New process makes 'biodegradable' plastics truly compostable

Biodegradable plastics have been advertised as one solution to the plastic pollution problem bedeviling the world, but today's "compostable" plastic bags, utensils and cup lids don't break down during typical composting and ...

Mapping corals from the sky guides reef conservation

Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet supporting an estimated 25 percent of all marine species. These biologically rich ecosystems are threatened by multiple stressors, from warming ocean temperatures ...

Noise and light alter bird nesting habits and success

Looking for a bird's-eye view of human impact? A new study published in the journal Nature provides the most comprehensive picture yet of how human noise and light pollution affect birds throughout North America, including ...

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Pollutant

A pollutant is a waste material that pollutes air, water or soil, and is the cause of pollution.

Three factors determine the severity of a pollutant: its chemical nature, its concentration and its persistence. Some pollutants are biodegradable and therefore will not persist in the environment in the long term. However the degradation products of some pollutants are themselves polluting such as the products DDE and DDD produced from degradation of DDT

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