Current Plastic News and Events

Current Plastic News and Events, Plastic News Articles.
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Efficient solid-state depolymerization of waste PET
Despite significant methodological and technological advancements in chemical recycling of synthetic polymers, an effective mechanochemical PET degradation has not yet been described in the scientific literature, until now! Vjekoslav Štrukil from the Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI), Zagreb, Croatia, found that the challenging breakdown of waste PET under ambient conditions of temperature and pressure can be achieved by mechanochemical ball milling or vapor-assisted aging. (2021-01-25)

Litter provides habitat for diverse animal communities in rivers, study finds
In a study of local rivers, experts at the University of Nottingham in the UK have discovered more invertebrates - animals without a backbone, such as insects and snails - living on litter than on rocks. (2021-01-25)

First comprehensive LCA shows reprocessed medical devices cut GHG emissions in half
Hospitals could cut emissions associated with some medical device use in half by opting instead for reprocessed 'single-use' medical devices. The LCA evaluated the use of a remanufactured electrophysiology catheter compared with the use of original catheters for 16 different environmental impact categories and found that the use of reprocessed devices was superior in 13 categories. (2021-01-25)

Dramatic increase in microplastics in seagrass soil since the 1970s
Large-scale production of vegetables and fruit in Spain with intensive plastic consumption in its greenhouse industry is believed to have leaked microplastic contaminants since the 1970s into the surrounding Mediterranean seagrass beds. This is shown in a new study where researchers have succeeded in tracing plastic pollution since the 1930s and 1940s by analyzing seagrass sediments. (2021-01-25)

Combined river flows could send up to 3 billion microplastics a day into the Bay of Bengal
New research shows the Ganges River - with the combined flows of the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers - could be responsible for up to 3 billion microplastic particles entering the Bay of Bengal every day. (2021-01-22)

Environment: Seagrass meadows may facilitate marine plastic removal from the sea
Underwater seagrass meadows may trap, extract and carry marine plastic debris to shore, thereby helping to remove plastic litter from the sea, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. (2021-01-14)

Posidonia marine seagrass can catch and remove plastics from the sea
Posidonia oceanica seagrass -an endemic marine phanerogam with an important ecological role in the marine environment- can take and remove plastic materials that have been left at the sea, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. The article's first author is the tenure-track 2 lecturer Anna Sànchez-Vidal, from the Research Group on Marine Geosciences of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona (UB). (2021-01-14)

Flashing plastic ash completes recycling
Rice University's flash graphene process, adapted to convert worthless pyrolyzed plastic ash, could be used to strengthen concrete and toughen plastics used in medicine, energy and packaging applications. (2021-01-13)

Penn Medicine surgeons develop universal patient-reported outcomes tool to improve hernia care
Penn Medicine researchers have successfully developed, tested, and implemented a first-of-its-kind, patient-informed questionnaire tool for ventral hernia repair surgery patients that could be broadly used to improve the way clinicians care for patients and potentially outcomes. (2021-01-11)

Researcher cracks the hidden strengthening mechanism in biological ceramics
In addition to adding strength, this design allows the structure to use its crack patterns to minimize damage into the inner shell. (2021-01-06)

Catalyst transforms plastic waste to valuable ingredients at low temperature
For the first time, researchers have used a novel catalyst process to recycle a type of plastic found in everything from grocery bags and food packaging to toys and electronics into liquid fuels and wax. (2021-01-05)

The evolving role of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in plastic surgery
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment, which involves injecting a small amount of a patient's own blood to release various growth factors from platelets, continues to increase in popularity. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has tracked the procedure since 2015 and reports a 25 percent increase in cosmetic PRP use in the last four years. (2020-12-28)

Novel method reveals small microplastics throughout Japan's subtropical ocean
Samples taken from the ocean surrounding the subtropical island of Okinawa have revealed the presence of microplastics in all six areas surveyed, finds new study. (2020-12-24)

Highest levels of microplastics found in molluscs, new study says
Mussels, oysters and scallops have the highest levels of microplastic contamination among seafood, a new study reveals. (2020-12-23)

