In Waai Weekly Impact we bring you the good news. Each week we curate three stories about positive impact worth sharing. See how others from all around the world inspire to make a difference.

Popcorn as packaging material

Source: Fast Company

Across the world, packaging is the biggest purchaser of plastics, accounting for about 40% of total plastic usage. These polystyrene-based packaging materials, like Styrofoam, take centuries to break down, are extremely harmful to the environment and are made from nonrenewable fossil fuels. A research team at the University of Göttingen in Germany has a solution to this problem; popcorn as a packaging material. Popcorn is, just like polystyrene, filled with air. The researchers coated the popcorn in a thin layer of bioplastic so that the packaging is water-repellent. The university has already entered a licensing agreement with a grain and cereal company called Nordgetreide for commercial use of the popcorn-packaging making process and is working on manufacturing various popcorn packaging products.

Read full article

Creating shells to capture carbon

Source: Fast Company

Seashells are formed from the carbon dioxide that naturally dissolves in the ocean. A team of scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles, is trying to mimic this process. They created a machine to pull in seawater through a mesh, which gives the water an electric charge. This triggers a chemical reaction that combines dissolved CO2 with calcium and magnesium in the water, creating limestone and magnesite, which have the same chemical composition as seashells. The seashells can be disposed on land or into the ocean. The seawater can also flow back into the ocean, where it can absorb more CO2. The minerals created offer permanent storage without the need for additional steps. The research team will work with other experts to ensure that the process doesn’t have any negative impact on the marine environment.

Read full article

Overpasses to help wildlife

Source: New York Times

Wildlife collisions cost $8 billion per year for things like vehicle repair, medical expenses, towing and the removal and disposal of animal carcasses. A solution for the collisions is a wildlife overpass. An overpass the animal can use to safely cross the road. While the cost of the overpass lies between $5 to $10 million, research shows it saves money in the long term. A bipartisan Senate version of the transportation bill being hammered out in Congress includes $350 million for wildlife crossings and corridors. Since the building of the overpasses, the collisions have dropped by roughly 90%. While the overpasses are built to save human lives, they save a lot of animals as well. Another solution are underpasses, which are a lot cheaper to build. Many states in America have new crossings planned.

Read full article

Like what you're reading? Stay in the loop and sign-up to our newsletter.

We send one out about once a month.