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VIDEO: Houston storm – flooding outside ICIS office

Here’s 45 seconds of video from the mini-flood in Houston on the morning of Monday 9 January, taken by our own Stephen Burns.   “It’s now mostly drained away but (it was) fun while it lasted,” he added.

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Raising a wind turbine in Durban

A wind turbine, manufactured from polycarbonate and cited in last week’s Aromatics Conference as part of the petrochemical contribution to sustainable energy, is raised on a beach in a photo reminiscent of the iconic 1945 Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima photo.   Greenpeace activists and volunteers of TckTckTck, a Global Campaign for Climate Action, raise […]

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Petchems are the good guys – Aromatics Conference 2011

The need to educate the public more about the benefits of petchem products to the environment came up time and again during the Aromatics Conference, both in speakers’ presentations and in questions from the floor.   Answering a question from Piet V, Patrick Thomas said the public’s perception of plastics was dominated by the issue […]

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Fog disrupts flights to Amsterdam for Aromatics Conference

“Flights on KLM are particularly disrupted.” That was the most discouraging part of the 7.00 am news item on fogbound Heathrow.   “Our flight is cancelled,” Helena texts me at 7.15 am.   Nevertheless we set off the airport, ever hopeful. There is no answer from our travel agent’s emergency hotline. I am not sure […]

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Plant-based plastics on our tables

We read so much about bioplastics, but now they are appearing on our tables. Coca-Cola took out a full page advert in the Times last week to trumpet the launch of its new PlantBottle ™ range in the UK. It consists of 22.5% bio-based material from renewable sources like sugarcane and up to 25% recycled […]

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Shale gas the answer to rising energy prices – Lord Lawson

I caught this debate on shale gas on the radio this morning as I drove in to work. In an indication of how topical the subject is in the wider media, BBC Radio 4′s flagship Today news programme had two slots on UK shale gas exploration – one at 7.15 and one at 8.15.   […]

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Plastic bottles bring light to Philippine slums

A plastic bottle filled with water can become a source of lighting for slum homes in the Philippines, according to this video article on the BBC.   Recycling empty polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles by filling them with water and a drop of bleach, to prevent algae, creating a metal collar and inserting them in the […]

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Nappies recycled into rooftiles

The UK‘s first nappy (diaper) recycling plant is open in West Bromwich, and is set to be the first of five plants to take used nappies and turn them into rooftiles and jogging tracks, according to this article on MSN.   Over 1 million tonnes/year of absorbent hygiene products are generated in the UK, and […]

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Wales implements levy on plastic bags

The long-planned levy by Wales on plastic bags is now coming into effect in an attempt to curb the number of bags in circulation.   From October 2011 the charge per bag will be 5p, instead of the original 7p proposed, but in a last-minute concession, the Welsh Government has announced that shops employing fewer […]

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Seal Sands has real seals

Seal Sands, famous for its chemical storage tanks on the UK’s east coast, is full of seals, the Blog hears from hairdresser Michael (47) in an unexpected departure from the traditional hairdressing topics of holidays, local scandal and hair.   He is telling me about dolphin and whale watching in Spain, when he drops into […]

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