible polymeric materials laboratory based in Lucca, Italy.

Together with LMPE, Pisa University, CNR Laboratories, and other university bio-science labs, we designed and conducted the first-ever C-13 test to determine bio-assimilation in ECLIPSE™-enabled plastic. This bio-assimilation test conclusively tracks the origin of carbon within a closed environment using Carbon-13. In addition to our laboratory work, Dr. Lucia Perez, LMPE’s former Materials & Bio-Systems Engineer, is a member of our Science Advisory board, supporting the technical development of our products.

The methodology of the C-13 carbon labeling test is quite simple, it took degraded ECLIPSE™ material and fed it to a colony of microorganisms in order to prove bio-assimilation. To track the amount of carbon given off during the test and the growth of the colony, proving bio-assimilation, the researchers used carbon labeling with Carbon-13 atoms. The carbon labeling showed that the locked hydro-carbon chains in the plastic broke down to an open carbon source which the colony of microorganisms could use as a fuel source, breaking the material down completely with no microplastics left.

Wikipedia describes carbon labeling as such:

Carbon labeling is a form of isotopic labeling where a carbon-12 atom has been replaced with either a carbon-13 atom or a carbon-14 atom in a chemical compound so as to 'tag' that position of the compound to assist in determining the way a chemical reaction proceeds.

We began working with LMPE in 2016 to conclusively prove our revolutionary ECLIPSE™ technology. We are delighted that such a reputable laboratory is one of our technical partners and we look forward to working with LMPE as we continue to better plastic for the future of our planet and its inhabitants.

About LMPE

LMPE (Ecosustainable Polymeric Materials Laboratory) srl Benefit Company is an Italian Innovative Start-up and is an affiliated Spin-off to INSTM The National Inter-University Consortium of Materials Science and Technology. LMPE’s mission is aimed at the research & development of materials, processes, and technologies in the field of polymeric materials, and semi-finished and eco-friendly finished products.

Understanding the importance of the circular economy, LMPE is a member of the ICESP (Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform). LMPE uses a set of modern equipment in collaboration with the INSTM Consortium and the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the Pisa University.

The following tests are completed at LMPE:

At Smart Plastic our partnerships are a fundamental support mechanism for our business. We are thrilled to highlight a key technical partner that we have been working with since the beginning to create and irrevocably prove our ECLIPSE™ technology - LMPE, an eco-compatible polymeric materials laboratory based in Lucca, Italy.

Together with LMPE, Pisa University, CNR Laboratories, and other university bio-science labs, we designed and conducted the first-ever C-13 test to determine bio-assimilation in ECLIPSE™-enabled plastic. This bio-assimilation test conclusively tracks the origin of carbon within a closed environment using Carbon-13. In addition to our laboratory work, Dr. Lucia Perez, LMPE’s former Materials & Bio-Systems Engineer, is a member of our Science Advisory board, supporting the technical development of our products.

The methodology of the C-13 carbon labeling test is quite simple, it took degraded ECLIPSE™ material and fed it to a colony of microorganisms in order to prove bio-assimilation. To track the amount of carbon given off during the test and the growth of the colony, proving bio-assimilation, the researchers used carbon labeling with Carbon-13 atoms. The carbon labeling showed that the locked hydro-carbon chains in the plastic broke down to an open carbon source which the colony of microorganisms could use as a fuel source, breaking the material down completely with no microplastics left.

Wikipedia describes carbon labeling as such:

Carbon labeling is a form of isotopic labeling where a carbon-12 atom has been replaced with either a carbon-13 atom or a carbon-14 atom in a chemical compound so as to 'tag' that position of the compound to assist in determining the way a chemical reaction proceeds.

We began working with LMPE in 2016 to conclusively prove our revolutionary ECLIPSE™ technology. We are delighted that such a reputable laboratory is one of our technical partners and we look forward to working with LMPE as we continue to better plastic for the future of our planet and its inhabitants.

About LMPE

LMPE (Ecosustainable Polymeric Materials Laboratory) srl Benefit Company is an Italian Innovative Start-up and is an affiliated Spin-off to INSTM The National Inter-University Consortium of Materials Science and Technology. LMPE’s mission is aimed at the research & development of materials, processes, and technologies in the field of polymeric materials, and semi-finished and eco-friendly finished products.

