plastic problems
Video captures moment plastic enters food chain - BBC News
A video captures the moment plankton ingest a plastic microfibre.

A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves.

The footage shows one way that waste plastic could be entering the marine and global food chain.

An estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic “disappears” from the world’s waste stream each year.

Waste plastic in the world’s seas has been recognised by the United Nations as a major environmental problem.

“When I saw it, I thought that here was something, visually, to convey to the public the problem of plastic in the sea,” said Richard Kirby, who recorded the footage.

“What intrigues me is that because the fibre has made a loop inside the animal’s gut, you can actually see the consequences of something as small as the arrow worm consuming microplastic.”

If you live in a rented apartment

with very old (and ugly) furniture, like me, you know how hard it is to make something ‘pretty’. You can’t invest or change much. That’s why I’m super excited about these self-adhesive decorative foils.

This is my most-used working surface in the kitchen:

It’s tiny, and it’s ugly.

But look at it now!

Guess what, I bought 5 rolls ($2 each). You can imagine what will the kitchen look like when I’m done with it 😁

Anyway, I just wanted to suggest, if you want to change something, and can’t afford or live in a rented place, a self-adhesive decorative foil is a way to go. It’s plastic and has no problem with water or grease. And it’s fun to apply it! :D

Cute or concerning? 

Here, an adorable sea otter plays with a discarded plastic basket in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Sanctuary visitor Douglas Croft, who took this photo, says that “It was quite humorous to watch her play with it and carry it around, but if this ‘toy’ had had a hole in it and her head got stuck, it could have been a death sentence." 

Plastic debris finds its way into the ocean far too often, and can harm the health of ecosystems and beloved sea creatures. We can all do our part to protect animals like sea otters by picking up trash on the beach and near our homes farther inland! Opting to use reusable products also goes a long way toward keeping our ocean and waterways clean. 

What will you do to help clean up marine debris? 

(Photo: Douglas Croft)

Just pretend to be my date // SHAWN MENDES

Overview: Y/n has a family dinner where her family always bug her about never bringing a date so she asks Shawn to accompany her.

“Please, please, please, Shawn,” I whine. “I never ask you for anything,”

“I don’t know,” Shawn trails off, his arm brushing mine as he walked me back to my house after we had dinner with some of his friends at the bar in the main street.

“Listen, my family bug me every year about if I’m dating someone and for once I just want to make them happy. Could you please, pretty please, for one night… just pretend to be my date,” I stop him, pulling his arm gently so he turns and faces me. The dark sky creates shadows against his face, the dimly lit street lights illuminating half his face.

“I just don’t want to lie to your family Y/n,” He says, linking my fingers with his.

“I know you don’t but I just want to get them off my case. I don’t know who else I could ask and right now there’s no one else I’d rather fake date then you,” I chuckle, looking up at him shyly.

“Aww Y/n” Shawn coos, wrapping his arms around my waist tightly, lifting me off the ground slightly.

“Shawn- can’t breathe,” I mumble into his chest.

“Sorry,” He chuckles, placing me back down and we continue walking again. “So what would this fake date entail if I did go along with it?”

“Well,” I glance at him from the corner of my eye. “You would just come to family dinner next Sunday, get introduced to my family. Make polite conversation as you do, then we leave and you will never have to see them again!” 

“Doesn’t sound too bad,” Shawn comments, slowing down as we reached my house, the moisture from the grass soaking through the gaps in my heels as I walked across the front lawn to the door.

“It’s not, you’ll be fine. You’re my best friend and my parents love you so you’ll be great,” I tell him while searching though my bag for my keys.

“What are you going to tell your mum and dad?” 

“Just that our friendship turned into a relationship and all that,” 

I jar the key into the lock, twisting it and shoving it open. 

“You want to come in?” I ask, holding the door open.

“You making a snack?” He asks while stepping past.

“I saved you some muffins,” Immediately he walks down the hall to the kitchen.

“Thank you!” a muffled call rings out, followed by plastic rustling.

“No problem,” I shout back, chucking my bag on the sofa and shrugging my jacket off. 

Shawn walks back in, grinning at me and shoving the rest of the small cake in his mouth, crumbs dusting his sweater. 

“Is there a dress code?” he falls back on the couch, legs chucked up onto the arm rest, wiping his shirt clean.

“Something smart, not too dressy though,” I do the same, sitting on the spare space that he left, putting my own legs over his.

“What do you think your parents will think?” He asks quietly, his hands fidgeting.

“What do you mean?” I tilt my head to meet his eyes.

“Just of us, like, together,”he says hesitantly, his eyes never meeting mine.

“Well, they probably saw it coming.” He sends me a confused glance. 

“We were best friends all through high school and then we’re still just as close now- I mean you haven’t had a girlfriend in a good 3 years or so and I haven’t even thought of dating so they probably thought that we had something secretly going on,”

He laughs, “A secret relationship, wow,”

“Hey, are you judging our secret partnership?” I glare at him teasingly.

“Not at all,” His arms move behind him to hold himself up to see me better.

“Good, because, if you were I might need to consider having a time out,”

“From our relationship?” Shawn asks, pretending to be horrified.

