Prickly plas­tic facts

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Ecowatch - The Guardian 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. lah.

– Up to 80% of the oceans’ lit­ter con­sists of plas­tic. More than eight mil­lion tonnes of plas­tic leak into the ocean each year, which is equiv­a­lent to dump­ing a garbage truck of plas­tic ev­ery minute – United Na­tions En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gramme (UNEP).

– An­i­mals can get tan­gled up in this trash or in­gest it ei­ther be­cause they mis­take it as prey or be­cause the plas­tic has been bro­ken down into tiny par­ti­cles by sea­wa­ter. These par­ti­cles do not biode­grade and will re­main in the wa­ter for cen­turies.

– Sci­en­tists at Ghent Univer­sity in Bel­gium have cal­cu­lated that shell­fish lovers there are eat­ing up to 11,000 plas­tic frag­ments in their seafood each year! Hu­mans ab­sorb fewer than 1% of that, but they will still ac­cu­mu­late in the body over time, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in (tinyurl.com/GuardianMakanPlas­tic). – Even mi­cro­scopic zoo­plank­ton have been cap­tured on film eat­ing mi­croplas­tic – tiny par­ti­cles bro­ken down from plas­tic bags, bot­tles, and other garbage. Fish eat these tiny or­gan­isms – and then hu­mans eat fish. Place the wax in­side a bot­tle. Fill the boiler with wa­ter un­til it is al­most full. Put bot­tle into the boiler (Do NOT boil the wax di­rectly in the boiler). Turn the heat to medium-low un­til the wax melts. Choose pa­per that is less ab­sorbent than wax and cut the pa­per into strips of about 4cm wide and 30cm long. Dec­o­rate one half of the pa­per (across the length of it) with ed­i­ble ink. Put a thin layer of glue on one end of the pa­per strip. Place the chop­stick at an an­gle of ap­prox­i­mately 15-20 de­grees on the other end of the strip and start rolling the pa­per. If the an­gle is too big, spi­rals are closer to each other and vice versa. At the end, stick the edges of the pa­per to­gether (but not too tightly as it will be very hard to re­move the chop­stick af­ter that). Pull the chop­stick out of the pa­per and trim the sharp, rolled up edges with scis­sors. Dip the straw into the melted wax for two to three sec­onds. Re­move and place it on a pa­per towel to wipe off the ex­cess wax gen­tly. 10. Do the same with the other end of the straw un­til it is com­pletely cov­ered with wax. Other than pa­per straws, bam­boo straws are an­other eco-friendly al­ter­na­tive. Bam­boo straws are usu­ally made from thin bam­boo stalks and also have an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties.

As for stain­less steel straws, these can be car­ried around eas­ily without fear of break­age. Or just stop us­ing straws

Meth­ods:

A sam­ple of mi­croplas­tics col­lected from the sea by Plas­tic Free Seas, a Hong Kong eco char­ity. – Filepic

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