Irish Teen Wins 2019 Google Science Fair For Removing Microplastics From Water

by Trevor Nace Senior Contributor Science

An Irish teenager just won $50,000 for his project focusing on extracting micros-plastics from water.

Google launched the Google Science Fair in 2011 where students ages 13 through 18 can submit experiments and their results in front of a panel of judges. The winner receives $50,000. The competition is also sponsored by Lego, Virgin Galactic, National Geographic and Scientific American.

Fionn Ferreira, an 18-year-old from West Cork, Ireland won the competition for his methodology to remove microplastics from water.

Microplastics are defined as having a diameter of 5nm or less and are too small for filtering or screening during wastewater treatment. Microplastics are often included in soaps, shower gels, and facial scrubs for their ability to exfoliate the skin. Microplastics can also come off clothing during normal washing.

These microplastics then make their way into waterways and are virtually impossible to remove through filtration. Small fish are known to eat microplastics and as larger fish eat smaller fish these microplastics are concentrated into larger fish species that humans consume.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2019/07/30/irish-teen-wins-2019-google-science-fair-for-removing-microplastics-from-water/#4bf4c68f373f

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Arctic sea ice loaded with microplastics by Marlowe Hood

At first glance, it looks like hard candy laced with flecks of fake fruit, or a third grader's art project confected from recycled debris.

In reality, it's a sliver of Arctic Ocean sea ice riddled with microplastics, extracted by scientists from deep inside an ice block that likely drifted southward past Greenland into Canada's increasingly navigable Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

"We didn't expect this amount of plastic, we were shocked," said University of Rhode Island ice expert Alessandra D'Angelo, one of a dozen scientists collecting and analysing data during an 18-day expedition aboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden.

"There is so much of it, and of every kind—beads, filaments, nylons," she told AFP from Greenland, days after completing the voyage.

Plastic pollution was not a primary focus of the Northwest Passage Project, funded by the US National Science Foundation and Heising-Simons Foundation.

Led by oceanographer Brice Loose, the multi-year mission is investigating how global warming might transform the biochemistry and ecosystems of the expansive Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

See Full Article at Source: https://phys.org/news/2019-08-arctic-sea-ice-microplastics.html

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'Not a dustbin': Cambodia to send plastic waste back to the US and Canada

Country vows to return 1,600 tonnes of waste as south-east Asian countries revolt against an onslaught of rubbish shipments

Cambodia has announced it will send 1,600 tonnes of plastic waste found in shipping containers back to the US and Canada, as south-east Asian countries revolt against an onslaught of rubbish shipments.

China’s decision to ban foreign plastic waste imports last year threw global recycling into chaos, leaving developed nations struggling to find countries to send their trash.

Eighty-three shipping containers full of rubbish were found on Tuesday at Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s main port, according to a spokesman for the country’s environment minister.

“Cambodia is not a dustbin where foreign countries can dispose of out-of-date e-waste, and the government also opposes any import of plastic waste and lubricants to be recycled in this country,” he said.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/17/cambodia-plastic-waste-us-canada-send-back

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The Lost Nurdles Polluting Texas Beaches

Tiny plastic building blocks are spilled into oceans and waterways before they’re even made into plastic goods.

JULISSA TREVIÑOUNDARK

JUL 5, 2019

Last September, Jace Tunnell discovered a layer of tiny, round plastic pellets covering a beach on Padre Island off the southern coast of Texas. There were “millions of them,” he recalled, “and it went on for miles.” Tunnell, a marine biologist, knew exactly what the pellets were, but says he had never actually seen them before.

They’re called nurdles, and they’re the preproduction building blocks for nearly all plastic goods, from soft-drink bottles to oil pipelines. But as essential as they are for consumer products, nurdles that become lost during transit or manufacturing are also an environmental hazard. In the ocean and along coastal waterways, they absorb toxic chemicals and are often mistaken for food by animals. They also wash up by the millions on beaches, leaving coastal communities to deal with the ramifications.

Researchers say nurdles—which weigh a fraction of an ounce (approximately 20 milligrams each)—are found virtually everywhere. It is estimated that more than 250,000 tons enter the ocean annually. In February, Fidra, an environmental group based in Scotland, reported nurdle pollution in 28 of the 32 countries they surveyed, from Ecuador to South Africa.

