Detecting microplastics on aquatic vegetation in the Great Lakes

Dr Julie Peller and her team investigate the effect of microplastics on aquatic plants in the Great Lakes in the USA

It is well known that natural surface waters have become contaminated with microplastics. However, it is not yet understood how these pollutants impact aquatic organisms. Professor Julie Peller at Valparaiso University, Indiana, has investigated the distribution of microplastics in the North American Great Lakes and found that synthetic microfibres are, on average, a thousand times more abundant on aquatic vegetation […]

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Closing the loop: Upcycling plastic waste for carbon capture

an array of plastic tubes

Two of the most important environmental concerns of our times are CO2 emissions and plastic pollution. Dr Xiangzhou Yuan, Research Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Korea University (Seoul), and Dr Shuai Deng, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the School of Tianjin University (China), propose an approach that uses one problem to solve the other. […]

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Spectroscopic standard could help revolutionise the analysis of plastics

plastic pollution in the environment

Plastic pollution is an environmental catastrophe in progress. 32 percent of the plastic we use escapes into the environment and only nine percent currently gets recycled. Fugitive plastic products often undergo various forms of environmental degradation, which lead to the formation of microplastics. British company Polymateria have developed additives for conventional plastics which facilitate biodegradation if they escape the waste stream. […]

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Microplastics pollution in the Pantanal

A hand holding microplastics

By now, we all recognise microplastics as a huge problem in our oceans. This awareness peaked when the threat became direct to humans, through the consumption of contaminated marine produce. Unfortunately, the situation is even bleaker than we realised. Dr Pierre Girard from the Federal University of Mato Grosso has discovered microplastics in the remote Brazilian Pantanal, a huge and […]

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