Understanding the importance of the circular economy, LMPE is a member of the ICESP (Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform). LMPE uses a set of modern equipment in collaboration with the INSTM Consortium and the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the Pisa University.

The following tests are completed at LMPE:

Meet our longest standing technical partner, LMPE

At Smart Plastic our partnerships are a fundamental support mechanism for our business. We are thrilled to highlight a key technical partner that we have been working with since the beginning to create and irrevocably prove our ECLIPSE™ technology - LMPE, an eco-compatible polymeric materials laboratory based in Lucca, Italy.

Together with LMPE, Pisa University, CNR Laboratories, and other university bio-science labs, we designed and conducted the first-ever C-13 test to determine bio-assimilation in ECLIPSE™-enabled plastic. This bio-assimilation test conclusively tracks the origin of carbon within a closed environment using Carbon-13. In addition to our laboratory work, Dr. Lucia Perez, LMPE’s former Materials & Bio-Systems Engineer, is a member of our Science Advisory board, supporting the technical development of our products.

The methodology of the C-13 carbon labeling test is quite simple, it took degraded ECLIPSE™ material and fed it to a colony of microorganisms in order to prove bio-assimilation. To track the amount of carbon given off during the test and the growth of the colony, proving bio-assimilation, the researchers used carbon labeling with Carbon-13 atoms. The carbon labeling showed that the locked hydro-carbon chains in the plastic broke down to an open carbon source which the colony of microorganisms could use as a fuel source, breaking the material down completely with no microplastics left.

Wikipedia describes carbon labeling as such:

Carbon labeling is a form of isotopic labeling where a carbon-12 atom has been replaced with either a carbon-13 atom or a carbon-14 atom in a chemical compound so as to 'tag' that position of the compound to assist in determining the way a chemical reaction proceeds.

We began working with LMPE in 2016 to conclusively prove our revolutionary ECLIPSE™ technology. We are delighted that such a reputable laboratory is one of our technical partners and we look forward to working with LMPE as we continue to better plastic for the future of our planet and its inhabitants.

About LMPE

LMPE (Ecosustainable Polymeric Materials Laboratory) srl Benefit Company is an Italian Innovative Start-up and is an affiliated Spin-off to INSTM The National Inter-University Consortium of Materials Science and Technology. LMPE’s mission is aimed at the research & development of materials, processes, and technologies in the field of polymeric materials, and semi-finished and eco-friendly finished products.

Understanding the importance of the circular economy, LMPE is a member of the ICESP (Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform). LMPE uses a set of modern equipment in collaboration with the INSTM Consortium and the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the Pisa University.

The following tests are completed at LMPE:

SEE ON...

Meet our longest standing technical partner, LMPE

Smart Plastic Technologies has been working with LMPE since 2016 to conduct research and develop SPTek products. This technical partnership is integral to our work and company growth.

Although they are commonly used as interchangeable terms, microplastics and nanoplastics do have a size difference.

Learn more by visiting the post on our social media profiles.

Although they are commonly used as interchangeable terms, microplastics and nanoplastics do have a size difference.

Learn more by visiting the post on our social media profiles.

Micro & Nano Plastics

Although they are commonly used as interchangeable terms, microplastics and nanoplastics do have a size difference.

Learn more by visiting the post on our social media profiles.

SEE ON...

Earth Day 2022

This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Invest in our Planet’. Read how we're prioritizing the future of our planet through various initiatives below.

While the first Earth Day was hosted in 1970, it was not recognized worldwide for another 20 years. Now 32 years since Earth Day went global, more than a billion people mark the day to show support for the continual protection of our planet and its inhabitants.

Earth Day calls upon individuals, governments, organizations, and all sizes of companies, to reflect on the ways they impact our planet and its hundreds of ecosystems. At Smart Plastic we grasp and actively invest in the future of our planet every day.

