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A mallard duck among plastic in polluted water in Cardiff Bay on Sept. 22, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Matthew Horwood / Getty Images

The gruesome images of whales and deer dying after mistaking plastic for food has helped put into perspective just how severe the plastic waste crisis is. Now, a new study finds that it is not just land and sea animals eating our plastic trash. It turns out that birds are eating hundreds of bits of plastic every day through the food they eat.

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A biologist looks at microplastics found in sea species at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research near Athens, Greece on Nov. 26, 2019. LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP via Getty Images

New research suggests there may be far more microplastics in the ocean than initially estimated.

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The beach of Mimiza in France where researchers measured microplastics on the sea breeze. NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP via Getty Images

Around eight million metric tons of plastic are dumped into the world's oceans every year, but researchers still don't know where it all ends up.

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On March 2, 2019, the Schiavonea beach in Calabria, Italy is littered with microplastics lifted from the seabed following a storm in the Ionian sea. Alfonso Di Vincenzo / KONTROLAB / LightRocket / Getty Images

Scientists have discovered the highest concentration of microplastics ever recorded on the seafloor—1.9 million pieces in one square meter (approximately 11 square feet) of the Mediterranean.

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Icebergs and sea ice in the waters off the Australian Antarctic Division on Jan.17, 2008. Fairfax Media via Getty Images

For the first time, microscopic plastic pollution has been found in Antarctic sea ice samples collected more than a decade ago, suggesting that microplastic concentrations in Southern Sea ice may be higher than previously believed.

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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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