Why modern cling wrap sucks

In the 2000s, Saran changed their formula to be less sticky: more convenient for most people, but also less useful to those adept in the mystic arts of cling-wrapping things. And where Saran goes, the clingwrap industry follows.

The switch was for a good reason, though: the stickiness was due to using PVDC, a chloride-containing polymer that's bad for the environment and in all likelihood not something you want near hot food. Delicious! Read the rest

UK's indie music fests vow to end plastic bottles and straws at events

The Association of Independent Festivals plans to take a step in the right direction on single-use plastic items with their Drastic on Plastic initiative. Read the rest

Scientists accidentally engineer enzyme to eat plastic waste

Researchers "accidentally" engineered a natural enzyme found in a Japanese waste recycling plant to eat plastic waste. According to the scientists from the UK's University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the enzyme, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, degrades polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the material used to make plastic bottles and other crap. The photo above is an electron microscope image of the enzyme degrading PET plastic.

"We hoped to determine (the enzyme's) structure to aid in protein engineering, but we ended up going a step further and accidentally engineered an enzyme with improved performance at breaking down these plastics," NREL's lead researcher Gregg Beckham told CNN. From the University of Portsmouth:

“Serendipity often plays a significant role in fundamental scientific research and our discovery here is no exception,” Professor McGeehan said.

“Although the improvement is modest, this unanticipated discovery suggests that there is room to further improve these enzymes, moving us closer to a recycling solution for the ever-growing mountain of discarded plastics.”

"Engineering a plastic-eating enzyme" (UOP) Read the rest

The world's first reusable tampon applicator

Celia Pool and Alec Mills used to sell period products and soon realized what a tremendous waste it all was, especially those single-use plastic applicators on tampons. So they launched a company called DAME and made the D, a self-cleaning reusable tampon applicator. It's currently on Kickstarter.

(HelloGiggles) Read the rest