Kickstart: Tracking plastic waste in the Mississippi

Volunteers working at cities along the Mississippi River.Three Mississippi River cities — and hundreds of their residents — have taken a deep dive into tracking Plastic and other litter along their waterways.The , led by well-known marine debris researcher and professor Jenna Jambeck, unveiled a Sept. 15 with results from their pilot project this spring.Several hundred volunteers in Baton Rouge, La.; St. Louis; and St. Paul, Minn., fanned out over several weeks in March and April, and used the Marine Debris Tracker App, developed by Jambeck’s team at the University of Georgia, to record what they found.Some of it was not a surprise based on other litter surveys: Plastic overall dominated the list, although cigarette butts were the largest number of individual items.In a media briefing with mayors and officials with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, Jambeck noted the litter contains a lot of PET bottles and aluminum cans, valuable materials that should be easily recycled.St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said that 74 percent of what volunteers found in her city was plastic.At the briefing, officials said they want to expand the effort to other cities.(Thanks to Assistant Managing Editor Steve Toloken for writing this up.)
 Consumer products giant SC Johnson is working with the Liverpool Football Club in England to make some goals. The soccer team, obviously, is chasing goals on the pitch. SC Johnson has set its sights on ones related to sustainability.The team and the company are creating a closed-loop recycling model for the 500,000 plastic bottles used at Liverpool Anfield stadium each year.SC Johnson will set up special collection centers at the stadium. Plastics from Anfield will go into future bottles of cleaning products.In addition, the will see SC Johnson providing soaps and hand sanitizers throughout the stadium and working with Liverpool F.C. to establish new cleaning standards.SC Johnson has worked with sports teams in the past, including a project to collect cups at Milwaukee Brewers’ games. I know most of us have done very little business travel for the past 18 months. Big-ticket expenses like NPE (for both visitors and exhibitors) didn’t happen as normally expected.That lack of travel may have saved your business some money — reduced airfare and hotel costs — or cost it money, with fewer opportunities to connect with potential customers.But for the companies that provide the hotel beds we’re not sleeping in, the past year has been harsh. is out with a new study showing that hotels will miss out on $59 billion in business travel in 2021. That comes on top of $49 billion lost in 2020.Just consider Orlando, Fla., which would have hosted NPE2021. In 2019, its hotels had revenue of nearly $2.8 billion from business travel alone. This year it expects to see $518 million, an 81 percent drop.And the AHLA says the recovery will be long, with business and group travel not expected to hit pre-pandemic levels until 2024.  Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Please enter a valid email address.Please enter your email address.Please verify captcha.Please select at least one newsletter to subscribe. Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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