Plastic is blowing in the wind
The discovery of microplastics in the air above the ocean reveals the spread of this hazardous pollution. (2020-12-23)

TPU chemists convert plastic bottle waste into insecticide sorbent
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University proposed a method to create a sorbent for imidacloprid insecticide removal from water. The sorbent belongs to metal-organic frameworks, a class of non-conventional materials. The TPU chemists grew such a framework right on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used to produce regular plastic bottles. The method is quite simple and allows converting used materials into a useful product. The research findings are published in Applied Materials Today academic journal (IF: 8,352; Q1). (2020-12-23)

Liquid bandage detects tissue oxygenation without the drawbacks of wired oximeters
A paint-on, transparent bandage containing phosphorescent materials reads the amount of oxygen reaching transplanted tissue -- a critical component of a transplant's success. Existing oximeter technology is complicated to use, restricts patients' movements, and is subject to false alarms. The first human trial of the liquid bandage in women undergoing breast reconstruction after cancer found that it performed as well as a wired oximeter device, the current clinical standard. (2020-12-22)

Nanoplastics alter intestinal microbiome and threaten human health
A review study led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the CREAF and the University of Aveiro concludes that nanoplastics change the composition and diversity of gut microbiome in vertebrates and invertebrates. The effects of a widespread and prolonged exposure to nanoplastics observed in animal models could be applied to humans. (2020-12-21)

The most consumed species of mussels contain microplastics all around the world
''If you eat mussels, you eat microplastics.'' This was already known to a limited extent about mussels from individual ocean regions. A new study by the University of Bayreuth reveals that this claim holds true globally. (2020-12-17)

Upcycling: new catalytic process turns plastic bags into adhesives
Only a small percentage of plastic bags and other polyethylene packaging is recycled because only low-value products can be made from this waste. UC Berkeley chemists have created a catalytic process that preserves the desirable properties of polyethylene while adding another attribute - stickiness - that increases the value of the recycled product. The adhesive polyethylene could be used to coat wires and metal implants or bond plastic layers. Even latex paint sticks to it. (2020-12-17)

Aroma diffuser and plastic bag offer inexpensive method to test fit of face masks at home
Researchers have developed a way to use a simple home aroma diffuser to test whether N95 and other types of sealing masks, such as KN95 and FFP2 masks, are properly fitted, a result which could be used to help protect healthcare workers and the public from contracting or transmitting COVID-19. (2020-12-16)

Researchers develop new combined process for 3D printing
Chemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a way to integrate liquids directly into materials during the 3D printing process. This allows, for example, active medical agents to be incorporated into pharmaceutical products or luminous liquids to be integrated into materials, which allow monitoring of damage. The study was published in ''Advanced Materials Technologies''. (2020-12-16)

Researchers use origami to solve space travel challenge
WSU researchers have used the ancient Japanese art of paper folding to possibly solve a key challenge for outer space travel - how to store and move fuel to rocket engines. The researchers have developed an origami-inspired, folded plastic fuel bladder that doesn't crack at super cold temperatures and could someday be used to store and pump fuel. (2020-12-15)

Losing money causes plastic changes in the brain
Researchers at the HSE Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience have shown experimentally that economic activity can actively change the brain. Signals that predict regular financial losses evoke plastic changes in the cortex. Therefore, these signals are processed by the brain more meticulously, which helps to identify such situations more accurately. The article was published in Scientific Reports. (2020-12-15)

Plastics pose threat to human health
Plastics contain and leach hazardous chemicals, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that threaten human health. An authoritative new report, Plastics, EDCs, & Health, from the Endocrine Society and the IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network), presents a summary of international research on the health impacts of EDCs and describes the alarming health effects of widespread contamination from EDCs in plastics. (2020-12-15)

3D printers may be toxic for humans
Several studies that aim to characterize and quantify the release and composition, particle size, and residence time in the indoor environment will be presented in the Exposure and Risk Assessment of 3D Printing and Emerging Materials symposium on December 15, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET at the 2020 Society for Risk Analysis virtual Annual Meeting held December 13-17, 2020. (2020-12-15)

