Leachates from pyroplastics alter the behaviour of a key ecosystem engineer

Pyroplastic, an amorphous matrix derived from the burning of manufactured plastics, is a newly described type of plastic pollution. Researchers surveyed 12 locations along northern French shores where mussel reefs are common. They recorded finding pyroplastic items at six sites (with an average weight of 3.34g) that were mostly mainly made of polyethylene. They tested the effects of exposure to raw and beached pyroplastic leachates on adaptive behavioral traits of the mussel Mytilus edulis, a key ecosystem engineer in the region. Pyroplastic leachates significantly affected the ability of mussels to move and aggregate. Polyethylene plastic had greater effects than polypropylene. These results offer the first evidence that pyroplastics may have more severe impacts on living organisms than those triggered by non-burnt plastics.

A site known as Fencelinedata.org shifts the balance of power from chemical producers to journalist, community members, and advocates that can hold them accountable.

This tool, a project of DataKind, Until Justice Data Partners, Material Research L3C, and Public Health Watch, represents a major advance in data accessibility: It makes multiple federal databases available in one place, allowing users to avoid government websites that can be difficult to navigate and interpret.

Find out which companies in your neighborhood are polluting and what harmful chemicals they are releasing into the environment. FencelineData.org provides facility-level information about environmental violations and toxic-chemical and greenhouse-gas pollution from tens of thousands of facilities that report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In an effort for industries to mitigate their contributions to climate change, the U.S. federal government has funded the development of a expensive and controversial technology to make doing so economically viable. But how viable, and safe, is this technology really?

The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) has gathered evidence to comprehensively educate both the public and decision-makers about the risks associated with this technology, known as Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCS). With CCS, corporations emitting carbon dioxide capture, transport, and inject carbon underground, to store or use for industrial purposes. However, there are many risks associated with CCS that far outweigh the perceived benefits.

EIP has collected data on existing and proposed carbon dioxide pipelines in the USA, as well as information on abandoned oil and gas wells, and risk of carbon dioxide leaks. Its map overlays this information with community-level data, such as population, indications of tribal lands and other demographic information, and more.

It’s known plastic harms humans and other living beings, but do you known that these substances also affect Earth’s system as a whole? Due to mass-production and inadequate regulation of plastic and synthetic materials, Earth has entered a high-risk zone where irreversible change is likely.

Urgent action is in need to reduce production and toxicity of synthetic chemicals and plastics to bring the plant back into a safe and more balanced state. The health of Earth’s systems are critical to human survival, and a collapse of just one can have crippling effects across the planet.

Scientist have developed and evaluated a system marking nine planetary boundaries to act as a benchmark that the planet is safe and functioning stably. This NRDC brief discusses how plastic and chemical production and pollution stress the Earth’s planetary boundaries in serious and severe ways.

The European Environment Bureau (EEB) and ChemSec published the results of an initiative showcasing Europeans leaders testing positive for ‘Forever chemicals’ in their bodies. The detected levels of PFAS in the leaders’ bodies do not significantly differ from the average European, illustrating that no one is immune to PFAS—not even key European Officials. 

Leaders across EU nations, including Vice-Presidents, members of European Parliament, and others tested positive for at least 13 PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) “forever chemicals.” PFAS chemicals are linked to a wide range of severe health issues such as cancer, infertility, birth defects, and immune system disruptions. These results highlight failing chemical control measures and emphasize the pressing necessity of regulating hazardous materials to which people are exposed, in Europe and beyond.

Although Europe has some of the strictest chemical control policies in the world, it has not yet fully banned PFAS—a chemical category including more than 10,000 substances.

Top plastic pollution researcher Martin Wagner at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology writes, “A United Nations-backed agreement to end plastic pollution is within reach — but only if scientists, civil society and businesses unite against powerful vested interests.”

Wagner argues that the global plastic treaty currently under negotiation, if crafted intelligently and agreed upon by world leaders, could significantly reduce global reliance on fossil fuels and plastics. This, he writes, could diminish human and planetary exposure to hazardous chemicals and harmful plastic particles. But to get there, negotiators and observers will have to agree that vested interests with the fossil fuel and plastics industries should not guide the process.