Plastic Pollution

Vaping vs. Smoking vs. Planet: Should we ban all nicotine use?

Silver vape lying discarded on the floor of a forest

Disposable vapes look set to be banned in the UK, due to concerns backed by the Local Government Association about teenage addiction, fire risk, and plastic pollution. Whilst factors such as the health risks and addictiveness of vaping are bad enough, the environmental impacts must also be considered. The scale of the waste they produce is staggering, with eight disposable vapes being…

Wishcycling: when rubbish ends up at the recycling centre

What’s going on here?  If only all our waste problems were solved by dropping things in the recycling bin and saying, “that’ll do” and then walking away thinking we’ve done something good today. This (very) common behaviour is known as wishcycling. It refers to the act of putting incorrect items into the recycling waste stream in the hope that they will end…

England set to introduce a ban on single-use plastics

What’s going on here?  The UK government has set out plans to ban the sale of certain single-use plastics. This includes items such as plastic cutlery, plates, and polystyrene trays. The ban is set to come into effect by October 2023. What does this mean? The environmental impact of plastic pollution is well understood. Plastic pollution is so pervasive that it has…

A golden floating rainforest in the sea with no coastline

Blue open ocean to horizon

Nestled in the bottom corner of the North Atlantic, circling Bermuda, you’ll find a sea with no coastline. Forming part of the High Seas, the Sargasso Sea is brimming with mystery and magic. Perhaps it’s the proximity to the famed Bermuda Triangle; perhaps it’s that few seem to have heard of the sea, despite its importance. Or perhaps it’s what bobs on…

Five ways to swerve the financial costs of environmentalism

Here at Curious Earth, we talk a lot about the role privilege plays in the climate crisis. We try to raise awareness of the disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and extreme weather events on the global south and many other marginalised groups. (Check out our Stories from the Frontline series to hear directly from those worst affected.) Yet, we also want…

The Paris Agreement of plastic: coming in 2024

A woman is in a kayak filled with waste plastic bottles, and the surrounding water has lots of plstic waste and vegetation

What’s going on here? A plastic treaty is being drawn up to be implemented in 2024, which would regulate the production, design, use and disposal of plastic on a global scale. The treaty has been described as the most significant multilateral environmental deal since The Paris Agreement. What does this mean?  At the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) last week in Nairobi, Kenya,…

More Plastic than Plankton?! Study finds more ocean microplastics than we thought.

What’s Going On Here? Scientists at Plymouth Marine Laboratory used fine mesh nets to collect samples of coastal waters from the US and UK and found 2.5 times more microplastics than previous samples. What Does This Mean? Measuring less than 5 millimeters, microplastics gather in our oceans as they break away from bigger plastics such as packaging, bottles and old car tyres. The research…