Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Vietnamese “Hang Flower” Girl Calls Hometown Kakis to Beat Up Korean Rival


Lup Sup Brawl
Alleged customer-snatching at a bitter lup sup bar (“dirty” bar) led to a brawl at the nearby Balestier Bak Kut Teh shop at 365 Balestier Road between a Vietnamese lady and a Korean lady

Both women are said to be working at the nearby lup sup bar as “hang flower” girls (girls who entice men to buy flower garlands from the bar for them and earn a commission from the sale).

The Korean “hang flower” girl (dressed in black (allegedly snatched a customer from the Vietnamese “hang flower” girl (dressed in yellow).

That incensed the Vietnamese lady and she roped in 3 friends from her hometown to track and beat up the Korean lady.

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Suspected hanging flower field disputes dispute 4 Vietnamese female beaten 1 Korean female
A group of people twisted into a ball, and the scene was out of control (picture on the right). The woman in yellow clothes also picked up the chair and threw it into the woman in black (pictured left). (taken from the book)

A woman from Vietnam went to a flower garden in Balestier Road to "sell gold". She was stunned because she was unwilling to be robbed by the customer. She went to the Bak Kut Teh shop with the other three fellow villagers.

Those who enter and leave the flower field, some of them play on the spot, some people will use their feelings for gold rushing. However, when the banknotes are present, even the beautiful woman who talks with me will turn into a wife, and it seems to be a fight. Do not lose men.

Suspected that there was a dispute in the hanging flower field, the four women clashed in the meat bone tea shop in the early morning, and attacked another woman! The woman is sexy and petite, and she is fiercely sturdy. After hitting people, she still hasn’t done it. She left and re-entered and played another round!

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疑挂花场争客起纠纷 4越南女暴打1韩女
一群人扭打成一团,场面一发不可收拾(右图)。黄衣女子还拿起椅子猛丢向黑衣女子(左图)。(取自面簿)

名来自越南的女子,到马里士他路一家挂花场“捞金”时,疑因不甘顾客被抢,竟连同另外三名同乡,从挂花场一路跟到肉骨茶店闹事打人。

进出挂花场的人,有者逢场作戏,有者为了淘金,没人会动真感情,然而,钞票当前时,就算是说话娇滴滴的美女子,也会摇身变悍妇,打起架来似乎不输男人。

疑在挂花场争客起纠纷,四女凌晨大闹肉骨茶店,群起攻击另一女子!女子衣着性感个子娇小,打起架来够凶狠,打人后意犹未尽,四度离开又折返再打一轮!

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Gang Of Girls Wreak Havoc At Balestier Kopitiam In Supposed Siam Diu Dispute
Allegedly fought over siam diu dispute

According to Lianhe Zaobao, the altercation may be linked to a prior dispute at a Thai disco, commonly known as a siam diu.

The owner of the bak kut teh stall told Zaobao that the lady in black and the other 4 ladies are from Korea and Vietnam respectively. She also shared that the fight broke out as the Vietnamese ladies were upset with the Korean lady for ‘snatching’ their customer.

The police have arrested 4 women between the age of 30 and 34 in connection to this incident. Investigations are currently ongoing.

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Four women arrested after brawl at Balestier Bak Kut Teh restaurant

Four women were arrested for public nuisance after brawling with one another at the Balestier Bak Kut Teh (Kian Lian) restaurant in Balestier Road, yesterday morning (13 June). Interestingly, the restaurant is the same eatery that violent drunks trashed in another viral incident, last year.

In this latest case, a chaotic fight broke out between four women in their thirties. A video capturing the incident is going viral on social media, after it was published online by the ‘District Singapore’ Facebook page.

In the video, a woman in yellow walks up to a trio – two men and a woman in black – seated at a table at the restaurant before slamming the table and throwing something at the other woman.

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4 women arrested after catfight at Balestier bak kut teh shop
Four women have been arrested for public nuisance after they trashed a bak kut teh shop along Balestier Road on Wednesday morning, June 12

Their fight and chair-throwing antics were caught on a close to three-minute video and shared online.

The video has been watched more than 170,000 times.

Police investigations are ongoing.

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4 women arrested for public nuisance after catfight at Balestier bak kut teh shop

In response to a Stomp media query, the police said they were alerted to a call for assistance at 365 Balestier Road.

"Four women, aged between 30 and 34, were subsequently arrested for public nuisance.

Police investigations are ongoing.

