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Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! Microbes can create entire ecosystems on these plastics and microplastics in the oceans. Plastic debris is rich in biomass, and scientists have realized that this could be a great source for antibiotic production.
They incubated high and low-density polyethylene plastic, the plastic used for grocery bags, in the water near La Jolla, California, for 90 days. From this, they were able to isolate five antibiotic-producing bacteria from ocean plastic. This included strains of Bacillus, Phaeobacter, and Vibrio.
They tested against a variety of positive and negative targets and found that not only could this be used to target bacteria but two antibiotic-resistant strains as well.
“Considering the current antibiotic crisis and the rise of superbugs, it is essential to look for alternative sources of novel antibiotics,” said Andrea Price, the study’s lead author. “We hope to expand this project and further characterize the microbes and the antibiotics they produce.”
We produce so much plastic every year that ends up in the ocean and landfills. 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, Pollution, and ingestion. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove, Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic Pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland, and many more are banning various single-use plastics, and others are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic Pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter, and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!
- Sarah Ferguson Helps Raise Awareness About Ocean Plastic
- New Technology Being Used to Remove Large Amounts of Ocean Plastic
- 5 Cutting Edge Brands That are Making Clothing with Ocean Plastic
- The Troubling Impact of Ocean Plastics on Human Health
- Company Makes Face Masks from Ocean Plastic
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!