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Bound bales of crushed plastic bottles and containers sit stacked ready to be recycled at a recycling center in the Netherlands. Jasper Juinen / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Toward a Circular Economy: Tackling the Plastics Recycling Problem

By Margaret Sobkowicz

Why has the world continued to increase consumption of plastic materials when at the same time, environmental and human health concerns over their use have grown?

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Iceland was the first UK supermarket to trial a plastic bottle deposit program. Pictures Ltd. / Corbis via Getty Images

300,000+ Plastic Bottles Recycled in 'Reverse Vending Machines' Test Run in UK

One UK store's attempt to fight plastic pollution has turned out to be a smashing success.

Last year, supermarket chain Iceland became the first UK retailer to install "reverse vending machines" that allow customers to return plastic bottles purchased at the store and receive a 10 pence voucher in return. The program has proved popular, according to figures published Wednesday and reported by The Guardian. Customers had returned 311,500 bottles to date.

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Large recycled plastic fish sculpture in Helsingor situated infront of the Kronborg Castle in Helsingor in Denmark in July 28th 2017. James D. Morgan / Getty Images

2018: A Year of Fighting Plastic Waste

The plastic pollution crisis has been building for some time now, to the point where around eight million tons of plastic enter the world's oceans each year.

In response, a movement to cut down on plastic waste has also been gaining momentum, but 2018 was the year it really picked up speed, with everyone from ordinary tourists to major companies to the Queen of England lending their hands to push it along.

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Researchers have found a way to use microbes living on common seaweed to make plastics. Daniela Dirscherl / Getty Images

Could a Seaweed-Eating Microbe Help Solve the Ocean Plastic Crisis?

The use of traditional plastics poses a major threat to the world's oceans: If current trends continue, plastics will outnumber fish by 2050. But the oceans might also contain the solution to this massive problem, researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have discovered.

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Courtesy of Meredith Andrews

Artist Creates Advent Calendar From Beach Trash to Raise Awareness of Ocean Plastics

At least eight million tons of plastic ends up in the world's oceans every year, and some of it washes up on the beautiful pink-sand beaches of Bermuda. But one inventive artist has found a way to turn this tragedy into a unique and educational take on the traditional Advent calendar, CNN reported.

Every day this December, travel photographer Meredith Andrews has been using her Instagram to add a new page to her "Adventgram." Each page photographs a collection of artfully arranged plastic items Andrews has found.

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The crew of the Greenpeace ship MY Arctic Sunrise voyage into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch document plastics and other marine debris. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a soupy mix of plastics and microplastics, now twice the size of Texas, in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. Justin Hofman / Greenpeace

Teen Vogue Joined Greenpeace at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — Here’s What They Saw

By Perry Wheeler

Throughout this year, people all over the globe united to take on plastic pollution. Greenpeace supporters have asked their local supermarkets to phase out throwaway plastics, helped us reach 3 million signatures to companies like Coca-Cola, Nestle and Unilever demanding they invest in real solutions and participated in beach cleanups and brand audits to name the worst corporate plastic polluters.

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AAron Ontiveroz / Denver Post / Getty Images

5 Everyday Products Contaminated With Plastic

However, the infiltration of plastics into our daily lives goes much deeper, making it hard to avoid this polluting material which will remain in our ecosystems for centuries to come.

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