Each Friday we provide you with the essential plastic news from the week. This week, we're pleased to be bringing you the latest updates from across the globe. Plus announcing this week's #PassOnPlastic hero!
#PassOnPlastic Hero of the Week
A massive congratulations to our#PassOnPlastic hero of the week: Byron Mullins! 6-year-old Byron has climbed both Pen Y Fan AND Mount Snowdon this year in aid of our mission with WWF to #PassOnPlastic. Keep up the amazing work and carry on climbing mountains!
1. Scientists find unique way of removing microplastics
Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic which can be found in drinking water, snow and the ocean. They are so small that they are extremely difficult to remove from water. Recently, scientists have been testing the use of tiny magnetic springs to dissolve microplastics into nothing.
Xiaoguang Duan from the University of Adelaide, who worked on the research, stated that 'by using this technology, we're able to decompose microplastics into carbon dioxide and water.'
Furthermore, the research found that the process was completely safe, meaning that dissolving the microplastics does not create any toxic materials. The transformed product can even be used to facilitate algae growth!
2. Iceland reaches the one million mark for number of plastic bottles recycled
Since rolling out the 'reverse vending machine' scheme in May 2018, Iceland has recycled more than one million plastic bottles.
The scheme was trialled in five stores across the UK for a 12-month period. In return for the deposit of the plastic bottle, customers would receive a 10p voucher.
The managing director, Richard Walker, stated that feedback for the scheme has been extremely positive, and they are hoping to enhance the machine by extending its use to cans as well.
3. Hawaiian Coral Reefs are making a comeback
The destruction of coral reefs all over the globe is universally known, and, for many corals, there is no returning to their original beauty.
However, this is not the case for an underwater mountain range near Hawaii. The area, formerly known as the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain, has been under federal protection for decades. When scientists revisited the site, they were expecting to see no signs of recovery, but instead they discovered that species are beginning to repopulate the area.
Amy Baco-Taylor, a Professor of Oceanography at Florida State University, stated: 'This is a good story of how long-term protection allows for recovery of vulnerable species.'