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Tag: plastic

Opening plastic packaging generates microplastics, study says

Opening plastic packaging generates microplastics, study says

Science
March 20 (UPI) -- Simply opening a plastic package can introduce microplastics into the atmosphere and be ingested or inhaled, a new study indicates. Chinese scientists, funded by the Australian environmental research company CRC CARE, studied the travel of microplastics -- plastic pieces less than 0.2 millimeters in length -- after plastic bags of food and plastic drink bottles are opened, as well as plastic sealing tape after a package is opened. The researchers found that fragments of 10 to 30 nanograms, or 0.0001 to 0.00003 milligrams, of plastic remain in the atmosphere through cutting or twisting larger pieces of plastic, according to the study, published this week in the journal Scientific Reports. While microplastics are normally associated with pollution in the form of bulk wast...
To sea turtles, stinky plastic smells like food

To sea turtles, stinky plastic smells like food

Science
March 9 (UPI) -- Sea turtles are drawn to stinky plastic because it smells like food, according to new research. Their affinity for the aroma of plastic waste, described Monday in the journal Current Biology, could explain why the marine reptiles are so susceptible to pollution. "We found that loggerhead sea turtles respond to odors from biofouled plastics in the same way they respond to food odorants, suggesting that turtles may be attracted to plastic debris not only by the way it looks, but by the way it smells," lead study author Joseph Pfaller, marine biologist and sea turtle expert at the University of Florida, said in a news release. "This 'olfactory trap' might help explain why sea turtles ingest and become entangled in plastic so frequently." Previous studies have suggested some...
New York’s plastic bag ban is a lesson in how consumers treat money

New York’s plastic bag ban is a lesson in how consumers treat money

Finance
Zelma Brezinska / EyeEmNew York's new ban on plastic bags is, on its face, an effort to reduce consumer waste. It likely also offers an important lesson on consumer psychology and how we think about money.As of Sunday, most businesses in the state can no longer offer single-use plastic bags to consumers. Several cities and counties, such as New York City, are also imposing a 5-cent fee for each paper bag a consumer chooses to use.A similar rule in Los Angeles (which imposed a 10-cent fee) led to a 94% reduction in single-use bag consumption, according to a New York task force report. In Washington, D.C., a 5-cent fee on both paper and plastic bags caused a 50% reduction. Internationally, bag fees have resulted in reductions ranging from 50% to 90%, according to the report.More from Persona...
Plastic pollution: Snowdon research is a ‘wake-up call’

Plastic pollution: Snowdon research is a ‘wake-up call’

Science
The discovery of microplastic pollution near the top of the highest mountain in Wales is a "scary wake-up call", environmentalists have said.Traces of plastic have been found in samples collected from Llyn Glaslyn - a remote lake near the summit of Snowdon.The tiny particles are "most likely" to have been deposited by rain, wetland science expert Dr Christian Dunn said. A teacher who gathered the samples will now visit all the UK's 15 national parks to learn more.Activist Laura Sanderson swam 16 miles (26km) from the source of River Glaslyn - 2,000ft (610m) above sea level - to the sea, last April, collecting water samples along the way.Results showed an average of three pieces of microplastic per litre from the lake made famous...
Bill proposes ban on plastic waste exports

Bill proposes ban on plastic waste exports

Science
Exporting polluting plastic waste to developing countries will be banned or restricted under a new law.The rule presented to the UK Parliament is aimed at protecting poorer nations against becoming the dumping ground for unwanted rubbish.The latest trade data shows that some 356,233 tonnes of plastic waste was sent for recycling from the UK to developing countries in 2018. The plastic often ends up dumped in waterways.This has resulted in many developing countries sending back waste to rich nations.The revised Environment Bill also rules that firms producing packaging must take more responsibility for products and materials they put on the market.Environmentalists say the bill should also include measures to reduce the amount of ...