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Microplastics – News and Features

Seabirds flying over the sea.

Why Are Seabirds Feeding Their Chicks Plastic?

Seabirds in the Pacific Ocean are eating plastic and feeding it to their chicks. But we know precious little about why the birds are doing this.
Plastic bottle on a beach.

Takeaways From a Global Plastics Treaty

Technology Networks caught up with Aidan Charron, director of the End Plastic Initiatives at Earth Day, not long after he arrived back from Nairobi to hear how negotiations on an international plastics treat went.
Plastic straws breaking into smaller and smaller pieces.

Snail-Inspired Robot Could Scoop Up Ocean Microplastics

The Hawaiian apple snail has inspired the design of a robot prototype that may one day scoop up ocean microplastics.
A scientist operates a flow cytometer machine.

Scientists Test Out New Method for Identifying Small Microplastics

Researchers have now developed an innovative analytical method that combines different specialized techniques, including flow cytometry, to characterize and count microplastics.
Wetland contaminated with waste water.

Explore the World of PFAS With Dr. Carol Kwiatkowski

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are widely used and persist in the environment and the human body for extended periods. Technology Networks invited Dr. Carol Kwiatkowski to an Ask Me Anything session to answer your questions about PFAS and their impact on human health.
A closeup of laboratory equipment.

A More Sustainable Way To Recycle Biobased Polycarbonate Plastics

Researchers from ICIQ describe a circular process to recycle polycarbonates, a specific polymer often used in plastic applications, using less chemicals and user-friendly conditions.
Colored nanoparticles under a microscope.

Nanoplastics Create an Environment for Parkinson’s To Develop, Study Suggests

The way in which nanoplastics and a specific brain protein, α-synuclein, interact could create changes in the body that give rise to Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other related dementias, a new study suggests.
Fish swimming amongst microplastics.

Most Animals Living in River Mouths Have Ingested Microplastics

All aquatic species in the river mouths flowing into the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean are contaminated with microplastics, with molluscs being the most affected due to their ability to filter water.
Rain clouds.

Microplastics Found in Clouds Could Be Affecting the Weather

Researchers have analyzed microplastics in clouds above mountains. They suggest that these tiny particles could play a role in cloud formation and, in turn, affect weather.
An image of a rotifer, with a close up of its' chewing apparatus.

Zooplankton Can Chew Microplastics Down to Nanoplastics

Rotifers, a kind of microscopic zooplankton common in both fresh and ocean water around the world, are able to chew apart microplastics, breaking them down into nanoplastics.