“Pellets have been around and have been lost since plastic started to be produced,” says Madeleine Berg, a project manager for Fidra, which is working to reduce plastic waste and chemical pollution. And as plastic production continues to rise, researchers worry that the threat to beaches and coastal regions is growing worse.

Read Full Article at Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/07/plastic-pellets-nurdles-pollute-oceans/593317/

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No-take marine areas help fishers (and fish) far more than we thought

July 3, 2019 3.58pm EDT

One hectare of ocean in which fishing is not allowed (a marine protected area) produces at least five times the amount of fish as an equivalent unprotected hectare, according to new research published today.

This outsized effect means marine protected areas, or MPAs, are more valuable than we previously thought for conservation and increasing fishing catches in nearby areas.

Previous research has found the number of offspring from a fish increases exponentially as they grow larger, a disparity that had not been taken into account in earlier modelling of fish populations. By revising this basic assumption, the true value of MPAs is clearer.

Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas are ocean areas where human activity is restricted and at their best are “no take” zones, where removing animals and plants is banned. Fish populations within these areas can grow with limited human interference and potentially “spill-over” to replenish fished populations outside.

Obviously MPAs are designed to protect ecological communities, but scientists have long hoped they can play another role: contributing to the replenishment and maintenance of species that are targeted by fisheries.

Wild fisheries globally are under intense pressure and the size fish catches have levelled off or declined despite an ever-increasing fishing effort.

Yet fishers remain sceptical that any spillover will offset the loss of fishing grounds, and the role of MPAs in fisheries remains contentious. A key issue is the number of offspring that fish inside MPAs produce. If their fecundity is similar to that of fish outside the MPA, then obviously there will be no benefit and only costs to fishers.

Big fish have far more babies

Traditional models assume that fish reproductive output is proportional to mass, that is, doubling the mass of a fish doubles its reproductive output. Thus, the size of fish within a population is assumed to be less important than the total biomass when calculating population growth.

See Full Article at Source: https://theconversation.com/no-take-marine-areas-help-fishers-and-fish-far-more-than-we-thought-119659

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MONTEREY BAY IS A NATURAL WONDER—POISONED WITH MICROPLASTIC

AUTHOR: MATT SIMON SCIENCE 06.06.1909:00 AM

CALIFORNIA’S MONTEREY BAY is one of the more pure, more dynamic coastal ecosystems on Earth. Otters—once hunted nearly to extinction—float among towering kelp forests, which themselves have rebounded thanks to the booming otter population’s appetite for kelp-loving sea urchins. Great whites visit from time to time, as do all manner of whales and dolphins. All told, it’s one of the greatest success stories in the history of oceanic conservation.

Yet it’s poisoned with a menace no amount of conservation can stop: microplastic. Today in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, researchers present a torrent of horrifying findings about just how bad the plastic problem has become. For one, microplastic is swirling in Monterey Bay’s water column at every depth they sampled, sometimes in concentrations greater than at the surface of the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Two, those plastics are coming from land, not local fishing nets, and are weathered, suggesting they’ve been floating around for a long while. And three, every animal the researchers found—some that make up the base of the food web in the bay—were loaded with microplastic.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.wired.com/story/monterey-bay-microplastic/

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People 'eating a credit card' each week

The average person ingests a credit card worth of microplastics each week through drinking water and consumables such as beer and shellfish.

UPDATED 12/06/2019

The average person could be ingesting 2000 tiny pieces of plastic every week - the equivalent of a credit card - with drinking water the largest source.

The No Plastic in Nature report from the University of Newcastle, commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund, suggests people around the world are consuming about five grams of microplastics per week, or just over 250 grams annually.

The study combines data from over 50 studies on the ingestion of microplastics, which are plastic particles under five millimetres in size.

Drinking water is the largest contributor, with the plastic particles found in bottled, tap, surface and groundwater all over the world.

Shellfish, beer and salt are the consumables with the highest recorded levels of plastic.

WWF International's director general Marco Lambertini says the findings should serve as a wake-up call to governments.

"Not only are plastics polluting our oceans and waterways and killing marine life - it's in all of us and we can't escape consuming plastics," he said in a statement.

"Global action is urgent and essential to tackling this crisis."

