News roundup: microplastics in the home, support for refillables & new pedestrian piazzas
Our latest monthly roundup of headline-grabbing air and water quality news – highlighting concerning research on the presence of microplastics in households, as well as positive progress in London’s pedestrianisation drive to combat air pollution.
Indoor air & microplastics – is there a connection?
A worrying study published by the University of Hull earlier this month stated that microplastics have been identified in 98% of household air samples. The levels are especially high, even when compared with outdoor air pollution, and the impact on health is still unclear.
Smaller particles in particular, which are more easily absorbed by the body, made up 90% of samples.
A new pedestrian zone addresses air quality in London
Moving on to more positive news, it was announced that London’s Oxford Circus would become a fully pedestrianised area. Discussions on the transformation have been ongoing for years due to the poor air quality levels in the area – the development is set to reduce pollution and pedestrian congestion.
We hope to see more of the same in London and other major cities around the UK!
The rise of refillables
World Refill Day was marked this month, which seeks to raise awareness of plastic pollution at the same time as calling on businesses, governments and individuals to do their bit. In a positive development, surveys commissioned for the awareness event found that 81% of Brits want the UK government to make refillable products easier to buy and more widely available.
The problem of plastic goes beyond single-use however – microplastics and nanoplastics can be found in our tap water. Bottled water comes with a myriad of health and environmental concerns – read our thoughts on the subject here.