Best of our wild blogs: 3 Aug 18

12 Aug 2018 (Sunday): Herp Walk with the HSS at Tampines Eco-Green
Herpetological Society of Singapore

Ubin Also Instagrammable: 3 AUG - 9 AUG
Wan's Ubin Journal

Pulau Ubin Lives: Houses, Residents, History, And Heritage
Wan's Ubin Journal

Artists get-together at Sungei Buloh Wetlands
Art in Wetlands

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E-waste is more pressing issue than plastics: Masagos

Jose Hong Straits Times 2 Aug 18;

SINGAPORE - While there is plenty of focus on plastic waste, the more pressing issue facing Singapore is electronic waste, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said on Thursday (Aug 2).

"E-waste is very toxic, people underestimate the toxicity of the e-waste that we dispose of and for the longest time we weren't processing it," he said.

Plastics on the other hand were being collected properly and then incinerated, the minister said.

"And we scrub all the toxic dioxins when we incinerate," he added.

He was responding to chief executive of real estate firm CBRE Pauline Goh during an on-stage discussion at the annual Singapore Green Building Council Leadership Conversations meeting.

Earlier this week, the Singapore Environment Council revealed that Singapore used at least 1.76 billion pieces of plastic a year, the majority of which is made up of bags from supermarkets.

Referring to this figure, Ms Goh said: "Singapore's recycling efforts have yielded very limited results. For example, only two per cent of the 820 million plastic bags taken yearly from supermarkets are recycled by consumers. How do we ensure that our efforts go a longer way?"

E-waste collection bins will be placed in Best Denki, Courts, Gain City and Harvey Norman outlets.

Mr Masagos replied: "When you try to do everything you'll end up doing nothing, so do the most important things first - and right now we are tackling e-waste."

He talked about the extended producer responsibility law, due to take effect by 2021, that would force producers of electrical and electronic equipment in Singapore to ensure their products are collected and recycled or disposed of when they reach the end of their lifespans.

He also said that the authorities were focusing on tackling packaging waste. Last month he announced that companies in Singapore would have to report on the packaging used in their products in 2021, a year earlier than the previous deadline.

Mr Masagos said that the issue with plastic waste here was not about improper disposal, which affects the waterways and seas, but about reducing the demand.

He said imposing a levy and fine for using plastic bags was not the solution, calling instead for a revolution in how Singapore society addressed plastic waste with everyone working together instead of waiting for someone else to take action.

Mr Masagos also recalled that plastic bags solved a problem the Republic used to face in the 1970s.

"Back when we didn't bag our trash, we just threw food into our rubbish chutes and caused pests to come and at the same time it would corrode the linings of chutes, and we had to repair them so often. This problem got mitigated when we started bagging our trash."

He said: "The issue is to make sure we don't take more bags than we need, don't use more bags than we can, and dispose of them properly. And at the same time, how do we reduce our trash so that we don't have to bag more of it?"

"If we reduce our trash, we reduce our bags," the minister said.

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Singapore Green Building Council offers free trip to Melbourne in bid to stir public interest in green buildings

Jose Hong Straits Times 2 Aug 18;

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) is offering a free trip for two to Melbourne on Singapore Airlines, as part of its campaign to get the public interested in sustainable buildings.

Titled "Live.Work.Play.Green", the two-month campaign, launched on Thursday (Aug 2), also dangles prizes such as a staycation at Marina Bay Sands or Resorts World Sentosa through an online quiz.

SGBC president Tan Swee Yiow said the public still does not know enough about the value of green buildings, or of the power they have to influence their environment through the places they live, work and play in.

This is why the non-governmental organisation is shifting its focus away from companies in its campaign.

"When people buy an apartment, most aren't prepared to pay a premium for a green unit," he said at the National Gallery Singapore. "We hope that people will learn that green buildings are healthier and better for their occupants, and that utilities savings are just one part of the equation."

Examples of green features in buildings are large windows to let in more natural light, which Singapore has an abundance of, as well as smart systems that can monitor air quality and energy usage.

In his opening speech at the annual SGBC Leadership Conversations meeting where the campaign was launched, Mr Tan said: "Although buildings only occupy 3 per cent of the world's total land mass, they are responsible for more than half of the energy use and one-third of all carbon emissions."

