Researchers found that hazardous chemicals were detected in plastics eaten by seabirds.
“We uncovered that four kinds of UV stabilisers and two brominated flame retardants at detection frequencies of 4.6 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively,” said Hideshige Takada, Professor at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.
“Our previous researches showed that these additives in plastics are transferred from ingested plastics and unfortunately accumulated in some tissues of seabirds,” Takada added.
For the study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, the researchers carried out non-target survey of additives in 194 pieces of plastics ingested by seabirds, such as Northern Fulmar and Albatross.
These additives, which are often hazardous chemicals, are generally blended into most plastics in order to make plastics better, for instance to stabilise polymers against UV degradation or oxidation, to simply add colours and so on.
The findings imply that any of these additives can be detected in the tissue of seabirds which ingest 15 pieces of plastics with probability of 73 per cent.
The study found that ingestion of 15 pieces of plastics per one individual is actually happening in the real-world case of the Albatross.
“We could foresee in the near future that 90 per cent of the individuals would accumulate additives derived from ingested plastics if the number would increase double, that is 30 pieces per individual,” Takada added. (IANS)
Conscious efforts are needed to make our surroundings more environment friendly. And as people spend a huge chunk of their day and life in the office, hence it should employ tools that can help conserve energy and decrease uses of non-renewable resources. Nakul Mathur, Managing Director, Avanta India shares some tips:
1. Reduce the use of paper
One should try to use digital copies as much as possible; it not only enables us to save trees but makes documents safer and easier to store. In case, it is extremely important to take printouts, the office should implement a policy of printing on both sides of the paper. To move towards eco-friendly step, offices should also have the policy to use recycled papers wherever the requirement is.
2. Reduce energy consumption
There are multiple ways to achieve this. Turning off the lights in rooms where no one is using will help to reduce power consumption. Switch off computer screens and another electronic device at the end of the day is an excellent habit to get into. Basically, anything that is not being used, see if you can power it down. Rather than relying on the staff to remember to turn off lights and power down electronics, install motion-activated lights and utilize power-saver modes. Power-saver modes will put computers, printers, and other electronics to sleep, or shut them down entirely.
3. Use reusable containers
There should be a complete ban on using plastic items such as bottles or containers in offices. Employees should be encouraged to always carry jute bags or cloth bags. People should stop consuming juices or other beverages that come in plastic bottles. Inside the premises, the office should only keep reusable containers to be used for drinking water or coffee. This will help in spreading the message that reduces the use of plastic is a major step towards becoming eco-friendly.
4. Recycle etiquette
Install recycling bins at places that are easily accessible for employees. Everyone should be aware of the different bins which are kept to segregate the waste and the usage of those bins in an appropriate manner. This way we can encourage the employees towards keeping the eco-friendly environment at the office. In fact, if we can recycle around 30 per cent of our trash we will save energy equal to around 12 billion gallons of gasoline.
Basically, being eco-friendly boils down to three Rs — Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Every office must appoint a sustainability team that will keep an eye on all the employees who follow three R’s. The following monthly targets can be set for employees and awards given to encourage everyone become eco-friendly. This type of regular environment awareness sessions should also be organized and every new employee should be informed about the eco-friendly policy. (IANS)