  • We work diligently to create responsible and immediate solutions, such as our bio-assimilation technology and closed-loop recycling program, to the plastic waste crisis;
  • We are invested in developing bio-based solutions that will transform the polymer industry and help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels;
  • We continue to strengthen our technology that curbs food waste.

We’re investing in our planet so future generations of people and creatures can thrive in a flourishing and healthy world.

While the first Earth Day was hosted in 1970, it was not recognized worldwide for another 20 years. Now 32 years since Earth Day went global, more than a billion people mark the day to show support for the continual protection of our planet and its inhabitants.

Earth Day calls upon individuals, governments, organizations, and all sizes of companies, to reflect on the ways they impact our planet and its hundreds of ecosystems. At Smart Plastic we grasp and actively invest in the future of our planet every day.

  • We work diligently to create responsible and immediate solutions, such as our bio-assimilation technology and closed-loop recycling program, to the plastic waste crisis;
  • We are invested in developing bio-based solutions that will transform the polymer industry and help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels;
  • We continue to strengthen our technology that curbs food waste.

We’re investing in our planet so future generations of people and creatures can thrive in a flourishing and healthy world.

Earth Day 2022

While the first Earth Day was hosted in 1970, it was not recognized worldwide for another 20 years. Now 32 years since Earth Day went global, more than a billion people mark the day to show support for the continual protection of our planet and its inhabitants.

Earth Day calls upon individuals, governments, organizations, and all sizes of companies, to reflect on the ways they impact our planet and its hundreds of ecosystems. At Smart Plastic we grasp and actively invest in the future of our planet every day.

  • We work diligently to create responsible and immediate solutions, such as our bio-assimilation technology and closed-loop recycling program, to the plastic waste crisis;
  • We are invested in developing bio-based solutions that will transform the polymer industry and help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels;
  • We continue to strengthen our technology that curbs food waste.

We’re investing in our planet so future generations of people and creatures can thrive in a flourishing and healthy world.

SEE ON...

Earth Day 2022

This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Invest in our Planet’. Read how we're prioritizing the future of our planet through various initiatives below.

The Race to Zero: Keeping 1.5 Alive

COP26 has officially wrapped. A lot happened in two weeks, some step forwards and some steps back. Our team decided to recap highlights what really stood out to us.

The 26th annual COP concluded earlier this month and we wanted to highlight some of our takeaways from this historical conference.

Why was COP26 so important?

We are at a critical time in the fight against climate change. With temperatures currently sitting at 1.1℃ warmer than pre-industrial levels, it was undeniably important that world leaders came together to find ways to keep 1.5℃ alive through negotiations, commitments and pledges. Science proves that if our world warms past 1.5℃, there will be catastrophic and irreversible events. COP26 was also the first ratchet marker for nations who all agreed at COP21 (Paris) to re-evaluate their efforts every five years.

What were the results of COP26?

People have praised and criticized the outcomes of COP26 - however, one major result was the Glasgow Climate Pact. Similar to the Paris Accord, the Glasgow Climate Pact is an agreement based on two weeks of intense negotiations between 197 nations and organizations. The agreement includes the commitment to phase down (more on that below) the use of unabated coal, the consensus to re-visit climate action plans at COP27 with more aggressive targets, larger financial commitments from developed countries, and many other pledges from world leaders.

Although COP26 was the most aggressive form of COP talks since their inception, Climate Action Tracker shows that even if all COP26 commitments were executed the world is still on track to warm by 2.1℃.

Below we've outlined five takeaways that stood out to our team from the conference.

1. Coal power needs to be signed to history, but it wasn't

Coal is the single largest contributor to global warming. According to the End Coal Organization, burning coal is responsible for 46% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide and accounts for 72% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the electricity sector.

COP26 was the first time coal was named in an official COP declaration, it was the first time countries listed a fossil fuel as a major contributor to global warming and signifies that science took the forefront of discussions at COP26. This was a huge step in the right direction but more action needs to be taken.

At the end of COP26, there was a last-minute phrase change that switched "phasing OUT" coal with "phasing DOWN". Both India and China opposed the original wording.