Mr Tan said the council aims to support the Year of Climate Action, and added that eight buses advertising their campaign will ply Singapore roads until the end of September.

He hoped that through the quiz, people would have fun while learning about the sustainable structures Singaporeans spend their lives in.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said: "Improving energy and carbon efficiency in our buildings is a key strategy for reducing our emissions."

Mr Masagos, who was guest of honour at the launch, added: "This is a good effort to raise awareness... of the value of green buildings and the important role they play in reducing our carbon footprint."

The quiz can be accessed at

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Farewell to Raffles Country Club, as SLA acquires land amid uncertainty over HSR project

FARIS MOKHTAR Today Online 1 Aug 18;

SINGAPORE – Despite lingering uncertainty over the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, the Government on Wednesday (Aug 1) proceeded with its acquisition of the land that Raffles Country Club (RCC) sits on.

In January 2017, the Government announced that RCC would be the second club after Jurong Country Club to make way for the HSR's facilities. The site will also house the future Cross Island Line's (CRL) western depot.

The club, which opened in 1988 and is one of Singapore's oldest, was to hand over the land to the Singapore Land Authority on July 31 (Tuesday) – 10 years before its 30-year lease was due to expire in October 2028.

However, developments in Malaysia after the election of a new government led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad have left the fate of the HSR project in doubt. With Malaysia's national debt at RM$1 trillion (S$335 billion), Dr Mahathir said in July that his government would negotiate a deferment of the rail link to avoid paying compensation to Singapore if the project was scrapped.

Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said this week that the meeting between both countries to discuss the project would likely take place in August.

Responding to TODAY's queries, a Singapore Land Authority (SLA) spokesperson confirmed that the Government "took site possession of Raffles Country Club's land on 1 August 2018".

However, the SLA spokesperson noted that a temporary license has been granted to the club from Aug 1 to January 31 next year so that RCC can use its existing clubhouse, golf buggy area, bin centre, maintenance complex and 24 carpark lots to "facilitate the winding down of its operations and disposal of assets".

RCC stated on its website that the club's "critical staff", including its general manager and finance manager, as well as employees dealing with membership and facilities would remain till January 2019.

It is unclear whether other employees such as frontline staff and cleaners will remain, or if they have received assistance in applying for jobs elsewhere. The club's General Committee president Paul Singh could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Club members expressed sadness over RCC's closure, and said they would miss its iconic lakeside golf course, which "could not be found anywhere else" in Singapore. But they were understanding, as they knew that the land was still needed for the Jurong Lake District development regardless of whether the HSR project went ahead.

Retiree Loh Yoke Peng, 53, who has been a member for 15 years, said the club's closure would not affect golfers as there are "too many golf courses" here.

She said: "It's not like the old days where golf memberships were exclusive. So, it's not difficult to play the sport now. The land can be better used."

Mr Patrick Kwek, a 69-year-old retiree who has been a member since the club's founding, noted that club was like a "second home" to him as he played golf there about two to three times a week.

He said that there have been more events in the weeks leading up to the club's closure such as reunion golf games and dinner parties. Mr Kwek and some members also organised a farewell lunch for some of the club's frontline staff at Indian restaurant Samy's Curry a few weeks ago, as he said "they have helped us a lot over the years and we share a bond".

With the Malaysian government yet to confirm its position on the HSR project, there had been calls from RCC members to review the club's acquisition.

When asked why SLA had proceeded with the acquisition despite the uncertainty, its spokesperson referred to National Development Minister Lawrence Wong's response in Parliament on July 9, where he noted that plans to develop the Jurong Lake District – including the land set aside for the construction of the HSR project – are still relevant.

Mr Wong had said that the plans include developing a commercial precinct, building up to 20,000 new homes, and setting up a major transport hub connecting existing and upcoming MRT lines.

Jurong Country Club's former site, which was acquired at the end of 2016, will be used for new mixed-use developments and community facilities, while the Raffles Country Club site is required for the Cross Island Line's western depot and other transport related uses.

