Microplastics found in fresh Antarctic snow, as pollutants spread

cigaretteman

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May 29, 2001
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Scientists have found microplastics in fresh Antarctic snow for the first time in a study they say highlights “the extent of plastic pollution globally.”
Researchers at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand collected snow samples from 19 sites in Antarctica, and all contained the tiny plastics, according to the peer-reviewed paper published this week in the journal Cryosphere.
10 steps you can take to lower your carbon footprint
The research revealed an average of 29 microplastic particles per liter of melted snow. Of the 13 types of plastics, the most common was polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to manufacture clothes and soda bottles.
When PhD student Alex Aves went to Antarctica to collect the samples in 2019, “we were optimistic that she wouldn’t find any microplastics in such a pristine and remote location,” associate professor Laura Revell said Wednesday in a statement. Still, she added, “from the studies published in the last few years, we’ve learned that everywhere we look for airborne microplastics, we find them.”
U.N. adopts historic resolution aimed at ending plastic pollution
The minuscule plastic particles, which can come from artificial clothing fibers, broken-down consumer products and other sources, are mostly undetectable to the naked eye — “much smaller than a grain of rice,” as this study describes them.







But from deep oceans to Mount Everest, they have become nearly ubiquitous in a world that generates billions of pounds of plastic waste every year. People can also ingest them in water and food, although their effect on human health is not yet clear.
U.S. is top contributor to plastic waste, report shows
While prior research has identified the tiny particles in Antarctic sea sediments and surface water, the New Zealand study marks the first time they have been reported in fresh snow, according to the scientists.
The most likely origins of the airborne microplastics are local research stations, from clothing or equipment, although the results also suggest that the particles may have traveled through the air from sources more than 3,700 miles away, they said.

Noting a “growing threat to the Antarctic ecosystem,” the study said microplastics can lead to impaired biological and reproductive functions in exposed organisms, from krill to penguins. It also makes reference to previous findings that the particles deposited on snow or ice caps can speed up melting, in part by absorbing light.
“It’s incredibly sad,” said Aves, the researcher, “but finding microplastics in fresh Antarctic snow highlights the extent of plastic pollution into even the most remote regions of the world.”

 
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Keehawk

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May 24, 2011
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But I get mocked here when I mention I pull recyclables out of garbage (wearing gloves) while waiting for gas tank to fill.

Shame on mockers.
That's good, but only a small percentage of recyclables will actually be recycled.
 
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lonestar50

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Sep 3, 2007
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A forum I read for entertainment filled with right wing idiots posted something saying the micro plastics found in people's lungs is due to mask wearing.

Yes there really are people out there that think this.
 
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billanole

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Mar 5, 2005
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So, maybe the answer is to pressure those who offer single use objects, unless they biodegrade. No more grocery store plastic bags. Clamshell plastics should be only for the very few objects worthy.
I leave the bags behind in almost every situation.
Ban plastic straws unless a medical need is shown.
Bring back metal or wooden tool boxes.
As a kid, the plastic “barrier” on every consumer object began to show up as an obstacle to shoplifting, but now they are wide spread.
That's good, but only a small percentage of recyclables will actually be recycled.
 

the24fan

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Jul 30, 2007
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I keep a spoon and chopsticks at work and in my car for buyout foods. I refuse to take away plastic/disposable utinsils.
this is the kind of thing that we need to see more of. People are going to have to step out of their comfort zone in order to make a difference. I stopped buying bottled water and bought a home water cooler. Now refill 5 gallon jugs for water and the whole family bought reusable water bottles. Everyone willing to make small changes can make a difference.
 
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Ok. Ready for you in ten minutes. Cash only, no plastic.
"Hi, I had a buyout order."
"Couple's beef, green onion pancake, and stir-fried kidney? $27.44. Plus keys to the restaurant, that totals $625,027.44."




Seriously, is this a Florida thing or is it just you who orders "buyout?"
 

billanole

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Mar 5, 2005
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"Hi, I had a buyout order."
"Couple's beef, green onion pancake, and stir-fried kidney? $27.44. Plus keys to the restaurant, that totals $625,027.44."




Seriously, is this a Florida thing or is it just you who orders "buyout?"
This is just tearing you plumb up.
If I buy food while out, to me it is buyout.
I don’t take it, I buy it.
 

Hawki97

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Gold Member
Dec 16, 2001
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Iowa City, IA
This is just tearing you plumb up.
If I buy food while out, to me it is buyout.
I don’t take it, I buy it.

I’m entering this thread to also say, I’ve never heard the term “buyout” when referring to takeout or carryout. Is this a Florida thing?

Ok, as you were…
 

BioHawk

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Sep 21, 2005
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this is the kind of thing that we need to see more of. People are going to have to step out of their comfort zone in order to make a difference. I stopped buying bottled water and bought a home water cooler. Now refill 5 gallon jugs for water and the whole family bought reusable water bottles. Everyone willing to make small changes can make a difference.
I never understood how bottled water ever became a thing in the first place. "Hmmm....I can fill up this reusable bottle for less than a penny, or I can spend $3 on a plastic bottle full of water. I'm going with the $3 option!"

