Plastic

Large amounts of plastic trash accumulated in Ballona Creek in Culver City, California.

Plastic-Degrading Enzymes May Be Increasing in Response to Pollution

One in every four organisms in the microbiomes they surveyed carries a plastic-degrading protein sequence

Plastic makes up 80 percent of all marine debris found, from surface waters to deep-sea sediments 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Hosts Life in the Open Ocean

Coastal plants and animals are thriving on the plastic debris, posing potential ecological risks

Other biodegradable bioplastics from algae, cornstarch, sawdust have lower emissions over their lifetime than regular oil-based plastics but still, need the energy provided by the fossil-fuel energy grid to manufacture.

Scientists Made an Eco-Friendly Plastic Using DNA From Salmon Sperm

The material requires 97 percent less carbon emissions to make than petroleum-based plastics

LifeLab Design's WarmLife vests are 30 percent warmer than clothing of comparable weight and bulk.

Innovation for Good

This Apparel Company Wants to Have a Profound Effect on Your Energy Use

LifeLabs Design was founded by a pair of Stanford professors who have developed fabrics capable of cooling and warming the wearer

Hermit crabs are essential scavengers in the ocean. They may crawl into discarded tires looking for food or shelter, and become trapped and die of starvation.

Discarded Tires Are 'Ghost Fishing' Hermit Crabs

New research suggests these shell-swapping crustaceans are vulnerable to becoming trapped inside human debris

The device was developed by The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit that aims to remove 90 percent of floating ocean plastic by 2040.

This New Installation Pulled 20,000 Pounds of Plastic From the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The trash collection device dubbed 'Jenny' could help address overwhelming marine plastic pollution

The change to more eco-friendly toys is already underway in some countries like the UK and Ireland. In France, kids can choose between receiving a sustainable toy or a book in the "One Book or One Toy" program with their Happy Meal.
 

McDonald's Will Offer More Sustainable Happy Meal Toys by 2025

New prizes will be made from renewable, recyclable plastics and cardboard in a shift away from using plastic made from virgin fossil fuels

Plastic debris covers much of the sand on Henderson Island.

Plastics Make Beaches Hotter During the Day and Colder at Night

A study of remote islands shows that debris alters sand temperatures

Babies may be exposed to microplastics from putting toys in their mouths or from plastic baby bottles, sippy cups, and pacifiers that might shed pieces of PET.

Baby Poo Has Ten Times More Microplastics Than Adult Feces

The small pilot study included fecal samples from ten adults and six infants in New York state

Fishers gather rope and nets on a fishing boat in Gaza in May 2021. 

New Research

With Ropes and Nets, Fishing Fleets Contribute Significantly to Microplastic Pollution

Synthetic ropes release 'substantial amount' of plastic particles into the sea during each use, according to new research

There are many reasons to be worried about the state of the world’s oceans. But some scientists say it’s important to point to successes, in order to motivate people to take further, evidence-based action.

Seven Reasons to Be Optimistic About the World's Oceans

The health of the ocean is under threat, but these good-news stories deserve attention too

Currently, single-use plastics lose 95 percent of their value after use, causing a $110 billion loss to global markets every year.

Innovation for Good

Plastic Waste Can Be Transformed Into Vanilla Flavoring

Researchers used microbes to convert plastic waste into the chemical additive

A new way of chemically recycling single-use plastics might offer an incentive to keep them out of landfills.

Innovation for Good

New Chemical Process Turns Single-Use Plastics Into Fuels

Researchers say their method can break down hard-to-recycle plastics using half the energy of existing techniques

The enzyme-enhanced plastic film had the same strength and flexibility as a standard plastic grocery bag.

Innovation for Good

This Biodegradable Plastic Will Actually Break Down in Your Compost

Water and heat activate plastic-munching enzymes that reduce the material to harmless chemical building blocks

Blue pieces of microplastic viewed under a microscope alongside dust, minerals and charcoal collected from a park in Idaho.

New Research

Airborne Microplastics 'Now Spiral Around the Globe'

Researchers find the tiny synthetic particles can stay aloft for nearly a week and travel large distances in the wind

Twenty-eight incidents where wildlife was harmed by PPE were recorded and the first documented case included an American Robin found wrapped up in a mask in Canada, in April 2020.

Discarded Covid-19 Masks and Plastic Gloves Are Killing Wildlife

Biologists are finding single-use items are entrapping and entangling animals all over the globe

Researchers estimate this seagrass found in the Mediterranean could trap about 867 million plastic pieces per year in coastal areas.

New Research

This Seagrass Traps Marine Plastic

Researchers find the Mediterranean species of seagrass collects plastics in fibrous balls that form from its fallen leaves

The Schmidt Ocean Institute’s submersible SuBastian, which was responsible for several discoveries in 2020, is retrieved from the water.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2020

From the discovery of a giant coral reef pinnacle to a shocking estimate of plastics on the seafloor, these were the biggest marine moments of the year

The highest concentration of microplastics—119 particles per quart of water—were found around Everest Base Camp, where climbers spend time resting, regrouping and acclimatizing to the high elevation.

Even Mount Everest, the World's Tallest Peak, Can't Escape Microplastics

At 27,690 feet in elevation, the mountain is the highest point above sea level where microplastics have been detected

Litter, much of it plastic, dots a beach in Santa Monica, CA, the morning after a beach cleanup.

New Research

The U.S. Is the World's Number One Source of Plastic Waste

In 2016, the average American produced 286 pounds of plastic waste, the highest rate per capita of any country on Earth

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