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Environment

Plastic Pollution

Microplastics proliferating in the world’s oceans appear to also be carrying a host of bacteria, some so toxic that they can cause coral bleaching in tropical waters and even bring infections to humans with open wounds. Bacteria known to cause gastroenteritis were also found.

Researchers from the National University of Singapore sampled plastic debris in the waters around the city-state. They found that among the bacteria hitching rides on the microplastics were some useful organisms, such as those that can break down pollutants in the water.

But lead researcher Sandric Leong cautioned that since marine life are eating the plastic, the accompanying pathogens could be passing up the food chain.

These things can be recycled or burned for fuel! We ship our garbage off to China and we pay for it. Then China turns around and recycles it and sell us whatever they made out of it!
Why can’t we do that? Mitch Mcconnell, our real president, and his puppet Trump are against it. Trump is too dense to be president. He has evil men like Stephen Miller, manipulating him.

Environment

Plastic Meals

Researchers say microplastics were in the guts of every marine animal they examined that had washed up on the coast of Britain, including dolphins, seals and whales.

A team from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory says most of the particles found in 50 animals from 10 different species were synthetic fibers, which can come from fishing nets, toothbrushes and clothing. They believe the rest came from sources such as food packaging and plastic bottles.

While it’s thought the plastic would eventually pass through the digestive systems or be regurgitated, the scientists say they “don’t yet know what effects the microplastics, or the chemicals on and in them, might have on marine mammals.”

theguardian.com
All change as millennial parents turn to cloth nappies
Families keen on saving money and stopping plastic waste ditch the disposables
By Tess Reidy

‘Modern reusable nappies are available in cotton, bamboo and hemp.

Growing consumer concern over plastic waste, and a more pragmatic desire to save money, means boom times for the reusable nappy industry.

“There is increased awareness of the impact of disposable nappies – they are a single-use plastic. It started with coffee cups, then disposable wipes, and the jump from wipes to nappies is clear,” said Wendy Richards, director of UK online provider The Nappy Lady. She says the number of people using the service has grown by 80% in the past year. The business has doubled its staff since the start of 2018.

About 25% of a disposable nappy is plastic and three billion nappies a year end up in landfill. Some councils in Britain now give new parents vouchers worth up to £55 to help pay for a set of reusable nappies.

Bambino Mio, based in Northamptonshire, sells reusable nappy products online and in supermarkets, and says it has seen sales increase by 50% in the past year. It says more than 30% of parents now try plastic-free alternatives. “The impact of single-use plastics is a hot topic across the globe,” said spokesperson Victoria Williams. “There is no greater single-use product than a disposable nappies – plastic bottles and bags can be reused; disposable nappies are certainly only used once.”

Another explanation for the rise in reusable nappies is economic. Data from Nottinghamshire county council’s nappy project finds that using real nappies and washing them at home saves £200 a year compared with buying disposables. “This could help UK parents save as much as £360m a year, while helping us move towards a zero-waste society,” said Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green party.’

4

Bridget: Lucas, let me break it down to you. You know we only allow Max to hang out with us because you two are SO in love. So the least you could do it’s to keep him in line. Next time he appears dressing like that, he won’t be sitting with us. You know everyone else on the school want’s to be in our group, I can easily replace both of you.

Lucas: What? NO, I’ll talk to him, i won’t happen again.

Bridget: It better. Now let’s dance.

theguardian.com
Microplastics found in every marine mammal surveyed in UK study
Stranded porpoises, dolphins and seals had average of 5.5 particles in their guts.
By Anna Turns

Microplastics are being widely ingested by Britain’s marine mammals, scientists say, with samples found in every animal examined in a study.

The research on 50 stranded creatures including porpoises, dolphins, grey seals and a pygmy sperm whale is the most comprehensive analysis of microplastics in the digestive tracts of both wild cetaceans and seals.

“It’s shocking – but not surprising – that every animal had ingested microplastics,” said Sarah Nelms, of the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), lead author of the research published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The study found that nylon made up more than 60% of the microplastics, with possible sources including fishing rope and nets, clothing microfibres and toothbrush bristles. Polyethylene terephthalate (Pet) and polyester were also widely present. As well as accidental consumption, microplastics are ingested indirectly when predators consume contaminated prey such as fish.

On average, 5.5 particles were found in the guts of each animal, suggesting they pass through the digestive system, or are regurgitated. “The low number of microplastics in their gut at any one time doesn’t necessarily correlate to the chemical burden within their body because the exposure is chronic and cumulative,” said Nelms. “It’s also not yet understood how synthetic particles physically interact with the gut wall as they pass through.”

Dr Penelope Lindeque, the head of the marine plastics research group at PML, has found microplastics in animals at every level of the food chain, from tiny zooplankton to fish larvae, turtles, and now marine mammals.

“It’s disconcerting that plastic is everywhere – all animals are exposed to it and they are ingesting it in their natural environment,” she said. “The ocean is a soup of microplastics and it’s only going to get worse, so we need to reduce the amount of plastic waste released into our seas now.”

Species with a long lifespan such as dolphins and seals are good indicators of marine ecosystem health, but as top predators they are susceptible to the accumulation of pollutants such as toxins or plastics.

Lindeque said: “There’s a risk that chemicals within the plastic and chemicals that stick to the outside of the microplastics, such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), could affect these animals. We are increasingly worried that microplastics could also be a vector for viruses and bacteria.”

In total, 26 species of marine mammal inhabit or pass through British waters. The 10 species of animals studied were found stranded along the coastline, from Cornwall to the Orkney Islands, and died as a result of disease or trauma, for example as bycatch in fishing nets, interaction with ships or attacks by bottlenose dolphins.

Nelms expressed concern that long-term exposure to plastic pollution could damage the health of Britain’s marine mammals: “They eat all sorts but it will reach a tipping point and really affect their health. It’s important to have this baseline study so we can monitor how they adapt – or don’t adapt – to the changes that are coming.”