The consensus is the world needs to transition to a clean and renewable energy economy but there need to be market and investment incentives to do so.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • Leaders agreed to end funding to coal projects overseas.
  • 25 countries/public finance institutions committed to ending funding to fossil fuel energy projects by 2022 freeing up $17.8 billion a year for clean energy transitions.
  • 40 leaders support the Break Through Agenda, representing more than 70% of the world economy. The Break Through Agenda sees countries/businesses coordinate their climate action each year to scale up the development and deployment of clean technology.
  • 190 countries and organizations agreed to eliminate coal power.
  • 23 countries made new commitments to phase out coal power including 5 of the world's top 20 coal-powered generators.
  • 28 new countries commit to building no new coal plants, matching commitments made in the last few years from other countries.

2. Countries pledge to halt deforestation & restore our forests

There are many reasons why we need to prioritize halting deforestation. First, releasing CO₂ has the same effect on global warming no matter it comes from, whether it's from extracting fossil fuels or cutting down forests. Second, forests absorb and store CO₂! PNAS estimates that forests absorb up to 20% of emissions from the atmosphere each year.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • Over 100 leaders, from countries that account for 85% of the world's forests, committed to halt and reverse forest loss/land degradation by 2030 and pledge USD $19.2 billion of public and private funds.
  • 28 countries pledged to remove deforestation from the global trade of food and other agricultural products such as palm oil, soya and cocoa.
  • Fund of USD $1.4 billion to be established to protect the Congo Basin, the world's second-largest tropical rainforest.
  • 30+ of the world's biggest financial companies have promised to end investment in activities linked to deforestation.

3. Climate adaptation for developing countries takes the spotlight

Simply put, climate adaptation means adapting our lives, behaviours and systems to protect our families, economies and our planet from the effects of climate change.

Climate adaptation can be pricey, especially for developing countries, so it's become essential that climate change funds work to reduce global warming and help ready individuals, businesses and countries for the life-threatening impacts of climate change (i.e. drought, wildfires, flooding, rising sea levels, etc.).

Although there were significant pledges made at COP26, one major concern is that there still isn't a program for hard-hit countries to receive financial aid for climate change losses and damages that occur as a result of actions, or non-actions, by major polluters countries like the USA and China.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • The Glasgow Pact declared a goal of doubling the annual financial contribution for adaptation, from developed countries to developing countries, by 2025.
  • Over USD $450 million was announced for locally-led adaptation approaches and USD $356 million was pledged to the Adaptation Fund.
  • Donors pledge USD $413 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund, which is the only climate resilience fund that exclusively targets least developed countries.
  • Creation of Glasgow Dialogue, a task force designed to discuss future funding for a Loss and Damage Facility, which would provide financial assistance to countries suffering climate change impact due to big polluter countries.

4. Developed countries commit to actually deliver on financial promises

Climate change comes with a big price tag. One of the top goals for COP26 was how to mobilize finances from developed countries to countries that desperately need funds as they transition to a clean economy and prepare for the impacts of global warming (adaptation).

At COP15, developed countries pledged to mobilize USD $100 billion a year for developing countries by 2020, but this goal has not been met. In 2019, only around USD $80 million was sent to developing countries, up from USD $78 billion in 2018.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • New financial commitments towards adaptation and the USD $100 billion-a-year goal from Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden each worth more than USD $500 million per year by 2025.
  • New climate financing commitments from the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Australia, Norway, Ireland and Luxembourg towards the USD $100 billion a year goal.
  • Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance was established for combating difficulties in securing climate finances which received USD $100 million in financing.
  • Major commitments include Norway tripling its adaptation finance, Japan and Australia doubling their adaptation finance, and commitments from Switzerland, the US and Canada for the Adaptation Fund.
  • USD $8.5 billion will be made available over the next 3-5 years to support South Africa's transition to clean energy.
  • Announcement of the launch of Climate Investment Funds’ Capital Markets Mechanism (CCMM), which will boost investments in the clean energy transition.

