PFPW.NEWS – May 26, 2020

~   Single Use Plastic Waste – Pandemic Effects
~   Microplastics – North Atlantic Microplastic Research Centre Established
~   Microplastics – Ecotoxicological Effects Observed in Adult Zebrafish
~   Microplastics – Transfer through Freshwater Ecosystem Food Webs
~   Microplastics Found in Florida Birds of Prey

Single Use Plastic Waste – Pandemic Effects
– “Plastics in the time of pandemic” is the title of a May 26, 2020 Politico “The Long Game” story  which notes that “… For a while, it looked like 2020 would be a turning point in the war against single-use plastics … Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Single-use plastics became associated with safety from sickness … Broadly speaking, the plastics debate centers on two overlapping priorities: less use and more recycling. The policy disagreement is over where to focus first — and who pays …” – The story is long and more detailed than can be properly summarized #Single Use Plastic #Recycling #Plastic Waste #FoodPackaging

Microplastics – North Atlantic Microplastic Research Centre Established – According to a May 23, 2020 Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE) News Release  “… Invisible microplastics are everywhere – in the air you breathe, the water you drink and in the food you eat. Microplastics are a growing problem, but still we do not know much about the environmental levels (amounts) and the consequences of exposure. This is to be researched by NORCE’s newly established microplastics centre … [which] aims to bring together internationally leading researchers to, as quickly as possible, increase competence levels and gain a better understanding of the quantities and risks of microplastics …” #Microplastics #SingleUsePlastic #PlasticWaste #NORCE

Microplastics – Ecotoxicological Effects Observed in Adult Zebrafish 
– According to a report published May 24, 2020 online in the journal Aquatic Toxicology by researchers with East China Normal University, Shanghai, China “… Microplastic pollution has drawn the attention of both scientists and the public regarding their potential ecotoxicological risks … we carried out aqueous exposure experiments to adult zebrafish with polystyrene microplastics (5 μm) at a wide range of concentrations … Our results showed the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) was the dominant microplastic accumulation site in zebrafish, followed by the gill, whereas no microplastics were detected in the brain or muscle … there were no signs of oxidative stress or other histological changes found in the fish … We found that the zebrafish became hyperactive after microplastic exposure … and stayed at manic and active states much longer … the present study suggests that micro-sized microplastics can induce obvious behavioural abnormality at concentrations that some other toxicological endpoints may not warn effects …” #Microplastics #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic

Microplastics – Transfer through Freshwater Ecosystem Food Webs 
– According to a May 22, 2020 report published online in the journal Global Change Biology  “… As a rapidly accelerating expression of global change, plastics now occur extensively in freshwater ecosystems, yet there is barely any evidence of their transfer through food webs … we used a field study of free‐living Eurasian dippers (Cinclus cinclus), to test the hypotheses that (1) plastics are transferred from prey to predators in rivers, (2) plastics contained in prey are transferred by adults to altricial offspring during provisioning and (3) plastic concentrations in faecal and regurgitated pellets from dippers increase with urbanization … As some of the first evidence revealing that plastic is now being transferred through freshwater food webs, and between adult passerines and their offspring, these data emphasize the need to appraise the potential ecotoxicological consequences of increasing plastic pollution …” #MicroPlastics #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic

Microplastics Found in Florida Birds of Prey 
– In a May 20, 2020 news release researchers with the University of Central Florida (UCF)  “… confirmed and quantified … the presence of microplastics in terrestrial and aquatic birds of prey in Florida, including hawks, ospreys and owls … UCF researchers were able to examine the stomach contents of 63 birds that were dead when they arrived at the center or died 24 hours after they arrived. The birds were collected from throughout Central Florida … the researchers found microplastics in the digestive systems of all birds examined, with nearly 1,200 pieces of plastic pulled from the 63 birds … The most common types of microplastic in the birds were microfibers, which accounted for 86 percent of the plastics found. Microfibers can come from synthetic ropes or clothing and may end up in ecosystems through wastewater from clothes-washing machines. Blue and clear microplastics were the most common colors identified …” #Microplastics