Previously, the authorities said that RCC – over twice the size of Jurong Country Club – was deemed most suitable to run HSR tracks at ground level before it goes underground towards the Jurong East Terminus. Initially targeted for a Dec 31, 2026, opening, the HSR would take travellers from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in 90 minutes.

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Man fined S$12,800 for illegally importing, keeping about 100 tarantulas

Channel NewsAsia 2 Aug 18;

SINGAPORE: A 34-year-old man was fined S$12,800 for illegally importing and keeping tarantulas in his home after he was caught at Tuas checkpoint with six live tarantulas in a sling bag.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a joint press release on Wednesday (Aug 1) that when stopped at the checkpoint for checks on Jan 4, Tam Jiaming told an ICA officer that he had nothing to declare.

However, the officer found six live tarantulas, kept individually in containers, in a sling bag in the rear passenger seat.

In follow-up investigations at Tam's house, AVA found and seized another 92 tarantulas.

Tarantulas are not approved to be kept as pets in Singapore.

Some of the tarantulas were species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the agencies said. The spiders have since been placed under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

AVA said in the statement that demand for wild animals such as tarantulas would fuel illegal wildlife trade, which severely impacts the wild populations of numerous species.

"Wildlife are not suitable pets as some may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and pose a public safety risk if mishandled or if they escape into our dense urban environment," it said. "Non-native animals may also be a threat to our biodiversity if released into the environment."

For keeping and trading illegal wildlife, offenders can be fined up to S$1,000 and have to forfeit the animals.

Importation, possession or sale of any CITES-protected species without CITES permits is also an offence punishable with a fine of up to S$50,000 per CITES-listed animal - to a maximum total S$500,000 - and up to two years' imprisonment.

If the animals were subjected to unnecessary suffering or pain, those convicted may be liable to an addition fine of up to S$10,000 and up to 12 months in jail.

Source: CNA/mz(mn)

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Malaysia: Time's running out but no progress from Indonesia on rhino conservation cooperation - Bora

Kristy Inus New Straits Times 2 Aug 18;

KOTA KINABALU: There has been a lot of talk about possible collaboration between Malaysia and Indonesia over rhinoceros conservation but it appears there hasn’t been much change.

Borneo Rhino Alliance (Bora) executive director Datuk Dr Junaidi Payne said not much progress has been made despite news reports from Indonesia a few months ago that both countries will continue to pursue collaborations in the conservation of the elusive species.

Sabah currently has two rhinos in captivity under the care of a team under BORA - a female named 'Iman' and an old bull called 'Kertam' or 'Tam'.

Since Tam has a low sperm count, there is an increased urgency to step up the captive-breeding programme for the species.

Experts here were relying on their Indonesian counterparts to assist in obtaining sperms from the bulls there to perform an artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

“(However) Indonesia has somehow gone silent on this and does not engage.

“There seems to be no interest on their side,” he told NSTP, referring to Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry.

On the current condition of Iman and Tam, Payne said both animals "are healthy although ageing."

Late last year, the carers had a scare when Iman nearly died from a life-threatening situation, after suffering from a uterus tumour, a condition quite rampant among female rhinos.

Iman was captured in 2014, while Tam in 2008. Their estimated age are around 25 and 35 years old respectively.

“Iman’s bleeding is under control. She has not had any oocytes (germ cells involved in reproduction) harvested so far in 2018.

“We want to do IVF using sperm from Andalas or Harapan, the male rhinos in Indonesia’s Sumatran rhino sanctuary in Way Kambas.

“But after numerous appeals from the national and state governments here and from BORA, as well as sympathetic colleagues in Indonesia, there is still no response from the Environment and Forestry Ministry there.

“It is a big slap in the face to Malaysia and seemingly no understanding of the situation and the dire urgency,” he said.

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Indonesia's list of protected flora, fauna species grows from 294 to 921

Gemma Holliani Cahya The Jakarta Post 2 Aug 18;

An updated list of protected flora and fauna has seen a jump in the number of species, from 294 in 1999 to 921 this year.

The new list, issued by the Environment and Forestry Ministry last month, aims to promote sustainability and a proper treatment of the protected animals and plants.