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4 women arrested for public nuisance after catfight at Balestier bak kut teh shop

Four women were arrested for public nuisance after a fight broke out at a bak kut teh shop along Balestier Road on Wednesday morning (June 12).

Several Stomp contributors alerted Stomp to a video of the incident that has been circulating online.

In the video, a woman wearing a yellow dress walks up to two men and a woman in black sitting at a table at Balestier Bak Kut Teh (Kian Lian).

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Singapore PM Stirs Flap in Cambodia by Bringing up Vietnam’s 1979 Invasion

Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze (Second, right) welcomes head of the Vietnamese-backed Phnom Penh government Hun Sen (R) at the residence of the Soviet ambassador in Paris, France, ahead of a Cambodian peace conference, July 29, 1989. AFP

Cambodian officials are bristling this week after a recent remark by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recalling Vietnam’s January 1979 invasion and decade-long occupation of Cambodia.

Lee used his official Facebook page on May 31 to send Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha condolences on the death of former Thai Prime Minister General Prem Tinsulanonda, who led Thailand during the period of Vietnam’s control of Cambodia and joined a coalition of nations who fought to end Hanoi’s occupation. “His time as PM coincided with the Asean members (then five of us) coming together to oppose Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia and the Cambodian government that replaced the Khmer Rouge,” Lee wrote. The five original members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The newspaper said Banh asked Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen to relay to Lee a Cambodian demand to change the statement. “We cannot accept what he said. Vietnamese volunteer troops came to liberate our people,” Banh said. “We still consider them as saviors – this means a lot for us.”

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related:
Singapore PM Stirs Flap in Cambodia by Bringing up Vietnam’s 1979 Invasion
Vietnamese “Hang Flower” Girl Calls Hometown Kakis to Beat Up Korean Rival
What is happening in ‘Clean’ Singapore?
A 'Sign of Distress' in Singapore?
Why is everything breaking down in Singapore?
SG Buildings Crumbling Down Parody
Singapore’s Story: What comes next
To Singapore, with Love 星国恋
Singapore PM draws laughs in US speech
PM Lee Hsien Loong at G20 Leaders' Summit in Hamburg
Singapore must ‘steal other people’s lunches’
PM Lee In The Limelight
PM Lee in Focus
PM Lee the Latest “Victim” of Donald Trump Handshake
Singapore Stumbles on China's Road
Lee Hsien Loong's 10 years as PM

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Charging Your Phone Overnight: Battery


There are a lot of questions about cell phone batteries. Should you leave your smartphones plugged in overnight? Is it bad for the phone? Bad for your safety? What's the right thing to do?

In fact, how much should you charge your phone? When's the right time to plug in? Should it go down to 0 percent every time? Up to 100 percent? How do you get the longest life out of the battery inside a smartphone? Does it really matter if you're only going to keep the handset around for a couple of years before an upgrade?

The debate goes well beyond the worry of moderate harm to a device, as some people have fears of "overloading" a smartphone battery. That worry seems relatively justified since it was only a few years ago that Samsung's Galaxy Note 7s were bursting into flame due to battery issues. But as we've explained before, unless a device has some serious manufacturing defects like that phone did, the fire-in-your-pocket (or on the nightstand) aspect is unlikely.

Myths Debunked:
  • Charging My iPhone Overnight Will Overload the Battery - FALSE. The one thing all the experts agree upon is that smartphones are smart enough that they do not let an overload happen.
  • I Should Freeze My Phone to Prevent Battery Problems - FALSE. Lithium-ion batteries hate two things: extreme cold and extreme heat.
  • My Battery Should Always Drop to 0 Percent - FALSE. Running a smartphone until it's dead—a full discharge—every time is not the way to go with modern Lithium-ion batteries.
  • My Battery Develops a 'Memory' - FALSE. Developing a "memory" was a problem with older nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries.
  • Phone Batteries Only Live a Couple of Years - FALSE. Phone batteries measure their lifespan in "charge cycles

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Monday, 17 June 2019

We're Eating a Whole Lot of Plastic


Uh, Is That Bad?
Microplastics are contaminating the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink

If you’re the type to get squeamish about the things you accidentally eat, you’re not going to like the new report released by the WWF (formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund) this Tuesday. According to the report, we might be eating a credit card’s worth of microplastic every week, thanks to widespread contamination of drinking water and seafood. But it’s still unclear how this consumption could be affecting our health.


