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The very big recycling myth and microplastic found in snow around the globe

The New York Times – The Great Recycling Con – The greatest trick corporations ever played was making us think we could recycle their products. “In the Video Op-Ed, we debunk a recycling myth that has lulled us into guilt-free consumption for decades.This holiday season, the United States Postal Service expects to ship almost one billion packages — cardboard boxes full of electronics and fabric and plastic galore. And the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans generate 25 percent more waste in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than during the rest of the year, an additional one million tons per week. But hey, most of it is recyclable, right? Well, not really…”

Quartz – Yes, There’s Microplastic in the Snow: “This is the year we found microplastic in the snow.  Although microplastics have been popping up everywhere from the waters of Antarctica to our table salt, the idea that it could blow in the wind or fall as precipitation back down to Earth is extremely new. The main mode of microplastic transport, as far as we knew as recently as last year, was water. It had already shown up in drinking water a few years prior. But microplastic in snow suggests something different: Microplastics carried by wind, and settling out of the air along with the frosty flakes. Some of the first studies on wind transport appeared just this year; in April, a team of researchers from France and Scotland announced that they’d found microplastics in the Pyrenees, blown in on the wind from as far away as Barcelona.  And then, a few months later, scientists found it in the snow. In August, researchers published a paper finding microplastic in the snow of the Swiss Alps, as well as from the Arctic, likely transported by wind. This week, at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting, researchers from the Desert Research Institute Reno presented their findings—they found microplastic in snow in the Sierra Nevadas of California…”

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