Pollution, Biden against supermarket freezers

Pollution, Biden against supermarket freezers

Pollution, Biden is ready to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons in supermarket refrigeration systems.

The fight againstpollution also passes from a greater attention to food supplies, changing the logic of conservation of supermarkets. The new President of the United States is convinced of this Joe Biden, ready to intervene on an unknown source of emissions: that of freezer and gods refrigerators of shops and department stores.

The new US administration wants to make illegal the use of some chemicals used for the operation of the refrigeration at industrial level and in the third sector, to strongly reduce the environmental impact.

Pollution, Biden against freezers

It is certainly not a secret: do the shopping it is not always a carbon neutral business. The recovery of food and other household products requires a move, from one’s home to the supermarket, a necessity that inevitably generates emissions. And the products that are on the shelves have led to a certain amount of pollution, between production and the environmental costs of transport. Although these factors are known to almost everyone, far less obvious is another form of contamination, more difficult to identify but with an important impact on the environment: that of refrigerators and freezers.

In the United States, in particular, supermarkets use a very complex system for refrigerating food. Instead of using single chillers, as is often the case in Europe, department stores have a long internal transport network of hydrofluorocarbons, necessary to ensure the cooling of the products. A dense web of pipes and other devices that is integrated directly into the architecture of these shops, however, heralds many problems. Often these pipes in fact they have losses, and the hydrofluorocarbons thus contaminate the environment. Equally often, large quantities of gas that come out of the same pipes, which significantly contribute to the production of emissions harmful to the atmosphere.

Inside theAmerican Innovation and Manufacturing Act, recently approved in the US, the EPA has required all businesses to reduce or eliminate the use of these hydrofluorocarbons, so that the greenhouse gases generated can decrease by 85% over the next 15 years. The decision was made necessary after some recent sample surveys found that, in dozens of US supermarkets, they occur regularly losses of R407A, a greenhouse gas with 2,107 times higher harmfulness than thecarbon dioxide. Of 45 department stores verified by the EPA, as many as 55% had dangerous leaks.

Almost all the stars and stripes chains have decided to work to reduce these emissions, even by giving up hydrofluorocarbons in favor of other technologies. Not a small commitment, considering that between 2018 and 2019 there was an increase of 4 million tons in greenhouse gases released by supermarkets. Each of these emits the equivalent of 400 cars in a year and, in the US, 38,000 businesses are open.

A previous attempt to limit hydrofluorocarbons, as pollutants, had been made by the Obama administration, but in 2017 the US courts had ruled inadmissible. Now it seems that Biden has succeeded in his intent, with a new measure to limit pollution that should come into force soon.

Source: Washington Post


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