According to the report, the plastics industry, oil and petrochemical exporters, including Russia and Saudi, want the global deal to back recycling and re-use of plastic.

UN plastic treaty talks grapple with re-use, recycle, reduce debate

There was “chaos, not progress”, at the INC-3 (third round of United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution). While trying to deliver the world’s first treaty to control plastic pollution, negotiators failed to prepare a first draft of the treaty text, reported Reuters. Instead, negotiators got more than 500 proposals from governments, during a week-long meeting. By 2024-end, they have to strike a deal for the control of plastics, which produce an estimated 400 million tonnes of waste every year.

According to the report, the plastics industry, oil and petrochemical exporters, including Russia and Saudi, want the global deal to back recycling and re-use of plastic, but environmental campaigners and some governments say much less needs to be produced in the first place.

The participant NGOs said major fossil fuel producers and exporters stalled efforts to move forward in an efficient manner. According to the UN, less than 10% of plastic waste is recycled, while at least 14 million tonnes end up in oceans every year.

Delhi battles hazardous smog in the air; toxic white foam floats on river Yamuna

Amid winter air pollution and smog, white toxic foam floating on the river Yamuna was caught on camera in Delhi. The foam on the river comes from untreated waste. According to a CNN report, the white froth, a mixture of sewage and industrial waste, contains high levels of ammonia and phosphates, which can cause respiratory and skin problems, according to experts. 

The Indian Express reported that special boats laden with food-grade enzymes have been deployed by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to tackle the poisonous foam floating on the surface of the Yamuna

Nanoplastics pollution linked with Parkinson’s disease

A new paper found a potential link between nanoplastics, Parkinson’s disease and related dementias, reported Science Advances. The studies have identified increasing levels of nanoplastic pollution in the environment. Researchers said nanoplastics can internalise in neurons through clathrin-dependent endocytosis, causing a mild lysosomal impairment that slows the degradation of aggregated α-synuclein. In mice, nanoplastics combine with α-synuclein fibrils to exacerbate the spread of α-synuclein pathology across interconnected vulnerable brain regions, including the strong induction of α-synuclein inclusions in dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. These results highlight a potential link for further exploration between nanoplastic pollution and α-synuclein aggregation associated with Parkinson’s disease and related dementias.

Big brand SUVs used up to 13% more fuel on Australian roads than reported in lab

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) in their first real-world test of fuel consumption found SUVs Hyundai Kona and the Toyota Rav4 used up to 13% more fuel on the road than was reported in laboratory. The Mitsubishi ASX, the MG ZS and the Ford Puma came next, consuming 8% more fuel than lab tests. The test showed these vehicles also emitted more CO2 than lab results showed, the Guardian reported. The article added that The Toyota Rav4 Hybrid consumed 2% more fuel than lab tests showed, while the Nissan X-Trail, the Hyundai Tucson and the GWM Haval Jolion recorded results that were lower than their lab results.

The $14 million program plans to test 200 cars, SUVs, utes and electric vehicles over the next four years. The AAA proposed Real-World Testing Program in the wake of the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal, in which the auto giant was found to have fitted cars with software that could detect when it was being tested and lower emissions during the tests.

ADB grants $6.5 million for clean cooking in rural India, eyes major carbon credits

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) sanctioned a senior secured (backed by an asset that is pledged as collateral) loan of $6.5 million to Greenway Grameen Infra Private Limited for the production and distribution of 1 million improved cookstoves across rural Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, ET reported. This initiative is further strengthened by a $3.25 million first-loss liquidity reserve provided by the Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF), which is managed by ADB. ADB’s financing is part of using Indian carbon markets to finance community based projects. Greenway intends to market the carbon credits accrued from the project through its subsidiary SDG 13 Ventures Private Ltd. 

The drive to replace conventional mud chulhas is projected to see a drop in fuel needs and smoke emissions by 65% and 70% respectively, thereby reducing the environmental burden of black carbon and carbon monoxide.