See Full Article at Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/people-eating-a-credit-card-each-week

Asian countries take a stand against the rich world’s plastic waste

By SHASHANK BENGALI

JUN 17, 2019 

When the MV Bavaria cargo ship chugged out of a Philippine port one morning last month carrying 69 containers of rotted Canadian garbage, it didn’t just end a messy diplomatic spat between the two countries.

It also signaled a sea change in the global recycling system.

After years of pressure, Canada had agreed to take back the waste, which had been exportedto the Philippines beginning in 2013 falsely labeled as plastic scrap. The shipments were part of a decades-old practice in which rich countries including the United States sent used plastic to Asia to be recycled. Often, the shipments included contaminated waste that couldn’t be recycled but made it past customs checks anyway, and countries had few legal avenues to send it back.

That began to change 18 months ago, when China, the biggest consumer of discarded plastics, banned nearly all waste imports to stop the smuggling of non-recyclable scrap. The trade in plastics quickly rerouted to neighboring Southeast Asian countries that lacked effective recycling plants and disposal laws, leaving much of the waste to be burned or dumped in fields and waterways, creating health and environmental hazards.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-asia-plastic-waste-20190617-story.html

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How America Is Sabotaging The Global War On Plastic Waste

Most nations have banded together to tackle the crisis, but the U.S. keeps undermining their efforts.

By Dominique Mosbergen

When President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan Save Our Seas Act into law last October, he painted a grim picture of just how dire marine plastic pollution had become.

“Every year, over 8 million tons of garbage is dumped into our oceans,” he declared. “This waste, trash and debris harms not only marine life, but also fishermen and coastal economies along America’s vast stretches.”

While it is true that Asia is the source of an estimated 80% of marine plastic pollution, what Trump failed to mention was that most of it doesn’t actually originate there.

“It’s an uncomfortable fact that ... the vast majority of the waste in these Asian countries that are ending up in the oceans actually come from the U.S. and Europe,” David Azoulay of the Center for International Environmental Law said from Geneva on Thursday.

The U.S., which is one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of plastic, is also the No. 1 exporter of plastic scrap

For decades, it sent much of this waste to China, which had processed about 45% of the world’s plastic scrap until it decided in 2018 to bar most of these imports. As a result, China’s Southeast Asian neighbors have been deluged with American plastic waste. Unlike China, however, countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have neither the infrastructure nor the resources to properly handle this onslaught.

As a HuffPost investigation uncovered earlier this year, bales of plastic trash from countries like the U.S., U.K. and Australia are being illegally dumped or burned across Southeast Asian countries. Local activists in Malaysia said at the time that the U.S. and other wealthy nations were using the region as a “dumping ground.”

Read Full Article at Source Here: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/plastic-regulation-us-obstruction-basel-convention_n_5cde76f0e4b00e035b8da236?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9uZXdzLmdvb2dsZS5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJkWm03r_Hj1sC3ruPTD0zmD7F0DTjMfZPfvgi9gkCEJVTld1vuxwu4zfDb7HEMZ6w5L5TpBAqjrgytlHnZcRPcvlECCVomBYrw8FXrjMtzLKXKwtWcxBiB4ylWEqGDpwzTRoZZkQ6z9EBff4fcEXMGjiKEvV8SU-Voi4c7GRidn

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UN adopts global treaty limiting plastic waste trade

By STEVE TOLOKEN

Hoping to slow plastic pollution in the environment, members at a high-level United Nations meeting May 10 decided to include plastic waste in a treaty governing trade in hazardous waste.

The changes in the Basel Convention, which were pushed by Norway and adopted by the 187-nation body, create a legally-binding and potentially far-reaching framework that will put tighter controls on buying and selling of plastic scrap and waste.

At a news conference at the close of the meeting in Geneva, U.N. officials also made note of huge petition drives on social media urging the Basel negotiators to act on plastics waste.

"Plastic waste is acknowledged as one of the world's most pressing environmental issues, and the fact that this week close to 1 million people around the world signed a petition urging Basel Convention Parties to take action here in Geneva ... is a sign that public awareness and desire for action is high," said Rolph Payet, executive secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, a U.N. agency.

Read Full Article at Source: https://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20190510/NEWS/190519991/un-adopts-global-treaty-limiting-plastic-waste-trade

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London Marathon Runners Were Handed Seaweed Pouches Instead Of Plastic Bottles


Trevor Nace
Contributor

London Marathon runners were given a surprising thirst quencher during their run: edible seaweed pouches filled with a sports drink.

