Mosquito larvae are remarkably unfussy eaters. They glide through the ponds and puddles they live in, creating currents that draw tiny particles of food into their mouths—but miniscule plastic morsels can easily slip down the hatch as well. New research shows these “microplastics” stick around in the mosquitoes’ bellies even after they emerge from the water as flying adults, putting their land predators in danger of ingesting the contaminants.
To conduct the study, researchers poured small fluorescent yellow and green plastic beads about the size of red blood cells into water-filled beakers containing hungry mosquito larvae. Several days later, they fished the larvae out.
When the larvae grew up, the team spotted glowing beads inside their Malpighian tubules—structures equivalent to kidneys—confirming that microplastics can linger in an insect’s body even as it shifts from its larval to adult life stage. The researchers also found that the smaller the beads were, the more likely they were to wind up in the mosquitoes.
The findings, reported today in Biology Letters, indicate that after adult mosquitoes abandon the water (as shown in the image above), they can introduce the bits of plastic they ate as larvae into their new habitats. That means when nonaquatic predators—including birds, bats, and dragonflies—snack on mosquitoes, they may be in for an unhealthy dose of microplastics from the polluted waters in which their prey were born. Scientists already know microplastics can be toxic to many underwater animals. This newly discovered transport route may pose a threat to insect-eating species on land as well.
Our Commitment to the Environment
We are members of alliances, conservancies, societies and enjoy our world. Nature inspires us with its beauty and its magnificence, and we are deeply committed to conservation. Because we want to preserve our world for generations to come, we try at all times to reduce waste of resources and energy, to reuse and recycle packaging run on our machines. Our SECAMP™ project was an industry first.
SECAMP™ is a 6 point strategy that relates to using less energy or clean energy, fewer packaging materials, and reduce costs in the manufacturing, warehousing and distribution of StandUp pouches and trays.
- Make multiple components and parts at one time to get efficiencies of scale including modules for the assembly of the machine.
- Buy electricity and other utilities (gas) from environmental conscious suppliers who do not pollute the air with "greenhouse" gases.
- Turn air compressors off after use and start changing pneumatic designs that allow machines to run at a lower psi. 70 psi is our standard.
- Use stainless steel where possible and eliminate all painting in the machinery process.
- Reduce electric cables and use more wireless technology.
- Install our patented ControlSmart™ data monitoring camera type system to prevent the production of out-of-specification products at the customer.
The 7 R's of Packaging
Wal-Mart and other large retailers are demanding their vendors keep their manufacturing processes as green as possible.
Remove Packaging: eliminate unnecessary packaging, extra boxes or layers
Reduce Packaging: "Right Size" packages and optimize material strength
Re-use Packaging: Pallets (use CHEP, IFCO etc.) and reusable plastic containers (RPC)
Renewable Packaging: Use materials made from renewable sources; select materials that are biodegradable or can be composted
Recyclable Packaging: Use materials made of the highest recycled content without compromising quality
Revenue: Achieve above principles at cost parity/cost savings
Read: Get educated on sustainability
Environmental Fact Sheet
- Last year Americans spent nearly $11 billion on over 8 billion gallons of bottled water, and then discarded over 22 billion empty plastic bottles in the trash.
- 200,000 people a day are moving to cities from environments that no longer support them.
- Lighting accounts for 25 percent of North American electricity use.
- The Earth's limited supply of natural resources will only be able to sustain 2 billion humans by 2100, bad news is, a world that already feeds 5.9 billion people is struggling.
- We use over 80,000,000,000 Aluminum soda cans every year.
- The wind in North Dakota alone could produce a third of that state's electricity.
- A single degree of over-heating or over-cooling on an average college campus costs $100,000 a year.
- Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for 1,260 miles) 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for 6 months), 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of air pollution.
- The U.S. is 5% of the world's population but uses 25% of its natural resources.
- Florida residents dump enough trash every two weeks to fill the Astrodome and that has led FPL to invest in 13 incinerators and recover energy from garbage.
- American consumers and industry throw away enough Aluminum in a year to rebuild our entire airplane commercial fleet.
- Fuel Prices are rising
- Energy demands increasing daily
- Oil is in short supply
- Global energy crisis
- Harness solar energy
- Zero net energy consumption
- Create energy efficient/energy positive environments
- Use alternate fuels
- Use alternate transportation
- Use chemical-free cleaning products
- Implement the 7Rs strategy: remove, reduce, re-use, renew, recycle, revenue and read
- Zero landfill
What We Do To Help
- Print on both sides of any print job
- Use other side of old printed paper for scrap
- Re-use all corrugated boxes for shipping spare parts
- Turn off all lights. Use natural lighting wherever possible
- Recycle all paper, cans and bottles
- Turn off all monitors and computers at the end of the day
- Do not use styrofoam plates or cups
- Do not print e-mails that have pages already printed
- Use compact fluorescent lights
- Use programmable thermostats
- Water-saving restrooms
- Automatic lights
- Insulation around doors and windows