The report is largely based on commissioned research conducted by scientists at the University of Newcastle in Australia. They reviewed more than 50 existing studies looking at how often microplastics—small particles of plastic, often broken down from larger fragments of plastic, that pollute the environment—end up in our food and water. From there, they came up with the rough estimate that the average person eats five grams of plastic weekly, or the equivalent of a credit card.

Digging deeper, they also sketched out where this plastic was coming from. While the amount might differ, depending on the country, the vast majority of plastic we eat comes from our water, both tap and bottled, they found. After that, shellfish, beer, and even salt—in that order—are also common sources of plastic. And though the average amount of plastic we inhale from the air might be small in comparison, they added, people in certain areas could still be getting quite a whiff.

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Assessing plastic ingestion from nature to people

A new study by the University of Newcastle, Australia suggests that an average person could be ingesting approximately 5 grams of plastic every week. The equivalent of a credit card’s worth of microplastics. This summary report highlights the key ways plastic gets into our body, and what we can do about it.

Increasing plastic use and limited recycling results in towering plastic production. Since 2000, the world has produced as much plastic as all the preceding years combined, a third of which is leaked into nature. The production of virgin plastic has increased 200-fold since 1950 and has grown at a rate of 4 per cent a year since 2000. If all predicted plastic production capacity is reached, current production could increase by 40 per cent by 2030.

As of today, a third of plastic waste ends up in nature, accounting for 100 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2016. Plastic is used as a disposable material, to such an extent that over 75% of all plastic ever produced is waste . A significant portion of this waste is mismanaged. Mismanaged waste is a direct result of underdeveloped waste management infrastructure and refers to plastic left uncollected, openly dumped, littered, or managed through uncontrolled landfills. Of this mismanaged waste, about 87% is leaked into nature and becomes plastic pollution. For instance, if nothing changes, the 
cean will contain 1 metric ton of plastic for every 3 metric tons of fish by 2025.

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Enjoyed your teaspoonful of plastic this week?

Every week, we ingest as much as five grams of microplastics – the equivalent of swallowing a teaspoon of plastic or munching on your credit card. This shocking statistic came out of a study on microplastics commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and carried out by the microplastics research team at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

“To solve this crisis, we’re going to need everyone. Speak up to world leaders TODAY – it’s time to break this circle of denial,” WWF said on Facebook. The University of Newcastle study collated the findings of 50 international research papers in a bid to provide an accurate calculation of ingestion rates of microplastics.

It found that based on “conservative assumptions”, people are consuming about 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic each week.

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Plastic — you're full of it

Ocean plastic pollution is a massive problem for marine life — but did you know you're eating it?

Research at the University of Victoria suggests humans are unknowingly consuming tens of thousands of plastic particles per year, and the potential health impacts are yet to be known. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that come from the degradation of larger plastic products, the university says. These particles can easily sneak into our bodies undetected, says Kieran Cox, a marine biology PhD candidate at UVic.

Cox is the lead author of a research paper in the American Chemical Society’s journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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You are what you eat? Most people ingest a credit card's weight in plastic every week

Coming mostly from tap and especially bottled water, nearly invisible bits of polymer were also found in shellfish, beer and salt.

People worldwide could be ingesting five grammes of microscopic plastic particles every week, equivalent in weight to a credit card, researchers said Wednesday. Coming mostly from tap and especially bottled water, nearly invisible bits of polymer were also found in shellfish, beer and salt, scientists and the University of Newcastle in Australia reported.

The findings, drawn from 52 peer-reviewed studies, are the first to estimate the sheer weight of plastics consumed by individual humans: about 250 grammes, or half-a-pound, over the course of a year.

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Humans eat a credit card-size amount of plastic every week: study
Well, here’s one way to cut down on personal debt

Humans are gobbling up around 5 grams of microplastics in their weekly diets — or about as much as your ATM card, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature.

“For the first time, this study offers precise estimations on the amounts of plastic ingested by humans,” Dr Thava Palanisami, who took part in the study, tells the Brussels Times.

The researchers, who analyzed more than 50 studies on microplastics, discovered that most of the 2,000 particles ingested every week came from regular drinking water, whether tap or bottled.

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You May Be Swallowing a Credit Card’s Weight in Plastic Weekly, Says New Study
Want a drink to wash down that credit card?

It may not sound appetizing, but a new study found that the global average of microplastic ingestion could be five grams every week. That's about the same weight as a credit card. Put another way, it's a teaspoonful of plastic, 2,000 tiny bits of plastic; you are inadvertently swallowing every single week, according to CNN.

