Environment

Trump's Got One Foot In The Grave

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The founders of Smuggy were huge fans of the BBC sitcom “One Foot in the Grave. So the irony of Donald Trump’s recent remarks on the Fourth National Climate Assessment did not go unnoticed.

“I don’t believe it”. The once synonymous catch phrase sprayed generously by the perpetually curmudgeon lead character Victor Meldrew brought canned laughter from a more elementary 1990s audience. Here in 2018, Trump’s remarks, in stark contrast, have brought trepidation and fear, even among his staunchest supporters.

The summary findings of the Climate Assessment re-opened the harsh reality of the Earth’s climate warming. The report engages a new element to the discussion, the cost to old Uncle Sam, the Smug God. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) stated “Under scenarios with high emissions and limited or no adaptation, annual losses in some sectors are estimated to grow to hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century” - https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/

While we appreciate smug at any level, we had to disagree with Trump’s statements on Asia – ““Right now, we’re at the cleanest we’ve ever been, and that’s very important to me. But if we’re clean but every other place on Earth is dirty, that’s not so good.”

This childish rhetoric of passing responsibility unfortunately does not stop with Donald Trump. It’s the theory brazenly adorned by governments, big business and, if we are truly honest, at the individual level.

So how do we make change to stop the climate change? We display the phenomenally stubborn attitude of old mate Victor Meldrew. We vote with our feet. We show governments and business owners that we won’t stand for the mindless consumption. And we do it one plastic bag, toothbrush, container, water bottle and coffee cup at a time.

Have you heard of this new island destination?

Halfway between Hawaii and California there lies a new island destination.

This island expands 1.6 square kilometers and enjoys sunshine all-year-round.

The destination is gaining increasing attention from visitors all around the world, including scuba divers and marine researchers.

The island began getting international attention in 1988 when written about by Alaskan-based researchers. In 2012, it was the subject of a Ted Talk which really got the world interested.

Before you start packing your bags and looking up flights, we should let you in on something. The island is made entirely of floating plastic waste. We know. Disgusting.

You may know it as Plastic Island, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, The Plastic Trash Vortex, The Eastern Garbage Patch… whatever you call it, we need to do something about it and fast.

Harm to marine life is, in some cases, direct. Of the 1.5 million albatrosses that inhabit the area, nearly all are likely to have plastic in their bellies. Approximately one-third of their chicks die, and many of those deaths are from plastic unwittingly fed to them by their parents.

On the microscopic level, debris can absorb organic pollutants from seawater, with toxic effects. These toxin-containing plastic pieces are also eaten by jellyfish, which are then eaten by fish and then by humans. 

Yep, many of us are consuming toxic plastic particles, every day, through the fish we eat.

Marine plastics facilitate the spread of invasive species that attach to floating plastic in one region and drift long distances to colonize other ecosystems. Debris affects at least 267 species worldwide.  

Step 1: Buy a Smuggy and make sure your coffee cup doesn’t end up on vacation in Plastic Island.

www.smuggy.com.au/the-cups

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Sign the Greenpeace Petition Here!

Greenpeace are lending their considerable weight to the fight against single-use plastic.

We here at Smuggy take pride, if not gratification, from doing our bit for the environment.

Our goal is to make it easy for our customers to get that little boost of self-satisfaction every time they use one of our products.

Now Greenpeace are making it even easier. All you have to do is fill out this short form to join the fight against the ridiculous plastic packaging we find on our every day groceries.

So buy a Smuggy for your coffee and sign the petition for your veggies!

www.smuggy.com.au/the-cups

https://act.greenpeace.org/page/23228/petition/1?locale=en-AU

 

Irish Choose Tax Over Ban

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Following other states initiatives to curb the number of disposable cups clogging up landfill, Ireland is considering a coffee cup tax. The “Latte Levy” being proposed will mean a 10-15c charge for the use of disposable single use cups.

The taxation will ultimately raise interest in glass reusable coffee cups which have been hugely successful alternatives in other jurisdictions.

Target Reusable Coffee Cups

The Republic of Ireland’s decision to tax cups is no surprise. Government agencies wanting to promote a culture of reusable BYO cups will take note of its country’s policy on plastic bags.

In 2002, Ireland became the first country to enforce a plastic bag tax. The 15c fee had dramatic effects on the Emerald Isle’s consumption of plastics. The use of plastic bags fell by 94%. Local parks and rivers were noticeably cleaner within months. Public opinion changed comprehensively to support the eradication of unnecessary plastic bags.

Unfortunately the net benefit was diminished by other factors. Although the use of plastic dramatically fell, the use of paper disposable bags skyrocketed. Paper bags require more energy to produce than plastic bags. It will be important the Irish government do not allow for unsustainable replacements in relation to coffee cups.

The Irish experiment would be far more environmentally sound if it fosters a movement to reusable, sustainable products. Along with the health benefits of utilising BPA free glass in our everyday lives, people will be doing their bit for the environment.

Smuggy - Glass Reusable Coffee Cups

Chile to Ban the Bag

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Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet signed a bill aiming to ban plastic bags in over 100 coastal areas. The move is seen as a phased approach to ultimately ban the use of plastic bags across the entire country.

Pacific Garbage Patch

It is no great surprise that the highest risk areas have been identified along the Chile coastline. Recently a plastic patch “bigger than the state of Texas” was uncovered in a remote area off the coast of Chile. Captain Charles Moore stated that “my initial impression is that our samples compared to what we were seeing in the North Pacific (Great Pacific Garbage Patch) in 2007”.

The Great Pacific Garbage patch located in North Pacific is located in international waters and therefore has no direct affiliation to any country. It has often be noted that it would “bankrupt any country” that tried to clean it up, due to its size and complexity.

As a hidden gem of the Chilean bill, it also allows non-coastal regions to join the project, empowering local municipals to say no to single use plastics.

What can we do?

Glass | Sustainable | Reusable Products

Most of the supermarket chains are now offering reusable bags at checkout. There are some really cool sustainable water drinking bottles on the market and of course, get yourself a glass, BPA free, reusable, coffee cup with Smuggy here :)

Smuggy - Glass Reusable Coffee Cups