“Caring for the Planet from the Ground” is the theme of this year’s World Soil Day (#worldsoilday). World Soil Day (WSD) is an annual campaign aimed at raising awareness of the critical importance of healthy soils and advocating for the sustainable management of global soil resources. In June 2013, the FAO Conference endorsed WSD and requested for it to be officially adopted at the 68th UN General Assembly. As a result, 5 December 2014 was designated as the first official WSD. So why is soil so important and why should we care about the health of it?
Latest figures show that global production of plastic has risen to 280 million tons per year, with much of this entering the seas and oceans via ships, offshore platforms and fishing, coastal littering and sewage-related debris from rivers and storm drains. UNEP estimates that between 6.4 – 8 million tons of litter ends up in the oceans. The properties that make plastic useful, such as its resilience to degradation, can make it problematic once it is no longer needed. A pair of studies from Plymouth University and Exeter University, investigated whether micron-sized pieces of plastic (as a result of weathering) that sink into mud or sand, are causing harm to species at the base of the food chain, that ingest this sediment during feeding. Both papers are presented in the journal Current Biology.