The seaweed pouch campaign during the marathon, which took place yesterday on April 28, 2019, helped to reduce the use of hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles. Marathon organizers have grappled with the sea of plastic bottles left over after over 40,000 runners quenched their thirst with single-use bottles of water and sports drink.

However, in the 2019 London Marathon organizers planned to replace 200,000 plastic bottles with innovative seaweed pouches filled with a sports drink. The seaweed pouches, called Ooho, were produced by Skipping Rocks Lab. The seaweed capsules can be bitten to release the liquid inside and eventually entirely consumed, or if the runner prefers not to eat the seaweed film it can be discarded where it will break down quickly.

Read full article at Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2019/04/29/london-marathon-runners-were-handed-seaweed-pouches-instead-of-plastic-bottles/#22dc028b2ba2


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Miniature transponder technology to be used in the war against ocean plastic

by Newcastle University

Low-cost acoustic tags attached to fishing nets are being trialled as part of a major new project to reduce marine litter and 'ghost fishing'.

Lost fishing gear—known as ghost nets—are a major threat to life in our oceans. Choking coral reefs, damaging marine habitats and entangling fish, marine mammals and seabirds, they are also a danger to boats, catching in the propellers. And they are a key source of plastic pollution, gradually breaking up and disintegrating to add to the growing volume of microplastics in the ocean.

Often lost during storms or in strong currents, the nets can travel long distances and can continue to fish for years afterwards—hence the phrase ghost fishing. Because of this, locating and removing the nets is both highly desirable and a major challenge.

The new NetTag project has been set up to try to reduce and prevent marine litter by developing new technology for the location and recovery of lost fishing gear based on miniature transponders—acoustic devices that pick up and automatically respond to an incoming signal. The project also aims to promote improved practices for the management of fishing waste.

The project is a collaboration between Newcastle University (UK) who develop underwater communication and tracking technology, CIIMAR (PT), INESC-TEC (PT), and the Universities of Aveiro (PT) and Santiago de Compostela (ES), together with stakeholders from the fishing industry across Europe.

Read full article at Source here: https://phys.org/news/2019-04-miniature-transponder-technology-war-ocean.html

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This state is poised to become the first to ban foam food packaging

Maryland's three-year effort built on public opinion that reached a "tipping point." BY LAURA PARKER

MARYLAND IS EXPECTED to become the first U.S. state to ban foam food packaging, takeout containers and cups—and the latest in a growing worldwide effort to ban various disposable single-use plastic products.

The new proposed law passed both of the state’s legislative chambers this week with enough votes to override a potential veto signed by Gov. Larry Hogan, who has not publicly signaled whether he supports the law or not. The law would become the latest in a growing effort worldwide to ban an assortment of disposable, single-use plastic products, due to their impacts on the environment. Hogan reportedly has six days to sign or veto the law.

Prior to the statewide ban effort, Maryland’s two most populous counties—Prince George’s and Montgomery, which both border Washington, D.C.—had already banned foam packaging.

Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore), who sponsored similar legislation last year and in 2017, says changing public opinion helped her third attempt succeed (it was approved 100-37 in the House of Delegates).

“I think we’ve reached a tipping point,” she says. “People are seeing how ubiquitous single-use plastics are, that they are not recyclable and never going away. People are beginning to understand the importance of living more sustainably.”

Read full article at source here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/maryland-styrofoam-food-packaging-ban/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=social::src=twitter::cmp=editorial::add=tw20190410env-styrofoamban::rid=&sf210759299=1

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Is a Snickers Wrapper Hazardous Waste? Limiting the trade in certain plastics isn’t going to mitigate the threat to the environment.

By Adam Minter

April 27, 2019, 5:00 PM PDT

A plastic water bottle, a Snickers wrapper and a container of detergent are dropped into a recycling bin. Are they hazardous waste? They could be, according to a Norwegian government proposal, which marks the latest effort by activists and government officials to tackle the growing tide of plastics threatening the ocean.

The proposal has good intentions: It aims to mitigate the overflow of plastics across the globe, which surged when China stopped importing recycled materials last year. But it’s not going to save the oceans. Quite the contrary: By imposing new layers of red tape, it’s more likely to inhibit the re-use of plastics, promote landfilling and incineration, and intensify the use of virgin raw materials, including petrochemicals.