The ministry’s biodiversity conservation director, Indra Exploitasia, said the updated list, revised for the first time in 19 years, was the result of a long discussion that began in 2007 and intensified in 2015.

“We hope that with the preservation effort, the management of the protected flora and fauna can be sustainable,” Indra told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

On the list, the names of several birds appear, including kenari melayu (finch), gelatik jawa (sparrow) and kacamata jawa or pleci (Javan white-eye.

These birds are popular for the beautiful sounds they make when they chirp and are often kept at houses as pets, especially by Javanese people.

Indra said they were added to the list because they met the criteria for protected flora and fauna as stipulated in Article 5 of Government Regulation No. 7/1999.

The article states that any species of flora and fauna that are endemic to the country, have a small population or saw its population decline significantly are required to be included in the protected class.

“We are currently preparing a policy for the management of the protected flora and fauna. For example, the flora and fauna that can be brought [home] as pets must be certified first. But we are still preparing the policy,” she said.

However, several species on the 1999 list are not on the new list, including 13 species of hardwood timber tree of the genus Shorea.

“The list can change anytime. If there is a study proving that the population of a certain [species of] flora and fauna is increasing or decreasing, then it could be used as consideration for the list,” Indra said. (evi)

New species list not retroactive: Ministry
The Jakarta Post 8 Aug 18;

The Environment and Forestry Ministry has said that its newly revised list of protected flora and fauna is not retroactive and, therefore, owners of protected birds that were obtained prior to the enactment of the list are not subject to prosecution.

Birds dominate the revised list with 564 species, including songbirds like the white-rumped shama and the Javan white-eye, which are popular as cage birds.

Activists have lauded the new list, which was introduced last month to promote sustainability and the proper treatment of protected animals and plants.

Under the 1990 law on natural resources and ecosystem conservation, those who trade or keep protected flora or fauna face up to five years in prison or Rp 100 million (US$6,929) in fines.

However, the ministry said the new policy stirred concerns among bird owners, as hoaxes and false information on the policy recently went viral.

“It [the new policy] is not retroactive,” the ministry’s director general for natural resources and ecosystem, Wiratno, said in a press release on Tuesday.

“So it is not true that people who kept or bred birds such as the Javan-white eye [before the new list was enacted] will be prosecuted,” he said.

Owners of protected birds have been urged to notify the ministry, which is currently drafting guidelines for bird-singing contests to allow bird lovers to uphold local traditions without putting conservation efforts at risk. (ipa)

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Greening Thai tourism

SUCHAT SRITAMA Bangkok Post 2 Aug 18;

Lowering the use of plastic bags and single-use plastic products and adopting more natural-made materials are some of the latest practices being pushed by the government to promote green tourism in Thailand.

Officials working at tourism agencies are required to set an example for the campaign.

During the annual meeting of the Tourism Authority of Thailand last month in Nakhon Pathom province, all TAT workers were asked to bring their own bottles for refilling drinking water and wear outfits made from national products like silk and cotton.

Such lifestyle changes have also been advised for those working in the tourism industry, be it public or private agencies.

"The TAT must lead the industry to raise environmental awareness," said Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat. "The move comes in response to global trends and tourist behaviour, which is now geared towards environmental concerns."

The green tourism campaign has the ambitious goal of improving the country as a quality tourism destination, the minister said.

Some provincial TAT offices adopted the green tourism mindset months ago. For instance, the TAT's Loei office ran a related campaign for visitors to Phu Kradueng National Park from May to June.

The campaign, "Phu Kradueng Go Green: Go Clean: Go Grow", includes activities such as clean-ups and tree plantings in the park and its environs.

The Tourism Department has built and renovated hundreds of public toilets at attractions and rest areas. Those activities are set to be extended to tourism spots across the country.

In the hotel industry, consumption of plastic containers and single-use items such as straws, forks and spoons is high, leaving tonnes of plastic waste in major tourism areas like Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Samui.

These destinations generate tonnes of garbage each day, polluting the water, creating foul odours and spoiling scenery, said Supawan Tanomkieatipume, president of the Thai Hotels Association (THA).

To catch up with global trends on environmental preservation, hotel members have started adopting green tourism strategies, first and foremost, by lessening plastic consumption, Mrs Supawan said.

