Web Bytes: Plastic et al

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Study finds microplastics are now part of our food-chain; Indian factory succeeds producing shoes from plastic bottles; Etihad Airways pioneers plastic-free flights.

People eat at least 50,000 plastic particles a year, study finds

Microplastic

The average person eats at least 50,000 particles of microplastic a year and breathes in a similar quantity, according to the first study to estimate human ingestion of plastic pollution.

The true number is likely to be many times higher, as only a small number of foods and drinks have been analysed for plastic contamination. The scientists reported that drinking a lot of bottled water drastically increased the particles consumed.

Microplastic pollution is mostly created by the disintegration of plastic litter and appears to be ubiquitous across the planet. Researchers find microplastics everywhere they look; in the airsoilrivers and the deepest oceans around the world.

By Damian Carrington on 5 June 2019 in The Guardian


The factory making shoes out of plastic bottles

By 2050, there is expected to be more plastic in the world’s oceans than there are fish.

However, some of world’s biggest sportswear brands, such as Adidas and Nike, are trying to turn plastic waste into a raw material for clothes and shoes.

BBC – filmed by Vishnu Vardhan and Jaltson AC. Edited and produced by Aakriti Thapar


Etihad Airways: Is plastic-free flying the future?

The Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways recently revealed that it uses some 27 million single-use plastic coffee cup lids every year. That revelation was enough to encourage Etihad to take action and, on 22 April, it became the first major airline to make a long haul flight with no single-use plastics on board.

To achieve this feat – which coincided with World Earth Day – it needed to replace no less than 95 different single-use plastic items. Among the replacements were edible wafer coffee cups and blankets made from recycled plastic bottles. Where suitable replacements could not be sourced, the items were not loaded.

“We discovered we could remove 27 million single-use plastic lids from our in-flight service a year and, as a leading airline, it’s our responsibility to act on this, to challenge industry standards and work with suppliers who provide lower impact alternatives.”

George Wright on 23 April 2019, BBC News


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