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This week a group of MPs called on the Chancellor to commit to a £15 million fund to examine the potential human health impacts of plastic. The MPs, led by Conservative Sir Mike Penning, are backing a proposal by social enterprise Common Seas for the creation of a National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund.

A new study found the Mediterranean Sea is one of the largest hotspots for plastic pollution, with over 3,760 metric tons of plastic waste currently floating in it. 

In other news, The Story of Plastic has been awarded a News and Documentary Emmy in the category of Outstanding Writing. The film, which aired on the Discovery Network on Earth Day 2020 unpacks the full extent of the global plastic pollution crisis.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

MPs call for £15m fund to probe plastic impacts on human health

A group of MPs are calling on the Chancellor to commit to a £15 million fund to examine the potential human health impacts of plastic. The MPs, led by Conservative Sir Mike Penning, are backing a proposal by social enterprise Common Seas for the creation of a National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund. The MPs want the chancellor to include a pledge for the money in his Budget at the end of the month. To highlight the campaign, the group of MPs tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons which noted that while we know plastic is in our bodies, we are still yet to understand its impact.

Read more here.

The Mediterranean Sea is a hotspot for plastic pollution

The Mediterranean Sea is one of the largest hotspots for plastic pollution, with over 3,760 metric tons of plastic waste currently floating in it, according to new research. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, saw a research team use computer modelling to track the pathways of plastic debris in the Mediterranean Sea from 2010 to 2017. They found that the total annual plastics load going into the Mediterranean is about 17,600 tons, from which 84 percent ends up on beaches and the rest remains in the water column or on the sea floor. 

Read more here.

New photos show Manila Bay mangroves ‘choking’ in plastic pollution

The Navotas mudflats are among the last of their kind and act as a crucial feeding ground for migratory birds, but they are being buried in plastic, new photos reveal. It is “almost choking the mangrove roots,” Diuvs de Jesus, a marine biologist in the Phillippines, who photographed the area on a recent visit, said. The wetlands are of huge environmental significance. They provide a crucial feeding ground for migratory birds, offer protection against floodwater and help tackle climate change by absorbing far greater levels of carbon dioxide than mountain forests.

Read more here.

‘The Story of Plastic’ wins news and documentary Emmy

The Story of Plastic has been awarded a News and Documentary Emmy in the category of Outstanding Writing. Deia Schlosberg, director of the film – which unpacks the full extent of the global plastic pollution crisis – accepted the award on behalf of the crew involved in its production. The piece presents a timeline of the current environmental catastrophe, placing the onus on polluting corporations and debunking the idea that plastic recycling alone can solve the issue. The documentary originally debuted internationally on the Discovery Network on Earth Day 2020.

Read more here.

High engagement for Wales’ first digital kerbside DRS pilot

Results from Wales’ first digital kerbside deposit return scheme (DRS) pilot suggest consumers to be ‘highly engaged’, with 97 percent of registered households returning at least one bottle over four weeks. The trial, which ran in Conwy, North Wales over the summer, saw households receive six uniquely tagged Princes Gate mineral water bottles over a four-week period. During the trial residents were asked to scan the bottles when placing them in their usual kerbside recycling containers, using a free app. The bottles were scanned again upon collection by Conwy County Borough Council’s household waste recycling team. For each bottle scanned, householders received a digital token, each worth 20p.

Read more here.

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