Asian Supermarkets Replacing Plastic Bags with Banana Leaves
[ News and Trend of the Week ]
Photo Credit: Ladbible.com
In an innovative stand against pollution from single use plastic bags, supermarkets in Thailand and Vietnam are using banana leaves to wrap fresh produce. The concept was popularized following a Facebook post showcasing the leaves being used in Rimping supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand. Lotte Market in Vietnam reports that they are currently doing trial runs in Ho Chi Minh City, but plan to implement this unique packaging nationwide. For these countries, pollution is a pressing concern, particularly as plastic not only poisons the sea, but also makes its way to consumer plates through contaminated seafood.
This initiative follows a recent movement towards limiting plastic bag use and finding eco-friendly alternatives in Asian countries. Big C supermarket (operating in Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos) for example, has already switched to biodegradable bags made from corn, while South Korea recently banned single use plastic bags across the board.
Second Asia Pacific Youth Co:Lab Summit Attracts Young Social Entrepreneurs
[ Social Innovations ]
Photo Credit: Youth Co:Lab
Last week, over 500 delegates came together in Hanoi, Vietnam for the second annual Asia Pacific Youth Co:Lab Summit. A joint venture spearheaded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Citi Foundation, the conference aimed to empower youth to influence initiatives on social innovation and youth entrepreneurship.
In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, it provided a springboard for young people to connect with community partners and government officials and create an ecosystem with like-minded peers.This initiative has been widely successful; since its inception, Youth Co:Lab projects have been implemented in 20 different countries and its programs have supported over 2500 young social entrepreneurs. The summit culminated in the Youth Co:Lab Regional Social Innovation Challenge, where 30 pre-selected teams across 16 countries pitched their social enterprises to a panel of judges.
Singaporean Bank and Chinese Insurer Cooperation for Green Projects
[ Impact Investing ]
Photo Credit: Asset ESG Forum
This week, OCBC Bank and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, also known as Sinosure, announced that they will be cooperating in the future for projects that fall under the Belt and Road Initiative.
OCBC Bank is a multinational banking and financial services corporation stationed in OCBC Centre, Singapore. Sinosure, on the other hand, is a Chinese state owned enterprise that serves as a provider of export credit insurance, and together, the two organizations hope to boost trade and investment opportunities between the two countries. Their main focuses include renewable energy, pollution prevention, clean transport, sustainable water management, and green buildings. While their partnership is between their two nations, they hope to build a bridge for Chinese consumers to venture into ASEAN.
Malaysian Scientist Helps Photograph First Known Image of a Black Hole
[ People and places ]
Photo Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration
This past week, Kevin Koay Jun Yi, a Malaysian Scientist in the Academia Sincia Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, was part of the groundbreaking team to take the very first photograph of a black hole.
The team consisted of 200 members across the world, and Dr. Koay was one of the first 20 people to see the image. This image comes as an extraordinary feat within the Astrophysical world due to its heavy density and strong gravitational pull. This feat not only comes as an accomplishment within the scientific community, but for international cooperation as whole. To create the technology and to have the resources necessary for the photograph to be taken, the organization had to work with small teams across the world to upgrade and monitor the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). EHT is a prime example of international collaboration with eight grounded radio telescopes across the globe that was designed to photograph black holes. Some locations include volcanoes in Hawaii and mountains in the Sierra Nevada, Antarctica, and Arizona. While this, in and of itself, is an amazing accomplishment, Dr. Koay looks forward to the developing scholarship of black holes.
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