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.

Does Amazon’s plastic packaging actually get recycled? Researchers with U.S. PIRG placed trackers in bundles of Amazon shipping materials and put them in store drop bins to see where they ended up.

Plastic packaging from e-commerce is a major producer of plastic pollution, generating 3.4 billion pounds of plastic globally in 2021 alone. Amazon is a significant contributor to this number, generating an estimated 709 million pounds of plastic just in 2021. Amazon claims much of its plastic packaging is recyclable, and offers a store drop-off system for its film packaging. Yet researchers found no evidence any of its plastic packaging is being recycled. The results paint a far different picture of what actually happens to Amazon’s plastic packaging when it is returned for “recycling.”

BIPOC in ECJ is a searchable platform uniting diverse speakers, specialists, potential hires, board members, advisory group, and steering committee members of environmental justice.

BIPOC in ECJ, or “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Environmental and Climate Justice”, serves as a directory for members of a diverse community involved in just environmental and climate justice, and other specialties.

In this database, those who wish to be involved can check the community calendar for events, future and past. Recruiters can submit a job description so they can get in touch with the best possible candidates. BIPOC in ECJ offers other helpful justice resources, including a blog, community calendar, and toolkit.

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.