A couple of years ago, scientists discovered an enzyme in a waste recycling center in Japan that digests plastic. During a recent experiment to understand how this enzyme works, scientists accidentally created a mutated version that breaks down plastic even better than the one found in nature. The discovery could go a…
For years, scientists have been tracking a large accumulation of floating trash, mostly bits of plastic, in the north Pacific ocean called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” or the “trash vortex.” This region, according to the latest research, has more lost and discarded plastic inside it than previous surveys…
It can be tough to reconcile being a LEGO geek and a fan of the environment (raises hand). But LEGO is trying to make that a little easier.
Either California’s first-in-the-nation plastic bag ban is working really well or volunteer litter hunters are suddenly doing a horrible job.
Each year, our civilization pours around eight million tons of plastic into the ocean, a portion of which ends up in the bellies of fish, and by consequence, our dinner plates. New research suggests that at least one species of fish isn’t ingesting this plastic debris by chance—they’re actually attracted to the smell.
Scientists have calculated the total amount of plastic ever made. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot. But what’s even more disturbing is where all this plastic is ending up.
In a chance discovery, a research team from Europe has learned that a common insect larva is capable of breaking down the plastic found in shopping bags and other polyethylene-based products. This trash-munching caterpillar could inspire scientists to develop a new chemical process to tackle the growing problem of…
Don’t for a second think your lunch is safe just because you’re eating it at a restaurant. Turn your back for just a second and your bowl of guac and rice could be snatched out from under you, unless you happen to be eating it with a tactical plastic spork that’s hiding an intimidating looking knife inside.
Dyson’s Bladeless Fans are wonderfully awesome but also ridiculously expensive. Am I really going to spend 300 bucks on a fan? Nah. Thankfully, Rulof the master maker of things breaks down how to build the bladeless fan with a water jug, a few vases, and a microwave fan.
Getting that last bit of shampoo or detergent out of a bottle is a total pain in the ass. Researchers have now engineered a surface coating that allows thick and soapy products to slide right out—meaning you’ll never have to store your shampoo bottle upside down ever again.
In news that offers hope that human civilization won’t end up drowning in soda bottles and plastic wrap, Chinese chemists have developed a remarkably efficient method for converting polyethylene into liquid fuel. If it proves scaleable, it could make a real dent in global plastic pollution.
European researchers have discovered that larval fish love to gobble-up plastic microbeads, which stunts their growth and makes them more vulnerable to predators. It’s yet another reason to ban these awful materials and to limit the amount of plastic entering into our lakes and oceans.
As a civilization we are blanketing our planet with plastic. One of the most frightening illustrations of this fact is a prediction that by 2050, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish. Amazingly, a smart solution for reducing our reliance on plastic, and protecting marine life, could come from those very…
A new study on seabirds has come to a disturbing conclusion: Their bellies are filled with plastic. Up to 90% of marine birds alive today may have ingested plastic, and by 2050, that number could be as high as 95%.
Some scientists believe we’re living in a new epoch of history, the Anthropocene, defined by how drastically humans have altered the Earth with mining, roadways, and other earthworks. Now, engineers are testing plastic roads that can be installed and removed incredibly quickly.
Who knew that Gatorade, an elixir of life, would be such a fun thing to blast a flamethrower at? Turns out because the plastic bottle shrinks while the cap disintegrates (since there’s no liquid in it), the delicious hangover-curing fluid starts spewing all over the place. Science experiments that involve…
Landfills, E-waste piles, and ocean garbage patches are a part of our world we’d rather not see, but these eyesores aren’t going away. Rather than simply accept that our planet is being swallowed by garbage, one artist has started turning this discarded junk into something beautiful.
Given the sheer amount of torque and power needed to propel a car that weighs thousands of pounds, you’d think that parts made from plastic would disintegrate in minutes. But researchers have developed a plastic gear reinforced with carbon fiber that’s strong enough to actually be used as a replacement for metal parts…
Biodegradeable plastic, now often found in plastic bags and bottles, contains additives that are supposed to get microbes to break down tough plastic faster. But a new study from Michigan State University finds that some of these additives may actually doing, well, jackshit.
More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 268,940 tons are floating in the Earth's oceans, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE. This latest estimate is based on models of floating plastics data gathered from a series of 680 surface net tows and 891 visual surveys from oceans around the world.