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This week new research from Marine Frontiers revealed plastic pollution combined with ocean acidification hinders the development of Antarctic krill, which play a crucial role in the polar oceans. Krill are the main diet of whales, penguins and seals, as well as playing a critical role in promoting the transport of carbon to the depths of the ocean.

In other news record tourist numbers has seen pollution surge on Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, with microplastics being found to contaminate the mountain’s soil. As a result, a study is being carried out to see how Snowdon can achieve plastic free status.

Meanwhile, online supermarket Ocado is to roll out cardboard box packaging for its own label apples in a move which could save almost 12 tonnes of plastic each year.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

Plastic and ocean acidification reduce Antarctic krill development

Plastic pollution combined with ocean acidification hinders the development of Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean, research published in Marine Frontiers reveals. Antarctic krill play a critical role in the polar oceans, being the main diet of whales, penguins and seals and also play a critical role in promoting the transport of carbon to the depths of the ocean. Scientists looked at the impact of nanoplastic under current and future ocean acidification conditions with Antarctic krill especially vulnerable to these environmental stressors due to their close association with sea ice.

Read more here.

Drive against plastic on Snowdon as littering surges with visitor numbers

Surging numbers of visitors flocking to Snowdon has sparked a drive against plastic – after research revealed that soil on the mountain is contaminated with microplastics. More than 700,000 people are expected to climb the peak this year – up from about 500,000 in 2018 and almost twice the 2012 figure. But record tourist numbers are putting a huge strain on the environment with shocking scenes of litter emerging. A study is now set to be carried out to assess how Snowdon can achieve plastic free status, with measures potentially including extra water refill stations for reusable bottles and a crackdown on single-plastic packaging.

Read more here.

Ocado targets plastic reduction with new box for apples

Online supermarket Ocado is to roll out cardboard box packaging for its own label apples, said to save almost 12 tonnes of plastic every year. The new format is made from cardboard, which Ocado said offers protection for its apples while also being fully recyclable. The updated packaging is on the market and is rolled out across three of its own label lines: Pink Lady, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. The online retailer has also pledged to become carbon net zero by 2040. Ocado is a joint venture between Marks & Spencer Group and Ocado Group. It is responsible for Ocado.com and Ocado Zoom.

Read more here.

Campaigner completes record-breaking swim to highlight pollution

An environmental campaigner broke a world record as he completed a swim round the Isle of Wight to highlight the issue of marine pollution. Oly Rush – known as the Vegan Powerhouse – swam the 65 miles (105km) in a record-breaking 15 hours and nine minutes. He had left from Seaview Yacht Club at 11:00 BST on Monday and arrived back in the early hours of Tuesday morning. He has has currently raised more than £7,000 to support projects cleaning up coastal areas of Dorset and Cornwall – Clean Jurassic Coast, Oceans to Earth and Turn the Tide Cornwall.

Read more here.

Tesco rolls out soft plastic collection service nationally

Tesco has announced the expansion of its soft plastic collection scheme nationally in response to significant customer support. Shoppers will be able to bring back any soft plastic packaging for recycling, with Tesco stating that as much of this material as possible will be recycled back into its own products and packaging. The service is expected to see the collection of over 1000 tonnes of plastic per year. The collection points will allow customers to return materials such as the clear film used to wrap meat and fish, crisp packets, fruit and veg bags, and sweet wrappers.

Read more here.

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