Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic bottles - by accident! The breakthrough could be a step to solving the global plastic pollution crisis; one of the worlds largest environmental disasters. The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET - a form of plastic patented in the 1940s and now used in millions of tonnes of plastic bottles. PET plastics can persist for hundreds of years in the environment and currently pollute large areas of land and sea worldwide. Researchers from Britain's University of Portsmouth and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory made this discovery while examining the structure of a natural enzyme thought to have evolved in a waste recycling center in Japan. The mutant enzyme takes a few days to start breaking down the plastic; far faster than the centuries it would take in the oceans. Researchers are optimistic this process can be sped up even further and become a viable large-scale operation.
Read the full news story (LINK IN BIO).
What do you think of this? Is it a revolutionary discovery that could save our oceans and wildlife through better recycling, or a revolutionary discovery that allows us to continue our plastic addiction without removing the source of the problem? How can we meet in the middle? Please leave your thoughts!
Sigh. What can I say about EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Head Scott Pruitt. There’s not many positive options but let me give you the run down on what this man has done for U.S. environmental regulations since appointed by President Trump. It’s nothing good so don’t get excited:
— attempted to strangle the EPA’s budget (literally the department he works for)
— put corporate polluters in charge of the EPA
— denied human made climate change and proceeded to claim that global warming may be ‘beneficial’ to humans
— misused taxpayer money for travel and accomodation expenses
— rejected bans on harmful pesticides and lifted bans on new coal leases
— proposed repeals on the clean power plan, DOI’s climate and mitigation policies, protecting migratory birds, water pollution regulations for fracking and even more.
— the list honestly goes on like this for so long I won’t be able to fit it all if you want to see a complete list of the whopping 67 environmental regulations he wants to rescind go here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/05/climate/trump-environment-rules-reversed.html (yes I’m not kidding, 67)
After his recent spending scandal even President Trump is having some doubts about Scott Pruitt’s integrity and whether he is qualified to fill the role, and this is Trump we are talking about. It’s time we use this moment of doubt and scandal to get Scott Pruitt out of the EPA and get in someone who actually cares about our planet and will work to protect it. SIGN THE PETITION in my bio, created by the NRDC - an environmental legal defence team, to tell President Trump to boot Pruitt out of his position as head of the EPA. (LINK IN BIO).
Leopards can be found in various places around the world – they live in Sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India and China. Leopards are strikingly similar to the Jaguar in their patterns but black leopards can also be found. Leopards are very solitary animals and spend most of their time alone except when finding a mate. They are skilled climbers and actually sometimes rest in the branches of trees. Leopards are currently listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Luckily the Snow Leopard saw a population increase at the end of last year as intense conservation efforts paid off but there is still more work that needs to be done and conservationists warn not to forget about their plight as climate change continues to effect leopard populations. Sign the petition in my bio urging the Russian Government to protect endangered Amur Leopards; once the petition reaches 10,000 signatures it will be sent to the Russian government. It is currently at 3,367 so there is still a lot of work to do, GO SIGN! This post was shared as apart of the Stand For Earth #WorldWildlifeMonth; taking this years #WorldWildlifeDay theme of big cats and stretching it over all of March! Leopard information via National Geographic.
Sudan, the last Male Northern White Rhino on earth, has died. Sudan was put down March 19th, 2018 after months of illness. In his last 24 hours Sudan could barely stand and was suffering a great deal so the Ol Pejeta Conservancy where he was being taken care of made the decision to euthanise him. The only two remaining Northern White Rhinos are Sudan’s daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu. Scientists believe the only in the preservation of this subspecies now lies in developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) using surrogate Southern White Rhino females. Here are some closing words for Sudan from Remembering Rhinos: "Finally, I would like to thank Sudan, the last male northern white rhino. As the last of his kind on earth there are no words of apology great enough for what we, mankind, have done to his species, though we did try and whisper a few to him when we met. I only wish he could realise the inspiration he was for this project (Remembering Rhinos) and, as a result, how many other rhinos' lives he will save. Sudan we are sorry. Remembering Rhinos has now raised over £170,000 for the conservation of other rhinos and as he was the inspiration, I can safely say that it is in his name. RIP Sudan. We are truly sorry.”
“We are witnessing the extinction of a species that has survived for millions of years, but could not survive mankind...”
The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas. The spots on the coat are more solid and black on the head and neck and become larger rosette-shaped patterns along the side and back of the body. As a top-level carnivore, the big cat helps prevent overgrazing of vegetation by keeping its prey populations in balance. Jaguars are also important in human culture, frequently playing a central role in stories, songs and prayers of indigenous people. Yet today, jaguars have been almost completely eliminated from the United States. At best, only an estimated 15,000 jaguars remain in the wild. Bi-national conservation efforts have been successful at protecting a small population of 80 to 120 cats in the remote mountains of Sonora, Mexico bordering Arizona. This population is the largest of three known to remain in Sonora, and is the last hope for recovery in the United States. If you click the link in my bio you can symbolically adopt a jaguar through WWF and your funds will be directed to jaguar conservation and protecting remaining Jaguars to preserve the population. For your donation you will also receive a jaguar soft toy, a My Jaguars magazine and a fact book filled with facts, bookmarks and stickers. This post was shared as apart of the Stand For Earth #WorldWildlifeMonth; taking this years #WorldWildlifeDay theme of big cats and stretching it over all of March! Jaguar information via Defenders of Wildlife.
Lacoste is one of the biggest fashion brands in the world and you may recognise the popular, iconic crocodile logo on billboards, ads and clothing blogs. But recently, Lacoste swapped out their classic crocodile symbol on their polos to 10 of the worlds most endangered species, to raise awareness and funds, half of which went to the IUCN (International Union For Conservation of Nature) and the other half went to communication; giving visibility to the cause and the Save Our Species Programme. These polos were limited edition and only 1755 were made & sold and this is the cool part; there were 10 species and the population of each species was the amount of shirts made with said animal e.g. 30 vaquita shirts were made as there only 30 vaquita left. Then there were 40 for the Burmese Roofed Turtle, 50 for the Northern Sportive Lemur, 67 for the Javan Rhino, 150 for the Cao-bit Gibbon, 157 for the Kakapo, 231 for the California Condor, 250 for the Saola, 350 for the Sumatran Tiger and 450 for the Anegada Ground Iguana. If you were looking to purchase one you’re out of luck as they are unfortunately all sold out but hey! at least the initiative raised some money and awareness, I honestly hadn’t heard of about half the species of those 10 let alone the fact that they were endangered so I’d call that a success!