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Dear Reader,

This week a new study  found we are inhaling up to 7,000 microplastic particles every day, with the total being 100 times higher than expected. Experts warned the particles pose a potential health threat that could rank alongside asbestos or tobacco.

Meanwhile, Iceland Foods plans to be the first British supermarket group to become plastic neutral by offsetting its remaining plastic footprint by recovering and recycling waste plastic.

In other news, Unilever and Co-op have partnered together to launch two refill packaging store trials, with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour towards refillable and reusable packaging.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

We inhale up to 7,000 microplastic particles every day, new study

Microplastic particles are now so rife that we breathe in up to 7,000 every day, new research reveals. The total was 100 times higher than expected – posing a potential health threat that could rank alongside asbestos or tobacco, experts said. The pioneering study used highly sensitive equipment to count tiny particles less than 10 microns in size – just a tenth of the width of a human hair. The highest concentration was in the room of an eight-year-old girl because her bedding, carpet and soft toys were all made from synthetic materials.

Read more here.

Iceland Foods commits to being UK’s first plastic neutral supermarket

Iceland Foods plans to be the first British supermarket group to become plastic neutral, offsetting its remaining plastic footprint by recovering and recycling waste plastic.  Iceland, which operates 1,000 UK stores, said waste plastic equal in weight to the firm’s residual plastic footprint will be recovered and, where possible, recycled by independent partner Seven Clean Seas. The recovery projects will focus on developing countries with the highest plastic waste.

Read more here.

Co-op partners with Unilever to launch packaging refill/reuse trials

Unilever and Co-op have partnered together to launch two refill packaging store trials, with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour towards refillable and reusable packaging in a convenience environment. The move is Unilever’s first within a convenience store environment. The trial will test two refill models: ‘Refill on the go’ and ‘Return on the go’ and, some of Unilever’s best-known brands: Persil; Simple; Radox and Alberto Balsam, will be available in reusable stainless-steel bottles, providing shoppers with a quick and easy option to cut plastic consumption.

Read more here.

£1.7 million grant to cut plastic pollution across global south

The Waste and Resources Action Programme and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have partnered in the launch of a new fund designed to assist plastic waste reduction schemes in India, Chile, Kenya, and South Africa.  The International Circular Plastics Flagship Projects Competition will see £1.7 million being invested into initiatives that are attempting to tackle the issue of plastic pollution. Each successful applicant will receive funding ranging from £50,000 to £250,000, providing they can demonstrate ways in which the proposed scheme will respond to certain targets within the Plastic Pact of the scheme’s respective nation.

Read more here.

Plastic found inside seagull eggs and pellets

Single use plastics have been found in seagull eggs and stomachs. The findings are part of a study being done by children and students at the Penryn campus of the University of Exeter. They are analysing not just their eggs but also the pellets the birds regurgitate. Scientists found the birds are eating plastic and had concerns the chemicals are being absorbed by the gulls’ bodies. Prof Jon Blount, from the University of Exeter, said: “Certainly the presence of these chemical additives in eggs is unlikely to be a good thing and it’s really important we study what the biological impacts are.

Read more here.

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