5. Holding everyone accountable, checking in annually

COP26 was the first ratchet for nations post-COP21 that required updated climate plans from countries every five years, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. However, at COP26 world leaders agreed to launch an ANNUAL checkpoint process moving forward, rather than every five years. This signals a global understanding of the urgency to keep each other accountable and the need to revisit and increase efforts yearly if needed. This annual process will include detailed reporting, which will be peer-reviewed, and the requirement to increase NDCs (pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change) if they are too weak.

A new international board was also instated. The International Sustainability Standard Board will develop a comprehensive global baseline for sustainability reporting so everyone is on the same page.

World leaders also agreed to adopt the Enhanced Transparency Framework under the Paris Agreement that will see ALL countries reporting their national emissions and their progress towards achieving their NDCs every two years after 2024.

So many pledges made, so many 'agreements' signed, but what now? While COP26 had an urgency to it and the general consensus is we are headed in the right direction, the gap to make substantial change is quickly deteriorating. The time to take concrete action is now!

We understand the urgent need to change the way items around the world are extracted, produced and discarded in order to keep 1.5℃ alive. That's why our products and solutions are designed to have an immediate impact while supporting goals for long-term change. At Smart Plastic, we aren't promising solutions for 5, 10 or 20 years down the line. We're delivering tangible, sustainable products NOW.

References

The 26th annual COP concluded earlier this month and we wanted to highlight some of our takeaways from this historical conference.

Why was COP26 so important?

We are at a critical time in the fight against climate change. With temperatures currently sitting at 1.1℃ warmer than pre-industrial levels, it was undeniably important that world leaders came together to find ways to keep 1.5℃ alive through negotiations, commitments and pledges. Science proves that if our world warms past 1.5℃, there will be catastrophic and irreversible events. COP26 was also the first ratchet marker for nations who all agreed at COP21 (Paris) to re-evaluate their efforts every five years.

What were the results of COP26?

People have praised and criticized the outcomes of COP26 - however, one major result was the Glasgow Climate Pact. Similar to the Paris Accord, the Glasgow Climate Pact is an agreement based on two weeks of intense negotiations between 197 nations and organizations. The agreement includes the commitment to phase down (more on that below) the use of unabated coal, the consensus to re-visit climate action plans at COP27 with more aggressive targets, larger financial commitments from developed countries, and many other pledges from world leaders.

Although COP26 was the most aggressive form of COP talks since their inception, Climate Action Tracker shows that even if all COP26 commitments were executed the world is still on track to warm by 2.1℃.

Below we've outlined five takeaways that stood out to our team from the conference.

1. Coal power needs to be signed to history, but it wasn't

Coal is the single largest contributor to global warming. According to the End Coal Organization, burning coal is responsible for 46% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide and accounts for 72% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the electricity sector.

COP26 was the first time coal was named in an official COP declaration, it was the first time countries listed a fossil fuel as a major contributor to global warming and signifies that science took the forefront of discussions at COP26. This was a huge step in the right direction but more action needs to be taken.

At the end of COP26, there was a last-minute phrase change that switched "phasing OUT" coal with "phasing DOWN". Both India and China opposed the original wording.

The consensus is the world needs to transition to a clean and renewable energy economy but there need to be market and investment incentives to do so.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • Leaders agreed to end funding to coal projects overseas.
  • 25 countries/public finance institutions committed to ending funding to fossil fuel energy projects by 2022 freeing up $17.8 billion a year for clean energy transitions.
  • 40 leaders support the Break Through Agenda, representing more than 70% of the world economy. The Break Through Agenda sees countries/businesses coordinate their climate action each year to scale up the development and deployment of clean technology.
  • 190 countries and organizations agreed to eliminate coal power.
  • 23 countries made new commitments to phase out coal power including 5 of the world's top 20 coal-powered generators.
  • 28 new countries commit to building no new coal plants, matching commitments made in the last few years from other countries.

