Explainer: How Microplastics Threaten Our Environment

Microplastic pollution is being found everywhere, literally: it is in our rivers; on our gardens; in the food we eat; it is even now in human poop.

Perhaps the worst aspect of microplastic pollution is that no effective and efficient way of removing the full range of debris has yet been found.

The EU has, however, recently proposed a wide-ranging ban on the use of ‘intentionally added’ microplastics, which if approved into law could see a phase-out starting 2020.

Meantime, recovering plastics from oceans and recycling them before they start to break down into small fragments is one way to fight this kind of pollution. When recycled, these plastics are used to create sustainable products.

This excellent infographic below, from Roman Chaloupka and GreenMatch, tells us more about how Microplastics Threaten Our Environment.

You can view the original, also learn about becoming ‘waste aware’ and fighting pollution, as well as the creators themselves here; plus Follow them on Twitter.

Micro Plastic Pollution

From Re-use and Repair, to Sensors and Smart Tech


New writing Two more of my recent pieces for Guardian Sustainable Business are now live. Running in their paid-content section on Sustainable Electricals, sponsored by WRAP, the articles explore the business case for adoption and promotion of circular economy models in the sector, with particular reference to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE):

The full Guardian series on Sustainable Electricals with WRAP can be viewed here.

Waste: Living in a material e-world

A version of this article first appeared in a Special Report on ‘Managing Waste’, published in The Times, 5 March, 2014.

'A phone worth keeping': Phonebloks is an innovative modular mobile concept designed to help tackle challenges of a throwaway culture and built-in obsoletion (case study below)

Phonebloks: An innovative modular design concept for ‘a phone worth keeping’ (case study below).

Gold, silver and platinum will be amongst precious metals worth £1.5 billion purchased unwittingly in the UK between now and end 2020. This hoard of hidden treasure will be scattered throughout 10 million tonnes of electronic products bought by organisations, companies and private individuals alike.

Electronic, digital and mobile technologies are big business. The marketplace is competitive, evolving constantly and rapidly. Sales are strong, not least because products date and break.
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