Over the past two decades, Chinese recyclers and manufacturers developed a cottage industry finding value in rich countries’ leftover materials, eventually becoming the world’s top buyers of scrap plastics. Beijing, determined to boost the fortunes of China’s domestic players, then severely restricted the import of scrap recyclables, including plastics, on Jan. 1, 2018.

Since then, that plastic has found its way to other countries. Many of China’s recyclers and manufacturers relocated abroad, especially in nearby Southeast Asia, where they can import freely. In principle, that’s not a bad thing. Even before the trade war, Chinese manufacturing was moving into lower-cost neighbors, and recyclers were following. Since the imposition of U.S. tariffs on China, that process has continued and even accelerated. It’s only natural that the raw material suppliers — especially the recyclers — follow the manufacturers.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-28/exporting-fewer-plastics-won-t-save-the-ocean

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In some countries, people face jail time for using plastic bags. Here are all the places that have banned plastic bags and straws so far.

Aylin Woodward

New York state lawmakers have approved a state-wide plastic bag ban, which will go into effect in March 2020.

  • Similar bans are already in effect in California, Hawaii, and more than 32 countries. Some places tax plastic bags in lieu of a ban.

  • Shoppers use 500 billion single-use plastic bags worldwide every year.

  • These bags typically end up in landfills or the ocean. More than 100,000 marine mammals get entangled in plastic bags and die annually.

  • Other cities and companies have also banned single-use plastic straws.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York legislature have approved a new fiscal budget that includes a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags.

When the ban goes into effect on March 1, 2020, New York will become one of three US states that doesn't allow these bags. (The others are California and Hawaii.)

"The convenience of plastic bags is simply not worth the environmental impact," New York State Assembly speaker Carl Heastie told the Associated Press. "By reducing our state's usage, we will see less litter in our communities and less plastic pollution in our waterways."

Shoppers worldwide use some 500 billion (yes, billion) single-use plastic bags annually. That's roughly 150 bags per year for every person on Earth, according to the nonprofit group Ocean Crusaders. Strung end-to-end, that's enough plastic to circle the globe 4,200 times.

On average, a plastic bag has only a 12-minute lifespan, according to Reusethisbag, an organization that sells sustainable grocery bags.


Read Full Article at Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/plastic-bans-around-the-world-2019-4

The average lifespan of a plastic bag is 12 minutes.   Getty Images / Jeff J. Mitchell

The average lifespan of a plastic bag is 12 minutes.

Getty Images / Jeff J. Mitchell

In Ancient Oceans That Resembled Our Own, Mass Extinction Was Triggered By Oxygen Loss

by Zachary Boehm, Florida State University

Roughly 430 million years ago, during the Earth's Silurian Period, global oceans were experiencing changes that would seem eerily familiar today. Melting polar ice sheets meant sea levels were steadily rising, and ocean oxygen was falling fast around the world.

At around the same time, a global die-off known among scientists as the Ireviken extinction event devastated scores of ancient species. Eighty percent of conodonts, which resembled small eels, were wiped out, along with half of all trilobites, which scuttled along the seafloor like their distant, modern-day relative the horseshoe crab.

Now, for the first time, a Florida State University team of researchers has uncovered conclusive evidence linking the period's sea level rise and ocean oxygen depletion to the widespread decimation of marine species. Their work highlights a dramatic story about the urgent threat posed by reduced oxygen conditions to the rich tapestry of ocean life.

See Full Article at Source: https://phys.org/news/2019-03-ancient-oceans-resembled-oxygen-loss.html

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A Troubling Discovery in the Deepest Ocean Trenches In the Mariana Trench, the lowest point in any ocean, every tiny animal tested had plastic pollution hiding in its gut.


ED YONG

Alan Jamieson remembers seeing it for the first time: a small, black fiber floating in a tube of liquid. It resembled a hair, but when Jamieson examined it under a microscope, he realized that the fiber was clearly synthetic—a piece of plastic. And worryingly, his student Lauren Brooks had pulled it from the gut of a small crustacean living in one of the deepest parts of the ocean.