2. Countries pledge to halt deforestation & restore our forests

There are many reasons why we need to prioritize halting deforestation. First, releasing CO₂ has the same effect on global warming no matter it comes from, whether it's from extracting fossil fuels or cutting down forests. Second, forests absorb and store CO₂! PNAS estimates that forests absorb up to 20% of emissions from the atmosphere each year.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • Over 100 leaders, from countries that account for 85% of the world's forests, committed to halt and reverse forest loss/land degradation by 2030 and pledge USD $19.2 billion of public and private funds.
  • 28 countries pledged to remove deforestation from the global trade of food and other agricultural products such as palm oil, soya and cocoa.
  • Fund of USD $1.4 billion to be established to protect the Congo Basin, the world's second-largest tropical rainforest.
  • 30+ of the world's biggest financial companies have promised to end investment in activities linked to deforestation.

3. Climate adaptation for developing countries takes the spotlight

Simply put, climate adaptation means adapting our lives, behaviours and systems to protect our families, economies and our planet from the effects of climate change.

Climate adaptation can be pricey, especially for developing countries, so it's become essential that climate change funds work to reduce global warming and help ready individuals, businesses and countries for the life-threatening impacts of climate change (i.e. drought, wildfires, flooding, rising sea levels, etc.).

Although there were significant pledges made at COP26, one major concern is that there still isn't a program for hard-hit countries to receive financial aid for climate change losses and damages that occur as a result of actions, or non-actions, by major polluters countries like the USA and China.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • The Glasgow Pact declared a goal of doubling the annual financial contribution for adaptation, from developed countries to developing countries, by 2025.
  • Over USD $450 million was announced for locally-led adaptation approaches and USD $356 million was pledged to the Adaptation Fund.
  • Donors pledge USD $413 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund, which is the only climate resilience fund that exclusively targets least developed countries.
  • Creation of Glasgow Dialogue, a task force designed to discuss future funding for a Loss and Damage Facility, which would provide financial assistance to countries suffering climate change impact due to big polluter countries.

4. Developed countries commit to actually deliver on financial promises

Climate change comes with a big price tag. One of the top goals for COP26 was how to mobilize finances from developed countries to countries that desperately need funds as they transition to a clean economy and prepare for the impacts of global warming (adaptation).

At COP15, developed countries pledged to mobilize USD $100 billion a year for developing countries by 2020, but this goal has not been met. In 2019, only around USD $80 million was sent to developing countries, up from USD $78 billion in 2018.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • New financial commitments towards adaptation and the USD $100 billion-a-year goal from Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden each worth more than USD $500 million per year by 2025.
  • New climate financing commitments from the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Australia, Norway, Ireland and Luxembourg towards the USD $100 billion a year goal.
  • Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance was established for combating difficulties in securing climate finances which received USD $100 million in financing.
  • Major commitments include Norway tripling its adaptation finance, Japan and Australia doubling their adaptation finance, and commitments from Switzerland, the US and Canada for the Adaptation Fund.
  • USD $8.5 billion will be made available over the next 3-5 years to support South Africa's transition to clean energy.
  • Announcement of the launch of Climate Investment Funds’ Capital Markets Mechanism (CCMM), which will boost investments in the clean energy transition.

5. Holding everyone accountable, checking in annually

COP26 was the first ratchet for nations post-COP21 that required updated climate plans from countries every five years, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. However, at COP26 world leaders agreed to launch an ANNUAL checkpoint process moving forward, rather than every five years. This signals a global understanding of the urgency to keep each other accountable and the need to revisit and increase efforts yearly if needed. This annual process will include detailed reporting, which will be peer-reviewed, and the requirement to increase NDCs (pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change) if they are too weak.

A new international board was also instated. The International Sustainability Standard Board will develop a comprehensive global baseline for sustainability reporting so everyone is on the same page.

World leaders also agreed to adopt the Enhanced Transparency Framework under the Paris Agreement that will see ALL countries reporting their national emissions and their progress towards achieving their NDCs every two years after 2024.

So many pledges made, so many 'agreements' signed, but what now? While COP26 had an urgency to it and the general consensus is we are headed in the right direction, the gap to make substantial change is quickly deteriorating. The time to take concrete action is now!

We understand the urgent need to change the way items around the world are extracted, produced and discarded in order to keep 1.5℃ alive. That's why our products and solutions are designed to have an immediate impact while supporting goals for long-term change. At Smart Plastic, we aren't promising solutions for 5, 10 or 20 years down the line. We're delivering tangible, sustainable products NOW.