The research was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for its report No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People and executed by the microplastics research team at the University of Newcastle, Australia. The largest source of plastic ingestion comes from water — both bottled and tap. The average person consumes as many as 1,769 tiny plastic bits per week just by drinking water, as CNN reported.

"In water it's mostly fibers which could come from industrial activities," said Thava Palanisami, Ph.D., a University of Newcastle researcher and one of the study's co-authors, as reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "It's released with other gases and chemicals and this can then ultimately sink into the freshwater bodies and that gets into the drinking water."

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You could be swallowing a credit card's weight in plastic every week

Globally, we are ingesting an average of 5 grams of plastic every week, the equivalent of a credit card, a new study suggests.

This plastic contamination comes from "microplastics" -- particles smaller than five millimeters -- which are making their way into our food, drinking water and even the air.
Around the world, people ingest an average of around 2,000 microplastic particles a week, according to the study by the University of Newcastle, in Australia. These tiny particles can originate from a variety of sources, including artificial clothes fibers, microbeads found in some toothpastes, or bigger pieces of plastic which gradually break into smaller pieces when they're thrown away and exposed to the elements.

They make their way into our rivers and oceans, and can be eaten by fish and other marine animals, ending up as part of the food chain.
Microplastics have been found in many everyday foods and drinks, such as water, beer, shellfish and salt, co-lead researcher Kala Senathirajah told CNN.

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There's Microplastic Blowing in the Wind, Study Suggests

Some peaks throughout the Pyrénées Mountains of France stand more than 10,000 feet tall. Across the mountains’ ridges and valleys, adventurous visitors may spot a brown bear or a yellow lily, one of the wildflowers of the Pyrénées. But this mountain range is home to something else too, something not always visible to the human eye. And that’s plastic.

A study out Monday in Nature Geoscience found that wind can take tiny plastic particles known as microplastics for a ride, dumping them on unsuspecting mountaintops far from human settlements—like the Pyrénées. It’s one of the first studies to show how these particles move long distances through the air in what is likely to be a growing area of research.

The team of researchers from France and the United Kingdom spent five months, from November 2017 to March 2018, sampling the air for any plastic particles that made their way to this so-called pristine landscape. The researchers accomplished this by collecting rain, snow, and dry particulates that travel via wind. They found nearly 4,000 plastic particles per square feet land on this part of the mountains a day.

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The problem with plastic in nature and what you can do to help

It's important to regularly step back and think about how our everyday actions impact the planet. Right now, there are 150 million metric tons of plastic in our oceans—and we're releasing an additional 8 million metric tons each year. Plastic pollution exists almost everywhere in the ocean, from the remote seas of the Arctic to the floor of the deep sea.

This shocking amount of plastic impacts ocean wildlife, too. Sea turtles mistakenly eat plastic bags that they confuse with jellyfish. Sea birds, whales, dolphins, and other marine animals often turn up dead with stomachs full of plastic or get caught in abandoned plastic fishing nets. Even land animals are now forced to live among plastic pollution.

Luckily, we can take small steps in our everyday lives to reduce plastic waste and make a big impact on the environment. If every American sipped out of just five fewer straws per year, we could keep more than 1.5 billion straws out of landfills—and our ocean. Here are three other ways we can reduce plastic waste:
  • Cut back on single-use plastics. While plastic bags, bottles, and other items that we use just once and then throw away may be convenient at the moment, but using canvas bags or reusable bottles helps cut plastic pollution. By using glass and/or metal jars for storage, packed lunches, soaps, and beauty products, you can also cut back on your plastic waste.
  • Choose to reuse. Skip the plastic utensils at your favorite lunch spot. Instead, opt for a set of reusable forks, spoons, and knives that you can use every day of the week.
  • Recycle... Plastic bottles, paper, electronics, and batteries—among other items—can often be recycled. Learn how to properly dispose of or recycle these products and reduce consumer waste.
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Grocery store urges customers to rethink plastic with embarrassing bags
A plastic bag from East West Market. ‘We wanted to address an issue, but we’ve also made something popular, so it’s turned out great,’ said the shop’s owner, David Lee Kwen. Photograph: Courtesy of East West Market

If concern over the climate crisis or revulsion over the contamination of the food chain are not enough to change consumer behaviour, one grocery store is hoping that another emotion may persuade people to shun single-use plastic bags: shame.