“Of course,”

“How dare you!” He scolds, trying to push me off the edge of the couch. His touch tickles, making me shriek in laughter and my arms flail around trying to get a grip before I fall but unfortunately all I get is a handful of Shawn’s T-shirt

I land with a thud on the ground, Shawn falling on top of me. He groans, lifting himself so that from his waist up he was off me. 

“Good one,” I growl, scowling at him.

“You’re fault,” He teases, grinning at me.

“Was not,” I snap back, a smile pulling at my lips.

“Was too,” 

“Was not,”

“Was.Too.” I say each word slowly.

“Would it really be that bad if we dated for real?” Shawn says gently.

“Was to- wait what?”

Originally posted by erinlindscys

Happy Easter: Happy Hunting

* Hamilsquad x Reader
* Modern
* Easter Fic

    A/N: Happy Easter! Here’s a short little Easter fic, a bit early. (at least for me) So, here’s this. I can’t promise what’s next or when but I have started on the Jefferson time travel fic…

    Word Count: 2,385


    It wasn’t that you hated Easter, you just never had a good Easter memory. Nothing that stood out. All the boys could recount some funny story they had. Alexander didn’t understand why his first foster family insisted he walk around the house searching for plastic eggs. The year John’s sister hid an egg that he didn’t find until dark even though it was in a really obvious place. Lafayette’s first Easter with the Washington’s as a child when he wanted to hide the eggs but hid raw, unboiled eggs. The year Hercules failed to find an egg…until late summer.

    You had hunted eggs, had Easter dinner, been dragged to church, had a lunch with all your family, and gotten chocolate bunnies. You had a few fun memories with the guys but they fell under the same batch of average memories. Still, you planned to have a good time this Easter. You went shopping and ended up in the Easter section. You studied the plastic eggs and decided to buy a dozen for each of the guys and hide them on Easter.

    Keep reading

    I never feel cognizant of having a huge chewing on plastic problem until I spend prolonged time w people and they’re like you’re eating a solo cup

    Using trash bags, unused grocery bags and plastic sheets, Pakistani artist Khalil Chishtee creates life-sized figures wracked with emotion. He uses these materials as a metaphor for “recycling our identities” or braving the problems of life.

    Plastic-munching caterpillars discovered that could eat billions of kilograms of waste

    Federica Bertocchini, a scientist at the University of Cantabria in Spain and amateur beekeeper, made the discovery while tending her beehives. Wax caterpillars are bred for fishing bait but they are also a pest in beehives, where they chew through the wax honeycomb. Bertocchini put the caterpillars in a supermarket plastic bag made of polyethylene as she picked them out of the hives. Less than an hour later, the bag was riddled with holes.

    Bertocchini brought the caterpillars into the lab to investigate what they were doing to the bags. Working with scientists at the University of Cambridge in the UK, she found that the caterpillars weren’t just chewing holes – they were eating the plastic and breaking it down into another compound.

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    A hundred caterpillars munched through 92 mg of plastic in about 12 hours, leaving the lightweight bag in tatters. They broke the plastic down into ethylene glycol, which is used as an antifreeze. The research is published in a paper in the journal Current Biology.

    “There is a chemical transformation of the polymer – this is telling us it’s something more than the mechanical action of the caterpillar munching,” Paolo Bombelli of the University of Cambridge and an author of the study told IBTimes UK.

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    The wax caterpillar is the only known insect to be able to break down polyethylene in this way. Exactly how the caterpillar is doing so is less clear. It could be the caterpillar itself, or bacteria living in its gut. The scientists also mushed up the caterpillars and spread the goo onto plastic shopping bags, to see if it still broke it down to the antifreeze compound. The caterpillar mush still worked, but not as efficiently as the living caterpillars.

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    “We were excited to see that the mush was in any way able to still degrade the plastic,” Bombelli said. “This is telling us that probably there is some enzyme activity breaking down the polyethylene.

    "This is great because we really hope to identify the enzyme. If we did that, then we could express this enzyme in other organisms, such as yeast or the bacterium E. coli, and use them on an industrial scale.”

    Yeast or bacteria might be more efficient at breaking down the plastic than caterpillars on a large scale, but it’s possible that caterpillars themselves could be used to break it down. However, ethylene glycol is toxic to species including humans, so letting wax worms loose in a landfill may not be a good solution. But the wax caterpillars appeared to be perfectly healthy after feeding on the plastic bags, and were able to turn into a moth.

    There are several more stages of research needed before the caterpillar’s trick could be used to tackle the mountains of plastic that go to landfills every year.

    “One of the main questions we’re trying to answer now is whether the plastic is degraded by the caterpillar itself, bacteria inside the caterpillar, or a combination of the two.”

    A trillion plastic bags are used every year. Polyethylene makes up about 92% of all plastic produced. An organism that can break it down and apparently remain unharmed may have the potential to revolutionise how plastic is thrown away. At the moment, billions of kilograms of plastic ends up in the ocean, where it collects toxins and is eaten by wildlife.

    Bombelli warns against being complacent about recycling and cutting back on use of plastic in the wake of the discovery.

    “We definitely don’t want to give the impression that if this research is successful that people can justify creating more plastic waste. Our aim is to provide a tool that might be able to contribute to sorting out the problem of plastic waste.”

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