References

The Race to Zero: Keeping 1.5 Alive

The 26th annual COP concluded earlier this month and we wanted to highlight some of our takeaways from this historical conference.

Why was COP26 so important?

We are at a critical time in the fight against climate change. With temperatures currently sitting at 1.1℃ warmer than pre-industrial levels, it was undeniably important that world leaders came together to find ways to keep 1.5℃ alive through negotiations, commitments and pledges. Science proves that if our world warms past 1.5℃, there will be catastrophic and irreversible events. COP26 was also the first ratchet marker for nations who all agreed at COP21 (Paris) to re-evaluate their efforts every five years.

What were the results of COP26?

People have praised and criticized the outcomes of COP26 - however, one major result was the Glasgow Climate Pact. Similar to the Paris Accord, the Glasgow Climate Pact is an agreement based on two weeks of intense negotiations between 197 nations and organizations. The agreement includes the commitment to phase down (more on that below) the use of unabated coal, the consensus to re-visit climate action plans at COP27 with more aggressive targets, larger financial commitments from developed countries, and many other pledges from world leaders.

Although COP26 was the most aggressive form of COP talks since their inception, Climate Action Tracker shows that even if all COP26 commitments were executed the world is still on track to warm by 2.1℃.

Below we've outlined five takeaways that stood out to our team from the conference.

1. Coal power needs to be signed to history, but it wasn't

Coal is the single largest contributor to global warming. According to the End Coal Organization, burning coal is responsible for 46% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide and accounts for 72% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the electricity sector.

COP26 was the first time coal was named in an official COP declaration, it was the first time countries listed a fossil fuel as a major contributor to global warming and signifies that science took the forefront of discussions at COP26. This was a huge step in the right direction but more action needs to be taken.

At the end of COP26, there was a last-minute phrase change that switched "phasing OUT" coal with "phasing DOWN". Both India and China opposed the original wording.

The consensus is the world needs to transition to a clean and renewable energy economy but there need to be market and investment incentives to do so.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • Leaders agreed to end funding to coal projects overseas.
  • 25 countries/public finance institutions committed to ending funding to fossil fuel energy projects by 2022 freeing up $17.8 billion a year for clean energy transitions.
  • 40 leaders support the Break Through Agenda, representing more than 70% of the world economy. The Break Through Agenda sees countries/businesses coordinate their climate action each year to scale up the development and deployment of clean technology.
  • 190 countries and organizations agreed to eliminate coal power.
  • 23 countries made new commitments to phase out coal power including 5 of the world's top 20 coal-powered generators.
  • 28 new countries commit to building no new coal plants, matching commitments made in the last few years from other countries.

2. Countries pledge to halt deforestation & restore our forests

There are many reasons why we need to prioritize halting deforestation. First, releasing CO₂ has the same effect on global warming no matter it comes from, whether it's from extracting fossil fuels or cutting down forests. Second, forests absorb and store CO₂! PNAS estimates that forests absorb up to 20% of emissions from the atmosphere each year.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • Over 100 leaders, from countries that account for 85% of the world's forests, committed to halt and reverse forest loss/land degradation by 2030 and pledge USD $19.2 billion of public and private funds.
  • 28 countries pledged to remove deforestation from the global trade of food and other agricultural products such as palm oil, soya and cocoa.
  • Fund of USD $1.4 billion to be established to protect the Congo Basin, the world's second-largest tropical rainforest.
  • 30+ of the world's biggest financial companies have promised to end investment in activities linked to deforestation.

3. Climate adaptation for developing countries takes the spotlight

Simply put, climate adaptation means adapting our lives, behaviours and systems to protect our families, economies and our planet from the effects of climate change.

Climate adaptation can be pricey, especially for developing countries, so it's become essential that climate change funds work to reduce global warming and help ready individuals, businesses and countries for the life-threatening impacts of climate change (i.e. drought, wildfires, flooding, rising sea levels, etc.).

