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Newfangled Form of Plastic Recycling Called a 'Delusion'

A ProPublica investigation calls process of pyrolysis an industry-hyped bust

(Newser) - If the plastics industry is to be believed, a new type of chemical recycling called pyrolysis is poised to solve many of the well-documented —and alarming —problems with plastic. The only hitch? Pyrolysis is a "delusion," declares a ProPublica investigation. As journalist Lisa Song explains, pyrolysis...

The Inside of Your Amazon Box Looks Different Now

Those plastic air pillows are (mostly) a thing of the past

(Newser) - If you've long enjoyed the satisfying sound of popping the air pillows that come in your Amazon box, you'll have to settle for a crinkling noise instead. The company on Thursday announced it has made major strides in its effort to eliminate plastic packaging material from its boxes...

Microplastics in Testicles May Be Affecting Sperm
There Are Likely
Microplastics in
Your Testicles

There Are Likely Microplastics in Your Testicles

Discovery suggests microplastics can breach special blood barrier, impact sperm counts

(Newser) - Tiny plastic particles have reached parts of our bodies once thought impossible, including placentas and breast milk and, as researchers show in a new study, every human testicle analyzed. The discovery, researchers say, could help explain why sperm counts are declining around the world. Microplastics were discovered in all the...

Here's Our Trash Can for Most Plastic

2K truckloads of plastic end up in the ocean every day, but not everyone shares the burden

(Newser) - Now that we know which companies are tied to the most identifiable branded plastic in the ocean (hello, Coke and Pepsi), here's a friendly reminder of how much of it ends up clogging up our waterways every day. CNN reports that an estimated 2,000 truckloads of plastic make...

One Big Company Is Tied to 11% of Branded Plastic Waste
One Big Company Is Tied to
11% of Branded Plastic Waste
in case you missed it

One Big Company Is Tied to 11% of Branded Plastic Waste

That would be Coca-Cola, though PepsiCo isn't too far behind

(Newser) - More than 50% of plastic pollution around the world can't be traced to a company, as the elements have erased all branding. But of the pollution that remains branded, more than half can be traced to 56 companies, and more than 10% to just one, according to a new...

Eye on Plastic Waste, Starbucks Rolls Out New Cups

New cold drink cups have 20% less plastic

(Newser) - Booming sales of cold drinks at Starbucks have created growing amounts of plastic waste from the single-use cups that Frappuccinos, Refreshers, cold brews, and other iced drinks are served in. The coffee giant said Thursday it plans to alleviate some of that waste with new disposable cups that contain up...

How Much Plastic Packaging Ends Up in Our Bodies?

In Canadian grocery stores, 71% of the food available was bound in plastic

(Newser) - When you're out shopping, finding food not encased in some kind of plastic is no easy task. In fact, per Modern Farmer , a recent study of Canadian grocery stores found 71% of products on their shelves were packaged in plastic; for baby food, it was even higher, at 76%....

2 Simple Steps Can Remove 90% of Plastic From Tap Water

Researchers suggest boiling and filtering

(Newser) - We can't seem to avoid microplastics in drinking water, at least without pricey filtration systems, but we can eliminate the vast majority with two simple steps, according to a new study. Microplastics and even smaller nanoplastics have been found in tap water around the world. The effects aren't...

Chemicals in Plastic Cost Us Billions in Health Care

$249B a year, a new study estimates

(Newser) - Plastic has been found in the deepest parts of the ocean, the air , and our brains —and now researchers have put a number to how much its prevalence is costing us in health care. A group of physicians, epidemiologists, and endocrinologists worked together to itemize the "disease burden"...

'Tide' of Plastic Pellets Washes Up in Spain
Spain Faces 'Tide' of Nurdles

Spain Faces 'Tide' of Nurdles

The tiny plastic pellets spilled off of Portugal prompts environmental emergency

(Newser) - Volunteers on the northern coast of Spain are painstakingly picking up what could amount to hundreds of thousands of tiny plastic pellets after millions spilled from a cargo ship, raising concerns of an environmental disaster. Up to six containers carrying tires, tomato sauce, plastic wrap, and some 55,000 pounds...

