💚 Plants Against Microplastics 🌱

💚 Plants Against Microplastics 🌱

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Happy Tuesday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • Plant materials could filter microplastics from our oceans 🌱
  • First summit in 14 years to protect the Amazon Rainforest 🌳
  • Commemorate Slavery Remembrance Day 🖤
  • And more… 💚

Did you know that microplastics are pretty much everywhere? In your water, in your food, and even in the air that you breathe 🤢

I’m trying to reduce my plastic waste as much as I can (so far, it’s still too difficult to cut down the last remaining parts), but even if I cut it to zero, there would still be microplastics in my environment.

These microplastics are simply everywhere… And because of their small size, they have been extremely difficult to clean up.

That’s why I’m so happy to share a new nature-based solution that can trap virtually all microplastics (in water)!

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🌱 Breakthrough: How Plants Can Filter Microplastics From Water

1️⃣ The big picture: Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that adding natural plant compounds (called tannins) to wood dust, creates an effective filter that is capable of trapping up to 99.9% of microplastic particles in water. This could be a cost-effective method that can easily be scaled up as a solution to the microplastic issue that plagues our oceans and threatens vulnerable marine species. 

2️⃣ Why is this good news: 12 million tons of plastic find their way into the ocean every single year. And there are now over 51 trillion pieces of microplastic in the ocean, weighing approximately 269,000 tons! That’s the equivalent of 46,000 pieces of plastic per mile of ocean. Previous attempts to remove microplastics from water have been attempted, but most of these methods are difficult to scale up. This particular method—with the added natural plant compounds—uses tannic acids from renewable and widely available sources, such as leaves, bark, plants, and sawdust.

3️⃣ What’s next: This project is still in the laboratory stage. Currently, the researchers have only analyzed the effects on microparticles made of polypropylene. The next steps for the research team are to find cost-effective ways to scale up the process and trial it in the real world. Either way, initial results have been very positive!

👉 Related: You can already help to reduce plastic pollution around the world by contributing to the best charities that fight to end plastic pollution!

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📢 More Good News…

🌳 First summit held in over 14 years to protect the Amazon Rainforest:

  • 8 Amazon Rainforest countries have formerly committed to addressing possible solutions to protect the Amazon, the largest carbon sink in the world, and combat organized crime within the area.
  • The highly anticipated summit will be held today and tomorrow (22-23 August 2023) in Belem, Brazil, in collaboration with the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization

🐜 Using insects to create biodegradable plastics:

  • For years, researchers have focused on using natural products to create degradable plastics. However, these products still need to be harvested. 
  • Thankfully, scientists at the American Chemical Society may have the answer!
  • Karen Wooley, the principal officer of the project, is analyzing the possibility of using excess chitin (the main material in the hard exoskeletons of insects) from over-farming black soldier flies to create a biodegradable plastic that will also act as a food source for other insects.

Modern Charles Darwin voyage launched to boost conservation efforts:

  • The two-year journey commemorates nearly 200 years since Charles Darwin first set sail on the HMS Beagle.
  • The 40,000 nautical mile expedition, nicknamed ‘Darwin200’, will anchor at 32 ports across four continents, including all the ports first explored by Darwin himself.
  • The aim is to study endemic wildlife and boost conservation efforts around the world. 
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🖤 Event of the Week: Slavery Remembrance Day

👉 Did you know that this Wednesday, August 23, is Slavery Remembrance Day? Also known as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, this event is acknowledged every year to reflect on the tragedy of the slave trade and the effect it had on so many citizens. 

1️⃣ The big picture: On August 23, 1791, enslaved people on the Island of St Domingue (modern-day Haiti) rose up against their captors. This event played a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. This is a day to recognize the long struggle for liberation amongst vulnerable communities and ethnicities. It’s also a time to reflect on the causes, methods, and consequences of this tragic period in history, to ensure it never happens again.

2️⃣ Why is this important: Between 1526 and 1867, roughly 12.5 million men, women, and children were captured and put on ships to America to work as slaves. Of these, approximately 12% died before they even reached the shoreline, because of the horrific conditions they were kept in. This painful period of history reminds us of the struggles faced by these individuals and the long arduous journey toward freedom and liberation. It also helps us to reflect on the issues that still surround communities today, including racism, discrimination, and prejudice. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: Perhaps one of the best ways to get involved in Slavery Remembrance Day is to take the time to learn more about the history of slavery. Many museums hold exhibitions on or around this day which are often free to attend. In addition, many countries around the world hold remembrance walks in honor of the victims of the slave trade which you can join. 

Additionally, you can check out the organizations below that fight to end racism and work towards a more equitable world where everyone is given the same opportunities:

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📜 This Week in History

🎾 August 22, 1950: The United States Lawn Tennis Association officially accepted Althea Gibson into the annual championship in New York. This made her the very first African-American player to compete in a US National tournament. 

⛑️ August 22, 1864: The International Red Cross Organization was founded as a result of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick of Armies in the Field, adopted by 12 nations.

💉 August 23, 2021: The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was officially approved for use by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for people 16 years and over. This was the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive full review and approval by the US Regulatory Agency.

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💭 Quote of the Day

“Without volunteers, we will just be a nation without a soul.”

— World Red Cross

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society together!

Stay impactful 💚

Dennis

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