Can Organisms Eat Plastic? A Scientific View

Plastic pollution is one of the most critical problems our society faces. The consequences of plastic pollution can be observed in every corner of the world. Ocean garbage patches, twice the size of Texas, are currently floating in the Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, we consume at least 7,000 microplastics per million from the dust floating in the air, which settles on our food. The future of plastic waste does not forecast a solution to this growing plastic pollution problem. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, scientists estimate that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

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The Use of Solvents in the Plastics Industry and Safer Alternatives

The global plastics demand is expected to reach 334.83 million tons by 2020, representing a market of USD 654.38 billion according to a new study by Grand View Research. Inc [1]. As of 2013, the global plastics demand was 233.75 million, thus the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will be 5.3% from 2014 to 2020. If you’ve been checking out this site, you know that plastics materials have many advantages compared to metal and other materials such as light weight, ease of processing, more cost efficiency and more. There is no doubt that the plastics market will keep growing in the future. But there are potential sustainability concerns behind this promising market. One major worry is recycling; people have realized that the plastics can persist in the environment for hundreds of years and will cause serious environmental problems without proper disposal. Besides that, the use of a very large amount of solvents in plastics industries is another issue which is lesser known to the public.

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China's Ban on Imported Plastic Waste and Why it Matters

On January 1st, 2018, China issued a new ban on imported waste plastics  from any outside country. This was done as a part of their ongoing initiative to reduce pollution, as the recycling of imported waste can result in the release of unwanted pollutants into the environment. Of the many countries affected by this ban, the United States may be hit the hardest.

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