The Plastic Blog

A Rubbish Quiz

Covid 19 and Microplastics – It’s not good news

Microplastics

What are clothes made from? Will they biodegrade?

Biodegradable, Recyclable, Renewable, Sustainable, Natural synthetic? What do these words mean?

Plastics explained

How to take part in the Microplastic Challenge

How many micro-plastic fibres have you eaten or drunk today? Are they bad for your health?

Where did they come from? The fibres seen above were found in drinking water.

STEM the lens         URGENT– Calling all people who wear contact lenses.   Contact lenses are not bio-degradable. DISPOSE OF USED CONTACT LENSES IN THE SOLID WASTE, DO NOT WASH DOWN THE SINK OR FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET.

How many microplastic fibres come from your washing machine?

For an average load of 6kg, it is estimated that 700,000 fibres could be released. That’s a lot of non-biodegradable waste going into the waste water system.    Read more at  Napper and Thompson, Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol112, issues 1-2, 2016, 39-45

Microplastic fibres in beer?

24 brands of German beers were tested for microplastic fibres. They found them in all samples ranging from 2-79 fibres L-1   This was along with 12-109 fragments L-1and 2-66 granules L-1.  Read more atLiebezeit G, Lieberzeit E, Food Additives & Contaminents: vol 31, 2014 – issue 9

Fungus eats plastic

In a rubbish tip in Pakistan, an amazing discovery was made. The fungus Aspergillus tubingensis was degrading the plastic, polyurethane. The mycelium of the fungus spread into the polyurethane and it broke down in a few weeks rather than many years. This was seen using scanning electron microscopy. The technique of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy was used to confirm the breakage of the chemical bonds. This is a very important observation in the battle against plastic pollution.

Read more at:   Environmental Pollution  Volume 225, June 2017, Pages 469-480

How to identify, measure and count microplastic fibres

How to make and see microplastic fibres from clothing

How to find out if microplastic fibres are released from clothes during washing

How to find microplastic fibres in the environment

How to plan a field trip to collect water and soil/sand samples

What is a microscope and how to use it.

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