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Dear Reader,

This week scientists unveiled that they had found microplastics for the first time in the Vatnajokull glacier in Iceland, Europe’s largest ice cap. Additionally, the researchers raised concerns that these plastic particles could affect the melting and shifting behaviour of glaciers. 

In other news, UK grocery retailer Co-op announced it will remove bags for life from its stores in a bid to reduce the amount of plastic in circulation. Offering compostable bags instead, Co-op’s new initiative will remove 29.5 million bags for life, weighing around 870 tonnes of plastic, from sale each year.

Meanwhile, AB InBev’s Corona have launched a Plastic-Free Challenge to fund and pilot new ways to reduce plastic across global supply chains.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

Microplastics particles discovered in Europe’s largest ice cap

Microplastics have been found in the Vatnajokull glacier in Iceland, Europe’s largest ice cap, prompting concerns they could affect the melting and shifting behaviour of glaciers. Scientists from Reykjavik University, the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and the Icelandic Meteorological Office published their findings in the academic journal Sustainability after identifying microplastic particles of various sizes in the glacier’s snow cores. Researchers fear the presence of microplastics could consequently influence their future meltwater contribution to the world’s oceans and rising sea levels.

Read more here.

Co-op to remove plastic bags for life from all stores

Co-op will remove plastic bags for life from sale in all stores, citing concerns that they are increasing the amount of plastic in circulation. As the retailer starts to remove the bags, in the short-term, reusable bag prices will be increased to 50p, with Co-op offering certified compostable bags for 10p to incentivise customers. Co-op’s new initiative will remove 29.5 million bags for life, weighing around 870 tonnes of plastic, from sale each year.  

Read more here.

Nanoplastics and other harmful pollutants found in disposable face masks

Swansea University scientists have uncovered potentially dangerous chemical pollutants and nanoplastics that are released from disposable face masks when submerged in water. The research revealed high levels of pollutants, including lead, antimony, and copper, within the silicon-based and plastic fibres of common disposable face masks. Responding to the findings, the researchers called for urgent research and regulation on mask production in a bid to reduce any risks to the environment and human health.

Read more here.

Corona launches Plastic-Free Challenge

Corona has launched a Plastic-Free Challenge to fund and pilot new ways to reduce plastic across global supply chains. The challenge was launched within the 100+ Accelerator, a global program founded in 2018 by Anheuser-Busch InBev, in a bid to accelerate sustainable solutions from start-ups in Fortune 500 CPG companies. Successful applicants will receive up to 100,000 USD to fund and pilot their innovation, as well as six months of training from experts and mentors to help accelerate their growth.

Read more here.

Morrisons brings back refillable containers at fresh fish and meat counters

Morrisons has reintroduced its refillable container service at its fresh fish and meat counters to reduce the amount of single use plastic packaging used in stores. Morrisons butchers, fishmongers and deli experts will now ask a customer if they have brought their own container to be refilled, rather than automatically putting products into single-use packaging. Morrisons originally introduced the refillable container scheme in 2018 but it was put on hold during the pandemic.

Read more here.

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