Customers who don’t bring their own bags to the East West Market in Vancouver will instead have to carry their grocery home in bags reading “Wart Ointment Wholesale” or “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium”. David Lee Kwen, the shop’s owner, insisted that the plan wasn’t to embarrass customers. “We wanted to give them something humorous, but also something that made them think at the same time,” he told the Guardian. “It’s human nature not to want to be told what to do.” Kwen initially hoped that a fee on single-use bags would discourage their use. But when the five-cent a bag charge failed to stop people using plastic, he tried a different approach.

The bags are meant to force customers to think twice about consumption habits. In a social media post, the store points out that millions of plastic bags are used once before being discarded – and are part of growing problem of plastic waste.

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How to filter and remove microplastics from tap water

Maybe you have read the recent news that 93% of bottled water around the world and 92% of tap water is contaminated with microplastics*. A recent report also concludes that the average person could be ingesting 100,000 pieces or 250 g of microplastics per year.

What do we know about the health impact of and how can you remove microplastics from your tap water?

How much microplastics does bottled water contain? The two studies of of bottled water and tap water by Orb Media are the largest of their kind. Orb Media analyzed 250 bottles from 9 different countries around the globe. An average of 40 plastic particles per gallon, each larger than the width of a human hair, were found in bottled water.

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'A wake-up call': Study finds humans consume at least 74,000 microplastics each year
A bulldozer seen working to move piles of waste at a garbage dumps in Lhokseumawe, Aceh province, Indonesia

A new study says we are likely eating, drinking and breathing in microplastics every day. Humans are consuming at least 74,000 microplastic particles every year, according to a new study.

The study published on Wednesday looked at the intake of microplastics, or tiny pieces of plastic, via what we eat, drink and the air we breathe.

Focusing on American case studies, researchers found microplastic consumption ranged from 74,000 to 121,000 particles per year, depending on age and sex.

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How much plastic you consume in a week

People worldwide could be ingesting 5 g of microscopic plastic particles every week, equivalent in weight to a credit card, researchers said on Wednesday.

Coming mostly from tap and especially bottled water, nearly invisible bits of polymer were also found in shellfish, beer and salt, scientists reported. The findings, drawn from 52 peer-reviewed studies, are the first to estimate the sheer weight of plastics consumed by individual humans: about 250 g over the course of a year.

Another study calculated that the average American eats and drinks in about 45,000 plastics particles smaller than 130 microns annually, while breathing in roughly the same number.

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‘Recycling Is Like a Band-Aid on Gangrene’

The documentary filmmaker Noah Hutton was at a scientific symposium when he first encountered Max Liboiron. “I kept hearing some of the sharpest, smartest critiques of [scientific] status-quo assumptions I’ve ever heard,” Hutton told me. “She engaged with other’s viewpoints totally empathetically, but would then forcefully challenge their assumptions in a way that wasn’t personal. It was completely intoxicating and invigorating, like a voice from the future.”

What was most compelling to Hutton, however, was that Liboiron wasn’t just pondering changes to the scientific method on a theoretical level—she was living them. Her Newfoundland lab, the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), interrogates what Liboiron believes to be systemic problems in science. CLEAR conducts its research on microplastics from a feminist and anti-colonial perspective. This epistemic approach informs the lab’s scientific protocols, ethics, and research designs. Taylor Hess and Hutton’s short documentary Guts is an inside look at the lab, the research it conducts on plastic pollution and sustainability, and the way Liboiron empowers citizens to engage in science at the community level.

“Every time you decide what question to ask or not ask others, which counting style you use, which statistics you use, how you frame things, where you publish them, who you work with, where you get funding from … all of that is political,” Liboiron says in the film. “Reproducing the status quo is deeply political because the status quo is crappy.”

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Plastics ‘are everywhere’

A conservationist has warned that plastic pollution globally could be more pervasive than previously thought.

Addressing a panel discussion on single-use plastics last night, the director of public education and awareness at the Barbados Sea Turtle Project Carla Daniel said recent environmental studies have shown that humans may be ingesting as much as five grammes of plastics which can be found in the air, in drinking water and the oceans. Daniel said: “They’re saying that you are ingesting about five grams of plastic. Where’s this plastic coming from? It’s coming from your bottled water that you love so much. And it’s also coming from tap water.

“People are not sure what the health impact from all of this plastic ingestion is but they do know that basically every week you’re eating a credit-card sized amount of plastic.”

