An academic journal devotes an issue to the “plastics dilemma”

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The latest issue of Science covers mechanical and chemical recycling, global politics and more. | qvist / Shutterstock

Science Magazine published a special edition covering various facets of the global plastic pollution problem. The articles discuss efforts to reduce the amount of material entering the environment as well as the progress (and gaps) in recycling.

The academic journal published an issue titled “Our Plastics Dilemma” on July 2, exploring the rise of plastic as a common material, the environmental threats posed by the material, and possible solutions to reduce the impact in the future.

“A series of reviews explains how plastics are best understood as new geomaterials, the evolutionary and ecological dimensions of plastic ingestion by wildlife, the accumulation and effects of plastic pollution in the environment, and how innovations in upcycling and recycling can affect the fate of plastics. and stimulate advancements in the design of next-generation materials, ”the authors said in the issue’s introduction.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishes the magazine, highlighted the problem in a press release.

“The mechanical recycling fallacy has already taught us that technology alone will not and cannot solve the plastic pollution crisis. No quick fix exists for the multifaceted nature of plastic pollution, ”the statement said, citing an article from the issue. “It is only through committed action and coordination along the value chain that a sustainable future for plastics will be secured. “

The issue includes articles on microbes capable of breaking down plastic polymers, ongoing efforts to create an international agreement tackling plastic pollution, mechanical and chemical recycling, and more.

The University of Denver published an interview with two researchers at the institution who wrote an article for the magazine.

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