Resources — water pollution

Plastic kills more than just people

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In the last few months, the effects upon wildlife that come from eating, or becoming entangled in, plastic debris have been reported more widely and more often than ever before, leading to public outcry and protests. These tragic events should come as no surprise: there are an estimated 270,000 tons of plastic floating through the world’s seas where it threatens 700 marine species with its presence. Further, there is growing evidence that plastics play a role in rising rates of species extinctions. But entangling or lodging inside the digestive tract of an unfortunate victim, like whales and other marine mammals,...

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How do microplastics get into our water?

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One of the main sources is our clothing. Minuscule fibres of acrylic, nylon, spandex, and polyester are shed each time we wash our clothes and are carried off to wastewater treatment plants or discharged to the open environment. According to a recent study cited by Water World, more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres could be released into the environment during each cycle of a washing machine. This has not yet been studied in the case of handwashing, which is more common in developing countries, but the effects could be significant there as well. A study in 2016 commissioned by clothing...

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How is plastic polluting our soil

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The millions of tons of plastic swirling around the world’s oceans have garnered a lot of media attention recently. But plastic pollution arguably poses a bigger threat to the plants and animals – including humans – who are based on land. Very little of the plastic we discard every day is recycled or incinerated in waste-to-energy facilities. Much of it ends up in landfills, where it may take up to 1,000 years to decompose, leaching potentially toxic substances into the soil and water. Researchers in Germany are warning that the impact of microplastics in soils, sediments and freshwater could have...

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Why to stand up for trees?

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TREES COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE Excess carbon dioxide (CO2) is building up in our atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles. CLEAN THE AIR Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark. PROVIDE OXYGEN In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen...

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