For the past decade, Jamieson, a marine biologist at Newcastle University, has been sending vehicles to the bottom of marine trenches, which can be as deep as the Himalayas are tall. Once there, these landers have collected amphipods—scavenger relatives of crabs and shrimp that thrive in the abyss. Jamieson originally wanted to know how these animals differ from one distant trench to another. But a few years ago, almost on a whim, he decided to analyze their body for toxic, human-made pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which have been banned for decades but which persist in nature for much longer.

The team found PCBs galore. Some amphipods were carrying levels 50 times higher than those seen in crabs from one of China’s most polluted rivers. When the news broke, Jamieson was inundated with calls from journalists and concerned citizens. And in every discussion, one question kept coming up: What about plastics?

Read Full Article at Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/02/deepest-ocean-trenches-animals-eat-plastic/583657/

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The Ocean Is Running Out of Breath, Scientists Warn Widespread and sometimes drastic marine oxygen declines are stressing sensitive species—a trend that will continue with climate change

By Laura Poppick on February 25, 2019

Escaping predators, digestion and other animal activities—including those of humans—require oxygen. But that essential ingredient is no longer so easy for marine life to obtain, several new studies reveal.

In the past decade ocean oxygen levels have taken a dive—an alarming trend that is linked to climate change, says Andreas Oschlies, an oceanographer at the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany, whose team tracks ocean oxygen levels worldwide. “We were surprised by the intensity of the changes we saw, how rapidly oxygen is going down in the ocean and how large the effects on marine ecosystems are,” he says.

It is no surprise to scientists that warming oceans are losing oxygen, but the scale of the dip calls for urgent attention, Oschlies says. Oxygen levels in some tropical regions have dropped by a startling 40 percent in the last 50 years, some recent studies reveal. Levels have dropped more subtly elsewhere, with an average loss of 2 percent globally.

See Full Article at Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-ocean-is-running-out-of-breath-scientists-warn/

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The major source of ocean plastic pollution you’ve probably never heard of

“Nurdles” may sound cute but they pose a huge risk to the marine environment. Also known as “mermaid tears”, these small plastic pellets are a feedstock in the plastic industry. Instead of being converted into household items, many end up in the ocean, collecting toxins on their surfaces and being eaten by marine wildlife. Not so cute now, are they?

Nurdles are the building blocks for most plastic goods, from single-use water bottles to televison sets. These small pellets – normally between 1mm and 5mm – are classed as a primary microplastic alongside the microbeads used in cosmetic products – they’re small on purpose, as opposed to other microplastics that break off from larger plastic waste in the ocean.

The small size of nurdles makes them easy to transport as the raw material which can be melted down and moulded into all kinds of plastic products by manufacturers. Unfortunately, mismanagement of these little pellets during transport and processing leads to billions being unintentionally released into rivers and oceans through effluent pipes, blown from land or via industrial spillage.


Read Full article at Source: https://theconversation.com/the-major-source-of-ocean-plastic-pollution-youve-probably-never-heard-of-111687?fbclid=IwAR2U9l0SSRMiWTdMbs7876GNRY0aCrjsgIKAKFmZD2NYA-r6nKIbrFAX4Zo

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The World’s Biggest Brands Want You to Refill Your Orange Juice and Deodorant. P&G, Nestlé and others try to curb plastic waste; Tropicana in glass bottles, Tide in metal cans

By Saabira Chaudhuri

Jan. 24, 2019 3:00 a.m. ET

The world’s biggest makers of shampoo, detergent and packaged food will test selling their products in reusable containers, adopting a milkman-style model to address mounting concerns about plastic waste.

Procter & Gamble Co. PG -1.20% Nestlé SA, NSRGY +0.50% PepsiCo Inc. PEP -1.00% andUnilever UL -0.90% PLC are among 25 companies that, this summer, will start selling some products in glass, steel and other containers designed to be returned, cleaned and refilled.

Critics question whether the project will achieve scale in the face of high costs and entrenched consumer behavior. But, if successful, the companies say the efforts will reduce waste from single-use packaging. It could also be a way to woo eco-conscious consumers, glean data and foster brand loyalty.

“I sometimes wonder if it’s a fair accusation that we’re in the branded litter business,” Unilever Chief Executive Alan Jope said at a conference Tuesday, adding that the company must do more on plastic waste. “That’s what people care about right now.”

See Full Article at Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/big-brands-to-test-refillable-containers-11548316801

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