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Plastic Waste

3 news articles per week.
31 connected topics.


News and Opinion

Coverage of plastic waste since October 20, 2021.

Nuclear fusion startup test fires plastic waste-powered rocket

"...A UK company with lofty aspirations around sustainable space travel has test-fired a rocket engine powered in part by plastic waste. Pulsar Fusion's hybrid rocket engine is part of an ambitious journey that also involves the development of nuclear fusion technology for high-speed propulsion, which could cut travel times to Mars in half. The idea of incorporating recycled plastic waste into hybrid rocket fuels is something we have seen explored before..."

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E-Tips: Reducing the Use of Plastics

"...Plastic packaging accounts for 47 per cent of plastic waste discarded, and most single use plastics are used for packaging. In 2019 alone, 340,000 tons of plastic waste was thrown out in B. C..."

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Mouse study shows microplastics infiltrate blood brain barrier

"...Much of the millions of metric tons of plastic waste that washes into the sea each year is broken down into tiny fragments by the forces of the ocean, and researchers are beginning to piece together what this means for organisms that consume them. Scientists in Korea have turned their attention toward the top of the food chain by exploring the threat these particles pose to mammal brains, where they were found to act as toxic substances. In recent years, studies have revealed the kind of threat microplastics pose to marine creatures..."

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Plastic recycling in Canada

"...Plastic that doesn’t get recycled takes up precious space in landfills. Recycling this plastic would reduce both plastic waste and the need to extract new resources. Image by Michelle Arseneault, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3..."

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Can ocean cleanup boats power themselves by turning plastic into fuel?

"...The model used by the scientists to explore the feasibility of this shipboard conversion of plastic waste into fuel sees booms placed 25 km (15 miles) apart throughout the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which they say allows for optimal collection efficiency and would allow installation of the maximum number that can be serviced by a single ship in a year. As the ships pass through a boom, the plastic gathered there would be fed into an onboard processing system via a conveyor belt, where it would be shredded and the salts and other impurities removed before its conversion into blue diesel. In this way, the study raises an interesting secondary advantage over current collection solutions that involve workers manually scooping plastic into bags, in that the process would essentially be automated..."

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Province takes aim at banning problem plastics BC Gov News

"...People in British Columbia continue to take action to remove problem plastics from communities and the natural environment. New legislation will mean the Province can move more quickly to remove plastic debris through phased-in provincewide product bans. Changes under new legislation mean the Province will be able to identify and take direct action to phase out single-use plastic products and packaging..."

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B.C. moves to ban some single-use plastic bags, products province-wide

"...“This legislation will support our government’s commitment to the province-wide phase-out of single-use plastics and it will reduce the environmental impact caused by the amount of plastic waste created in this province, as well as reduce the negative impact of plastic pollution on human health and the environment..."

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Ocean Cleanup moves beyond testing and outlines a system 3x the size

"...The startup sees this as proof-of-technology and evidence that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch can indeed be cleaned, with CEO Boyan Slat claiming it to be the "beginning of the end" for the infamous accumulation of floating trash. It is immediately returning to the area with System 002 to continue the job, formally committing to two six-week stints, but vying to not stop until "the patch is gone," according to Slat. While Jenny continues scooping up trash, the team will get to work on an even larger system, one it says will be three times the size with a length of 2..."

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Pollution Probe helps to launch the Canada Plastics Pact Roadmap to eliminate plastic waste

"...Today, Pollution Probe joined over 70 leading businesses and organizations to release the most comprehensive and ambitious action plan for reducing plastic waste in Canadian history through the Canada Plastics Pact (“CPP”).  Roadmap to 2025: A shared action plan to build a circular economy for plastics packaging (“the Roadmap”) represents unprecedented cross-value chain collaboration, uniting key players behind a shared vision for a circular economy for plastics packaging in Canada and a targeted plan to drive tangible change by 2025.  Leading industry, NGO, and public sector organizations, including brands, retailers, recyclers, resin producers, non-profits, associations, governments and others – who together account for over a third of the plastics packaging on the market in Canada – were engaged during the development of the Roadmap..."

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Masks: Good for Your Health, Bad for the Oceans

"...Given the prevalence of plastic pollution in our oceans, Wang and colleagues were interested in learning how discarded masks are impacting aquatic environments. In particular, they wanted to know if masks might be releasing microplastics: small pieces of plastic measuring less than five millimetres across that originate from the breakdown of larger plastic waste..."

