Paris to ban single-use plastic at 2024 Olympic Games

Paris to ban single-use plastic at 2024 Olympic Games

via ESPN

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Friday the city planned to ban single-use plastic when it holds the 2024 Olympic Games as part of efforts to tackle a global plastic pollution crisis.

paris olympics“We have decided to make the Olympic Games the first major major event without single-use plastic,” Hidalgo told a press conference at a session of the International Forum of Mayors against Plastic Pollution.

Read the full story here: https://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/37733149/paris-ban-single-use-plastic-2024-games

There can be 240,000 plastic particles in a litre bottle of water

There can be 240,000 plastic particles in a litre bottle of water

via New Scientist

recycle plasticA single 1-litre bottle of water could contain 240,000 microscopic plastic particles. The health implications of ingesting plastic are unclear, but early research suggests such particles could travel into various organs within the body.

Millions of tonnes of plastic are produced every year as a result of human activity, such as the fishing industry and domestic waste. Most of this is made up of microplastics, which measure between 1 micrometre and 5 millimetres across.

Read the full story here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2411329-there-can-be-240000-plastic-particles-in-a-litre-bottle-of-water/

A Strange Plastic Rock Has Ominously Invaded 5 Continents

A Strange Plastic Rock Has Ominously Invaded 5 Continents

via Popular Mechanics

plastic rockPlastics are now  infecting the Earth’s geology—so much that experts are now calling to formally recognize a new kind of sedimentary rock: plastistone. Deyi Hou, an associate professor at Tsinghua University in China, and his colleague Liuwei Wang recently wrote a paper about the emergence of this new plastic-rock fusion.

Read the full story here: https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/a46181945/plastistone-sedimentary-rock/

Countries meet in Kenya to thrash out global plastic pollution treaty

Countries meet in Kenya to thrash out global plastic pollution treaty

Government delegations will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, to hammer out details of what could be the first global treaty to tackle the plastic pollution crisis.

A key focus for the discussions on Monday will be whether targets to restrict plastic production should be decided unilaterally or whether states should choose their own targets; this is, say environmentalists, the “centre of gravity” for the treaty’s ambition.

Read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/12/countries-meeting-nairobi-kenya-global-plastic-pollution-treaty

The Microplastic Crisis Is Getting Exponentially Worse

The Microplastic Crisis Is Getting Exponentially Worse

via Wired

plastic scrapNot even the Arctic Ocean is immune to the incessant growth of microplastic pollution. In a new study that analyzed sediment core samples, researchers quantified how many of the particles have been deposited since the early 1930s. As scientists have shown elsewhere, the team found that microplastic contamination in the Arctic has been growing exponentially and in lockstep with the growth of plastic production—which is now up to a trillion pounds a year, with the global amount of plastic waste projected to triple by 2060.

Read the full story here: https://www.wired.com/story/the-microplastic-crisis-is-getting-exponentially-worse/

Award-winning — plastic-eating robo-fish is finally here to rid our waters of waste

Award-winning — plastic-eating robo-fish is finally here to rid our waters of waste

via Interesting Engineering

A robot fish that filters microplastics has been created after winning a robotics contest at the University of Surrey.

Researchers in robotics make the “robo-fish” concept a reality, according to a press release published by the University on Thursday.

“Water pollution, especially plastic pollution, is a huge problem. It’s not just the ocean which suffers but rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. This makes it a problem without a one-size-fits-all solution,” Eleanor Mackintosh, a chemistry undergrad student at the University of Surrey and the contest winner, told New Atlas.

Read the full story here: https://interestingengineering.com/innovation/plastic-eating-robo-fish-to-clean-our-waters

 

Plastic-eating superworms with ‘recycling plant’ in their guts might get a job gobbling up waste

Plastic-eating superworms with ‘recycling plant’ in their guts might get a job gobbling up waste

via SCMP Scientists from Australia’s University of Queensland have discovered that a type of beetle larvae called Zophobas morio can consume and break down polystyrene. Research published in the scientific journal Microbial Genomics on June 9, 2022, says the superworms possess special gut enzymes that can break down plastic. The researchers say they now hope to study the enzymes to engineer ways the substance could be used to break down and dispose of plastic waste in the future.

Microplastics detected in meat, milk and blood of farm animals

Microplastics detected in meat, milk and blood of farm animals

via The Guardian

Microplastic contamination has been reported in beef and pork for the first time, as well as in the blood of cows and pigs on farms.

plastic scrap

Scientists at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA) in the Netherlands found the particles in three-quarters of meat and milk products tested and every blood sample in their pilot study.

Read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/08/microplastics-detected-in-meat-milk-and-blood-of-farm-animals

Scientists unveil bionic robo-fish to remove microplastics from seas

Scientists unveil bionic robo-fish to remove microplastics from seas

via The Guardian

Scientists have designed a tiny robot-fish that is programmed to remove microplastics from seas and oceans by swimming around and adsorbing them on its soft, flexible, self-healing body.

Microplastics are the billions of tiny plastic particles which fragment from the bigger plastic things used every day such as water bottles, car tyres and synthetic T-shirts. They are one of the 21st century’s biggest environmental problems because once they are dispersed into the environment through the breakdown of larger plastics they are very hard to get rid of, making their way into drinking water, produce, and food, harming the environment and animal and human health.

Read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/22/scientists-unveil-bionic-robo-fish-to-remove-microplastics-from-seas

plastic scrap

Chemists cook up way to remove microplastics using okra

via the American Chemical Society.

SAN DIEGO, March 22, 2022 — In many cuisines, okra serves as a master thickener of stews and soups. The goo from that fruit and other plants, such as aloe, cactus and psyllium, can also clean water and wastewater of some types of solid pollutants, as well as some that are dissolved. Now, researchers have demonstrated that combinations of these food-grade plant extracts can remove microplastics from wastewater.

microplastics okra

The health effects of ingesting microplastics — tiny pieces of plastic 5 mm or smaller — are currently unclear, but studies suggest that people unintentionally consume tens of thousands of these particles every year. “We think that microplastics by themselves may not be much of a health hazard, but anything that they get into or any type of toxic substance that gets attached to these plastics could go inside our bodies and cause problems,” says Rajani Srinivasan, Ph.D., the principal investigator for the project.

Read the full story here: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2022/march/cooking-up-a-way-to-remove-microplastics-from-wastewater.html