2018/10/17: New research shows microplastics in 90 percent of the table salt brands sampled worldwide. Of 39 salt brands tested, 36 had microplastics in them, according to a new analysis by researchers in South Korea and Greenpeace East Asia. Salt samples from 21 countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia were analyzed. The three brands that did not contain microplastics are from Taiwan (refined sea salt), China (refined rock salt), and France (unrefined sea salt produced by solar evaporation). The study was published this month in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
The density of microplastics found in salt varied dramatically among different brands, but those from Asian brands were especially high, the study found. The highest quantities of microplastics were found in salt sold in Indonesia. Asia is a hot spot for plastic pollution, and Indonesia -- with 34,000 miles (54,720 km) of coastline -- ranked in an unrelated 2015 study as suffering the second-worst level of plastic pollution in the world. In another indicator of the geographic density of plastic pollution, microplastics levels were highest in sea salt, followed by lake salt and then rock salt.
Even though the study found that the average adult consumes approximately 2,000 microplastics per year through salt, it's not clear what the health consequences are.
the focus on microplastics may divert attention from worse environmental (and more easily identifiable) pollution problems, such as small particles released from car tires.
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2018-06-25: A boom in garbage is almost always the result of two related phenomena: urbanization and income growth. Rural dwellers moving to the city shift from buying unpackaged goods to buying stuff (especially food) wrapped in plastic. As their incomes rise, their purchases increase. That growth in consumption is almost never matched by expanded garbage collection and disposal. In typical low-income countries, less than half of all garbage is collected formally, and what little is picked up tends to end up in unregulated open dumps.
Although recycling is common in Asia, plastic presents an often insurmountable challenge: Technical and environmental factors render much of it unrecyclable, especially in developing regions. In fact, only about 9 percent of plastics are recycled globally.
Yet there's another, far more promising option: Improve regular old trash collection. for now, one reform could have a bigger global impact than just about any other: Start picking up the trash.
In the city of Kampot in southern Cambodia, the extraction of sand from an estuary on the Praek Tuek Chhu river is increasing and sand extraction is so common in Asia currently that the continent may deplete all of its sand in the not-too-distant future.
The collapse of the Soviet Union allowed the US to become the sole hegemon with the capability of influencing global affairs. In the last 25 years Washington has taken considerable efforts to shape global politics through a wide range of political, economic and military tools.
Hungary has become the first EU country to join China's flagship initiative, which aims to revitalise a historic trade route between Europe and the Far East.
Analysis of one of the world's largest placename databases reveals it is dramatically skewed toward the US's cities, towns and settlements
Obama claims that the United States needs to set the rules on trade while its economy is still strong before China does.
My personal favorite political-risk-analytics firm, Stratfor, does some great geopolitics analysis. Their intro-level article on Russia, which we might call "Russian Geopolitics 101", is actually publicly accessible:
China proposed Wednesday to build an economic corridor linking China, Mongolia and Russia.
In recent weeks, Vietnam has been thrust into the middle of the United States' growing confrontation with China in the South China Sea. We look at the timeline of events and how a fabricated "Vietnam Threat" has been conceived to counter what the US sees as the "China Threat.
Geopolitica, Terrorismo, Antropologia, Sociologia, Politica Estera, NATO, Russia, guerra, Libia, Siria, Intelligence, Sicurezza Nazionale, Esercito,
Herring, the secret to world domination.
Tomdispatch.com is for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of our post-9/11 world and a clear sense of how our imperial globe actually works.
It is becoming increasingly commonplace to observe that we live in an era of disorder and instability. Whether it is the seemingly endless conflicts and political upheavals in the Middle East, the return
Behold the power of Central Asia's new superstate.
Outnumbered by the country's rural voters, Thailand's once vibrantly democratic urban middle class has embraced an elitist, antidemocratic agenda.
The Obama administration's nebulous "Pacific Pivot" is setting the stage for a superpower conflict in East Asia.
One of the most venerable metaphors in the study of international relations is the idea that there is a geographical pivot of history. Writing in the early twentieth century, Halford Mackinder argued that
Resource-intensive agriculture, despite its productivity, nevertheless has failed to feed the world's current population, never mind the nine billion people expected by 2050. This system that currently