Plastic is all around. As per the latest research there are 3.2 million tons of plastic in the ocean, and half a million ton is added to this every year. Although this is significantly lower than previous estimations, it is still far too much. Regardless of numbers, plastic waste’s harms for biodiversity and human health haven’t diminished.
Sometimes we equate digital with immaterial but that’s far from being the case. The ‘new technologies’ sector is not just about services: it contributes significantly to a growing stream of Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). According to the third (and most recent) United Nations Global E-Waste Monitor study, in 2019 a record 53.6 million tons of electronic waste was reached, representing a 21% increase in just five years. Less than a fifth of it is properly managed for reuse or recycle.
Earlier this summer we were discussing what in urban logistics is known as the ‘last mile’, the final stretch of the transport of goods. We saw how your online shopping (and those of thousands or millions of your neighbours) had disastrous environmental and social effects: from skyrocketed traffic carbon emissions to further precarious working conditions in the ‘gig economy’ delivery culture.
Long before AirBnB, Uber and other flagships enterprises of the so-called ‘sharing economy’ (what’s actually being shared with, and by whom, is another discussion), pre-Columbian Inca civilizations were putting in practice the minka philosophy of communal work and living together.
Until recently one of the most overseen effects of climate change, heatwaves make it now to the headlines as they hit hard some European and North American regions since the last few years – although the rising temperatures have been a reality for many for decades. Indeed, this last month of July has marked the hottest two weeks on record in human history.