Some ‘Biodegradable’ plastic will soon be banned in Australia. That’s a big win for the environment

Some ‘Biodegradable’ plastic will soon be banned in Australia. That’s a big win for the environment
To start dealing with Australia's mounting plastic crisis, the federal government last week launched its first National Plastics Plan. The plan will fight plastic on various fronts, such as banning plastic on beaches, ending polystyrene packaging for takeaway containers, and phasing in microplastic filters in washing machines. But we're particularly pleased to see a main form of biodegradable plastic will also be phased out. Biodegradable plastic...
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Microplastic pollution is everywhere, but scientists are still learning how it harms wildlife

Plastic
Plastic pollution is a growing global concern. Large pieces of plastic have been found almost everywhere on Earth, from the most visited beaches to remote, uninhabited islands. Because wildlife are regularly exposed to plastic pollution, we often ask what effects plastics have on the animals. Over time, macroplastics (plastic debris larger than five millimetres in size) break up into tiny particles called microplastics (smaller than five millimet...
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Secondhand clothing sales are booming – and may help solve the sustainability crisis in the fashion industry

Secondhand clothing sales are booming – and may help solve the sustainability crisis in the fashion industry
A massive force is reshaping the fashion industry: secondhand clothing. According to a new report, the U.S. secondhand clothing market is projected to more than triple in value in the next 10 years – from US$28 billion in 2019 to US$80 billion in 2029 – in a U.S. market currently worth $379 billion. In 2019, secondhand clothing expanded 21 times faster than conventional apparel retail did. Even more transformative is secondhand clothing's potenti...
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It’s time to declare a global emergency!

Pollution
The whole world is currently obsessed with the COVID-19 pandemic. The media is providing saturation coverage, governments are taking drastic actions, and people are hoarding food, toilet paper, and masks. This reaction is understandable and it is a major threat that needs to be managed decisively and competently. However, we are simultaneously neglecting a much larger and more dangerous threat, something which could ultimately result in humanity'...
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Designing batteries for easier recycling could avert a looming e-waste crisis

Li_ion_laptop_battery
As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels. Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing. And utilities are generating a growing share of their power from renewable fuels, supported by large-scale battery storage systems. These trends, coupled with a growing volume of ...
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Consumer electronics have changed a lot in 20 years – systems for managing e-waste aren’t keeping up

Consumer electronics have changed a lot in 20 years – systems for managing e-waste aren’t keeping up
It's hard to imagine navigating modern life without a mobile phone in hand. Computers, tablets and smartphones have transformed how we communicate, work, learn, share news and entertain ourselves. They became even more essential when the COVID-19 pandemic moved classes, meetings and social connections online. But few people realize that our reliance on electronics comes with steep environmental costs, from mining minerals to disposing of used dev...
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Upgrade rage: why you may have to buy a new device whether you want to or not

Upgrade rage: why you may have to buy a new device whether you want to or not
We've probably all been there. We buy some new smart gadget and when we plug it in for the first time it requires an update to work. So we end up spending hours downloading and updating before we can even play with our new toy. But what happens when we can't update our gadgets any further? Vintage technology Every year vendors such as Apple and Google add to their list of vintage devices that no longer get operating system or security updates. Fo...
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This Norwegian start-up wants to build houses out of 100% recycled plastic

This Norwegian start-up wants to build houses out of 100% recycled plastic
One billion homes could be created from the world's plastic waste.The Othalo project will create demonstrator homes for Kenya, Cameroon and Senegal.160 million affordable homes are needed in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Using one of the world's problems to solve another is the philosophy behind a Norwegian start-up's mission to develop affordable housing from 100% recycled plastic. Since 1950, more than nine billion tonnes of plastic have been produ...
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These researchers have found a way to turn a common plastic into high-value molecules

These researchers have found a way to turn a common plastic into high-value molecules
More than 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic has been produced in the last six decades.However, recycling plastic can be difficult as the most common process involves melting and reworking the material.A new process developed by the University of California can turn polyethylene into useful smaller molecules. If you thought those flimsy disposable plastic grocery bags represented most of our plastic waste problem, think again. The volume of pla...
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Here's how we can eradicate plastic pollution by 2040

Here's how we can eradicate plastic pollution by 2040
We can reduce the amount of plastic pollution entering our oceans by 80% using existing technology.Indonesia has published a new roadmap that aims to end plastic pollution completely by 2040.The lessons learned here will be applicable to other countries around the world. A new analysis published in the journal Science shows that the business-as-usual approach to tackling ocean plastic pollution isn't working. Even worse, should we continue down t...
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