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When biodegradable plastic is not biodegradable
When biodegradable plastic is not biodegradableArticle

The idea of a "biodegradable" plastic suggests a material that would degrade to little or nothing over a period of time, posing less of a hazard to wildlife and the environment...

Isabel Thomlinson 6 May 2019

The circular economy: building an economy on the template of nature
The circular economy: building an economy on the template of natureArticle

The earth is a closed system. Apart from the energy we receive from sunlight, everything produced and consumed on earth is based on its own resources. It is also a special planet...

Sylvie Geisendorf and Paul Wolf 29 Apr 2019

We need a legally binding treaty to make plastic pollution history
We need a legally binding treaty to make plastic pollution historyArticle

A powerful marriage between the fossil fuel and plastic industries threatens to exacerbate the global plastic pollution crisis...

Trisia Farrelly 27 Mar 2019

The major source of ocean plastic pollution you've probably never heard of
The major source of ocean plastic pollution you've probably never heard ofArticle

"Nurdles" may sound cute but they pose a huge risk to the marine environment. Also known as "mermaid tears", these small plastic pellets are a feedstock in the plastic industry...

Claire Gwinnett 12 Mar 2019

Climate change: obsession with plastic pollution distracts attention from bigger environmental challenges
Climate change: obsession with plastic pollution distracts attention from bigger environmental challengesArticle

By now, most of us have heard that the use of plastics is a big issue for the environment. Partly fuelled by the success of the BBC's Blue Planet II series...

Rick Stafford and Peter JS Jones 26 Feb 2019

Recycling is not enough. Zero-packaging stores show we can kick our plastic addiction
Recycling is not enough. Zero-packaging stores show we can kick our plastic addictionArticle

Wrapped, sealed, boxed, cling-filmed and vacuum packed. We have become used to consumables being packaged in every way imaginable...

Sabrina Chakori 5 Feb 2019

Why microbeads are such a threat and why they're so hard to handle
Why microbeads are such a threat and why they're so hard to handleArticle

Plastic is everywhere. It is used across a spectrum of applications from durable industrial equipment, household appliances to throw-away single-use items and even the clothes we wear...

Henk Bouwman 8 Jan 2019

Our complicated relationship with plastic: 5 essential reads
Our complicated relationship with plastic: 5 essential readsArticle

From its arrival decades ago, plastic has transformed modern life. But in 2018, the alarm over the plastic pollution crisis sounded louder than ever...

Martin LaMonica 27 Dec 2018

Plastic floats on and near the surface of the ocean.
The world's plastic problem is bigger than the oceanArticle

As you read this, a strange object that looks like a 2,000-foot floating pool noodle is drifting slowly through the central north Pacific Ocean...

Christopher J. Preston 13 Nov 2018

Microplastics. Image by Oregon State University, CC BY-SA 2.0,
We are guinea pigs in a worldwide experiment on microplasticsArticle

One of the main problems with plastics is that although we may only need them fleetingly - seconds in the case of microbeads in personal care products, or minutes as in plastic grocery bags - they stick around for hundreds of years...

John Meeker 15 Aug 2018

Why can't all plastic waste be recycled?
Why can't all plastic waste be recycled?Article

The UK produced 11-million tonnes of plastic waste in 2017, and recycled around two thirds of it...

Sharon George 3 Aug 2018

Why compostable plastics may be no better for the environment
Why compostable plastics may be no better for the environmentArticle

As companies move to get rid of single-use plastic bags and bans on microbeads are coming into force...

Thomas Neitzert 2 Aug 2018

Plastic pollution: could we clean up the ocean with technology?
Plastic pollution: could we clean up the ocean with technology?Article

Our oceans are threatened by three major challenges: climate change, overfishing and pollution...

Rick Stafford 26 Jul 2018

By MichaelisScientists, CC BY-SA 4.0,
There's more to the plastic pollution crisis than just carrier bagsArticle

The focus for this year's World Environmental Day and Oceans Day is on plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean...

Dr Nonhlanhla Kalabaila 5 Jun 2018

'Sustainable' Lego: plastics from plants won't solve a pollution crisis
'Sustainable' Lego: plastics from plants won't solve a pollution crisisArticle

Lego is going to start making toys from plant-based plastic. In an effort to become more sustainable...

Sharon George and Deirdre McKay 14 Mar 2018

By Øystein Paulsen, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Krill could prove secret weapon in ocean plastics battleArticle

They might be at the bottom of the food chain, but krill could prove to be a secret weapon in the fight against the growing threat of plastic pollution in the world's oceans...

