We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data. We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.


Microplastics – News and Features

Plastic straws being cut into smaller and smaller pieces.

Detecting Microplastics With Light

A research team has developed the world's first technology to rapidly and highly sensitively detect microplastics in the field, which are well known to cause human and genetic toxicity through environmental pollution and the food chain.
Clouds form the shapes CO2 against a blue background.

Carbon Capture Method Plucks Carbon Dioxide Straight From the Air

A newly-developed carbon capture method called the moisture-swing technique enables carbon removal from virtually anywhere, in ambient conditions.
A picture taken from within the of the mouth of a cave, looking out to sea.

Microplastics Found in Cave Closed to Visitors for 30 Years

Researchers in Missouri have found high concentrations of microplastic in Cliff Cave, a cave system in Saint Louis County that has been closed off to visitors for the past 30 years. The extent of the microplastic contamination is detailed in two new research papers, published in Science of the Total Environment and Water Research.
Clouds in the sky.

How Do Microplastics in Cloud Water Impact Climate Change?

Plastic waste that accumulates on land eventually ends up in the ocean as microplastics. However, it is now speculated that microplastics are also present in the atmosphere, contained in clouds.
A view of the Meghna River around Chandpur.

Rivers Contain Hidden Sinks and Sources of Microplastics

Significant quantities of microplastic particles are being trapped in riverbed sediments or carried through the air along major river systems. Research found about 41 microplastic particles per square metre per day settled from the atmosphere.
A winery farm.

How Can We Make Plastic Use in Agriculture More Sustainable?

It is impossible to imagine modern agriculture without plastics. 12 million tonnes are used every year. But what about the consequences for the environment? An international team of authors addresses this question in a recent study.
A small globe held in a hand.

There Is Much To Improve in Identifying All the Chemicals Around Us

Non-targeted analysis (NTA) is an emerging field of analytical science that aims to identify all chemicals around us. According to a meta-analysis of NTA results published over the past six years, it is estimated that less than 2% of all chemicals have been identified.
A spider web, covered in morning dew, hangs below a handrail post at sunrise.

Genetically Modified Silkworms Produce Spider Silk Six Times Tougher Than Kevlar

For the first time, researchers have genetically modified common silkworms to produce full-length spider silk proteins. Such proteins can be used to produce fibers that are six times tougher than the Kevlar fiber used in bulletproof vests.
Fish swimming among plastic waste in the sea.

Genetically Modified Bacteria Break Down Plastics in Saltwater

Researchers have genetically engineered a marine microorganism to break down plastic in salt water. Specifically, the modified organism can break down polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a plastic used in everything from water bottles to clothing.
Small pieces of plastic waste.

A Novel Approach for Removing Microplastics From Water

A new study has identified what may be a novel biological approach for removing extremely small and potentially dangerous plastic particles from water.