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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Detailed analysis has estimated a LEGO brick could survive in the ocean for as many as 1,300 years. Andrew Turner / University of Plymouth

The Danish building block toy LEGO has sprouted an empire of amusement park like stores, movies, and reality TV competitions premised on building complicated characters, vehicles and settings from inter-locking pieces of plastic. Unfortunately, all that plastic will be with us for a long, long time, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Pollution.

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Gregg Treinish is the founder of Adventure Scientists and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. adventurescientists.org / our

By Robin Pomeroy

For the great explorers of the 19th and 20th centuries, the prime motivation was getting to places no one had been before: "Because it's there," is what British mountaineer George Mallory famously replied when asked why he wanted to climb Everest.

But no longer. With all the biggest peaks climbed, poles reached and jungles explored, modern-day Mallories are seeking to solve even bigger challenges.

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The EU wants to make it easier to repair a broken phone display. baranozdemir / iStock /Getty Images Plus

All those phones, computers and tablets we rely on are dependent on mined resources. Extracting and processing those resources accounts for nearly half of our greenhouse gas emissions, which is why the European Commission's Circular Economy Action Plan calls for "initiatives for the entire life cycle of products, from design and manufacturing to consumption, repair, reuse, recycling, and bringing resources back into the economy."

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By Simon Coghlan and Kobi Leins

A remarkable combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and biology has produced the world's first "living robots."

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An employee carries a banner informing customers about the ban on free single-use plastic bags at a shopping mall in downtown Bangkok on Jan. 2, 2020. MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP via Getty Images

Thailand rang in 2020 with an effort to tackle the plastic crisis filling the country's waste sites and choking its waterways. The country's ban on plastic bags at major retailers began as soon as the clock struck midnight in Bangkok. A complete ban of bags that includes smaller shops will go into effect in 2021, as Reuters reported.

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Researchers found a surprisingly high concentration of microplastics in London rain. Ed Schipul / CC BY-SA 2.0

Microplastics have been found everywhere in the world, from the depths of the ocean to the pristine mountaintops of the Pyrenees mountains to Arctic snow. Now a team of researchers in the United Kingdom is testing the concentrations of microplastics in cities. Sure enough, the tiny plastic particles are raining down on urban populations, as The Guardian reported.

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A pile of garbage covered the five hundred meter Jambe river flow in Tambun, Bekasi, West Java on Sept. 5. Dasril Roszandi / NurPhoto / Getty Images

The Garbage Café in India is tackling the country's plastic crisis while also giving a hearty meal to the poor and the homeless.

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Sometimes our drinking water systems experience dangerous failures, such as the Flint lead poisoning disaster that made major news beginning in 2014. But outside those headline grabbing crises, how safe is our drinking.

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Newcastle University PHD student Max Kelly at the Benton Proctor and Gamble site in Newcastle, views washing machine filters, one with microfibers collected following a delicate wash (left) compared with a filter from a normal wash cycle showing less collected microfibers. Owen Humphreys / PA Images / Getty Images

The delicate wash cycle uses much more water than other settings, which triggers the release of hundreds of thousands of plastic microfibers, which travel down the drain and potentially into marine waterways, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

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Pexels

From Arctic snow to the deep sea, microplastics have been found in some unusual places. Now, it turns out they could be lurking at the bottom of your cup of tea!

McGill University chemical engineering professor Nathalie Tufenkji decided to test tea bags after she was given one in a Montreal cafe that looked like it was made from plastic.

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Ben Birchall - PA Images / Contributor / Getty Images

The ocean isn't the only ecosystem threatened by microplastics.

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