9 Mar 2018

How plastics made from plants could be the answer to the world's waste problem
How plastics made from plants could be the answer to the world's waste problemArticle

Plastics are incredibly useful materials with extremely diverse properties, allowing a multitude of different applications that benefit our lives...

James William Comerford 26 Feb 2018

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A step towards cleaner oceans: Tracking fishing gear to its original ownerArticle

These guidelines will help countries to develop effective systems for marking fishing gear so that it can be traced back to its original owner. Doing so will support efforts to reduce marine debris and IUU fishing...

12 Feb 2018

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Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on key initiatives to achieving food and nutrition securityArticle

Fisheries management play an important role in reducing hunger and poverty as well as creating jobs and sustainable growth in the southern African region...

31 Jan 2018

EU sets 2030 target for recyclable plastic packaging
EU sets 2030 target for recyclable plastic packagingArticle

The European Union unveiled plans on Tuesday, 16 January, for all plastic packaging in Europe to be recyclable by 2030 and to phase out single-use plastic like coffee cups to fight pollution...

19 Jan 2018

Ocean plastic: clean it up, but avoid the mistakes of global climate policy
Ocean plastic: clean it up, but avoid the mistakes of global climate policyArticle

In early December 2017 the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi announced a resolution on marine litter and microplastics. The move was widely welcomed as the emerging "plastic oceans" crisis has become starkly clear...

Malcolm David Hudson 15 Dec 2017

The future of plastics: reusing the bad and encouraging the good
The future of plastics: reusing the bad and encouraging the goodArticle

Plastics have got themselves a bad name, mainly for two reasons: most are made from petroleum and they end up as litter in the environment...

Kim Pickering 20 Nov 2017

Leaders in the local plastics and packaging industries participate in a panel discussion chaired by Douw Steyn, sustainability director at Plastics|SA.
Inaugural African Marine Waste Conference develops strategic plan to tackle marine litterArticle

Attended by approximately 200 delegates from nine African states and a further 10 countries from other continents, the inaugural African Marine Waste Conference recently took place in PE...

7 Aug 2017

Thousands of plastic bottles and other pieces of plastic litter line the coastline south of Durban after a recent storm – testimony to South Africa’s ranking among the top 20 worst marine plastic polluters in the world. Picture: Lisa Guastella
SA one of the worst culprits of marine plastic pollutionArticle

When marine scientist Dr Brent Newman visited Durban harbour recently, he was astonished to find not a single crab in a section of mangroves near the Bluff Yacht Club...

1 Aug 2017

A man sorting a sea of plastic bottles at one of the Wecycler hubs in Lagos, Nigeria. Most plastic litter from cities ends up in oceans. Photo: Panos/Joan Bardeletti
Plastics pose biggest threat to oceansArticle

Oceans choking on millions of plastic water bottles, cups, straws and single use plastic bags...

Zipporah Musau 27 Jun 2017

Plastic fibres are causing major harm to South Africa's marine life
Plastic fibres are causing major harm to South Africa's marine lifeArticle

Next time you take a stroll along your favourite isolated beach, far from any city, take a moment to look down at the high tide mark. You'll almost certainly see small plastic particles dotted along your route. ..

Holly Nel 8 Mar 2017

Around 94% of litter on South African beaches is made of plastic, of which 77% is packaging. Image by Peter Ryan
Five applications where plastic is not fantasticArticle

A recent media campaign has highlighted the many ways in which South Africa relies on plastics...

Peter Ryan and Coleen Moloney 7 Sep 2016

UNEP report headlines emerging environmental issues of our time
UNEP report headlines emerging environmental issues of our timeArticle

A recently released UNEP report, Frontiers, has highlighted a number of the world's key emerging environmental issues including toxic crops and zoonotic diseases, and offers ways to combat them...

27 May 2016

Geraint Rowland / Creative Commons
Biodegradable plastics are littering the oceansArticle

According to a recently released report by the UN, the adoption of products labelled 'biodegradable' will not significantly decrease the volume of plastic entering the ocean or the physical and chemical risks that plastics pose to marine environment...

23 Nov 2015

Tiny beads, big problem, easy fix
Tiny beads, big problem, easy fixArticle

Every day, millions of people around the world wash their skin and brush their teeth with products containing tiny pieces of plastic...

Chelsea Rochman and Sara Kross 8 Jun 2015

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