Although there were significant pledges made at COP26, one major concern is that there still isn't a program for hard-hit countries to receive financial aid for climate change losses and damages that occur as a result of actions, or non-actions, by major polluters countries like the USA and China.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • The Glasgow Pact declared a goal of doubling the annual financial contribution for adaptation, from developed countries to developing countries, by 2025.
  • Over USD $450 million was announced for locally-led adaptation approaches and USD $356 million was pledged to the Adaptation Fund.
  • Donors pledge USD $413 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund, which is the only climate resilience fund that exclusively targets least developed countries.
  • Creation of Glasgow Dialogue, a task force designed to discuss future funding for a Loss and Damage Facility, which would provide financial assistance to countries suffering climate change impact due to big polluter countries.

4. Developed countries commit to actually deliver on financial promises

Climate change comes with a big price tag. One of the top goals for COP26 was how to mobilize finances from developed countries to countries that desperately need funds as they transition to a clean economy and prepare for the impacts of global warming (adaptation).

At COP15, developed countries pledged to mobilize USD $100 billion a year for developing countries by 2020, but this goal has not been met. In 2019, only around USD $80 million was sent to developing countries, up from USD $78 billion in 2018.

Commitments made at COP26:

  • New financial commitments towards adaptation and the USD $100 billion-a-year goal from Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden each worth more than USD $500 million per year by 2025.
  • New climate financing commitments from the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Australia, Norway, Ireland and Luxembourg towards the USD $100 billion a year goal.
  • Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance was established for combating difficulties in securing climate finances which received USD $100 million in financing.
  • Major commitments include Norway tripling its adaptation finance, Japan and Australia doubling their adaptation finance, and commitments from Switzerland, the US and Canada for the Adaptation Fund.
  • USD $8.5 billion will be made available over the next 3-5 years to support South Africa's transition to clean energy.
  • Announcement of the launch of Climate Investment Funds’ Capital Markets Mechanism (CCMM), which will boost investments in the clean energy transition.

5. Holding everyone accountable, checking in annually

COP26 was the first ratchet for nations post-COP21 that required updated climate plans from countries every five years, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. However, at COP26 world leaders agreed to launch an ANNUAL checkpoint process moving forward, rather than every five years. This signals a global understanding of the urgency to keep each other accountable and the need to revisit and increase efforts yearly if needed. This annual process will include detailed reporting, which will be peer-reviewed, and the requirement to increase NDCs (pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change) if they are too weak.

A new international board was also instated. The International Sustainability Standard Board will develop a comprehensive global baseline for sustainability reporting so everyone is on the same page.

World leaders also agreed to adopt the Enhanced Transparency Framework under the Paris Agreement that will see ALL countries reporting their national emissions and their progress towards achieving their NDCs every two years after 2024.

So many pledges made, so many 'agreements' signed, but what now? While COP26 had an urgency to it and the general consensus is we are headed in the right direction, the gap to make substantial change is quickly deteriorating. The time to take concrete action is now!

We understand the urgent need to change the way items around the world are extracted, produced and discarded in order to keep 1.5℃ alive. That's why our products and solutions are designed to have an immediate impact while supporting goals for long-term change. At Smart Plastic, we aren't promising solutions for 5, 10 or 20 years down the line. We're delivering tangible, sustainable products NOW.

References

SEE ON...

The Race to Zero: Keeping 1.5 Alive

COP26 has officially wrapped. A lot happened in two weeks, some step forwards and some steps back. Our team decided to recap highlights what really stood out to us.

According to @natgeo, 73% of beach litter is plastic, including bottles and bottle caps, wrappers, grocery bags, and filters from cigarette butts. Next time you go for a walk on the beach bring a garbage bag + gloves so you can do your part to clean up our coastlines.

According to @natgeo, 73% of beach litter is plastic, including bottles and bottle caps, wrappers, grocery bags, and filters from cigarette butts. Next time you go for a walk on the beach bring a garbage bag + gloves so you can do your part to clean up our coastlines.

73% of beach litter is plastic

According to @natgeo, 73% of beach litter is plastic, including bottles and bottle caps, wrappers, grocery bags, and filters from cigarette butts. Next time you go for a walk on the beach bring a garbage bag + gloves so you can do your part to clean up our coastlines.

SEE ON...

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