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Initiatives

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This Seaweed-Based Edible Packaging Could Help Save Our Seas

Take some seaweed and create wrapping paper out of it.  Not only can one pack dry foods into it, but also eat the wrapper!  The article does not say whether it is high in proteins (seaweeds reportedly are), but if so, every cube of sugar wrapped in seaweed paper could potentially become protein enhanced!  A range of packaged items ranging from morning bread to instant noodles to chips could be eliminated from our daily garbage.



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Foodpanda customers can say ‘no’ to disposable forks and spoons

Foodpanda goes green, hope Patanjali does too.
Few incumbent companies like to change established well-functioning practices.  But not Foodpanda, which is experimenting with eliminating disposable cutlery and substituting plastic to sugarcane pulp based food containers.  Large corporates ranging from Unilever to Patanjali account for much of the household dry garbage, and it may be quicker to get them to change than the municipal government of Delhi.  As the pressure from consumers grows, companies will be forced to cooperate.



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This Man Quit His Job in the US to Solve Tamil Nadu's Plastic Problem

Strike two for Coimbatore.
An energizing story of an engineer-finance professional who turned green, and is building a great start-up.  Another example of carry-bags that are built from agri-materials and compost in a few months.  The key factor behind this week’s list was that this is a model that appears to have great financial prospects while helping substitute away from plastics.  



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Delhi’s air pollution is both a challenge and an opportunity

Montek Ahluwalia recommends pollution policy.
India’s sharpest economic-administrator shows how Delhi’s pollution can be fixed.  I have two opposing thoughts. First, could not this have been done earlier when the UPA ruled?  Second, there is much experience and understanding that goes behind these recommendations, the least this government can do is listen to words of wisdom.



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How Delhi smog is leaving Punjab farmers victimised

How farmers suffer.
As farmers suffer the onslaught of court rulings and urban dweller grievances, an academic try to understand their plight.  Read especially the last three paragraphs for an appreciation of the Punjabi farmers’ plight.



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Biodegradable plastics: good for recycling?

Italy uses bio-degradable bags since 2011.
Bio-degradable plastics will not work in India, we need compostable plastics.  But this is an interesting story of how regulation can be used to coordinate economic activity.  What researchers find, is even when there is some leakage from the way the law mandates use of biodegradable plastics, the harm is inconsequential.



Government Actions this week


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Bio-Compostable Bags That Dissolve in Water & Burn to Ash

Coimbatore shifts to compostable garbage bags.
Coimbatore is a better-managed city than most in India, or so it appeared to me while on a quick visit.  But it also appears to be much more innovative, rather than fall for switching over to plastics that take centuries to degrade or require an industrial facility to recycle, it has done a different thing. The city switched to compostable bags that take a few months to compost.



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How corporate interests dominated UN climate talks

How corporate interests define the global action.
A rather frightening story of how big business lobbies, and pressurizes against the globally coordinated environmental action.  If true it makes even more sense for Indian environmentalists to ask for unilateral improvements in India’s environmental footprints.



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An uncertain energy future

Are India’s renewable energy targets too ambitious?
Going by way of rational economic accounting, it may seem to many that India will not be able to meet its targets.  This author believes that whether India meets its targets or not, is irrelevant.  For there cannot be any doubt on this governments interest in reducing dependence on imported energy, especially petroleum.  And if similar policy momentum continues into the next decade as it is likely to, India will rapidly reduce its petroleum dependence.



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