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180 nations agree UN deal to regulate export of plastic waste
A man guides a raft through a polluted canal littered with plastic bags and other garbage, in Mumbai, India Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. Source: AP

Around 180 governments on Friday agreed on a new UN accord to regulate the export of plastic waste, some eight million tonnes of which ends up in the oceans each year, organisers said.

The 1,400 representatives, meeting in Geneva reached the agreement after 12 days' discussion on what Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) called "one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues".

The Geneva meeting amended the 1989 Basel Convention on the control of hazardous wastes to include plastic waste in a legally-binding framework.

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A Plastic Paradise

At the far edges of the world,

Hidden deep amongst the

Raging seas and rising waves

Laze a series of secret atolls and coral coves;

Remote islands that are almost entirely

Untouched by human hands.

Untouched by human hands,

But maimed by the detritus that those hands have wrought.

As coffee lids and toothbrushes

Bathe shamelessly on previously pristine shores,

Ancient bottles of Lilt roll across the dunes –

Their dirty emerald hues diffracting the sun’s light

Across our filthy plastic paradise.

Shampoo bottles and silicon chips rub callously

Against sands that will never again be white.

The carrier bags begin to coalesce,

Contorting to create impossible structures of

Fabricated indifference,

As plastic straws pair up to join in this

Two-fingered gesture to consequence.

These islands were our canary,

One that we had no intention of saving

From artificial asphyxiation,

And which now lies silent

At the far edges of the world;

Untouched by human hands.

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Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain

The largest habitat for life on Earth is the deep ocean. It's home to everything from jellyfish to giant bluefin tuna. But the deep ocean is being invaded by tiny pieces of plastic — plastic that people thought was mostly floating at the surface, and in amounts they never imagined.

Very few people have looked for microplastic concentrations at mid- to deep-ocean depths. But there's a place along the California coast where it's relatively easy: The edge of the continent takes a steep dive into the deep ocean at Monterey Bay. Whales and white sharks swim these depths just a few miles offshore.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute perches on the shoreline. At an MBARI dock, you can see one of their most sophisticated tools for doing that: a multimillion-dollar machine called Ventana sitting on the deck of the research vessel Rachel Carson. "It's a massive underwater robot," explains Kyle Van Houtan, chief scientist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which collaborates with MBARI. "Robotic arms, a lot of sensors, machinery, lights, video cameras."

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You’re unknowingly eating plastic everyday. Here’s what it does to your body
Since 2000, the world has produced as much plastic as all the preceding years combined, a third of which is leaked into nature, the report states. (Photo: Getty Images)

A study commissioned by global environment charity WWF recently said that humans may be ingesting five grams of plastic every week – which is the equivalent of eating a credit card. The alarming results of the study highlights the extent to which plastic pollution is spread, while also calling for the urgent need to address the problem.

The study, No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People, by University of Newcastle, Australia, revealed that the average person could be consuming about 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic every week, which is approximately 21 grams a month, adding to just over 250 grams a year.

“Plastic is everywhere; it has subtly become an inherent part of our life. Easy to access, we eat and drink out of plastic containers, and even store and wrap our food in it. Cheap and durable plastics are held together by a number of chemicals which are potential carcinogens. Two of these are bisphenol-A (known as BPA) and phthalates,” says Dr Avi Kumar, Consultant, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.

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Yikes, This Is How Many Microplastics We Eat A Year + 3 Ways To Stop It

Think about the number of times throughout the day you see others using single-use plastic (bottles, lids, straws, bags) or use it yourself—take-out containers, shipping material, and packaged foods.

I don't know about you, but all I'm seeing is plastic, which makes sense as a study published in Science Advances found that since large-scale production of plastic began 60 years ago, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced. The same study found that 6.3 billion metric tons became plastic waste, and only 9% had been recycled. This means 79% was left to decompose in landfills or ended up as litter in the environment. So what does this mean for us and this planet?

Once plastic begins to break down (which can take more than 400 years), it turns into microfibers (made of plastic and chemical-covered non-plastics) that are so small we can't see them. Due to their size, it's easy for animals to ingest these microplastics and, according to a new study, humans too:
  • Opt for facial products without microbeads
  • Trap microfibers in your laundry
  • Reduce single-use plastic consumption

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Here's How at Least 74,000 Microplastic Particles End Up in Your Diet in a Single Year

Humans have spread microplastics to virtually every ecosystem on the planet, from the deepest chasms in the sea to the most remote wilderness on land. Today, there is nowhere left to hide, and each year, we humans receive a hearty dose of our own medicine.

