Giant plastic catcher heads for Pacific Ocean clean-up

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Media captionA huge plastic-collection system will be towed out into the Pacific Ocean

When a Dutch teenager went swimming in the sea in Greece seven years ago, he was shocked to see more plastic than fish.

In fact, Boyan Slat was so appalled by the pollution that he soon started to campaign for the oceans to be cleaned up.

For a long time, few people took him seriously. Here was a university drop-out with a far-fetched idea that surely could never work.

But this weekend, backed by major investment and some massive engineering, a vast plastic collection system will be towed out of San Francisco Bay.

Until now, the focus of plastic litter campaigns has been on beaches, with volunteers all over the world lifting bags and bottles from shorelines.

Image copyright ThE OCEAN CLEANUP
Image caption Even those who question the approach applaud Boyan Slat's passion

Read full article Giant plastic catcher heads for Pacific Ocean clean-up

No-deal Brexit 'worse than thought' for science

LAB PIC Image copyright LEWIS HOUGHTON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The impact of a no-deal Brexit on British science could be worse than previously thought, according to a new analysis.

UK researchers risk losing access to much of the EU funding that's currently available to them, it says.

Read full article No-deal Brexit 'worse than thought' for science

How does the 2018 heatwave compare to that of 1976?

  • 25 July 2018
  • From the section UK
A couple relax on deckchairs in the warm weather in Hyde Park Image copyright Getty Images

Comparisons are being drawn between the heatwave of 2018 and the summer of 1976. So how do the two years measure up?

I had to sit my A-level exams back then, when the temperatures were so punishing we couldn't sleep.

Read full article How does the 2018 heatwave compare to that of 1976?

Can the UK really go it alone with a new sat-nav scheme?

A Galileo satellite Image copyright PA

Too high in the night sky to see with the naked eye is a constellation of European satellites at the heart of one of the bitterest disputes in Britain's divorce from the European Union.

Few could have predicted that the repercussions of Brexit would reach into the heavens, but a space venture is now centre stage in a tussle over jobs, technology and security.

Read full article Can the UK really go it alone with a new sat-nav scheme?

Indonesian study into health risks of microplastics

Lab
Image caption The research is being led from Soegijapranata Catholic University

Indonesian scientists have launched the largest ever study into whether tiny plastic particles can affect human health.

They are investigating the presence of plastic in seafood while also tracking the diets of 2,000 people.

Read full article Indonesian study into health risks of microplastics

Giant plastic 'berg blocks Indonesian river

Plastic mass in Indonesian waterway Image copyright David Shukman
Image caption Like other developing countries, Indonesia is wrestling with an acute plastic waste problem

A crisis of plastic waste in Indonesia has become so acute that the army has been called in to help.

Rivers and canals are clogged with dense masses of bottles, bags and other plastic packaging.

Read full article Giant plastic 'berg blocks Indonesian river

Plankton named after BBC Blue Planet series

Plankton Image copyright UCL
Image caption The tiny plant-like organism is regarded as a key element of the marine ecosystem

A type of plankton described as part of "the beating heart" of the oceans has been named after the BBC's Blue Planet series.

The tiny plant-like organism is regarded as a key element of the marine ecosystem.

Read full article Plankton named after BBC Blue Planet series

Global shipping in 'historic' climate deal

Container ship Image copyright Getty Images

The global shipping industry has for the first time agreed to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases.

The move comes after talks all week at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.

Read full article Global shipping in 'historic' climate deal

Plea for action on shipping emissions

Ship
Image caption The shipping industry generates more than 2% of global CO2 emissions

Talks on the global shipping industry cutting greenhouse gases have opened with a passionate plea for action.

A minister from the Marshall Islands warned that the future of his low-lying Pacific country was at stake.

Read full article Plea for action on shipping emissions

Plastic particles found in bottled water

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Media captionResearch led by journalism organisation Orb Media discovered an average of 10 plastic particles per litre

Tests on major brands of bottled water have found that nearly all of them contained tiny particles of plastic.

In the largest investigation of its kind, 250 bottles bought in nine different countries were examined.

Read full article Plastic particles found in bottled water