Plastic isn't 'bad' or 'good' - it is a both wonder material, strong, light and resistant (hence why it lasts) and without it we wouldn’t have a lot of things we rely on everyday. The problem is our over-use and poor disposal of it, which isn’t so wonderful
Whats better that popping a cork on some bubbly or a fine wine? Not much and especially not a plastic screw top. Bottle lids are one of the most common beach finds and one of the most lethal long-lasting choking threats for wildlife and our beloved pet dogs. Buying drinks with traditional cork stoppers is a great alternative, so feel good when you hear that pop.
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In the past many scientists and economists presumed we were purely rational beings, self-promoting our own interests with perfect knowledge of the consequences of our actions. These assumptions are really influential: many world governments rely on our self-interest and perfect decision-making to change our behaviour, hoping rational arguments and penny-savings will alter our trajectory towards crisis.
A study in 2017, trying to understand why and how microplastics are getting in the marine food chain, found that when coral were offered plastic, sand and bacteria-covered plastic + sand they actually preferred the naked-plastic. They even retained the plastic for longer compared to the other food. They suspect that some types of plastic contain chemicals which stimulate the corals - which are tiny animals related to jellyfish - to feed. Or in other words, plastic is tasty for corals.
Sites in Turkey, including the famous Gobekli Tepe, show that before agriculture, hunter-gatherers started harvesting wild grasses. They were using the ancestors of wheat and barley to make beer - crushing them up in big tubs and leaving them to ferment. They found hundreds of these tubs and even simple musical instruments. What were they doing - having a festival of course. At this proto-Glastonbury hunter gatherer groups would come from miles around to drink, listen to someone rock out on the deer-horn flute and enjoy themselves.
Only certain types of fish, including mackeral and tuna, have dangerous levels of mercury and only if you eat them nearly every day. Though the Atlantic Mackeral caught here in Cornwall, contain a lot less Mercury than the Spanish Mackeral eaten elsewhere and are very safe and healthy to eat.
Biomining also could be cheaper and greener than traditional mining, using less water and emitting less CO2 than conventional crushing, heating and chemical processes. Biomining works at much lower temperatures and pressures than normal techniques reducing the electricity bill and resources used to get the metal out of the rock.
For millions of years shells made of calcium carbonate were all the rage amongst marine life, then a new plucky family known as vertebrates turned marine fashion inside-out by putting skeletons on the inside.
Lets start with the virus. Viruses are often seen as the evil bad guys, trying to thwart life at every turn - their name comes from the Latin vīrus referring to poison and other noxious liquids. In reality however viruses actually do a lot for us and our world and despite being often defined as ‘disease-causing agents’ (as bacteria first were).