Everyday plastics emit greenhouse gases, study reveals | News

04 August, 2018, 17:41 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Plastics washed up on the shore in Hawaii

Plastic pollution at Kamilo Point, Big Island in Hawai earlier this year.

Scientists writing in the journal PLOS One said Wednesday that plastics emit the greenhouse gases methane and ethylene when they are exposed to sunlight and degrade.

Taiwan started recycling plastic more than a decade ago and today it boasts more than 70 percent recycling rates, according to the Environmental Protection Administration.

Their durability and low cost makes them attractive even though they are known to release a variety of chemicals during degradation - endangering organisms and ecosystems.

Plastic water bottles, shopping bags, industrial plastics and food containers were all tested as part of the study.

Greenpeace senior oceans campaigner Louise Edge, said:"Ocean plastic pollution has already been described as a "toxic time-bomb" by the United Nations, and this new study suggests that when plastic degrades in sunlight, it emits greenhouse gases which are harmful to our climate". However, the most widely produced and discarded synthetic polymer in the world is polyethylene.


Past countermeasures against climate change did not incorporate the impact of greenhouse gases originating in plastic waste in the environment. "With time, these defects increase the surface area available for further photo-chemical degradation and therefore contribute to an acceleration of the rate of gas production".

Moreover, it is known that smaller particles, called 'microplastics, ' are ultimately created in the environment which could further speed up the production of gas.

"Considering the amounts of plastic washing ashore on our coastlines and the amount of plastic exposed to ambient conditions, our finding provides further evidence that we need to stop plastic production at the source, especially single use plastic", said lead author Sarah-Jeanne Royer, a postdoctoral research fellow at UH's International Pacific Research Center. "Based on the rates measured in this study and the amount of plastic produced worldwide CH4 [methane] production by plastics is likely to be an insignificant component of the global CH4 budget", they write.

Greenhouse gases directly influence climate change, affecting sea level and global temperatures along with ecosystem health on land and in the ocean. Karl says plastic sources are not yet accounted for when assessing greenhouse gases in the environment, and those numbers may be significant.

And production of plastics is set to double over the next 20 years.

Recommended:

  • Russian helicopter crash in northern Siberia kills 18: ministry

    Russian helicopter crash in northern Siberia kills 18: ministry

    Such incidents are common in Siberia and eastern Russian Federation , where helicopters are required to cover vast distances. A Russian airline says one of its helicopters has crashed shortly after takeoff in Siberia, killing all 18 people aboard.
    Ayalon calls on Rivlin to sign the law on the nation

    Ayalon calls on Rivlin to sign the law on the nation

    I've stood up for the country's flag with pride and salute it, I sang Hatikvah because I was sure that was my country and I'm equal to everyone.
    China will not release Disney's 'Christopher Robin'

    China will not release Disney's 'Christopher Robin'

    Bloggers and others in opposition to the ruling Communist Party have drawn comparisons between the iconic stuffed bear and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
  • Everything but the voice: Britons' mobile calls fall for first time

    The UK saw a drop in the number of phone calls made using a mobile device for the first time previous year , new figures have revealed.
    We’ll fight new Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

    We’ll fight new Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

    The area also has strong trade with neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, raising the risk of the virus moving internationally. The health ministry said there were 26 cases of hemorrhagic fever in the North Kivu province , including 20 deaths.
    Tiger Woods barely keeps pace at Firestone

    Tiger Woods barely keeps pace at Firestone

    It was an eventful round for Day, who was praised for checking on a spectator whom he hit with a shot on the fifth hole. While Woods emphasised his putting was the main culprit, he didn't exactly tee himself up very well off the tee.
  • Kohli keeps Indian hopes of gatecrashing England’s 1000th test alive

    Kohli keeps Indian hopes of gatecrashing England’s 1000th test alive

    Karthik and Kohli though dug in deep, especially the former, and made sure that the seesawing game went into the fourth day. Curran, playing in his only second test, dismissed Vijay, Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul in the space of nine runs.

