💚 Tackling Microplastic Pollution 🌊

💚 Tackling Microplastic Pollution 🌊

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Happy Friday 👋

You’ve probably heard it already: microplastics are everywhere!

They’ve literally spread spread to every corner in the world—from the deepest parts of the ocean to the heights of Mount Everest. Not surprisingly, we also encounter them everywhere: from trash, dust, fabrics, cosmetics, cleaning products, rain, seafood, produce, table salt,   🤮

Just like me, you might try to avoid plastics as much as possible…

But it looks like we need to do much more than that.

Just like this new hydrogel-based solution!

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

  • A new hydrogel that tackles microplastic pollution 🌊
  • Hundreds of thousands of solar balconies are installed in Germany 🔆
  • How laser-treated corks can revolutionize ocean cleanup 🍾
  • And more… 💚
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🌊 How a New Hydrogel is Tackling Microplastic Pollution

1️⃣ The big picture: A new type of hydrogel developed by researchers from the Indian Institute of Sciente (IISc) has demonstrated significant potential in removing microplastics from water. This hydrogel, composed of chitosan, polyvinyl alcohol, and polyaniline, forms an Interpenetrating Polymer Network that can adsorb and degrade microplastics effectively with the help of UV light.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: This development is a crucial advancement in the fight against microplastic pollution, offering a reusable and efficient solution for cleaning our water systems. The hydrogel’s ability to break down microplastics after capturing them could dramatically reduce the presence of these pollutants in the environment.

3️⃣ What’s next: The team behind this hydrogel, including researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, is exploring ways to scale up this technology. Their goal is to enable widespread deployment that could drastically reduce microplastic pollution globally, thereby improving the health of aquatic ecosystems and the quality of water.

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📢 Three More Good News

🔆 Hundreds of thousands of solar balconies are installed in Germany:

  • Germany has installed over 400,000 solar balconies for their citizens.
  • These plug-in systems are different from solar rooftops and are much easier for people to use, making solar energy more accessible to the general public, especially apartment dwellers. 
  • This initiative has sparked positive support for solar balconies in countries like France, Austria, Italy, Poland, and Luxembourg.

🍾 How laser-treated corks can revolutionize ocean cleanup:

  • With the help of laser treatments, researchers are able to modify the structure of corks at nanoscopic levels. These alterations make the cork more efficient at absorbing oil.
  • As a result, these new corks can absorb oil without collecting water, making them a powerful tool for environmental cleanup. 
  • This experiment is still on-going. However, because the oil can even be extracted from the cork, it currently has the potential to be reused and can offer a future sustainable solution to cleaning marine oil spills.

🚫 How the EU is combating forced labor:

  • The European Parliament recently passed new rules to stop selling, importing, and exporting goods made with forced labor in the EU. 
  • By taking action to reduce the circulation of produce created through forced labor and inhumane conditions, this ban represents a positive step toward promoting human rights, ethical trade, and promoting accountability in global supply chains.
  • The EU Parliament has passed the law with a majority of the votes in favor and now needs approval.
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📢 Even More Good News Headlines From This Week

🖨️ A new 3D printer can figure out how to print with unknown materials

🌲 The creation of new conservation areas to protect mangroves in Brazil

🧑‍🔬 A team of scientists has found a way to transform metal waste into a sustainable hydrogen production catalyst

🌎 How Climeworks is fast-tracking carbon removal

🇸🇬 Why Singapore has issued new flexible working guidelines

📱 How Apple is ramping up its climate goals

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🤝 Important Awareness Events at a Glance

🧩 Autism Acceptance Month:

  • Autism Acceptance Month was founded in 1970 by psychologist and autism researcher Bernard Rimland Ph.D. to improve public perception of autism through education.
  • Today, Autism Acceptance Month is a global event providing more opportunities for people with autism and dispelling the myths surrounding the condition. 

🫄 April 21-27, Infertility Awareness Week:

  • Globally, about 1 in 6 people struggle to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term. Yet, many people are unaware of the challenges that come with infertility and how to support those impacted. 
  • During Infertility Awareness Week, organizations encourage men and women to share their infertility stories to raise awareness and broaden the support available to others with reproductive issues.

🌊 April 27, Marine Mammal Rescue Day

  • Marine mammals are feeling the effects of climate change; warming waters, pollution, and dwindling food sources mean they need our help. 
  • Marine Mammal Rescue Day highlights the plight of marine mammals and encourages people to do their part by adopting environmentally friendly habits and donating to their favorite animal rescue.

👷 April 28, World Day for Safety and Health at Work

  • Every day, 6,300 people die from occupational accidents or work-related diseases, and more than 317 million people are injured, often resulting in extended absences from work. 
  • To curb the human and economic burden of unsafe working conditions, organizations observe World Day for Safety and Health at Work to promote safe, healthy, and decent work.

Related: You can discover all the 109 most important awareness events (for the month, days, weeks) in our awareness calendar for April 2024!

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📜 These Days in History

🏇🏻 April 26, 1777: At the age of 16, Sybil Ludington rode about 40 miles (or 65 km) on unfamiliar roads to warn and alert residents of approaching British troops during the American Revolution.

👩🏻 April 27, 1759: Mary Wollstonecraft was born in London. Later in life, she was the first to advocate for British women’s suffrage and became the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which is now considered a classic of feminism. Before her death, she gave birth to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who is now known for her book Frankenstein.

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💭 Quote of the Week

“The beginning is always today.”

― Mary Wollstonecraft; English author and advocate of women’s rights and equality

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

Stay impactful 💚

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