Choosing products with packaging that claims to be “biodegradable” or
“compostable” might mean that they degrade only under special conditions, and could complicate recycling efforts, said Jason Locklin, the
director of the New Materials Institute at the University of Georgia. “Itʼs tremendously confusing, not just to the consumer, but even to many
scientists,” he said.
A new cocktail of enzymes that speeds up the degradation of plastic offers a step forward in finding a new form of recycling that is faster, is more affordable and works on a larger scale than current methods, British and American researchers said this week.
Most plastics eventually degrade into very small particles called microplastics. A comprehensive review of scientific evidence published by the European Union’s Scientific Advice Mechanism in 2019 revealed that microplastics are now present in every part of the environment. This means that they are in the air we breathe, in the food we eat, and in the water we drink. There is great concern that these microplastic particles and the toxic materials they carry may have adverse effects on human health. To date, limited scientific studies have addressed this issue, leaving us in the dark about the real dangers of microplastics.
Paper or plastic? In New Jersey, try neither.
The state Legislature on Thursday voted to make New Jersey the first in the country to bansingle-use paper bags in supermarkets along with all single-use plastic bags in stores andrestaurants.Eight other states, including California, New York and Vermont, have bans on single-useplastic bags either in effect now or scheduled to go into effect in the coming years.
You’ve probably seen the #1 recycling symbol on various plastic containers when you’re sorting your recycling. Those containers are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), also known as polyester. Because PET is strong, lightweight, and easily molded, it is a popular material for packaging a wide range of foods and consumer goods.
Confronting a climate crisis that threatens the fossil fuel industry, oil companies are racing to make more plastic. But they face two problems: Many markets are already awash with plastic, and few countries are willing to be dumping grounds for the world’s plastic waste.The industry thinks it has found a solution to both problems in Africa.
Drinking from plastic bottles has become such an everyday way of life that many people don’t even think about what they are made from, or where they really go after we’re done with them.
Each American throws out an average of 21 lbs (9.5kg) of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles per year - 200 to 500 bottles per person.
That’s quite a bit of plastic waste, just to have a drink.