    Kristen Stewart & Chloe Sevigny Star in 'Lizzie' - Watch the Trailer!

    Asked by an interrogator whether her murdered father had enemies, Sevigny's Lizzie responds, "This is America, sir". Lizzie hits theaters (not in a violent way) September 14.
    U.S.  bid to cut off Iranian oil to China fails

    U.S. bid to cut off Iranian oil to China fails

    From Iran, it said it would block off the Strait of Hormuz if it's isolated from the global oil market. The US is due to impose a series of new sanctions on Iran in the next few months.
  • Russell produces fastest ever lap of Formula One test

    Russell produces fastest ever lap of Formula One test

    Mazepin had just gone third-fastest at the time , on a 1m20.016s, when his auto crawled to a halt approaching Turn 11. Red Bull simulator driver Jake Dennis also found pace in the afternoon as he went third fastest ahead of Giovinazzi.
    Jewish Leaders Condemn Corbyn's 'Meaningless' Response to Labour Party's 'Institutional' Anti-Semitism

    Jewish Leaders Condemn Corbyn's 'Meaningless' Response to Labour Party's 'Institutional' Anti-Semitism

    In an article for the Guardian , he said anti-Semitism was a "real problem" that Labour was "working to overcome". He said this had "sometimes been used by those wanting to restrict criticism of Israel that is not anti-Semitic".

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek to seek European move if demands are not met

    But it is unclear whether Loftus-Cheek, who spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace , will finally be given a run in the Chelsea's side.


Popular

Alouettes lose 50-11 in Johnny Manziel's first start
With the game all but over and the score sitting at 47-3, the Als pulled Manziel out of the game in the fourth quarter. Retired CFL star Nik Lewis tweeted that the team should not have put Manziel in this situation and wished the QB well.

Betting Odds For UFC 227: Is Cody Garbrandt Favored In Rematch?
The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass, the UFC's digital streaming network . Johnson has not tasted defeat since 2011 while racking up 11 straight title defenses along the way.

Huawei beats Apple to become second-largest smartphone maker
According to IDC , the global tablet market fell 13.5 percent in Q2 2018, falling to 33 million. Apple seems to be the only company that has bucked the trend of the declining tablet industry.

Mila Kunis Admits She Doesn't Like Acting Alongside Husband Ashton Kutcher
Kunis revealed that it was she who quite possibly "caught feelings" first as Kutcher was apparently seeing someone. Fans can watch Kunis' entire interview with Willie Geist this weekend on NBC.

Spotify and Google teams up to be your smartphone’s alarm clock
From there the user will be able to choose whether they want to use the regular alarm sounds or go for a Spotify playlist. After switching off your alarm, you now have the ability to continue listening to Spotify music.

Abnormally hot temperatures, ice melted at record levels in 2017: US report
The last three year's warmer ocean waters have contributed to devastating episodes of coral bleaching globally, the report notes. Land-based ice mirrored these reversals, with the world's glaciers losing mass for the 38th consecutive year on record.

Musical.ly To Shut Down 08/03/2018
Musical.ly started life as an app that let users record themselves lip-syncing along to songs and audio clips. It will be fascinating to see how numerous former app's users - many of whom are children - stick with it.

Vika Azarenka progresses as Garbine Muguruza withdraws — WTA San Jose
Garbine Muguruza has been forced to withdraw from the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic due to a right arm injury. In Washington, reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens fell to former Top 10 Andrea Petkovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Murray takes battle of the Brits in Washington
Sir Andy Murray toiled at the Citi Open before eventually beating Mackenzie McDonald 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 37 minutes. Murray squandered five match points while serving at 5-4 in the third set and another at 6-5 before closing out the win.

Danish ban on face-covering garments enters into force
Fines will range from 1,000 Danish crowns (€134) for a first offence to 10,000 crowns (€1,342) for a fourth violation. Women who have never caused any problems for Denmark , women who work, study and are contributing members of society.