"Some hotels have already installed water coolers in their lobbies," she said.

The THA also plans to encourage hotels to grow organic produce on their properties if possible.

Mrs Supawan said it's vital for Thai hotels to go green because the natural tourism trend is growing.

For those hotels that have made the switch, like Baan Talay Dao Resort in Hua Hin, the change has benefited their properties significantly, including higher room rates and lower operating costs.

"Up to 95% of my guests are from Europe," said Udom Srimahachota, managing director of the resort. "They stay at my property because they love the environment here."

Ittirit Kinglake, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, said hotels and resorts are able to reduce operating costs by 7-15% annually if they put effort into environmental issues.

Mr Ittirit said he believed that many tourists, especially from Europe and some Asian countries like Japan, are now exclusively looking for green hotels. This trend will attract business and improve the image of operations, he said.

Local communities have also sought to transform their tourism attractions in long with the green trend.

Tat Ton National Park in Chaiyaphum province is considered among the best places for natural site management.

Officials have put a focus on ensuring that the waterfalls there are flowing year-round.

Additionally, Tat Ton National Park has created a network between the related agencies and communities to promote natural resources sustainably.

Another place is the Tourism Network Community in Mae Hong Son province. This community-based tourism network enterprise has also adopted the sufficiency economy concept.

The Department of Environment Quality Promotion of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry in 2015 launched the Green Hotel standard to promote environmentally friendly hospitality services that are energy-efficient.

Gold, silver and bronze standards are granted to hotels that receive the department's Green Hotel Standard. That certification is good for two years.

There were 45 hotels across the country that were certified in 2015; 53 in 2016; and 74 in 2017.

On a regional level, Asean Tourism Standards Awards have been given to 47 hotels in the region.

Tourism operators have been urged to upgrade their products and services to strengthen competitiveness and help develop inter-regional green tourism.

Intra-Asean travel accounted for 42% of total international arrivals in 2017. The average length of stay was 7.98 days, and tourism revenue in the 10 member countries was estimated at US$93 billion (3.08 trillion baht) last year.

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Myanmar: Fears grow as flooding displaces 130,000

Channel NewsAsia 2 Aug 18;

BAGO, Myanmar: Fears that embankments could burst under fresh rains mounted in flooded southeastern Myanmar, where some 150,000 people have been forced from their homes and a dozen people killed.

A vast area of farmland across four provinces lies under muddy water with rescue teams trying to reach villages by boat to provide food to those who are unable or refuse to leave their homes.

Above the town of Madauk in Bago region, floodwaters are only inches from the top of vulnerable embankments that are so far holding fast, but locals are afraid that fresh monsoon rains could spell disaster.

"If this embankment doesn't hold firm against the next flood, many more villages will be at high risk," rescue team leader Hlaing Min Oo told AFP as he oversaw a chain of volunteers loading a boat with food destined for marooned flood victims.

"For the moment, there's little chance that the water levels will go down."

Evacuation orders are still in place across Bago, Karen, Mon and Taninthari provinces with 36 dams and reservoirs overflowing, according to state media.

State media reported Thursday that 148,386 people are currently taking refuge in 327 camps.

The Myanma Alinn newspaper said nearly 28,000 are still in their flooded homes, either unable to escape to shelters or are opting to stay in the hope that water levels will start to recede.

AFP reporters travelled several hours to reach Maubin village in Shwe Kyin district with the relief boat, passing multiple settlements of half-submerged thatched homes, many with trapped residents at upstairs windows looking out at the inundations.

A monastery run by five monks was serving as a collection point for donated rice, noodles and biscuits in Maubin, a village of 108 households.

"Our house is just beside the river bank so we're trying to move somewhere higher," 54-year-old Ohn Myint said, pointing to the hills a couple of kilometres away.

Farmer and fisherman Win Kyu, 40, is primarily worried about his fields that now lie completely under water.

"We experienced flooding like this back in 2000 - this year is the worst since then," he said. "If this goes on, people will struggle to make a living."

Myanmar is only just entering peak monsoon season but it is not suffering alone.

