www.theguardian.com

Island of garbage: The all-female voyage to battle Earth's plastic crisis

Ubiquitous plastic waste may pose serious risks to our health. A crew of scientists and activists is conducting a hands-on investigation.


Grist published this story on Feb. 5; if you missed it then, it's worth reading now. The scale of the problem these women are tackling is enormous. A key quote:

"When we sailed into the southern edge of the Gyre, we started to see a piece of plastic over the side of the boat every 10 seconds – a cigarette lighter, a bottle," she said. "Then when you wake up the next morning, and it's still going, and wake up seven days later, and it's still going, and you're 800 miles from the nearest human being – it's that relentlessness that's just so overwhelming."

Keeping track of all this news can also be overwhelming. We employ a team of researchers to filter the deluge and deliver the most relevant, insightful pieces to your inbox – free every week, on Mondays. Subscribe today.

Your engagement is key. After all, as Grist reporter Eve Andrews notes, "the problem will not just drift away."

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Credit: WWF Malaysia/William Joseph
Children

Balancing palm oil and protected forests to conserve orangutans

Orangutan populations have decreased in fragmented forest areas near palm oil plantations, but they have remained fairly stable in protected forests, giving conservationists some hope for the species' future amid continued decline, according to a new study.

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Corals in American Samoa region that survived a 2015 bleaching event. (Credit: Stephen Palumbi)
Originals

“A friend is gone:” Handpicking hardy corals to save them from warming waters

When Steve Palumbi and a group of scientists arrived in American Samoa in 2017, they saw a grim scene. Acropora hyacinthus, a charismatic coral shaped like large plates, was dying out.

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Wil C. Fry/flickr
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Widely used PVC plastic chemical spurs obesity, prediabetes: Study

Mice exposed in the womb to a chemical used in PVC plastic, door and window frames, blinds, water pipes, and medical devices were more likely to suffer from prediabetes and obesity, according to a study released this week.

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