Silica the best environmental alternative to plastic microbeads, finds study
Following bans on plastic microbeads in wash-off cosmetics, a new study weighs up the environmental costs of alternatives. (2020-12-14)

Marine pollution: How do plastic additives dilute in water and how risky are they?
New research by scientists from Korea shows that additives in plastic materials deployed or thrown in coastal environments diffuse into the environment at different rates. Their findings demonstrate how assessments of exposure risk based on the composition of the source plastic waste will be inaccurate, because this composition varies as plastics break down and additives dilute into the environment at different rates. A new evaluation method is needed, and these scientists have just the solution! (2020-12-14)

The pesticides in contact with plastics for mulch take longer to degrade
A study within the Diverfarming project analyses the interactions between 38 pesticides and three types of plastic for mulch (2020-12-09)

Weathered microplastic particles, readily internalized by mouse cells, may pose a greater risk than pristine ones
Microplastic particles exposed to freshwater or saltwater environments for several weeks are about 10 times more likely than pristine particles to be absorbed by mouse cells, due to a crust of microorganisms and biomolecules that forms on the particles' surfaces, according to a new study. The results indicate that this crust acts as a biomolecular 'Trojan horse.' (2020-12-09)

New method to label and track nano-particles could improve our understanding of plastic pollution
A ground-breaking method to label and track manufactured nano-plastics could signal a paradigm shift in how we understand and care for environments, finds a new study. (2020-12-08)

Java's protective mangroves smothered by plastic waste
The mangrove forests on Java's north coast are slowly suffocating in plastic waste. The plastic problem in northeast Asia is huge and a growing threat to the region's mangroves; a natural alley against coastal erosion. Based on fieldwork published in Science of the Total Environment, NIOZ researcher Celine van Bijsterveldt shows that restoration of this green protection belt is impossible without better waste management (2020-12-07)

New report details links between widespread ocean pollution and human health risks
The new study ''Human Health and Ocean Pollution'' presents a broad and comprehensive examination of the multiple dangers to human and ecosystem health posed by pollution of the seas. Toxins in the ocean make landfall through the food chain and coastal tides, posing health risks to more than 3 billion humans, according to scientists led by the Centre Scientifique de Monaco and Boston College, with support from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. (2020-12-03)

Satellite-tagged bottles show promise for tracking plastic litter through rivers
A new study demonstrates the potential for plastic bottles tagged with tracking devices to deepen our understanding of how plastic pollution moves through rivers. Emily Duncan of the University of Exeter, U.K., and colleagues present this research in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on Dec 2, 2020. (2020-12-02)

'Message in a bottle' tracks plastic pollution
Electronic tags released in the Ganges river show plastic pollution can travel thousands of kilometres in just a few months. (2020-12-02)

Even razor clams on sparsely populated Olympic Coast can't escape plastics, study finds
Portland State University researchers and their collaborators at the Quinault Indian Nation and Oregon State University found microplastics in Pacific razor clams on Washington's sparsely populated Olympic Coast -- proof, they say, that even in more remote regions, coastal organisms can't escape plastic contamination. (2020-11-30)

Sustainable regenerated isotropic wood
A high-performance sustainable regenerated isotropic wood (RGI-wood) is reported, constructed from surface nanocrystallized wood particles (SNWP) by efficient bottom-up strategy. The obtained RGI-wood exceeds the limitation of the anisotropic, inconsistent mechanical properties, and inflammability of natural wood. Mass production of large-sized RGI-wood was achieved, overcoming the rareness of large-sized natural wood. Through this strategy, a series of functional RGI-wood nanocomposites can also be prepared, which show great potential in diverse applications. (2020-11-30)

Plastic contaminants harm sea urchins
Plastics in the ocean can release chemicals that cause deformities in sea urchin larvae, new research shows. (2020-11-30)

Waste fishing gear threatens Ganges wildlife
Waste fishing gear in the River Ganges poses a threat to wildlife including otters, turtles and dolphins, new research shows. (2020-11-25)

Sheep show the contamination by microplastics in the agricultural soils of Murcia
A team from the Diverfarming project has found microplastics in 92% of the faeces of sheep fed in intensive agricultural zones of Murcia that they analysed (2020-11-25)

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