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Newlight's Air Carbon cutlery is made of methane and degrades in the ocean the way cellulose would. Newlight

Newlight Technologies, a California biotech company, has set its sights on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and marine plastic pollution simultaneously. The startup uses ocean bacteria to create a new material that is made of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and that can replace many single-use plastics and leathers.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Smoke covers the skies over downtown Portland, Oregon, on Sept. 9, 2020. Portland had the worst air pollution among major cities around the world due to the 37 active wildfires that have burned more than 800,000 acres throughout the state. Diego Diaz / Icon Sportswire

The wildfires raging across the West Coast have made the air quality so bad in several U.S. cities that they rank among the worst in the world. In fact, the air quality in Portland, Oregon was so bad on Sunday that it went off the charts when it passed 500 on an air quality index. Anything in the 300 to 500 range is hazardous to health, according to Oregon Live.

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Scientists and environmental advocates have long known that microfibers rub off clothing in the washing machine. Wachiwit / iStock / Getty Images Plus

What is the environmental footprint of your favorite pair of blue jeans?

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"There's evidence that plastic is making its way into our bodies," said Charles Rolksy, a scientist at Arizona State University. asuresearch / YouTube

By Krissy Waite

Bolstering activists' demands to reduce plastic pollution worldwide, Arizona State University scientists on Monday presented their research on finding micro- and nanoplastics in human organs to the American Chemical Society.

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A spiny dogfish shark swims in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Washington. NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

There are trillions of microplastics in the ocean — they bob on the surface, float through the water column, and accumulate in clusters on the seafloor. With plastic being so ubiquitous, it's inevitable that marine organisms, such as sharks, will ingest them.

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UQ study lead Francisca Ribeiro inspects oysters. The study of five different seafoods revealed plastic in every sample. University of Queensland

A new study of five different kinds of seafood revealed traces of plastic in every sample tested.

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Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney / Instagram

By David Duffy and Catherine Eastman

Plastic pollution has been found in practically every environment on the planet, with especially severe effects on ocean life. Plastic waste harms marine life in many ways – most notably, when animals become entangled in it or consume it.

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Smoke rises from a burning chemical plant after the passing of Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Aug. 27, 2020. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images

When Hurricane Laura struck the Gulf Coast early on Thursday with record-setting winds and storm surges that caused flooding, it was bearing down on an area full of chemical plants. The fears about having toxic chemicals in an area increasingly vulnerable to tropical storms are playing out as a chemical plant caught fire and sent toxic plumes into the air throughout the day, as The New York Times reported.

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An LNG processing plant is seen in Cameron, Louisiana on August 26, 2020. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty Images

The full extent of the damage wrought by the storm formerly known as Hurricane Laura will only continue to grow as the weakened storm continues inland and pollution from petrochemical plants and other industrial sites is discovered.

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The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

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A National Oceanography Centre study is the first to measure the "invisible" microplastics beneath the surface of the entire Atlantic Ocean. NOC News / YouTube

There is at least 10 times more plastic polluting the Atlantic Ocean than previously believed, a new study has found.

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The Ocean Cleanup

By Ute Eberle

In May 2017, shells started washing up along the Ligurian coast in Italy. They were small and purple and belonged to a snail called Janthina pallida that is rarely seen on land. But the snails kept coming — so many that entire stretches of the beach turned pastel.

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Methane flares at a fracking site near a home in Colorado on Oct. 25, 2014. WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

In the coming days, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to use its power to roll back yet another Obama-era environmental protection meant to curb air pollution and slow the climate crisis.

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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Newlight's Air Carbon cutlery is made of methane and degrades in the ocean the way cellulose would. Newlight

Newlight Technologies, a California biotech company, has set its sights on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and marine plastic pollution simultaneously. The startup uses ocean bacteria to create a new material that is made of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and that can replace many single-use plastics and leathers.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Smoke covers the skies over downtown Portland, Oregon, on Sept. 9, 2020. Portland had the worst air pollution among major cities around the world due to the 37 active wildfires that have burned more than 800,000 acres throughout the state. Diego Diaz / Icon Sportswire

The wildfires raging across the West Coast have made the air quality so bad in several U.S. cities that they rank among the worst in the world. In fact, the air quality in Portland, Oregon was so bad on Sunday that it went off the charts when it passed 500 on an air quality index. Anything in the 300 to 500 range is hazardous to health, according to Oregon Live.

Read More Show Less

Scientists and environmental advocates have long known that microfibers rub off clothing in the washing machine. Wachiwit / iStock / Getty Images Plus

What is the environmental footprint of your favorite pair of blue jeans?

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch

"There's evidence that plastic is making its way into our bodies," said Charles Rolksy, a scientist at Arizona State University. asuresearch / YouTube

By Krissy Waite

Bolstering activists' demands to reduce plastic pollution worldwide, Arizona State University scientists on Monday presented their research on finding micro- and nanoplastics in human organs to the American Chemical Society.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A spiny dogfish shark swims in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Washington. NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

There are trillions of microplastics in the ocean — they bob on the surface, float through the water column, and accumulate in clusters on the seafloor. With plastic being so ubiquitous, it's inevitable that marine organisms, such as sharks, will ingest them.

Read More Show Less
UQ study lead Francisca Ribeiro inspects oysters. The study of five different seafoods revealed plastic in every sample. University of Queensland

A new study of five different kinds of seafood revealed traces of plastic in every sample tested.

Read More Show Less
Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney / Instagram

By David Duffy and Catherine Eastman

Plastic pollution has been found in practically every environment on the planet, with especially severe effects on ocean life. Plastic waste harms marine life in many ways – most notably, when animals become entangled in it or consume it.

Read More Show Less
Smoke rises from a burning chemical plant after the passing of Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Aug. 27, 2020. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images

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