From what little we know about microplastics in air, food and water, Canadian researchers have now estimated that the average person consumes more than 74,000 particles of plastic each year. In all likelihood, the authors admit, this undervalues the reality. Due to a lack of data, the research was limited to only a few categories, including fish, shellfish, added sugars, salts, alcohol, tap or bottled water, and - of course - the air we breathe.

Based on a thorough review of the literature, including 26 peer-reviewed studies, the team created a microplastics database which they then compared to US dietary data. Depending on a person's age and sex, the number of particles consumed yearly sat somewhere between 74,000 and 121,000 particles.

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When You Eat and Drink, There's a Hidden Ingredient

You're ingesting a secret ingredient when you eat, drink, and breathe: microplastics. The question is, does it matter? A new study estimates that the average adult ingests at least 98,000 plastic particles annually, the Seattle Times reports. The particles apparently come from various sources including shellfish, sugar, salt, beer, and water—especially bottled water—and might have a negative effect on human health.

Microplastics are "a high exposure risk in terms of numbers," study leader Kieran Cox tells the Guardian. "It could be a potential alarm call for sure." Earlier studies have found possible damage to human health, but the jury seems to be out.

A 2017 study hypothesized that cumulative plastic ingestion might be toxic, while a 2018 study of microplastics in seafood found it could eventually damage the gut and the immune system, per National Geographic. But it's a new field, and there are many types of microplastics, including particles that are toxic and others that might carry parasites or bacteria. If you want to play it safe, drink tap water instead of bottled water and avoid plastic packaging that ends up in our environment, says Cox. "The facts are simple," he adds. "We are producing a lot of plastic and it is ending up in the ecosystems, which we are a part of." (Meanwhile, see which veggies need the most washing.)

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People eat, inhale plastics but don’t know it
PLASTIC DEBRIS A volunteer for the nongovernmental group Canarias Libre de Plasticos (Canary Islands Free of Plastics) shows plastic waste and debris collected from the Almaciga Beach on Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain, in this July 14, 2018 photo. —AFP

Humans eat and breathe in tens of thousands of microplastic particles every year, according to a new analysis published on Wednesday that raised fresh questions over how plastic waste could directly impact our health.

Microplastics—tiny plastic shards broken down from man-made products, such as synthetic clothing, car tires and contact lenses—are among the most ubiquitous materials on the planet. They have been found on some of the world’s highest glaciers and at the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches.

Several previous studies have shown how microplastics may enter the human food chain, including one last year that found them in nearly all major bottled water brands sampled.

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Here's how much plastic YOU eat and breathe each year

Humans eat and breathe in tens of thousands of microplastic particles every year, according to a new analysis Wednesday that raised fresh questions over how plastic waste could directly impact our health. Microplastics -- tiny plastic shards broken down from man-made products such as synthetic clothing, car tyres and contact lenses -- are among the most ubiquitous materials on the planet.

They have been found on some of the world's highest glaciers and at the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches. Several previous studies have shown how microplastics may enter the human food chain, including one last year that found them in nearly all major bottled water brands sampled.

In Wednesday's research, Canadian scientists analysed hundreds of data sets on microplastic contamination and compared them to the typical diet and consumption habits of Americans. They found that an adult male could expect to ingest up to 52,000 microplastic particles each year.

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Microplastic Is Everywhere and It's Sneaking Into Our Bodies

For the first time ever, researchers have an idea of how much microplastic humans consume. Based on their estimates, the average person inhales and ingests about 330 tiny pieces of plastic, the size of a sesame seed or smaller, every day. This microplastic comes from larger plastic products like water bottles, packaging, and clothing made out of synthetic fibres, that have been broken down or degraded.

Kieran Cox is the lead author of the report, which reviewed 26 existing studies around the world and estimated that the average person’s microplastic consumption is between 70,000 and 121,000 particles per year. He cited our increasing production and consumption of plastic goods and packaging as sources of microplastic exposure.

“Our over-reliance on plastic has resulted in a hyper-abundance of it. You get in a car that has a largely plastic [interior], we’re talking to each other on plastic devices, wearing a jacket made of plastic. Maybe you had your coffee this morning in plastic. We need to reassess our reliance on synthetic materials,” said Cox.

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Microplastics in your bottled water?

