What’s Best for Kids: Bottled Water or Fountains?

photo: drinking fountains vs. bottled water in schools. What's Best for Kids: Bottled Water or Fountains?

Tap water may be better for kids than sugary sodas, but many schools have lead-contaminated water (file photo). This story is part of a special series that explores the global water crisis. For more clean water news, photos, and information, visit National Geographic’s Freshwater Web site.

As the U.S. taste for bottled water grows, environmentalists have been trying to sell people on good old-fashioned—and free—tap water. But tap water’s … [more…]

Plastic degrading in the oceans release chemicals into the water

Plastic degrading in the oceans release chemicals into the water

Plastic debris accumulates in the environment and lately much attention has been drawn to the pollution in the world’s oceans. Photo: Berit Gewert

Floating plastic debris in the marine environment can be degraded by reactions initiated by UV-radiation, hydrolysis, and microorganisms. Degradation of plastics releases chemical compounds to the water. The compounds and their amounts are dependent on the plastic polymer and the weathering condition of the plastic. These are

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Everyone Is Applauding National Geographic’s Cover — But Shock Lies Inside

photo: iceberg of plastic bags - Everyone Is Applauding This National Geographic Cover But The Real Shock Lies Inside The Pages

National Geographic magazine has just launched an informative and shockingly revealing campaign called Planet or Plastic? and it is something that we all need to see and learn from.

Many of us are aware that there is far too much plastic in our environment. We all feel a little guilty when throwing yet another single-use plastic wrapping straight into the trash, knowing that we are contributing to a problem that … [more…]

Update: Remember the Young Man With a Plan to Rid Oceans of Plastic?

Remember the Young Man With a Plan to Rid Oceans of Plastic? His Massive Project to Launch This Summer

His massive plan is scheduled to launch this summer

Do you remember the teenager who six years ago invented a machine that he said could get rid of the plastic that was gathering in the ocean? Well, just in time for Earth Day, the young Dutch genius announced that he is almost ready to launch his ground-breaking initiative designed to purge the seas of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

This … [more…]

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.

The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure … [more…]