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Ditch brightly coloured plastic, anti-waste researchers tell firms

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Researchers are urging companies to stop using brightly coloured plastics for products like bottles and toys, as these degrade into microplastics faster than plainer colours
• Studies found red, blue, and green plastics become brittle and fragment, while black, white, and silver are more resistant

🔭 The context: A University of Leicester-led study exposed plastic lids to the elements, showing brightly coloured plastics degrade faster
• Complementary research in South Africa on beach plastics confirmed similar results

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Microplastics from coloured plastics add to environmental pollution, impacting ecosystems and human health
• They have been detected in human testicles, potentially linked to declining sperm counts

⏭️ What's next: Retailers and manufacturers are encouraged to reconsider using bright pigments in plastics, especially for short-lived products
•  The focus should be on recyclability and reducing

💬 One quote: “It’s amazing that samples left to weather on a rooftop in Leicester and those collected on a windswept beach... show similar results,” said Dr Sarah Key

📈 One stat: Annually, approximately 350 million tonnes of plastic are produced, with a significant portion becoming waste. An estimated 1-2 million tonnes of this plastic waste end up in the oceans each year​

Click for more news covering the latest on pollution


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