Plastic Pollution Current Affairs
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UN Environment for coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development.
The MoU aims to cover all major interest common areas of both CII and UN Environment. It also aims to provide framework of cooperation and facilitate cooperation in areas including environment, renewable energy, climate change, resource conservation and management, energy efficiency, water sanitation, smart cities and urban infrastructure.
The major activity planned by CII and UN Environment under this MoU includes #Un-plastic Initiative. It will begin with ‘Call to Action’ which will include commitments by industry to take action to curb plastic pollution. Further, CII will work towards voluntary codes in Indian industry on issue of plastics. Outside India on global scenario, CII will engage with industry forums in different countries to which it is linked, especially in Africa through its annual CII-Africa Conclave.
UN Environment (or UNEP) is leading global environmental authority that sets global environmental agenda, promotes coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as authoritative advocate for global environment. It was established in June 1972. It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
Scientists at Rice University in the US have developed tiny spheres that can catch and destroy bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical used to make plastics that often contaminates water. This new material helps in overcoming two significant technological barriers for photocatalytic water treatment.
Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is commonly used to coat insides of food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. BPA that seeps into food and drink is considered safe in low doses, but prolonged exposure is suspected of affecting the health of children and contributing to high blood pressure.
The micron-sized spheres resemble Venus’ flytrap (a carnivorous plant) of particles and has tiny flower-like collections of titanium dioxide petals of less than 100 nanometers size. It has two-faced structure, with hydrophobic (water-avoiding) cavity and hydrophilic (water-attracting) outer surface. BPA is hydrophobic and naturally attracted to the cavity. Once trapped, reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the spheres degrades BPA into harmless chemicals.