August Sustainability Spotlight

Irish inventor Fionn Ferreira achieved third place in the Young Inventors Prize at the European Inventor Award 2023 for his groundbreaking solution to remove microplastics from water. His invention, "Ferrofluid," is a magnetic liquid mixture that efficiently captures and separates microplastic particles without the need for filters or chemicals. With a remarkable success rate of over 85% in a single pass, the invention contributes to the UN's clean water and sanitation goals. Ferreira is collaborating with the University of Texas to scale his invention for commercial use. His impressive work has gained recognition, winning the Global Grand Prize at the Google Science Fair in 2019 and leading him to establish Fionn & Co in 2020 to pursue patenting his invention.


UK to ban single-use plastics and EU suggests wide-ranging changes to plastic use

On 1 October 2023, the UK will ban single-use plastics, with the guidance having been released on 23 May. Once the ban is in place businesses will no longer be allowed to supply single-use plastic bowls, plates or trays to the public as well as plastic cutlery and balloon sticks. The ban will also cover polystyrene containers.

New Zealand has banned plastic bags for fresh produce in supermarkets

New Zealand has become the first country to extend its plastic bag ban to thin bags used for fruits and vegetables, part of a campaign against single-use plastics. The ban, in effect since Saturday 1st July, aims to reduce plastic waste. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bags, and supermarkets are selling reusable produce bags. The ban on thicker plastic bags since 2019 has already saved over a billion bags, and this expansion is expected to prevent the use of 150 million bags annually. New Zealand is also progressing on other climate change initiatives, including a proposed greenhouse gas tax for farm animals.

follow us