Bottled Water Has Way More Plastic Than Thought
Bottled Water Has Much
More Plastic Than Thought

Bottled Water Has Much More Plastic Than Thought

With the water comes hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics, considered more dangerous than microplastics

(Newser) - Your goal is hydration, but in gulping down a liter of bottled water, you're also consuming hundreds of thousands of microscopic pieces of plastic, according to new research. Previous studies have found traces of plastic in bottled water . But in a new study, researchers found that plastic accumulates in...

One Simple New Year's Resolution 'Changed My Life'

Change starts small, Kristin Hostetter reminds us, as she offers tips for sustainable living

(Newser) - On Jan. 1, 2018, Kristin Hostetter made a New Year's resolution that not only stuck but "changed my life." She decided to swear off single-use plastic bottles, and, as she writes at Outside , "my lips have not touched one since." She simply added a reusable...

'Mountains' of Plastic Waste Grow Across Africa

New analysis, church leaders warn of harm before negotiations begin on treaty

(Newser) - Africa's plastic waste problem is increasing faster than in any other part of the world, an analysis of data by the charity Tearfund says—with enough plastic being burned or dumped in sub-Saharan Africa every minute to cover a football field. A United Nations conference is being held next...

QR Codes Set to Replace Confusing Recycling Symbols

Recycling scans on packaging will give more detailed info by location

(Newser) - What you can recycle depends on where you live, making the labels on paper, glass, metal, and plastic confusing. The Consumer Brand's Association (CBA) aims to remedy that using pretty simple technology. Axios reports that the group is working with brands to add QR codes to their packaging that...

Researchers Warn About Microwaving Plastic
Researchers Warn About
Microwaving Plastic
in case you missed it

Researchers Warn About Microwaving Plastic

Just three minutes in a microwave can unleash billions of nanoparticles, says study

(Newser) - A new study may give you pause before putting anything plastic in the microwave. University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers found that microwaving plastic baby food containers released both micro- and smaller nanoplastics, reports Wired . The study in Environmental Science & Technology was conducted by Kazi Albab Hussain and UN-L colleagues after...

Researchers Find Unhappy Surprise in Plastic Recycling
Researchers Find Unhappy
Surprise in Plastic Recycling

Researchers Find Unhappy Surprise in Plastic Recycling

The process of breaking down the material releases microplastics into the air, says study

(Newser) - A new study on the recycling of plastic offers a disturbing surprise: In one way, the process may make the environmental problem worse. In the peer-reviewed study at ScienceDirect , UK researchers suggest that recycling plants create and release a troubling amount of microplastic pollution as they break down and wash...

Surprising Species Are Finding Home in Pacific Garbage Patch

Coastal creatures are thriving far from their native homes, with unknown consequences

(Newser) - Communities of coastal creatures are thriving far from home in the swirling trash soup that is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch . Researchers have found dozens of creatures normally found near coasts—including crustaceans, sea anemones, mollusks, and worms—surviving and reproducing on plastic waste in the huge patch between Hawaii...

'Plastic Rocks' Found in New, Far-Flung Places

Plastiglomerates are a 'terrifying' signal of humans' impact on the planet: researcher

(Newser) - Humans have made their mark on the geological record with plastiglomerates—"rocks" formed from a mix of natural debris and plastic, fused together with heat. These rocks were first described in Hawaii almost a decade ago, but they've been seen in far-flung places since then, including a remote...

We've Given Seabirds a New Disease
We've Given Seabirds
a New Disease
new study

We've Given Seabirds a New Disease

'Plasticosis' is doing serious damage to digestive tracts

(Newser) - Scientists who examined dozens of dead fledgling seabirds have identified a new disease caused by plastic pollution. In a study published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials , researchers describe "plasticosis" as a "novel, plastic-induced fibrotic disease." Researchers say the disease is caused by ingestion of small pieces...

This Whale Sucks In an Astounding Amount of Microplastics

Blue whales, as well as other baleens, are ingesting millions of the tiny particles daily

(Newser) - Baleen whales —which include blue whales and humpbacks—are a type of whale that uses special filters instead of teeth to collect and eat small prey like krill and fish. Now, in a research first, scientists examining the consumption habits of these marine mammals have found they're...

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