The only notable exception would be people who get water from a well and they didn't want it tasting like well water. Now though, you can get reverse osmosis devices that will take care of that, though.
 
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billanole

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I never understood how bottled water ever became a thing in the first place. "Hmmm....I can fill up this reusable bottle for less than a penny, or I can spend $3 on a plastic bottle full of water. I'm going with the $3 option!"

The only notable exception would be people who get water from a well and they didn't want it tasting like well water. Now though, you can get reverse osmosis devices that will take care of that, though.
Bottled water has been more expensive than gasoline for decades, yet the municipal or well produced cost is scant pennies per gallon.
Next, add in the cost of picking those damn things up off of the roadside and then landfilling them.
One of the costliest inventions ever…
 

markfromj

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Sep 1, 2004
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That's good, but only a small percentage of recyclables will actually be recycled.

I read and hear this all the time, and need to set the record straight.

If you really mean explicitly what you wrote, then my answer is, “Yes! Recycle more!”.

But if what you mean is, “even among the stuff that enters the recycling stream…”, it is sort of true and sort of false.

Essentially 100% of the plastic number 1 (e.g. bottled water bottles), number 2 (e.g. gallon milk jugs), and aluminum cans get recycled into new products. These are economically viable substances. Recyclers can easily sell them for reuse.

Now, other plastics, and paper, are dicier.

Just recycle 1s and 2s and aluminum and you are making a difference
 

markfromj

HR Legend
Sep 1, 2004
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I never understood how bottled water ever became a thing in the first place. "Hmmm....I can fill up this reusable bottle for less than a penny, or I can spend $3 on a plastic bottle full of water. I'm going with the $3 option

Just ease of use.
 

EagleHawk

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Jan 16, 2002
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As a kid, the plastic “barrier” on every consumer object began to show up as an obstacle to shoplifting, but now they are wide spread.
And no that no one cares about shoplifting anyway, we should just do away with the plastic barriers.
 
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billanole

HR Legend
Mar 5, 2005
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Just ease of use.
Some in this country can relate to the lack of packaging by going to Aldi or certain lower cost stores. They don’t bag your purchases for you or provide “containers”.

Some buddies were on a lifetime trip to Italy a few years back and stopped at a market on the way to their lodging. The clerk rang up their “groceries” and received payment. The clerk then sat down. Karen and Jeff went out to the rental car and dumped all of their clothes into the back seat, then went back inside with luggage to pack up their vittles.
We have gotten very comfortable with paying a lot of money to landfill packaging. Why?
 

billanole

HR Legend
Mar 5, 2005
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I read and hear this all the time, and need to set the record straight.

If you really mean explicitly what you wrote, then my answer is, “Yes! Recycle more!”.

But if what you mean is, “even among the stuff that enters the recycling stream…”, it is sort of true and sort of false.

Essentially 100% of the plastic number 1 (e.g. bottled water bottles), number 2 (e.g. gallon milk jugs), and aluminum cans get recycled into new products. These are economically viable substances. Recyclers can easily sell them for reuse.

Now, other plastics, and paper, are dicier.

Just recycle 1s and 2s and aluminum and you are making a difference
Corrugated cardboard as well is usually a strong market. Don’t forget copper. I cut the cords off of trash electric stuff…
 

billanole

HR Legend
Mar 5, 2005
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"Hi, I had a buyout order."
"Couple's beef, green onion pancake, and stir-fried kidney? $27.44. Plus keys to the restaurant, that totals $625,027.44."




Seriously, is this a Florida thing or is it just you who orders "buyout?"
Is that in big bills or 1s? May need a bigger truck to hold the cabbage…
 

the24fan

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Jul 30, 2007
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I never understood how bottled water ever became a thing in the first place. "Hmmm....I can fill up this reusable bottle for less than a penny, or I can spend $3 on a plastic bottle full of water. I'm going with the $3 option!"

The only notable exception would be people who get water from a well and they didn't want it tasting like well water. Now though, you can get reverse osmosis devices that will take care of that, though.
agreed. We used to recycle the bottles, but of course very few probably actually get recycled. We now get the refills for 1.95 for 5 gallons. Just a win all around. Just need to have more people have this kind of mindset.
 

markfromj

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Sep 1, 2004
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We used to recycle the bottles, but of course very few probably actually get recycled.

False. See earlier post. If a bottle water bottle (“1”) gets into the recycling stream, it’s plastic is almost certainly recycled into something else. Very viable economic product.
 
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the24fan

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False. See earlier post. If a bottle water bottle (“1”) gets into the recycling stream, it’s plastic is almost certainly recycled into something else. Very viable economic product.
I’d always heard horror stories that alot of plastic recycled never actually gets there . If that’s false than that’s good news as we still recycle a lot of other stuff, plastic and glass etc…