We live in a world of plastic. From the clothes we wear, the electronics we use to the food we buy, our lives our surrounded by, and depend on, plastic products. Over time, all of these plastic products break down into smaller and smaller pieces to become ‘microplastics,’ or plastics smaller than five millimeters. As we study microplastics, we are learning that they are everywhere – in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. In this talk, Dudas will lead us through a day of plastic use, how and where we use and generate microplastics, and what we can do about it.

Sarah Dudas is a biologist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a biology professor at Vancouver Island University and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Victoria. For the last seven years she has led the Ecological Interactions Research Program, working with federal and provincial governments, industry and non-profit organizations to study the effects of human activities on coastal ecosystems. Her research includes investigating marine biodiversity across regional and local scales and the effects of historical and contemporary shellfish farming practices on surrounding ecological communities.

Recently, she has focused on the issue of microplastics and their presence in the marine environment and our seafood. Dudas’s professional affiliations include the Hakai Institute, Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution and the Aquaculture Association of Canada. She is also a member of the United Nations-led Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection microplastics working group. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

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Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard, study warns

Plastic pollution of the oceans is a major concern but the effect of plastic on climate change has not so far been in the spotlight. Photograph: VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images
The proliferation of single-use plastic around the world is accelerating climate change and should be urgently halted, a report warns.

Plastic production is expanding worldwide, fuelled in part by the fracking boom in the US. The report says plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product.

This plastic binge threatens attempts to meet the Paris climate agreement. It means that by 2050 plastic will be responsible for up to 13% of the total “carbon budget” – equivalent to 615 coal-fired power plants – says the research published on Thursday.

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How Much Microplastics Are We Ingesting?: Estimation of the Mass of Microplastics Ingested

Microplastics have been defined as plastic particles with an upper size limit of 5 mm. Microplastics are of significant concern as they may pose a direct threat (by ingestion), or indirect threat (by acting as potential stressors or vectors of contaminants) to humans. Mismanagement of primary and secondary microplastics may be accumulated and/or transferred through the food chain and reach our digestive system and bloodstream. This paper attempts to provide a snapshot through a systematic review of the published literatures, and calculate an ingestion rate for humans considering various exposure pathways. This study analysed the available literature as a method for data collection and synthesis to allow for an estimation of the amount of microplastics ingested by humans. A critical research of the available literature and subsequent unit normalized calculation of the amounts of microplastics ingested by humans through various exposure pathways suggest that on average, humans may be ingesting as much as 5 g/week of microplastics.

Several databases were interrogated to obtain the most recent relevant publications. The metadata was extracted and recorded. The literature review presented information on many different methods for sampling and analysing microplastics to identify and quantify them. Reporting units also varied greatly among studies. In order to compare the data, several conservative assumptions were made. The conservative approach was adopted to minimise the risk of over-predicting and from alarming the public, or risking incredulity from decision-makers and other stakeholders. The data was extrapolated to infill and populate missing data to derive a total number of microplastic particles (particles) and total mass particles (kg) to then allow for the calculation of ingestion rates (kg/week/person) based on estimated individual particle mass (kg/particle). A second approach using the density and volume of the particles was adopted to assess the impact of volume weighting in determining the calculated average mass of each microplastic particle.

Due to the limited data available on the particle size distribution of microplastics, an average mass per particle in the size range 0-1mm was adopted to represent the average particle mass for each microplastic particle ingested. It was decided that this study would discount the mass of particles >1mm for the calculation of ingestion rate.

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I Tried to Get Plastic Out of My Beauty Routine

I love makeup. The ugly truth, however, is that makeup is helping ruin the planet. Take a look at your makeup bag. What do you find? Plastic, plastic, and more plastic.

My current makeup routine is filled with plastic tubes and compacts that all wind up in the trash when I’m done with them. And I’m not alone. Our cosmetics—from foundation to blush—resulted in more than 8 billion units of packaging in 2017, according to data market analysis group Euromonitor International shared with Earther. This number doesn’t even reflect all the packaging for items like our lipsticks and mascara, and most of this stuff isn’t easily recyclable. So I decided to look for alternatives that create less waste and are easier on the planet.

The materials used—metal versus plastic, recycled paper versus virgin, and even synthetic brushes versus animal hair—all have separate pros and cons. Consumers have to figure what’s more valuable to them and decide what to buy based on that. As someone who hates the way plastic has infiltrated our oceans, I opted for some reusable items. And as someone who adores orangutans and appreciates the rainforests they call home, I went the palm oil-free route because palm oil—found in a variety of snacky foods and yes, lipsticks—is speeding along the demise of their habitats.

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Full Coverage:
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