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The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

To save whales, dolphins and the world, we need a global treaty on plastic pollution

Millions of tonnes of plastic enter the environment every year impacting ecosystems and species. Plastic has been found in the air, rain, our bodies and our food chain. Emissions of plastic waste into our rivers and ocean are projected to nearly triple by 2040. That won’t just mean more beached whales with stomachs full of plastic; the human costs will…

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Plastic Free July – choose to refuse

Plastic pollution on beach

Plastic is everywhere. When I look around me, I see a gazillion things made of plastic: my computer, my watch, pens, lights, clothes … the list seems never-ending. Plastic is an incredibly useful and versatile material, however, I have a problem with things being made of plastic when they are intended to be used just…

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Christmas…how to get it wrapped without plastic

It’s that time of year again when there’s only one thing on most people’s minds – and in the shops, on the radio, everywhere you turn. Yes, we mean Christmas. And with Christmas comes presents, and presents means wrapping. Lots of wrapping… However, much of the wrapping paper and tape available on the high street…

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Microplastics found in brains of crabs is cause for alarm

Researchers at the University of Brighton have carried out the world’s first study into microplastics in the brains of a crustacean species, which could have wider implications for other marine creatures like whales and dolphins. After feeding polystyrene fluorescent microplastic spheres to mussels, the researchers then fed these mussels to velvet swimming crabs. The stomach,…

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Ban on plastic straws in UK announced

The UK Government has announced a ban on the sale of plastic straws, plastic stemmed cotton buds and plastic stirrers. The ban will come into place in England from next April in the hope that it will help reduce the effect of plastic on the environment. Billions of plastic straws, buds and stirrers are discarded…

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A next-generation plastic that can be recycled again and again

A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has designed a recyclable plastic. Like a Lego playset, it can be disassembled into its constituent parts at the molecular level. It can then be reassembled into a different shape, texture, and colour again and again without loss of performance or…

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Nature may have the answer to plastic pollution

Scientists working on solutions to the growing problem of plastic pollution are now focusing attention on a potential breakthrough supplied by Mother Nature. A study by researchers at Utrecht University reveals that several species of mushrooms will break down and ‘eat’ plastic, sometimes in a matter of weeks. Some, such as the oyster mushroom, are…

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