Current Plastic News and Events

Current Plastic News and Events, Plastic News Articles.
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Climate-friendly foam building insulation may do more harm than good
The use of the polymeric flame retardant PolyFR in 'eco-friendly' foam plastic building insulation may be harmful to human health and the environment, according to a new commentary in Environmental Science & Technology. The authors' analysis identifies several points during the lifecycle of foam insulation that may expose workers, communities, and ecosystems to PolyFR and its potentially toxic breakdown products. (2021-02-23)

Protective ship coatings as an underestimated source of microplastic pollution
Shipping traffic can be a major source of microplastics, especially out in the open ocean. In a new study, a team of environmental geochemists from the University of Oldenburg (Germany) for the first time provides an overview of microplastics mass distribution in the North Sea. The scientists found that most of the plastic particles in water samples taken in the south-eastern North Sea originate from binders used in marine paints. Their hypothesis is that ships leave a kind of 'skid mark' in the water. (2021-02-23)

Potentially harmful chemicals found in plastic toys
New research suggests that more than 100 chemicals found in plastic toy materials may pose possible health risks to children. The study provides findings that may lead to stricter international regulations. (2021-02-22)

Plastic recycling results in rare metals being found in children's toys and food packaging
Scientists from the University of Plymouth and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested a range of new and used products - including children's toys, office equipment and cosmetic containers - and found they contained quantities of rare earth elements. (2021-02-17)

More sustainable recycling of plastics
Plastics belong to the most widely used materials, and they are vital components of all modern technologies. So far, it has been possible to recycle these valuable materials only to a limited extent. In order to offer novel solutions, chemists of Professor Stefan Mecking´s group at the University of Konstanz developed a more sustainable method for chemically recycling polyethylene-like plastics. The researchers use ''breaking-points'' on a molecular level to disassemble the plastic back to its molecular components. (2021-02-17)

Solution to puzzling phenomenon may open door to improved Cold Spray efficiency
An international team of researchers has solved a puzzling phenomenon whereby strangely beautiful, vortex-like structures appear between materials deposited onto engineering components used in multiple settings - from space shuttles to household items and everyday transport vehicles The discovery may ultimately improve the efficiency of the ''Cold Spray'' (CS) deposition process from which these structures are formed - a not-insignificant financial or functional consideration. (2021-02-16)

Recommendations for regional action to combat marine plastic pollution
Millions of tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the ocean every year. A team of researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam has investigated the role of regional ocean governance in the fight against marine plastic pollution, highlighting why regional marine governance should be further strengthened as negotiations for a new global agreement continue. (2021-02-11)

Facts on the ground: How microplastics in the soil contribute to environmental pollution
Plastic is a major threat to the environment. Of particular ecological risk is its manifestation as microplastics (<5 mm in size) in the agricultural environment. Scientists from Korea addressed this issue in their latest study, looking into the levels, shapes, and sizes of microplastics in Korean agricultural soils. They reported new insights on the agricultural sources of microplastics, contributing to a better understanding on their role in environmental pollution. (2021-02-11)

Environmentally friendly behavior is easy -- tourists just need a 'nudge'
A new study has demonstrated that providing a simple 'nudge' -- or cue -- is an effective way to influence the decision making process of tourists and encourage them to act in more environmentally friendly ways. The results offer many practical insights on how a simple, low cost intervention, such as placing a sign in a store, has huge potential on reducing the local impacts of businesses and tourist operators by making pro-environmental choices easy. (2021-02-09)

Tourism mainly responsible for marine litter on Mediterranean beaches
A study by the ICTA-UAB warns that tourism generates 80% of the marine litter accumulating on the beaches of the Mediterranean islands in summer. For researchers, the global COVID19 pandemic may be an opportunity to rethink the model of sustainable tourism. (2021-02-08)

Scientists discover ocean 'surface slicks' are nurseries for diverse fishes
Ocean features called surface slicks are an interconnected superhighway of nursery habitat for more than 100 species of fishes from diverse ocean habitats. (2021-02-04)

Hidden world just below the surface
A team of scientists from NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Arizona State University and elsewhere have discovered that a diverse array of marine animals find refuge in so-called 'surface slicks' in Hawai'i. These ocean features create a superhighway of nursery habitat for more than 100 species of commercially and ecologically important fishes, such as mahi-mahi, jacks, and billfish. Their findings were published today in the journal Scientific Reports. (2021-02-04)

First images of muon beams
A new technique has taken the first images of muon particle beams. Nagoya University scientists designed the imaging technique with colleagues in Osaka University and KEK, Japan. They plan to use it to assess the quality of these beams, which are being used more and more in advanced imaging applications. (2021-02-03)

Are plastics and microplastics in the Ocean on the increase?
A cohort of high-profile co-authors posed this question in a study recently published in the Microplastics and Nanoplastics journal. (2021-02-01)

3D printing resins in dental devices may be toxic to reproductive health
Two commercially available 3D-printable resins, which are marketed as being biocompatible for use in dental applications, readily leach compounds into their surroundings. These compounds can induce severe toxicity in the oocyte, the immature precursor of the egg which can eventually be fertilized, reports a new study in mouse oocytes. (2021-01-28)

How fat loss accelerates facial aging
For many of us, as we get older the skin on our face begins to sag and we seem to lose volume around our eyes, cheeks and chin. Is gravity taking its toll in our later years or do we lose fat over the course of several years that many of us associate with youth, vibrancy and energy? Understanding the cause is paramount to how plastic surgeons treat the signs of facial aging. (2021-01-27)

A mild way to upcycle plastics used in bottles into fuel and other high-value products
Plastic is ubiquitous in people's lives. Yet, when plastic-containing items have fulfilled their missions, only a small amount is recycled into new products, which are often of lower quality compared to the original material. And, transforming this waste into high-value chemicals requires substantial energy. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' JACS Au have combined a ruthenium-carbon catalyst and mild, lower-energy reaction conditions to convert plastics used in bottles and other packaging into fuels and chemical feedstock. (2021-01-27)

Mangroves threatened by plastic pollution from rivers, new study finds
Mangrove ecosystems are at particular risk of being polluted by plastic carried from rivers to the sea. Fifty-four per cent of mangrove habitat is within 20 km of a river that discharges more than a tonne of plastic waste a year into the ocean, according to a new paper published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. Mangroves in southeast Asia are especially threatened by river-borne plastic pollution, the researchers found. (2021-01-26)

Deep-sea plastic accumulations by turbidity currents: NW South China sea
Benthic plastic litter is a main source of pollutants in oceans, but how it disperses is largely unknown. This study by Guangfa Zhong and Xiaotong Peng, published today in Geology, presents novel findings on the distribution patterns and dispersion mechanisms of deep-sea plastic waste in a submarined canyon located in the northwestern South China Sea. (2021-01-26)

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)

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