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Microplastic pollution making its way to remote Arctic waters, study of belugas suggests

"...Hundreds of thousands of tiny bits of plastic waste have been found in the stomachs of belugas, proving that the pollution is making its way even to the most remote Arctic waters, a new study says..."

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Microplastics making their way up to belugas in Arctic through prey, says new study

"...“It’s a worry because plastic, as we know, is everywhere, and we don’t really know the long-term effect of all the different types of plastic that are ending up in these species,” she said in an interview.  Moore, who recently completed a master of science degree at Simon Fraser University and is a zero-waste outreach co-ordinator with the City of Victoria, said many northern animals are encountering environmental change.  “So, we have species that are experiencing the effects of climate change, increased marine traffic, migration patterns — all sorts of changes..."

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Recommended Reading

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Podcasts

Recent episodes that mention plastic waste.

Marine Plastics: Navigating the Circular Currents

Duration: 35:09

"...Plastic..."

further listening

87. Vegan Chef Max La Manna

Duration: 30:56

"...Max La Manna is the author of the new book: More Plants Less Waste, bridging the gap between vegan food and waste-free cooking.  ..."

further listening

Erin Simon - Head of Plastic Waste and Business at World Wildlife Fund

Duration: 40:59

"...Erin Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:..."

further listening


Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about plastic waste.

Girls for Future and their fight against the global climate crisis | DW Documentary

"...Aged between 11 and 14 years, they are all directly affected by environmental destruction - from air pollution to water shortage - and its consequences..."

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How to make "plastic" out of algae and mushrooms

"...From sachets made of algae to packaging made of mushrooms – does nature really hold the key to kick our plastic addiction? ..."

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The vision for a circular economy for plastic

"...More clean-ups and better recycling alone, won't solve plastic waste pollution..."

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How Can Canada Achieve a Circular Economy? | The Agenda

"...Its initiative to ban six single-use plastic items has been criticized but is a first-step in moving towards a circular economy..."

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Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about plastic waste relevant to the latest news.

Inherent roadmap of conversion of plastic waste into energy and its life cycle assessment: A frontrunner compendium

"...Burgeoning in the conversion of plastic waste into energy is a captivating strategy to circumvent the power generation shortages, greenhouse gas emissions, restricted space for landfilling, and can unravel the emanation of plastic waste disposal..."

related research

A study on the suitability of solid waste materials in pavement construction: A review

"...Moreover, the need for effective energy utilization and global climate change have made it mandatory to reduce pollution and increase recycling and re-use..."

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Plastic Pollution in Slovenia: From Plastic Waste Management to Research on Microplastics

"...Since waste management is closely connected to plastic pollution, the first part of the chapter summarizes waste management practice and plastic waste handling in Slovenia..."

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Biodegradation and catalytic-chemical degradation strategies to mitigate microplastic pollution

"...MPs are carriers of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and can be transmitted along the food chains simply by ingestion of organisms..."

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The influence of recycling schemes on the composition and generation of municipal solid waste

"...The statistical analyses show that source separation of food and plastic waste reduces significantly (11%) the total amount of household waste, suggesting that, in addition to the environmental benefit of diverting food and plastic waste from landfill and incineration, source segregation may as well contribute to waste prevention..."

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A Call for a Socially Restorative Circular Economy: Waste Pickers in the Recycled Plastics Supply Chain

"...In low- and middle-income countries, waste pickers underpin the recycling loop of the circular economy..."

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Mechanistic aspects of poly(ethylene terephthalate) recycling?toward enabling high quality sustainability decisions in waste ma

"...Since plastic waste pollution is a severe environmental concern in modern life, the demand for recycling poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) has increased due to its versatile applications..."

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How to tackle plastic bags and bottles pollution crisis in Pakistan? A cost?benefit analysis approach

"...Plastic pollution is among the many socio-economic and environmental dilemmas that have engulfed Pakistan..."

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Thermal Cracking of High-Density Polyethylene Wastes and Production of Liquid Hydrocarbon

"...The energy crisis is another global issue, and recycling plastic waste conversion techniques has the influence to avoid it..."

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Plastic Waste Management: Current Status and Weaknesses

"...The weaknesses of existing plastic waste management strategies lead to the pollution of the natural environment..."

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