Category: Plastics

Researchers suggest a way to achieve net-zero emission plastics

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A team of researchers with members affiliated with institutions in Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. has created a model that they claim could be used to achieve net-zero-emission plastics by 2050. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group outlines their model and requirements for implementation.

Plastic and climate crisis are linked — we shouldn’t address one and ignore the other

Read the full story at ZME Science.

Despite being frequently described as separate and even competing issues, the climate crisis and plastic pollution are more linked than we used to think, a new study found. Researchers called for governments and policymakers to urgently tackle the two issues together so as to avoid falling short on much-needed solutions.

McDonald’s commits to reduce virgin plastics in Happy Meal toys

Read the full story at Waste Today.

The global restaurant chain seeks to reduce virgin fossil-fuel-based plastics by 90 percent by the end of 2025.

Fit washing machines with filters to reduce microplastic pollution, MPs say

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Washing machines should be fitted with filters to prevent microplastic fibres from clothes reaching waterways and the sea, the Women’s Institute, campaigners and MPs have urged.

Concentration of microparticles in lakes reflect nearby human activity and land use

Read the full story in PLOS.

A new study suggests that microparticle concentrations in lakes are higher than previously reported, and that human activity and surrounding land use may be a strong predictor of microplastics and anthropogenic fiber pollution.

The sea’s next big plastic problem? Old paint

Read the full story in Wired.

Oil rigs, turbines and other megastructures are shedding tonnes of plastic-laden paint into the ocean. This company has a fix.

Good for groundwater – bad for crops? Plastic particles release pollutants in upper soil layers

Read the full story from the University of Vienna.

In agriculture, large quantities of nano- and microplastics end up in the soil through compost, sewage sludge and the use of mulching foils. The plastic particles always carry various pollutants with them. However, they do not transport them into the groundwater, as is often assumed. Environmental geoscientists led by Thilo Hofmann have now determined that the plastic particles release the pollutants in the upper soil layers: they do not generally contaminate the groundwater, but have a negative effect on soil microbes and crops. The study by the University of Vienna appears in Nature Communications Earth & Environment.

China to ramp up recycling, incineration in new plastic pollution push

Read the full story from Reuters.

China will boost its plastic recycling and incineration capabilities, promote “green” plastic products and take action against the overuse of plastic in packaging and agriculture, it said in a 2021-2025 “five-year plan” published on Wednesday.

Single-use plastic used to make longer-lasting asphalt in Missouri

Read the full story in Forbes.

Plastic waste “rocks” when it comes to paving roads. While asphalt mixtures are usually created using stone, sand or gravel, it turns out that plastic waste is a good substitute for aggregate since it’s made to last for hundreds of years, Missouri researchers say.

The Great Lakes are awash in plastic waste. What can be done about it?

Read the full story at MLive.

In Toledo, Ohio, a device that resembles a small animal cage on pontoons with floating sausage links on either side is trapping trash on a creek that flows to Lake Erie.

In Toronto, Ont., floating garbage cans called Seabins are vacuuming up plastic bottles, cigarette butts, wrappers and other junk at marinas along Lake Ontario.

In Clayton, N.Y., fancy netted baskets called LittaTraps are catching garbage inside village storm sewers that drain runoff into the St. Lawrence River.

In each case, the devices were installed within the last couple years to reduce the amount of plastic waste reaching the Great Lakes, which are receiving an estimated 22 million pounds (10,000 metric tons) of plastic debris annually from the U.S. and Canada.

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