Particularly heavy rains this year have lashed much of the Mekong region with a dam in neighbouring Laos collapsing last week, destroying several villages and leaving scores of people missing.

Source: AFP/de/nc

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Plastic pollution: How one woman found a new source of warming gases hidden in waste

Matt McGrath BBC 2 Aug 18;

It's your classic movie eureka moment.

Young researcher Sarah-Jeanne Royer set out to measure methane gas coming from biological activity in sea water.

Instead, in a "happy accident" she found that the plastic bottles holding the samples were a bigger source of this powerful warming molecule than the bugs in the water.

Now she's published further details in a study into the potential warming impact of gases seeping from plastic waste.

"It was a totally unexpected discovery," Dr Royer told BBC News.

"Some members of the lab were experimenting with high density polyethylene bottles looking at methane biological production, but the concentrations were much higher than expected."

"So we realised that the emissions were not just coming from the biology but from the bottle that we were using for the experiment."

After graduating from university in Barcelona, Dr Royer found herself in Hawaii, leading teams of volunteers who were helping to remove plastic from beaches at weekends, while working on the chemistry of the substance during the week.

Now she's published her report after spending a year and a half testing different types of plastic in and out of seawater to see if they emit methane and ethylene, which both contribute to the greenhouse effect.

Dr Royer found that the most widely-used plastic, the stuff used to make shopping bags, is the one that produces the greatest amount of these warming gases.

At the end of the study, after 212 days in the sun, this plastic emitted 176 times more methane than at the start of the experiment.

Ironically, when plastics were exposed to air the amount of methane emitted was double the level from sea water.

What's causing these emissions?

In short it's the Sun. Solar radiation acts on the surface of plastic waste. As it breaks down, becomes cracked and pitted, these defects increase the surface area of plastic available to sunlight which accelerates gas production. Even in the dark, the gas continues to seep out.

"I'm in the field every week," said Dr Royer.

"When I touch a piece of plastic, if there's a little impact on that plastic it's degrading into hundred of pieces pretty much as we look at it."

Is this a big deal?

Up to now, the link between plastics and climate change was mainly focussed on the use of fossil fuels like oil and gas in the manufacture of plastic items.

It's also known that when plastics degrade in the environment, they release CO2. Experts have welcomed this report as it is the first time that anyone has tried to quantify other warming gases emerging from plastic waste.

"Low density polyethylene (LDPE) does emit ethylene, methane and propane, even at low temperatures that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions," Prof Ashwani Gupta from the University of Maryland, who was not involved in the study, told BBC News.

"It is nice to see some quantified emissions on greenhouse gases for the selected polyethylene. The results clearly show variation in gas emission levels among the different polyethylene sources."

While the amounts of methane and ethylene being produced right now from plastics are very small, Dr Royer is concerned about the future and the fact that as plastic breaks down, more surface area is exposed, increasing the amount of the gases that drifts into the atmosphere.

"If we look at all the plastic produced since 1950, it's pretty much all still on the planet, and it's just degrading into smaller and smaller pieces, so we know the industry is booming and in the next 30 years and more and more greenhouse gases will be produced - that's a big thing."

What have the plastics industry said?

Nothing much at this point. According to Dr Royer, when she approached companies in the field, they weren't keen on talking about it.

"I told them I was a scientist and I was trying to understand the chemistry of the plastic," she said.

"I was trying to order some plastics of different densities and I was asking questions about the process and they all said we don't want to have contact with you anymore.

"I think the plastic industry absolutely knows, and they don't want this to be shared with the world."

How have other scientists reacted?

"Research on plastic waste is revealing it to be a disturbing pandora's box," said Dr Montserrat Filella, a chemist at the University of Geneva.

"As research expands our knowledge, we are realising that plastics can be insidious in many other ways. For instance, as vectors of 'hidden pollutants', such as heavy metals present in them or, now, as a source of greenhouse gases. And, in all cases, throughout the entire lifetime of the plastic."

Others agreed that further research was urgently needed.

"No one knows how much methane and ethylene are being released from these sources. We don't know if it is adding significant amounts of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere," said Dr Jennifer Lynch, a marine environment expert from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (Nist).

"It's another consequence of the use of plastics and it needs further examination."

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